Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd
Plot: Jack Torrance gets a job as the custodian of the Overlook Hotel, in the mountains of Colorado. The place is closed down during winter, Torrance and his family will be the only occupants of the hotel for a long while. When the snow storms block the Torrance family in the hotel, Jack's son Danny, who has some clairvoyance and telepathy powers, discovers that the hotel is haunted and that the spirits are slowly driving Jack crazy. When Jack meets the ghost of Mr. Grady, the former custodian of the hotel who murdered his wife and his two daughters, things begin to get really nasty.
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 life-size 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 seventeen - eleven years after he had made it.
To get Jack Nicholson in the right agitated mood, he was only fed cheese sandwiches for two weeks - which he hates.
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.
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 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.
Shelley Duvall suffered from nervous exhaustion throughout filming, including physical illness and hair loss.
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.
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."
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.
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.
The "snowy" maze near the conclusion of the movie consisted of 900 tons of salt and crushed Styrofoam.
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.
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.
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.
The Shining was eventually re-made as a 1997 miniseries that followed Stephen King's book more closely, because of his dissatisfaction with Stanley Kubrick's adaptation.
Danny Torrance's imaginary friend, Tony, isn't given much of an explanation in the 1980 film, however, in the book, Tony is actually Danny's adult self speaking to him from the future (in the book, Danny's middle name is Anthony, or "Tony" for short). Furthermore, in the book, Tony is a benevolent imaginary friend who acts as a sort of conscience as well as a sixth sense, and a companion for Danny since he doesn't have many friends at school. Tony is also fully visible to Danny as a person. In the film, Tony is invisible and is only a high-pitched voice, which speaks to Danny's parents through Danny himself. In the film, Tony also appears almost evil or a sign that Danny is mentally disturbed, often making Danny pass out or scaring his mother, showing him graphic images and eventually full-on possessing Danny and making him write "REDRUM" on the hotel wall with Wendy Torrance's lipstick.
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. As he lived in England, Stanley Kubrick was not at all familiar with the line (from The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962)) that Jack Nicholson improvised. He very nearly didn't use it.
When first released, the film had an alternate ending: after the shot of Jack's body, the film dissolves to a scene of policemen outside the hotel. It then cuts to a scene in a hospital, where Wendy is resting in a bed and Danny is playing in a waiting room. Ullman arrives and tells her that they have been unable to locate her husband's body anywhere on the property. On his way out, Ullman gives Danny a ball - the same one that mysteriously rolled into a hallway earlier in the film, before Danny was attacked in room 237. Ullman laughs and walks away and the film dissolves to the move through the corridors towards the photo. Stanley Kubrick had the scene removed a week after the film was released.
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.
Stanley Kubrick originally wanted approximately 70 takes of the scene where Halloran (Scatman Crothers) gets killed by Jack Torrance, but Jack Nicholson talked Kubrick into going easy on the 69-year-old Crothers and stopping after 40. At one point during the filming, Crothers became so exasperated with Kubrick's notorious, compulsive style of excessive retakes that he broke down and cried, asking "What do you want, Mr. Kubrick?".