Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
How Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez Made Josh Brolin's 'No Country For Old Men' Audition Tape How Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez Made Josh Brolin's 'No Country For Old Men' Audition Tape 'MacGyver' Movie Reboot And New TV Series Pilot On The Way 'MacGyver' Movie Reboot And New TV Series Pilot On The Way Josh Brolin Says He's Starring With Jessica Chastain In A Movie About George Jones & Tammy Wynette Josh Brolin Says He's Starring With Jessica Chastain In A Movie About George Jones & Tammy Wynette Watch: Robert Richardson Explains Why He Took His Name Off 'World War Z' And More In 58-Minute Cinematographer Talk Watch: Robert Richardson Explains Why He Took His Name Off 'World War Z' And More In 58-Minute Cinematographer Talk George Miller Says He Originally Wanted The Music In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' To Only Come From The Doof Warrior George Miller Says He Originally Wanted The Music In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' To Only Come From The Doof Warrior Stephen King Says Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "Like A Big, Beautiful Cadillac With No Engine Inside It" Stephen King Says Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "Like A Big, Beautiful Cadillac With No Engine Inside It" Review: Coen Brothers' 'Hail, Caesar!' Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, And More Review: Coen Brothers' 'Hail, Caesar!' Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, And More Naomi Watts Confirmed For David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ Revival; Tom Sizemore Joins Cast Naomi Watts Confirmed For David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ Revival; Tom Sizemore Joins Cast Watch: Quentin Tarantino Talks 5 Movies To Watch Before 'The Hateful Eight' In 7-Minute Video Watch: Quentin Tarantino Talks 5 Movies To Watch Before 'The Hateful Eight' In 7-Minute Video SAG Award Winners: ‘Spotlight’ Wins Best Ensemble, Leonardo DiCaprio, Idris Elba & Brie Larson Also Score Big SAG Award Winners: ‘Spotlight’ Wins Best Ensemble, Leonardo DiCaprio, Idris Elba & Brie Larson Also Score Big Review: ‘Jane Got A Gun’ Starring Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton & Ewan McGregor Review: ‘Jane Got A Gun’ Starring Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton & Ewan McGregor The 25 Most Anticipated New TV Shows Of 2016 The 25 Most Anticipated New TV Shows Of 2016 The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 The 20 Best Films Of 2015 The 20 Best Films Of 2015 The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far Terry Gilliam Talks The "Simplistic" Films Of Steven Spielberg, Dumbing Down Of Audiences, 'Don Quixote' Start Date & More Terry Gilliam Talks The "Simplistic" Films Of Steven Spielberg, Dumbing Down Of Audiences, 'Don Quixote' Start Date & More

23.7 Facts About Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining'

The Playlist By Kieran McMahon | The Playlist March 26, 2013 at 12:55PM

You know that a film is a lasting classic when it can sustain another entire film being made about it. Be it "Citizen Kane," "Psycho" or "Apocalypse Now," many of the great movies have themselves been the subject of films (sometimes successfully, sometimes less so), and the latest to get the treatment is Stanley Kubrick's classic horror "The Shining," with the release this Friday of documentary "Room 237."
18
Room 237

You know that a film is a lasting classic when it can sustain another entire film being made about it. Be it "Citizen Kane," "Psycho" or "Apocalypse Now," many of the great movies have themselves been the subject of films (sometimes successfully, sometimes less so), and the latest to get the treatment is Stanley Kubrick's classic horror "The Shining," with the release this Friday of documentary "Room 237."

Something of a disappointment on release, with mixed reviews (including multiple Golden Raspberry nominations), and middling box-office, almost immediately "The Shining" was reappraised and cemented its place not just as one of the greatest horror films ever made, but one of Kubrick's finest moments -- even if author Stephen King wasn't himself won over. And furthermore, it's become the subject of all kinds of theories and conspiracies over the years, which serve as the subject of Rodney Ascher's "Room 237," which was one of the highlights of our time at Cannes last year (read our review here)

So with "Room 237" (named, of course, after the most terrifying room in the Overlook Hotel) finally opening this Friday, and Stephen King's sequel novel "Doctor Sleep" being published later in the year, it seemed like a good idea to put together a little brief on Kubrick's movie. So below, you'll find 23.7 facts (well, rounded up to 24) about the subject of "Room 237," "The Shining." Read on below, and feel free to add your own trivia, anecdotes, stories and theories in the comments section below.

The Shining

1. Having completed "Barry Lyndon," Kubrick was struggling to find another project. He had a stack of books he would look through for ideas and his assistant recalls hearing thumps for hours on some days as Stanley picked up a book, read it for about a minute, and then threw it at the wall. When she noticed that the thumps had stopped she went into to check on him and found him reading "The Shining."

2. Stephen King said the title was inspired by John Lennon's “Instant Karma” which features the line "We all shine on.”

3. King says that, while Jack Nicholson was always Kubrick's first choice for the part (King always felt they needed more of an everyman), Robert De Niro, Robin Williams and Harrison Ford were also considered.

4. All the interiors were specially built on a soundstage in London, England. The Timberline Lodge, which was used for the exterior shots, requested that they not use the room 217, as it is in the book, fearing that nobody would want to stay there. Kubrick changed the script to use the non-existent room number 237

5. Because of the intense heat generated from the lighting used to recreate window sunlight, the lounge set caught fire and burnt down. That part of the Elstree studios was eventually rebuilt with a higher ceiling and ended up being used by Steven Spielberg for the snake-filled tomb in "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

The Shining

6. The 1997 miniseries remake (which King approved of) was filmed at the historic Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, which is the hotel Stephen King stayed in, out-of-season before he was inspired to write The Shining. He stayed in Room 217 of the virtually empty hotel.

7. One of the actors arrived on set with a chess set, intending to play during the breaks. Kubrick was an avid chess player who used to hustle chess games for money. On an already delayed shoot, he suspended filming and played chess for hours instead. He won every game.

8. Garrett Brown, the inventor of the Steadicam, operated the famous Steadicam shots in the film himself. "The Shining" was only the seventh film to use the technique, after "Bound For Glory," "Marathon Man," "Rocky," "Exorcist II: The Heretic," "The Buddy Holly Story," "Rocky II" and "Fame."

9. Kubrick had the cast watch David Lynch’s "Eraserhead" multiple times to get them in the frame of mind he wanted.

10. Kubrick took more than 60 takes of the scene where the camera simply slowly zooms in on Scatman Crothers in his bedroom. 70 year-old Crothers became so exasperated with Kubrick's compulsive style that he broke down and cried, prompting Jack Nicholson to swear he’d never work with Kubrick again.

This article is related to: Features, Stanley Kubrick, The Shining, Room 237


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates