ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Shining (1980) - Illustrated Reference

Updated on May 15, 2015
Stanley Kubrick with Jack Nicholson
Stanley Kubrick with Jack Nicholson

The Shining was directed by Stanley Kubrick and premiered on the 23rd May 1980. Starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, Barry Nelson, Philip Stone and Joe Turkel. Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick & Diane Johnson, based on the novel by Stephen King. Music by Wendy Carlos. 146mins (119mins)

Writer Jack Torrance accepts a job as caretaker of the isolated Overlook Hotel for the winter so he can relax and continue with his writing, he is staying there with his wife Wendy and 6 year old son Danny who has psychic abilities. The hotel was built on an Indian burial ground and the previous caretaker went mad, killing his family. Before long Jack starts to act strangely and Danny has horrific visions of murdered children.

Stephen King (1947-) arrived on the scene with a tale of telekinetic vengeance, first published in 1974 Carrie was a big seller and was followed by Salem’s Lot (1975) another success for King. The Shining (1977) was his third novel and his first hardback best seller. His apocalyptic magnum opus The Stand would be released a year later and Stephen would be crowned the new King of Horror, but it was The Shining that attracted Stanley Kubrick.

Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson
Shelley Duvall
Shelley Duvall
Danny Lloyd
Danny Lloyd
Scatman Crothers
Scatman Crothers
Barry Nelson
Barry Nelson
Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick
Philip Stone
Philip Stone
Joe Turkel
Joe Turkel

Jack: Wendy, darling, light of my life. I'm not gonna hurt ya. You didn't let me finish my sentence. I said, I'm not gonna hurt ya. I'm just going to bash your brains in. Gonna bash 'em right the f*ck in! ha ha ha
Wendy: Stay away from me! Don't hurt me!
Jack: I'm not gonna hurt ya...
Wendy: Stay away! Stop it!
Jack: Stop swingin' the bat. Put the bat down. Wendy? Give me the bat.

Jack Nicholson (1937-) / Jack Torrance

Born in Manhattan, New York City, Jack Nicholson’s first movie was The Cry Baby Killer (1958) and Jack has been a highly respected and popular movie star for the past four decades.

Jack Nicholson has won 3 Oscars – Best Actor for One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), Best Supporting Actor for Terms of Endearment (1983) and Best Actor for As Good as it Gets (1997), he has had 9 more Oscar nominations – Easy Rider (1970), Five Easy Pieces (1970), The Last Detail (1973), Chinatown (1974), Reds (1981), Prizzi’s Honor (1985), Ironweed (1987), A Few Good Men (1992) and About Schmidt (2002).

Shelley Duvall (1949-) / Wendy Torrance

Born in Houston, Texas, Shelley Duvall’s films include – Brewster McCloud (1970), Nashville (1975), Annie Hall (1977), Popeye (1980 as Olive Oyl), Time Bandits (1981), Roxanne (1987) and Suburban Commando (1991).

Danny Torrance: Redrum. Redrum. Redrum.

Danny Lloyd (1973-) / Danny Torrance

Born in Chicago Illinois, Danny Lloyd was just 6 years old when he started filming The Shining, and has appeared in one other film – Will: The Autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy (1982). He is currently teaching hard sciences in Missouri.

Scatman Crothers (1910-1986) / Dick Halloran

Born in Terre Haute, Indiana, composer, singer and actor Scatman Crothers won a Best Supporting Actor Saturn Award for The Shining (1980).

Scatmans films include – East of Sumatra (1953), Hello Dolly (1969), The Aristocats (1970 voice of Scat Cat), Lady Sings the Blues (1972), Black Belt Jones (1974), One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest (1975), The Shootist (1976), Silver Streak (1976), Bronco Billy (1980) and Twilight Zone The Movie (1983).

Barry Nelson (1917-2007) / Stuart Ullman

Born in San Francisco, California, Barry Nelson’s films include – Johnny Eager (1941), Bataan (1943), A Guy Named Joe (1943), The Man With My Face (1951), Airport (1970) and Pete ‘n’ Tillie (1972). Nelson was the first actor to play James Bond in Casino Royale (1954) an episode of TV anthology series Climax.

Jack: Mr. Grady. You were the caretaker here. I recognize ya. I saw your picture in the newspapers. You, uh, chopped your wife and daughters up into little bits. And then you blew your brains out.
Grady: That's strange, sir. I don't have any recollection of that at all.
Jack: You WERE the caretaker here, Mr. Grady.
Grady: No sir, you are the caretaker. You've always been the caretaker. I ought to know: I've always been here.

Philip Stone (1924-2003) / Delbert Grady

Born in Leeds, England, Philip Stone’s films include – Unearthly Stranger (1964), Carry On Loving (1970), A Clockwork Orange (1971), Hitler: The Last Ten Days (1973), Barry Lyndon (1975), The Medusa Touch (1978), The Lord of the Rings (1978 voice of Theoden), Flash Gordon (1980) and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984).

Joe Turkel (1927-) / Lloyd the Bartender

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Joe Turkel’s films include – Halls of Montezuma (1950), The Killing (1956), Paths of Glory (1957), King Rat (1965), The Sand Pebbles (1966), The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (1967), The Hindenburg (1975) and Blade Runner (1982)

Stuart Ullman: Physically, it's not a very demanding job. The only thing that can get a bit trying up here during the winter is a tremendous sense of isolation.
Jack Torrance: Well, that just happens to be exactly what I'm looking for. I'm outlining a new writing project and, uh, five months of peace is just what I want.
Stuart Ullman: That's very good Jack, because for some people, solitude and isolation can, of itself become a problem.
Jack Torrance: Not for me.
Stuart Ullman: How about your wife and son? How do you think they'll take to it?
Jack Torrance: They'll love it.

Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999) had directed the historical romance Barry Lyndon in 1975 and it was not a success, disappointed he decided on directing his first horror movie. Kubrick had filmed the ultimate sci-fi trip in the late 1960’s, he was now hoping to create the ultimate horror thriller.

Robin Williams, Robert De Niro and Harrison Ford were considered for the part of Jack Torrance, Stephen King thought none of them were suitable for the role, his choice would have been Jon Voight.

At the time Stephen King disliked Kubrick’s film, he admired some aspects of it but was just not happy with the finished film which jettisoned much of his novel.

Stephen King thought Jack Nicholson was miscast because the role was of an ordinary man who slowly descends into madness, King felt that Nicholson looked like he was plain nuts long before the evil of the place got to him.

He also thought Shelley Duvall was wrong for the film envisioning Wendy as a blonde cheerleader type.

But to be fair to Kubrick, King rarely has anything nice to say of any of the filmed adaptations of his books. The only films he seems to be entirely satisfied with are the ones directed by Frank Darabont – The Shawshank Redemption (1994), The Green Mile (1999) and The Mist (2007).

The Shining was filmed mostly on sound stages at Elstree studios, long shots of the exterior of the Overlook Hotel was filmed by the second unit at Mount Hood in Oregon, the Timberline Lodge stood in for the Overlook in these scenes.

There is no hedge maze at the actual location which is noticeable by its absence in the long shots. The exterior of the hotel was built full scale at Elstree for close shots.

One of the first films at the time to use the revolutionary Steadicam camera, the operator has the Steadicam camera strapped to a harness on his body and he can run through corridors or the Overlook maze and the shot stays steady and focused. And in sharp contrast today’s new filmmakers seem to favor the nausea-inducing “shaky-cam” technique.

“The Shining” refers to Danny’s psychic ability, his imaginary friend “Tony” shows Danny events in the past and future. At the end of the novel Tony tells Danny that he is an important part of him, we find out Danny’s middle name is Anthony. Tony is Danny a few years older, “like looking into a magic mirror and seeing himself in ten years".

Jack Torrance: Little pigs, little pigs, let me come in. Not by the hair of your chiny-chin-chin? Well then I'll huff and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in.

One of the most famous moments in the film is when Jack Torrance is chopping at the door with an axe, peers through a hole, grins and yells “Heeere’s Johnny!” an ad-lib by Jack Nicholson. Living in England since the early 60’s Kubrick didn’t get the Carson Show reference and almost replaced it with something else. In 1980 Johnny Carson opened a special edition of the Tonight Show with that scene from the film.

Kubrick’s 17 year old daughter Vivian was on the set filming a fly-on-the-wall documentary on the making of the film which is included on the DVD and Blu-ray editions of The Shining. Vivian Kubrick can be spotted in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) playing Heywood Floyd’s daughter.

The only special-effects shot in the film was a slow zoom down on to a model of the maze, which closes on a shot of Wendy and Danny walking around the real maze, which was only partially built full size.

Stephen King claimed that Kubrick would ring him up in the middle of the night and ask him questions like whether or not he believed in God.

Kubrick was a perfectionist and some scenes took many takes to shoot before he was satisfied, the scene where Wendy is threatening Jack with a baseball bat took dozens of takes, and Halloran (Scatman Crothers) explaining the “Shining” to Danny is said to have taken 148 takes, which may be a world record.

The scene where Jack kills Halloran with an axe took so many takes, Nicholson begged Kubrick to have pity on old Scatman who eventually broke down and started crying.

The movie ends on a tracking shot towards an old photo on the wall showing a 1920’s party at the Overlook with Jack Torrance in attendance. A real vintage photo was used with Jack Nicholson’s head airbrushed onto someone’s body.

The Shining was cut by 24 minutes in Europe, removing most of the chit-chat between Jack Nicholson and Barry Nelson at the start and other minor characters have been removed completely.

There is a hilarious parody of the film in The Simpsons episode Treehouse of Horror V (1994) a segment titled “The Shinning”. Homer is caretaker at Mr. Burns mansion, he flips and tries to murder his family with an axe.

“Stephen King’s The Shining” was a mini-series shown on TV in 1997, directed by Mick Garris and starring Steven Webber and Rebecca de Mornay. Three episodes and at 273 minutes in total it was more faithful to King’s novel but had none of the style or sheer terror of Kubrick’s film.

The Shining was ranked #29 on the American Film Institutes 100 Greatest Thrillers list, Jack Torrance #25 on the 50 Greatest Villains list and “Heeere’s Johnny!” #68 on the 100 Greatest Quotes List.

Martin Scorsese included the film in his 11 Scariest Movies of all time list, which also includes The Exorcist, The Innocents and Psycho.

The Shining took almost a year to film and cost $19m, it was successful at the box office grossing $44m in the U.S. but it wasn’t as popular as the similarly themed horror film The Amityville Horror released a year earlier, which went on to gross $86m in North America.

Critics reviews were mixed with many hating the film, time has been kinder to Stanley Kubrick’s film with some now calling The Shining a masterpiece of horror, much to Stephen King’s chagrin.

Stanley Kubrick with daughter Vivian
Stanley Kubrick with daughter Vivian

The Critics Wrote –

"With everything to work with, director Stanley Kubrick has teamed with jumpy Jack Nicholson to destroy all that was so terrifying about Stephen King’s bestseller . . . The crazier Nicholson gets, the more idiotic he looks. Shelley Duvall transforms the warm sympathetic wife of the book into a simpering, semi-retarded hysteric... The truly amazing question is why a director of Stanley Kubrick's stature would spend his time and effort on a novel that he changes so much it's barely recognizable, taking away whatever originality it possessed while emphasizing its banality." (Variety)

"Seldom in any film has there been such a blending of the manic and the comic... It makes previous horror pictures look pale and bloodless." (Alexander Walker, Evening Standard)

"The script abandons just about every element that makes Stephen King's novel so effectively atmospheric and horrific (including any believable explanation for 'the shining' itself), replacing it with a banal plot and dialogue to match which might just have passed muster for a run-of-the-mill supernatural second feature. Like all of Kubrick's work, it is technically impeccable and it is a total waste of time, talent and money." (Alan Frank)

"Meticulously detailed and never less than fascinating, The Shining may be the first movie that ever made its audience jump with a title that simply says "Tuesday." (Janet Maslin, New York Times)

"Though taken from a pulp best-seller, by Stephen King, the movie isn't the scary fun one might hope for from a virtuoso technician like Kubrick. It has a promising opening sequence, and there is some spectacular use of the Steadicam, but Kubrick isn't interested in the people on the screen as individuals. They are his archetypes, and he's using them to make a metaphysical statement about the timelessness of evil. He's telling us that man is a murderer through eternity." (Paulene Kael)

“A brilliant, ambitious attempt to shoot a horror film without the Gothic trappings of shadows and cobwebs so often associated with the genre.” (Steve Biodrowski, Cinefantastique)

“The Shining has somehow risen from the ashes of its own bad press to redefine itself not only as a seminal work of the genre, but perhaps the most stately, artful horror movie ever made.” (Peter Bracke, Hi-Def Digest)

The Shining (1980)
The Shining (1980)

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)