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Stephen King Says Wendy In Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "One Of The Most Misogynistic Characters Ever Put On Film"

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist September 19, 2013 at 1:22PM

Ever since its release in 1980, Stephen King has shared his displeasure about Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of "The Shining," and even went so far as to executive produce and write a 1997 TV mini-series version of his story. Anyway, 36 years later after his novel was first published, King is delivering the sequel "Doctor Sleep," which hits stores next week, centering on a grown up Danny Torrance. And out doing the press rounds, the author is again sharing why he didn't take to Kubrick's movie.
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The Shining

Ever since its release in 1980, Stephen King has shared his displeasure about Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of "The Shining," and even went so far as to executive produce and write a 1997 TV mini-series version of his story. Anyway, 36 years later after his novel was first published, King is delivering the sequel "Doctor Sleep," which hits stores next week, centering on a grown up Danny Torrance. And out doing the press rounds, the author is again sharing why he didn't take to Kubrick's movie.

"[It's] cold, I'm not a cold guy," King told BBC arts editor Will Gompertz. "I think one of the things people relate to in my books is this warmth, there's a reaching out and saying to the reader, 'I want you to be a part of this.' With Kubrick's 'The Shining' I felt that it was very cold, very 'We're looking at these people, but they're like ants in an anthill, aren't they doing interesting things, these little insects.' "

And when it came to Jack Nicholson's signature turn as Jack Torrance, King felt there wasn't enough mystery behind whether or not he was losing his mind. "Jack Torrance in the movie, seems crazy from the jump. Jack Nicholson, I'd seen all his biker pictures in the '50s and '60s and I thought, he's just channeling 'The Wild Angels' here," he said. Actually, that movie doesn't have Nicholson, but Peter Fonda, but we suppose King was thinking of "Hells Angels On Wheels," so easy mistake.

However, King saves his greatest criticism of "The Shining" for its portrayal of Wendy, the beleaguered wife of Jack. "Shelley Duvall as Wendy is really one of the most misogynistic characters ever put on film, she's basically just there to scream and be stupid and that's not the woman that I wrote about," the writer stated.

Noting that he only met Kubrick once, and that he seemed "compulsive" even to him then, it seems time hasn't healed the feelings King has toward the horror classic. But what do you think? Are King's concerns legit? Let us know below. And oh yeah, and if you need more "The Shining" in your life, with King's blessing, it's being turned into an opera.... 

This article is related to: Stephen King, Stanley Kubrick, The Shining


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