“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” — or, rather, a homicidal boy in Stanley Kubrick’s eerie 1980 adaptation of Stephen King’s horror novel. With wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and psychic son Danny (Danny Lloyd) in tow, frustrated writer Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) takes a job as the winter caretaker at the opulently ominous, mountain-locked Overlook Hotel so that he can write in peace.
Before the Overlook is vacated for the Torrances, the manager (Barry Nelson) informs Jack that a previous caretaker went crazy and slaughtered his family; Jack thinks it’s no problem, but Danny’s “shining” hints otherwise. Settling into their routine, Danny cruises through the empty corridors on his Big Wheel and plays in the topiary maze with Wendy, while Jack sets up shop in a cavernous lounge with strict orders not to be disturbed.
Danny’s alter ego, “Tony,” however, starts warning of “redrum” as Danny is plagued by more blood-soaked visions of the past, and a blocked Jack starts visiting the hotel bar for a few visions of his own. Frightened by her husband’s behavior and Danny’s visit to the forbidding Room 237, Wendy soon discovers what Jack has really been doing in his study all day, and what the hotel has done to Jack.
The Shining is a 1980 British-American psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, and starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, and Scatman Crothers. The film is based on Stephen King’s 1977 novel The Shining.
The initial European release of The Shining was 25 minutes shorter than the American version, due to removal of most of the scenes taking place outside the environs of the hotel. Unlike Kubrick’s previous works, which developed audiences gradually through word-of-mouth, The Shining was released as a mass-market film, initially opening in two cities on Memorial Day, then nationwide a month later.
Although contemporary responses from critics were mixed, assessment became more favorable in following decades, and it is now widely regarded as one of the greatest horror films ever made. American director Martin Scorsese ranked it one of the 11 scariest horror movies of all time. Critics, scholars, and crew members (such as Kubrick’s producer Jan Harlan) have discussed the film’s enormous influence on popular culture.
The Shining (1980)
Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, Barry Nelson, Philip Stone, Joe Turkel, Anne Jackson
Screenplay by: Stanley Kubrick
Production Design by: Roy Walker
Cinematography by: John Alcott
Film Editing by: Ray Lovejoy
Costume Design by: Milena Canonero
Art Direction by: Leslie Tomkins
Music by: Wendy Carlos, Rachel Elkind
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: May 23, 1980