“The Shining” is a classic in the horror movie genre and one of the most well-known films in the entire world. Adapted from the novel by Stephen King, “The Shining” tells the story of up and coming writer Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) who takes a job as the caretaker of the isolated Overlook Hotel in the Rocky Mountains. Once he, his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall), and son Danny (Danny Lloyd) move to the hotel, Danny’s unique gift to see into the past is discovered and soon after, creepy things begin to happen to the family. Check out some interesting facts that you might not know about this 1980 horror masterpiece.
8 killer facts about The Shining
1. Danny was cast based on how he spoke
According to Stanley Kubrick’s biography written by Vincent LoBrutto, the film’s casting department searched for young actors in Chicago, Cincinnati, and Denver. The reason for this was because they wanted to find a child whose speech patterns were a mix of Shelley Duvall’s and Jack Nicolson.
2. “Here’s Johnny!” was almost cut
Jack’s famous line delivered when he’s trying to get to Wendy, who’s locked herself in a bathroom, was almost cut from the film. Kubrick didn’t know that the phrase was Johnny Carson’s introduction on “The Tonight Show” and didn’t understand why it was so significant.
3. The film was supposed to be much longer
On many occasions, Kubrick had to cut out scenes because Warner Bros. complained that it was too long. The European version of the film is 25 minutes shorter than other theatrical releases. Warner Bros. also said that the film was far too ambiguous, and Kubrick said that it was “not well received”.
4. It received Razzie nominations for “Worst Actress” and “Worst Director”
Early reaction to the film was generally negative. Many critics claimed that the film was disappointing, confusing, and lackluster, and it was one of the few Kubrick films that did not receive any Oscar nominations. Shelley Duvall was nominated for a Razzie for “Worst Actress” and Kubrick for “Worst Director,” so the public had trouble understanding the vision.
5. Stephen King hated Kubrick’s adaptation
Stephen King was not a fan of many aspects of the film adaptation of his book. He said that it was the only one that he can remember hating, and that “spending three hours watching an ant farm would be more emotionally uplifting.” He also disagreed with a lot of the casting; of Shelley Duvall’s portrayal he said, “She’s basically just there to scream and be stupid, and that’s not the woman that I wrote about.”
6. Outtakes from the film were later used in “Blade Runner”
Ridley Scott revealed that at the end of the “Blade Runner,” the panorama shots were actually pieces taken from the beginning of “The Shining,” which he received permission from Stanley Kubrick to use. “I know you shot the hell out of ‘The Shining,’ can I use some of the stuff?” he asked.
7. Kubrick’s secretary witnessed the moment that he selected “The Shining” for adaptation
After the failure of “Barry Lyndon,” Kubrick searched for something that would be more palatable for the average audience. His secretary said that he was brought stacks of horror novels to read, and would hear him throwing them across the room to land in the reject pile after reading only the first few pages. She said that after not hearing books hitting the wall after a few days, she went to check on him and saw him deep into “The Shining. ”
8. Shelley Duvall said the filming process was unbearable
The stress of dealing with Stanley Kubrick, his style of directing, and the working conditions proved to be too much for Shelley Duvall. One scene would take weeks to film, and Kubrick would force actors to work sometimes 13 hour days, repeating the same scene. “Going through day after day of excruciating work. Almost unbearable,” she said, “And in my character, I had to cry for 12 hours a day, all day long, nine months straight, five or six days a week.”
Spooky hotels, an overly eccentric director, and a writer who hates the film that came from his book – we’ll leave it up to you to decide what’s scarier, watching the movie, or filming it.