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Attack of the 31 Nights of Halloween Movie List.
Follow along with us for a month full of classic and fun spooky movies. Each night there will be a movie review of the next movie on our Halloween Movie List. Leave a comment on each post with your opinion of that movie. On the last day you will find the magic phrase you will use to unlock the entry worth 25 entries in the giveaway. You must comment on each post.
Night 23 - The Shining
Tagline - A Masterpiece Of Modern Horror
The Horror is driving him crazy
Stanley Kubrick (A Clockwork Orange and Full Metal Jacket) directed this film version of Stephen King's best selling novel. Released May 23, 1980 by Warner Brothers Pictures (Rated R). Recovering alcoholic, Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) has accepted a job as winter caretaker of the grand Overlook Hotel in an attempt to put his life back on track. The hotel manager warns him of the long and lonely winter ahead as he and his family will be alone and snowed in for the five month off-season. Jack assures him it's just what he needs to work on his writing. What Jack doesn't know is that he and his family are not the only ones inhabiting the Overlook! Muaahhhhhhhh 8)
Being a fan of the book there are some aspects of this movie version that I don't care for. Jack seems to not like his family from the start and he almost changes into a crazy man overnight. A little more of a transition into madness would have been nice.
That being said I really do like this movie. It's creepy, creepy and then a bit more creepy! What really makes this movie creepy is the time period. I never could put my finger on it when I was a teenager as to why it left me with an unpleasant feeling. As I got older I began to realize it's the late 70's look of it. The colors and the patterns of the floors, walls and furniture. The color and the style of the clothing. And the fact that the film used makes the colors look a little off or maybe too vivid.
I liken it to when you were younger and you went to visit your grandparents. The ones that still lived in that old house with the furniture from many decades past. The one where you open the door and an instant musty smell filled your nose. That's how I think the Overlook would feel like now. While grand in it's day, now it's outdated and needs to be aired out. The dated wall paper would be pealing around the edges and the bathroom tiles would be old an worn looking. While it was high fashion when the movie was made now it just adds to the uneasiness of it.
I also love the mini series they made in 1997. It stared Steven Weber (Wings (tv) and Single White Female), a personal favorite of mine, and was very faithful to the novel. If you're a fan of the book this version should appeal to you. I thought it was great.
Take a look at the original trailer
Some trivia about the movie.
1. Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood in Oregon stood in for the exterior shots of the Overlook. Being from Portland I take great pride in seeing Timberline up there on the screen. It should be noted though that all interior shots of the hotel were filmed on a sound stage in London. So if you should visit Timberline don't expect the inside to look the same and don't expect to find room 237. Afraid that no one would want to stay in the room after the film came out, the management asked that the original room number, 217, be changed to something else. 237 was picked as there was no existing room with that number.
2. The opening scene of the Volkswagen driving is shot in Glacier National Park, Montana. The road is know as the "Going-to-the-sun" road.
3. The area that the set for the Colorado Lounge, where Jack does his typing, was built was also used as the Well of the Souls in Raiders of the lost ark.
4. The interior of the Overlook was made to look like bits and pieces of real hotels. The Colorado Lounge was modeled on the lounge at the Ahwanee Hotel in Yosemite Valley. It resembled it so well that people entering the Ahwanee often asked "is this the Shining hotel?"
5. The US version had Jack typing the same line "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" over and over. In the Italian version it's "He who wakes up early meets a golden day". In the German version it's "Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today". The Spanish version has "Rising early will not make dawn sooner". The French went with "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush".
6. Stephen King has said that the name was inspired by the John Lennon song "Instant Karma" which features the chorus "We all shine on".
7. 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.
8. 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. Brown does say however that the scene where Hallorann explains to Danny what shining is was shot 148 times, which is a world record.
9. Stanley Kubrick considered both Robert De Niro and Robin Williams for the role of Jack Torrance but decided against both of them. Kubrick didn't think De Niro would suit the part after watching his performance in Taxi Driver, as he deemed De Niro not psychotic enough for the role. He didn't think Williams would suit the part after watching his performance in Mork & Mindy, as he deemed him too psychotic for the role. According to Stephen King, Kubrick also briefly considered Harrison Ford.
10. 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.
11. The scrapbook that Jack finds in the novel makes a brief appearance next to his typewriter in the scene when Jack tells Wendy never to bother him while he's working.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. During filming, Stanley Kubrick made the cast watch Eraserhead, Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist to put them in the right frame of mind.
15. Every time Jack talks to a "ghost", there's a mirror in the scene, except in the food locker scene. This is because in the food locker scene he only talks to Grady through the door. We never see Grady in this scene.
16. 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.
17. 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. He only realized the truth seven years later, when, aged 13, he was shown a heavily edited version of the film. He didn't see the uncut version of the film until he was 17 - eleven years after he'd made it.
18. Outtakes of the shots of the Volkswagen traveling towards the Overlook 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.
19. The "snowy" maze near the conclusion of the movie consisted of 900 tons of salt and crushed Styrofoam.
20. Stanley Kubrick's first choice to play Danny Torrance was Cary Guffey, the young boy from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Guffey's parents apparently turned down the offer due to the film's subject matter.
21. 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.
22. 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.
23. 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.
24. 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.
25. The role of Lloyd the Bartender was originally to have been played by Harry Dean Stanton, who was unable to take the part due to his commitment to Alien.
26. The image of the two girls in the hotel corridor was inspired by the photograph "Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey, 1967" by Diane Arbus.
27. 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.
28. For the scenes when we can hear Jack typing but we cannot see what he is typing, 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.
29. There is a character named Richard Haloran in the film Dementia 13, about an axe murderer. It was produced by Roger Corman, who directed several of Jack Nicholson's early films.
30. Stephen King got the idea for The Shining while his family were staying at the Stanley Hotel. 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 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.
31. The first of Stephen King's books to be banned from school libraries because of the theme of wicked parents.