1980 The Shining, Stanley Kubrick, Filming Locations
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The Shining (1980)
A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Writers: Stephen King (novel)
Stanley Kubrick’s very free adaptation of the Stephen King novel sees blocked writer Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) going barmy in a creepy snowbound hotel.
Although the film was shot almost entirely in the studio at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire, England, where the hotel interior was constructed, the exterior of the ‘Overlook Hotel’ is the Timberline Lodge, Mount Hood in the Hood River area of Northern Oregon.
Built during the Depression, it’s 45 miles east of Portland, just east of Zig Zag on Route 26. There is no maze at the Timberline – this was built at the old MGM Borehamwood Studios, also in Hertfordshire.
The interior sets were partly based, not on the Timberline, but on the Ahwahnee Hotel, in Yosemite Park, California.
To complicate matters further, it’s sometimes claimed that the film was made at the Stanley Hotel, 333 East Wonderview Avenue, Estes Park in Colorado. This is the hotel in which King stayed in 1973, and which inspired the original story.
The writer detested the Kubrick adaptation, which junked most of his plot in favour of atmosphere, and sanctioned a TV movie remake, which did indeed use the Stanley. The hotel was also seen on-screen in Peter Farrelly’s 1994 Dumb and Dumber.
The opening helicopter shots, of Torrance driving to the Overlook, were filmed by a second unit on Going-to-the-Sun Road, running along the western shore of Saint Mary Lake in Glacier National Park, northeast of Kalispell, Montana. Some of this footage was tacked on to the original release of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner to provide the ‘happy ending’. Going-To-The-Sun Road appears again (very briefly) during the cross-country run in Forrest Gump.
THE SHINING ( filming video location )
The Shining (1980): Behind The Scenes
Shining 1980 Behind The Scenes "Crafting The Shining" Part 2
Shining 1980 Behind The Scenes "Crafting The Shining" Part 3
Because Danny Lloyd was so young and since it was his first acting job, Stanley Kubrick was highly protective of the child. During the shooting of the movie, Lloyd was under the impression that the film he was making was a drama, not a horror movie. In fact, when Wendy carries Danny away while shouting at Jack in the Colorado Lounge, she is actually carrying a lifesize dummy so Lloyd would not have to be in the scene. He only realized the truth several years later, when he was shown a heavily edited version of the film. He did not see the uncut version of the film until he was 17 – eleven years after he had made it.
Both Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall have expressed open resentment against the reception of this film, feeling that critics and audiences credited Stanley Kubrick solely for the film’s success without considering the efforts of the actors, crew or the strength of Stephen King’s underlying material. Both Nicholson and Duvall have said that the film was one of the hardest of their careers; in fact, Nicholson considers Duvall’s performance the most difficult role he’s ever seen an actor take on. Duvall also considers her performance the hardest of her life.
At the time of release, it was the policy of the MPAA to not allow the portrayal of blood in trailers that would be approved for all audiences. Bizarrely, the trailer for The Shining consists entirely of the shot of blood pouring out of the elevator. Stanley Kubrick had convinced the board the blood flooding out of the elevator was actually rusty water.
For the scene in which Jack breaks down the bathroom door, the props department built a door that could be easily broken. However, Jack Nicholson had worked as a volunteer fire marshal and tore it apart far too easily. The props department were then forced to build a stronger door.
According to Shelley Duvall the infamous ‘Heere’s Johnny!’ scene took 3 days to film and the use of 60 doors.
All of the interior rooms of the Overlook Hotel were filmed at Elstree Studios in England, including the Colorado Lounge, where Jack does his typing. Because of the intense heat generated from the lighting used to recreate window sunlight (the room took 700,000 watts of light per window to make it look like a snowy day outside), the lounge set caught fire. Fortunately all of the scenes had been completed there, so the set was rebuilt with a higher ceiling, and the same area was eventually used by Steven Spielberg as the snake-filled Well of the Souls tomb in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).
Tony Burton, who had a brief role as Larry Durkin the garage owner, arrived on set one day carrying a chess set in hopes of getting in a game with someone during a break from filming. Stanley Kubrick, an avid chess player who had in his youth played for money, noticed the chess set. Despite production being behind schedule, Kubrick proceeded to call off filming for the day and engage in a set of games with Burton. Burton only managed to win one game, but nevertheless the director thanked him, since it had been some time that he’d played against a challenging opponent.
There were so many changes to the script during shooting that Jack Nicholson claimed he stopped reading it. He would read only the new pages that were given to him each day.
Anjelica Huston lived with Jack Nicholson during the time of the shooting. She recalled that, due to the long hours on the set and Stanley Kubrick’s trademark style of repetitive takes, Nicholson would often return from a day’s shooting, walk straight to the bed, collapse onto it and would immediately fall asleep.
The script was constantly changing on set, sometimes several times a day. The cast got very irritated by this, especially Jack Nicholson. Whenever the production team would give the cast copies of the script to memorize, Jack Nicholson would throw his away without even looking at it, as he knew that it was only going to change again.
The throwing around of the tennis ball inside the Overlook Hotel was Jack Nicholson’s idea. The script originally only specified that, "Jack is not working".
Stephen King, the author of the book on which the movie was based, was quite disappointed in the final film. While admitting that Stanley Kubrick’s visuals were stunning, he said that was surface and not substance. He often described the film as "A fancy car without an engine."
Stanley Kubrick, known for his compulsiveness and numerous retakes, got the difficult shot of blood pouring from the elevators in only three takes. This would be remarkable if it weren’t for the fact that the shot took nine days to set up; every time the doors opened and the blood poured out, Kubrick would say, "It doesn’t look like blood." In the end, the shot took approximately a year to get right.
Despite Stanley Kubrick’s fierce demands on everyone, Jack Nicholson admitted to having a good working relationship with him. It was with Shelley Duvall that he was a completely different director. He allegedly picked on her more than anyone else, as seen in the documentaries Making ‘The Shining’ (1980) and Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures (2001). He would really lose his temper with her, even going so far as to say that she was wasting the time of everyone on the set. She later reflected that he was probably pushing her to her limits to get the best out of her, and that she wouldn’t trade the experience for anything – but it was not something she ever wished to repeat.
Shelley Duvall suffered from nervous exhaustion throughout filming, including physical illness and hair loss.
On the DVD commentary track for Making ‘The Shining’ (1980), Vivian Kubrick reveals that Shelley Duvall received "no sympathy at all" from anyone on the set. This was apparently Stanley Kubrick’s tactic in making her feel utterly hopeless. This is most evident in the documentary when he tells Vivian, "Don’t sympathize with Shelley." Kubrick then goes on to tell Duvall, "It doesn’t help you.".
The idea for Danny Lloyd to move his finger when he was talking as Tony was his own; he did it spontaneously during his very first audition.
Stanley Kubrick considered both Robert De Niro and Robin Williams for the role of Jack Torrance but decided against both of them. Kubrick did not think De Niro would suit the role after watching his performance in Taxi Driver (1976), as he deemed De Niro not psychotic enough for the role. He did not think Williams would suit the role after watching his performance on Mork & Mindy (1978), as he deemed him too psychotic for the role. According to Stephen King, Kubrick also briefly considered Harrison Ford.
One of Stanley Kubrick’s favorite films was Eraserhead (1977), directed by David Lynch. Kubrick cited the film as a creative influence during the making of The Shining and screened Eraserhead to put the cast and crew in the mood he wanted to achieve for the film.
For the scenes when we can hear Jack typing but we cannot see what he is typing, Stanley Kubrick recorded the sound of a typist actually typing the words "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy". Some people argue that each key on a typewriter sounds slightly different, and Kubrick wanted to ensure authenticity, so he insisted that the actual words be typed.
The scene where Jack is chasing Danny through the maze took over a month to shoot. During the shoot, crew-members often found themselves lost and had to walkie-talkie for assistance.
Jack Nicholson ad-libbed the "little pigs" dialog towards the end of the film. He also ad-libbed the famous line, "Here’s Johnny".
Stephen King did not know that "redrum" spelled murder backwards until he actually typed it. He loved the various connotations of the word. Red Rum was a famous racehorse in the 1970s.
Every time Jack talks to a "ghost", there’s a mirror in the scene, except in the food locker scene. This is because he talks to (an unseen) Grady through a shiny metal door.
Stanley Kubrick had envisioned Shelley Duvall as his more timid, dependent version of Wendy Torrance from the very beginning. However, Jack Nicholson after reading the novel, wanted Jessica Lange for the role of Wendy, and even recommended her to Kubrick, as he felt she fit Stephen King’s version of the character. After explaining the changes he had made, Kubrick convinced him that Duvall was the correct choice, as she best suited the emotionally fragile Wendy he had in mind. Many years later, Nicholson told Empire magazine he thought Duvall was fantastic and called her work in the film, "the toughest job that any actor that I’ve seen had".
Steadicam operator Garrett Brown accomplished many of the ultra-low tracking corridor sequences from a wheelchair on which his invention was mounted. Grips would either pull backward or push forward the wheelchair, depending on the requirement of the shot
To get Jack Nicholson in the right agitated mood, he was only fed cheese sandwiches – which he hates.
Much like the casting of the character Jack, Stephen King also disliked the casting of Shelley Duvall as Wendy. King said that he envisioned Wendy as being a blond former cheerleader type who never had to deal with any true problems in her life making her experience in the Overlook all the more terrifying. He felt that Duvall was too emotionally vulnerable and appeared to have gone through a lot in her life, basically the exact opposite of how he pictured the character.
The first of Stephen King’s books to be banned from school libraries because of the theme of wicked parents.
According to Stephen King, the title is inspired by the refrain in the Plastic Ono Band’s song, "Instant Karma" (by John Lennon), which features the chorus: "We all shine on".
There is a great deal of confusion regarding this film and the number of retakes of certain scenes. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the scene where Wendy is backing up the stairs swinging the baseball bat was shot 127 times, which is a record for the most takes of a single scene. However, both Steadicam operator Garrett Brown and assistant editor Gordon Stainforth say this is inaccurate – the scene was shot about 35-45 times.
Stephen King was first approached by Stanley Kubrick about making a film version of The Shining via an early morning phone call (England is five hours ahead of Maine in time zones). King, suffering from a hangover, shaving and at first thinking one of his kids was injured, was shocked when his wife told him Kubrick was really on the phone. King recalled that the first thing Kubrick did was to immediately start talking about how optimistic ghost stories are, because they suggest that humans survive death. "What about hell?" King asked. Kubrick paused for several moments before finally replying, "I don’t believe in hell.". King replied stating that there are people who believe in hell, and that they fear it more than death itself. This was tremendously effective in helping Kubrick understand the feel of the story.
The color red is visible, either overtly or subtly, in nearly every shot of the film.
The scene towards the end of the film, where Wendy is running up the stairway carrying a knife, was shot 35 times; the equivalent of running up the Empire State Building.
The shot of the tennis ball rolling into Danny’s toys took 50 takes to get right.
Stanley Kubrick decided that having the hedge animals come alive (as they do in the book) was unworkable due to restrictions in special effects, so he opted for a hedge maze instead.
Neither Lia Beldam (young woman in bath) nor Billie Gibson (old woman in bath) appeared in another movie before or after this one.
The "snowy" maze near the conclusion of the movie consisted of 900 tons of salt and crushed Styrofoam.
Prior to hiring Diane Johnson as his writing partner, director/producer Stanley Kubrick rejected a screenplay written by Stephen King himself. King’s script was a much more literal adaptation of the novel, a much more traditional horror film than the film Kubrick would ultimately make. He was considering hiring Johnson because he admired her novel "The Shadow Knows," but when he found out she was a Doctor of Gothic Studies, he became convinced she was the person for the job.
There was no air conditioning on the sets, meaning it would often become very hot. The hedge maze set was stifling; actors and crew would often strip off as much of the heavy clothing they were wearing as quickly as they could once a shot was finished.
Stephen King tried to talk Stanley Kubrick out of casting Jack Nicholson in the lead suggesting, instead, either Michael Moriarty or Jon Voight. King had felt that watching either of these normal-looking men gradually descend into madness, would have immensely improved the dramatic thrust of the storyline.
Stephen King got the idea for The Shining while his family were staying at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. They were the last guests before it shut down for the Winter. He saw a group of nuns leaving the hotel, and it got him thinking that the place had suddenly become godless. The King family stayed in Room 217, the haunted room in the novel but Room 237 in the film; a fire hose also resembled a snake (which doesn’t appear in the film but does in The Shining (1997) TV mini-series), and King had already been playing around with a story idea about a boy with ESP, so he combined the two plotlines.
Despite his reported abuse of Shelley Duvall on set, director Stanley Kubrick spoke very highly of her ability in interviews and found himself quite impressed by her performance in the finished film.
The Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood in Oregon was used for the front exterior, but all the interiors as well as the back of the hotel were specially built at Elstree Studios in London, England. The management of the Timberline requested that Stanley Kubrick not use 217 for a room number (as specified in the book), fearing that nobody would want to stay in that room ever again. Kubrick changed the script to use the nonexistent room number 237.
During filming, Stanley Kubrick made the cast watch Eraserhead (1977), Rosemary’s Baby (1968) and The Exorcist (1973) to put them in the right frame of mind.
Outtakes of the shots of the Volkswagen Beetle traveling towards the Overlook Hotel at the start of the film were "plundered" by Ridley Scott (with Stanley Kubrick’s permission) when he was forced to add the "happy ending" to the original release of Blade Runner (1982).
During the scene where Wendy brings Jack breakfast in bed, it can be seen in the reflection of the mirror that Jack’s T-shirt says "Stovington" on it. While not mentioned in the film, this is the name of the school that Jack used to teach at in the Stephen King novel.
To construct the interiors of the Overlook Hotel, Stanley Kubrick and his production designer, Roy Walker purposely set out to make it look like an amalgamation of bits and pieces of real hotels, rather than giving it one single design ethic. Kubrick had sent many photographers around the country photographing hotel rooms and picking his favorite. For example, the red men’s bathroom was modeled on a men’s room in the Biltmore Hotel in Arizona designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and the Colorado lounge was modeled on the lounge of the Ahwanee Hotel in the Yosemite Valley. Indeed, the chandeliers, windows and fireplace are nearly identical, so much so that people entering the Ahwahnee Hotel often ask if it’s "the Shining hotel".
The scrapbook that Jack finds in the novel makes a brief appearance next to his typewriter when Jack tells Wendy never to bother him while he’s working.
Stanley Kubrick wanted to shoot the film in script order. This meant having all the relevant sets standing by at all times. In order to achieve this, every soundstage at Elstree Studios was used, with all the sets built, pre-lit and ready to go during the entire shoot at the studios.
The only shot in the film not achieved in-camera was the slow zoom in on the model of the maze, with the tiny figures of Danny and Wendy walking around at the center. To achieve this shot, a model of the maze was shot from six feet above. Then the small central section of the maze was built to scale next to an apartment complex. Actors Shelley Duvall and Danny Lloyd then walked about in the central section whilst the camera crew filmed it from the roof of the apartment building. The two shots were then simply composited together.
During the making of the movie, Stanley Kubrick would occasionally call Stephen King at 3:00 a.m. and ask him questions like "Do you believe in God?" Steven Spielberg had heard this story and asked Kubrick if it was true. Kubrick denied that it happened.
Most of the elaborate urban legends and conspiracy theories surrounding this film (ranging from it serving as a Holocaust metaphor to a confession that Kubrick helped fake the moon landings) were refuted by Stanley Kubrick during his lifetime or later by the surviving cast and crew. For example, the famous "impossible corridors" are a result of set logistics, Kubrick wanted to shoot Danny on his big wheel in unbroken takes, so the hallways had to connect and the only way the crew could construct them to fit Kubrick’s vision meant mirroring the set to fit available sound stage space. The shadow of the helicopter in the opening shot was the result of a framing error.
After Barry Lyndon (1975), Stanley Kubrick started researching his next project by reading a lot of recent books. His secretary could hear him throwing rejected books at the wall in his office. One day, he started reading Stephen King’s novel and, after a few hours, when his secretary hadn’t heard the familiar sound of a book hitting the wall, she knew he had found his next project.
Jack Nicholson suggested Scatman Crothers for the film. Crothers had a tough time on "The Shining" with Stanley Kubrick making him do over 100 takes for one scene. Crothers’ next film was Bronco Billy (1980), directed by Clint Eastwood who was famous for generally only going with one take. Crothers broke down in tears of gratitude on his first scene in the film when he realized he wouldn’t have to do endless take after take again.
According to Variety magazine, the film took almost 200 days to shoot. However, according to assistant editor Gordon Stainforth, it took much more, nearly a year. The film was originally supposed to take 17 weeks, but it ultimately took 51. Because the film ran so long, Warren Beatty’s Reds (1981) and Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) were both delayed as they were both waiting to shoot in Elstree Studios.
The scene of Hallorann approaching the hotel in the snow-cat was shot in real snow approaching the real Timberline hotel in Oregon.
To achieve the smoothness of the opening shots, cameraman Greg MacGillivray secured a wide angle Arriflex camera to the front of a helicopter, then balanced the blades to remove any vibrations. Even the shot where the camera comes down behind the car, passes it out, and goes over the edge is done via the helicopter.
Scatman Crothers was friends with Jack Nicholson, and when he heard about the Halloran role, he asked Nicholson to talk to Stanley Kubrick about casting him.
During an interview for Britain’s The 100 Greatest Scary Moments (2003), Shelley Duvall revealed that due to her role requiring her to be in an almost constant state of hysteria, she eventually ran out of tears from crying so hard. To overcome this, she kept bottles of water with her at all times on set to remain hydrated.
When Steadicam inventor/operator Garrett Brown was hired to work on the picture, he was assured that there was no way the shoot would run over six months, as he had to be back in the United States in six months time to shoot Rocky II (1979). Six months into the shoot, less than half the film had been shot, and for several months, Brown worked one week in London on The Shining, one week in Philadelphia on Rocky, commuting by Concorde every Sunday.
Jack tells Lloyd in the bar that Danny once messed around with his work papers. This mirrors an event in Stephen King’s life, when his son once started playing around with his writing notes. He felt like killing him.
The scene where Wendy is running and sees a room where a man in a bear costume is having sex with the former hotel manager was never explained in the movie, leaving the audience very confused as to why it was there. In the book, during a year at the hotel the manager had a secret homosexual affair with a party guest dressed in a dog costume, which is the closest explanation.
Upon seeing the movie, Stephen King reportedly said "I think he set out to make a film that hurts people".
Jack Nicholson claimed that the scene where Jack snaps at Wendy for interrupting his writing was the most difficult for him, as he was a writer in real-life and had gotten into similar arguments with his girlfriend. Being a Method actor he drew on his memories of those arguments and added the line "Or if you come in here and you DON’T hear me typing, if I’m in here that means I’m working!"
Despite receiving generally unfavorable reviews upon its initial release, the film is today regarded as one of the best horror movies ever made. In 2001, it was ranked 29th on AFI’s ‘100 Years…100 Thrills’ list. In 2003, Jack Torrance was named the 25th greatest villain on the AFI’s ‘100 Years…100 Heroes and Villains’ list. The film was named the scariest film of all time by Channel 4 in 2003, and Total Film had it as the 5th greatest horror film in 2004. Bravo TV placed it 6th on their list of the 100 Scariest Movie Moments in 2005. In addition, film critics Kim Newman and Jonathan Romney both placed it in their all-time top ten lists for the 2002 Sight and Sound poll.
The making-of documentary shot by Vivian Kubrick shows that the hedge maze set, while nowhere near as large as the maze in the film (which was mostly a matte painting), was still large and complex enough to require a detailed map. In the commentary for her documentary, she notes that many crew members really got lost in the maze, dryly noting that it now reminds her of the lost-backstage scene in This Is Spinal Tap (1984).
The role of Lloyd the Bartender was originally to have been played by Harry Dean Stanton, who was unable to take the role due to his commitment to Alien (1979).
In the British TV spot for the film, Jack can be seen tearing through the second door panel, a shot that was never used in the final cut.
Despite the critical success of the film, it was nominated for two Golden Raspberry Awards: Worst Actress for Shelley Duvall and Worst Director for Stanley Kubrick. It "lost" both awards.
Stanley Kubrick’s first choice to play Danny Torrance was Cary Guffey, the young boy from Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). Guffey’s parents apparently turned down the offer due to the film’s subject matter.
The Louisville Slugger baseball bat with which Wendy Torrance bludgeons Jack is signed by Carl Yastrzemski, Hall of Fame Red Sox player. Author Stephen King is a huge Red Sox fan.
This film was shot in the same film studio that was used for Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980). In fact, much of the same fake snow used for this film was used for the Hoth scenes. Stephen King visited the set of both films, and met director Irvin Kershner. This later became the basis for part of his book "It". Kirshner had been nicknamed "Kersh", and was directing the first Star Wars film to feature Yoda. In the Stephen King book "It", there is a character named Mrs. Kersh, who is said to sound like Yoda when she talks. As well as countless other mentions of Star Wars in various King books.
One of the shots in the part where Jack is bouncing a ball against a wall took several days to film. This was because the shot entailed the ball bouncing from the wall onto the camera lens as it filmed. As Stanley Kubrick was so determined to get this precise shot, the camera kept rolling while the ball was continually hit against the wall in the hope of it bouncing back and hitting the lens. It took everyone on the entire unit having a go at it in between other shots before the shot was finally achieved after several days.
As he lived in England, Stanley Kubrick was not at all familiar with the "Heeeeere’s Johnny" line (from The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962)) that Jack Nicholson improvised. He very nearly didn’t use it.
Stanley Kubrick originally wanted Slim Pickens to play the part of Hallorann but Pickens wanted nothing to do with the director, following his experiences working with him on Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964).
When Jack uses an axe to break through the bathroom door, he shouts "Here’s Johnny". This is probably a reference to the catchphrase of chat-show host Johnny Carson. However an alternative explanation is that it is a reference to an incident that occurred in the 1960s when Johnny Cash used a fire axe to break a connecting "doorway" between two motel rooms that he and his band members were using while on tour, and then broke through one of the doors from the corridor to make it look as if a thief had broken in and trashed the rooms.
The maze was constructed on an airfield near Elstree Studios, by weaving branches to chicken wire mounted on empty plywood boxes. The maze was shot using an extremely short lens (a 9.8mm, which gives a horizontal viewing angle of 90 degrees) which was kept dead level at all times, to make the hedges seem much bigger and more imposing than they were in reality.
The famous opening scene was shot in Glacier National Park in Montana just north of St. Mary’s Lake. The road seen in the scene, Going-to-the-Sun Road, does actually close down during winter and is only negotiable by snowcat. Kubrick initially sent a second unit to the Rockies in Colorado, but they reported back that the area wasn’t very interesting. When Stanley Kubrick saw the footage they had shot, he was furious, and fired the entire unit. He then sent Greg MacGillivray, a noted helicopter cameraman, to Montana and it was McGillivray who shot the scene.
The film took over 5 years to complete.
Christopher Reeve and Leslie Nielsen were considered for the role of Jack Torrence.
Delbert Grady, the waiter/butler from 1921, spills Advocaat (a yellow liqueur) on Jack in the Gold Room, one of multiple instances where the color yellow gradually becomes more symbolically prevalent as the film moves closer to Jack’s madness and the Overlook Hotel’s resurrection.
In the party scene, Stanley Kubrick told the extras to mouth their words.
Approximately 5000 people auditioned for the role of Danny Torrance over a six-month period. The interviews were carried out in Chicago, Denver and Cincinnati by Stanley Kubrick’s assistant Leon Vitali and his wife, Kersti Vitali. Aspiring actors were asked to send in photographs of themselves, and from the photographs, a list was made of the boys who looked right, who were then called in to interview. Vitali would then have the boys do some minor improvisation on camera, and Kubrick would review the footage, gradually narrowing the list down.
Stephen King has never understood why people find the film version of The Shining so scary.
The two Ray Noble and His Orchestra songs used were not actually from the 1920s: "Midnight, the Stars and You" (played in the ballroom) was recorded February 16, 1934, and "It’s All Forgotten Now" (heard faintly when Grady is talking to Jack in the bathroom) was recorded July 11, 1934.
Saul Bass reportedly produced around 300 versions of the film’s poster before Stanley Kubrick was satisfied.
Along with Bound for Glory (1976), Marathon Man (1976) and Rocky (1976), one of the first films to use the recently developed Steadicam.
Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind wrote and performed a full electronic score for the film, but Stanley Kubrick discarded most of it and used a soundtrack of mostly classical music. Only the adaptation of the "Dies Irae" ("Day of Wrath") melody (from the traditional requiem mass) during the opening credits, the music during the family’s drive to the hotel, and a few other brief moments (such as Halloran’s plane trip) survive in the final version. Wendy Carlos once noted that she’d like to see the original score released on CD, but there were too many legal snags at the time. As of 2005, Carlos’ score for the film has been remastered, and is a part of "Rediscovering Lost Scores Volumes 1 and 2".
The movie’s line "Here’s Johnny!" was voted as the #68 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100), and as the #36 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere magazine in 2007.
The film was released in the United States on star Scatman Crothers’ 70th birthday.
The magazine that Jack reads in the lobby and tosses back onto the chair when arising to greet Stuart Ullman is the January 1978 issue of "Playgirl".
Although a key point in the novel, the hotel boiler is only mentioned once in the film.
James Mason can be seen visiting the set of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980) in Vivian Kubrick’s TV documentary Making ‘The Shining’ (1980). Stanley Kubrick did not usually allow visitors to his set, but made an exception for Mason, who had memorably played Humbert Humbert for him in Lolita (1962).
This was voted the ninth scariest film of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
Shelley Duvall is the only actor/actress playing a member of the Torrance family whose character name is not the same as his/her real life name – Jack Nicholson plays a character named Jack and Danny Lloyd plays a character named Danny.
The outtakes link between this movie and Blade Runner (1982) was not the only element that connected the two. Actor Joe Turkel who plays Lloyd (the bartender who serves Jack), also played Dr. Eldon Tyrell in Blade Runner (1982). Outtakes aside, Turkel is the only other common cast/crew link between both films.
Knowing of his interest in the paranormal, Warner Brothers president John Calley sent Stanley Kubrick a galleys copy of "The Shining" novel.
In the novel, the Overlook burned to the ground because of the boiler that Jack Torrance neglected to dump, but in the film it’s still standing by the end and Jack freezes to death in a hedge maze instead of going up with the hotel. The novel’s ending was restored in the miniseries.
Danny’s middle name in the novel is Anthony, perhaps where Tony derived from.
In he book, when Dick and Danny are talking about the Shining, Dick asks Danny to show him his power by giving him a blast, and it is in the miniseries, but not the film. Abra, a girl with the Shining does something similar to Danny in Doctor Sleep.
Music would often be played on set to help young Danny Lloyd get into the right spirit for each scene.
The film’s aspect ratio has always been 1.35:1 full screen, if filmed or viewed in 1.85:1 wide-screen the viewer will only see empty space and/or in some cases set pieces and props that would never be allowed in the shot, it was never specified why Stanley Kubrick filmed in full screen but some theories range from an artistic reason; by cramming as much of the action in the center of the frame as possible to give a "claustrophobic" feeling and add to the tension,to a personal belief that the film would just be cropped anyway into 1.35:1 for broadcast on television and any important imagery or scenery would be lost forever after the theatrical release anyway,(home video was not widely available at the time and even after it became popular it wasn’t until the advent of DVD format where films preserved in their original aspect ratio) this is why the back of the DVD release says "full aspect ratio of the original camera negative,as Stanley Kubrick intended." as opposed to "This film has been modified from its original version, it has been formatted to fit your TV" it has never been formatted or modified at all.
Jack’s typewriter is an Adler Eagle.
Stephen King first got the idea for Doctor Sleep in 1998 at a book signing when somebody asked him what happened to Danny. This was a question King had often asked himself as well as what would have happened to Jack Torrance had he found AA. King started thinking about how old Danny was and where was Wendy now and decided to find the answers with a sequel. But it was a tall order. He considered Doctor Sleep the true history of the Torrance family.
Wendy Torrance swings the baseball bat 41 times.
Jack Nicholson was Stanley Kubrick’s first choice for the role of Jack Torrance.
John Williams was initially set to provide the score until Stanley Kubrick decided to go with a selection of music from different composers.
Bill Watson was the caretaker at the Overlook the rest of the year around in the novel; there is a "Bill" in Ullman’s office at the start of the film so that’s probably him.
When Stephen King wrote the book sequel, Doctor Sleep, he admitted he never knew how it would end, something he never knows.
Since Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall spoke in thick New Jersey and Texas accents respectively, Kubrick wanted the actor playing Danny to be from the Midwest as a compromise between the two, settling on Illinois born Danny Lloyd.
The snow began to bury the Overlook in the novel.
Wendy, at the breakfast scene in the beginning of the film, is reading "The Catcher In The Rye" by J.D. Salinger.
Released just two weeks after Friday the 13th (1980).
This was the first horror film starring Jack Nicholson since Roger Corman’s The Terror (1963).
Billie Gibson, the old woman in the tub, is often confused with Ann Gibson, Mel Gibson’s late mother.
Wendy smokes Virginia Slims Full-Flavor 120s in the scene where she and the Doctor are discussing Danny.
When Danny goes to explore Room 217 (Room 237) in the novel, there’s also a scary fire hose outside that menaces Danny like a snake, but it’s not in the film but it is in the miniseries.
The ghost of an injured guest says "Great party, isn’t it?" In the book, the ghost of Horace Derwent, the late owner of the Overlook, says this to Wendy and Danny. The miniseries returns the line to Derwent. He reappears in Doctor Sleep and says the exact same thing and kills a member of The True Knot, a group of psychic vampires.
Room 237 (217 in the novel) continues a theme in Stephen King novels of rooms with numbers having significance.
The film poster art was designed by Saul Bass. In the film, a Continental Airlines jetliner is seen in the film with 1968-era jet stream logo, which Bass designed. Bass also designed the United Airlines tulip logo in 1973 – United merged with Continental Airlines in 2010 but retained the 1991-era globe logo (designed by the Lippincott Company). The average lifespan of a Bass-designed corporate logo is 34 years.
Stanley Kubrick also made casting decisions for dubbing actors in other countries. In Spain actors Joaquín Hinojosa and Verónica Forqué did the voices of Jack and Wendy Torrence. Both actors had little experience in dubbing. In Spain, this dubbing is consider one of the worst dubbing ever made, due to that casting choice.
In Doctor Sleep, Danny has learned to push unwanted thoughts into a mental lockbox but they can be reopened if need be.
Danny is one of several characters in Stephen King novels with mental powers. Others are Carrie, Firestarter and in the sequel to the Shining, Doctor Sleep.
The miniseries and the novel goes into more detail about Jack Torrance’s relationship with his father than the film does; in fact it doesn’t even come up.
Jack was supposed to mow the lawns (and trim the topiary in the novel) as part of his job.
The Donner Party was based on a true story.
When writing Doctor Sleep, Stephen King had to be reminded of things from The Shining he’d forgotten. It’s one of the few sequels he’s written in his career.
The Shining is considered one of the world’s finest horror novels.
The two tracked vehicles in the movie are the Activ Fischer VW Powered 4 Speed Snow-Trak (referred to and labeled on the vehicle as a "SnowCat") and a Thiokol Imp Snow-Cat (this is the vehicle Wendy and Danny escape in).
For a TV commercial in 2010 for Premier Inn hotels (UK), British comedian Lenny Henry reenacted Jack Nicholson’s "Heeere’s Johnny" scene ("Heeere’s Lenny") in which he demolished a hotel bathroom door with an axe. The commercial was later banned.