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23.7 Facts About Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining'

by Kieran McMahon
March 26, 2013 12:55 PM
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The Shining

11. "The Shining" is in the Guinness Book of Records for the most retakes of a single scene with 127 takes for a scene with Shelley Duvall.

12. Angelica Huston, Nicholson's girlfriend at the time, said that the actor would come home from shooting and walk silently to bed where he would collapse and immediately fall asleep.

13. Kubrick realised that the typed-out pages reading “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" wouldn’t work with non-English-speaking viewers who wouldn’t recognise the phrase, so he had versions typed out in all the major European languages with equivalent idiomatic expressions in its place. The Italian version was "Il mattino ha l' oro in bocca" or "He who wakes up early meets a golden day." The German version was "Was Du heute kannst besorgen, das verschiebe nicht auf Morgen" or "Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today". The Spanish version was "No por mucho madrugar amanece más temprano" or "Although one will rise early, it won't dawn sooner."

14. When Wendy and Danny are watching a film together, it is Robert Mulligan's 1971 film "Summer of '42".

15. Despite his famous distaste for the film, Stephen King has a cameo: he's the conductor in the ballroom party scene.

The Shining

16. The baseball bat which Wendy Torrance uses to hit Jack is signed by Boston Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski.

17. Kubrick decided that having the hedge animals come alive at the end, as they do in the book, was not feasible, so he opted for a hedge maze instead.

18. The maze at the end is made of crushed Styrofoam and salt.

19. The film originally had an alternative ending: the last shot of the party dissolved to a hospital scene where Wendy is in bed and Danny is playing in the waiting room. Ullman tells her that they have been unable to locate Jack’s body. Ullman gives Danny a ball to play with as he leaves -- the one that mysteriously rolled into the hallway earlier. Kubrick removed it, and the scene hasn't been seen since, though the screenplay was dug up recently.

20. The alternate ‘happy ending’ for "Blade Runner" re-uses footage from the opening helicopter shots of the mountains and woodland. If you watch the negative of "Blade Runner" in 1.85:1 instead of 2/35:1 you can see the yellow car on the road at the bottom of the frame.

The Shining

21. That's not the only "Blade Runner" link: Character actor Joe Turkel makes a rare appearance as the bartender, he is most famous for playing Dr Tyrell in Ridley Scott's film (see picture)

22. The MPAA did not allow blood to be shown in any trailers that would be seen by all ages. Kubrick persuaded them that the blood was rusty water and got the trailer passed.

23. When released in Europe, the film was 25 minutes shorter than the U.S. version, the film being trimmed of most of its scenes set outside the hotel, with actors Anne Jackson and Tony Burton cut from the film altogether.

23.7. In tribute to the film, the makers of "Toy Story" made the carpet in Sid’s house the same as the carpet from the famous hallways scene in The Shining. (see picture). In fact, "Toy Story 3" director Lee Unkrich runs a website dedicated to the film.

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  • Eric | July 6, 2013 1:03 PMReply

    15 is incorrect. He plays this cameo in the remake, not in the Kubrick version.

  • Kieran | April 8, 2013 8:05 AMReply

    #10 Comes from "Stanley Kubrick: A Biography" by John Baxter

  • Kieran | April 8, 2013 7:59 AMReply

    #9 Comes from the Michael Ciment interview with Kubrick.

  • Kieran | April 8, 2013 7:52 AMReply

    Re #11: It is in the Guinness World Records Book (or at least was) although multiple crew members have said it wasn't that scene but another scene, and that it was 148 takes not 127.

  • Kieran | April 8, 2013 7:42 AMReply

    #1 originated in a 1980 "American Film" article and is repeated in thousands of other articles. Various sources, including Kubrick himself and Anthony Frewin, speak of his restless and random reading habits, reading only small sections of books and articles before discarding them. Kubrick has stated that WB's John Calley sent him the manuscript of "The Shining" and also said in a separate interview that he felt very intimidated and frustrated by the months of fruitless reading that followed Barry Lyndon, and that it was "The Shining" that finally broke through (as the heavily annotated edition in the Kubrick archive will attest). Therefore, while it is likely that Harlan Kennedy embellished the original story a little, it is still, on balance, plausible and interesting enough to be included.

  • Kieran | April 8, 2013 6:32 AMReply

    #7 comes direct from IMDB, which I'm sure you're aware is an infallible source of truth, so there.

  • mike | March 28, 2013 4:20 AMReply

    7 is bullshit. Even Kubrick couldn't get away with holding up a production just to play chess.

  • mike | March 28, 2013 4:19 AMReply

    7 is bullshit. Even Kubrick couldn't get away with holding up a production just to play chess.

  • mike | March 28, 2013 4:19 AMReply

    7 is bullshit. Even Kubrick couldn't get away with holding up a production just to play chess.

  • E | April 2, 2013 1:25 PM

    YES HE could...of course he could

  • Kubrickian | March 27, 2013 10:22 AMReply

    There are many inaccuracies in this article -- #1 is apocryphal; Kubrick was sent the galleys for The Shining by Warner Brothers; #5 -- what is your source for the connection between the window lighting and the fire?; #7 -- yes, Tony Burton played chess with Kubrick, the rest is ridiculous; #9,10, 11 seem totally made up.

  • Mariano | March 30, 2013 4:32 PM

    #9 is absolutely real

  • Jerky | March 27, 2013 2:35 AMReply

    King didn't play the conductor in the film version. He did so in the TV version.

  • Kieran McMahon | April 8, 2013 7:45 AM

    Yeah, you're right about that one, my bad, should say he had a cameo in the TV Series.

  • Daniel | March 27, 2013 7:33 PM


  • cirkusfolk | March 26, 2013 7:04 PMReply

    Maybe he cut the alternate ending cause it makes no sense they wouldn't find his body after it is shown frozen solid still in the maze the next morning.

  • Taffy McKittrick | March 26, 2013 4:03 PMReply

    re point 4, some of the hotel exterior shots were also done on stage. The actual Timberline Lodge appears only in the wider establishing shots

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