In honor of Halloween, some Shining Trivia

Classic Kubrick, classic Nicholson. Released in 1980, the Shining was one of the first films (and definitely the most famous of these early movies) to use the newly-invented Steadicam. It was a camera that was weighted, which allowed for smooth movement even in smaller spaces. Here is some trivia regarding this classic spooky movie.

 

Jack Nicholson’s visitors on the London set of the Shining included Anjelica Huston, Mick Jagger, George Harrison, John Lennon and Bob Dylan.

 

Other actors considered for the Jack Torrance part were Robert DeNiro, Robin Williams (can you imagine?) and Harrison Ford. Nicholson was always the first choice, though. DeNiro later said the movie gave him nightmares for a month. Stephen King didn’t like any of those choices and tried to talk Stanley Kubrick into using Jon Voight or Jack Palance.

 

Diana Vreeland is pretty much the reason the movie was able to continue shooting. Jack’s back was bugging him from a previous movie injury and he was popping all kinds of pills to try to alleviate the pain. Nothing worked and he was starting to get worried that his pain was going to have to halt production. The fashionista heard about this while at dinner and promptly left her meal and had Jack’s driver take her to a pharmacy, where she purchased two back plasters. Then she went back to the eatery, commanded that Jack drop trou and applied the plaster right then and there. It worked, and the film was finished.

 

Jack Nicholson claims he wrote the scene where Jack Torrance writes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” over and over and over. “That’s what I was like when I got my divorce,” he said.

 

It got baaaaad reviews: Variety said it was the “biggest box office disappointment since Exorcist II”, the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner said it was “completely fake and banal” and the Wall Street Journal said it failed not only as a horror movie, but as any other genre as well.

 

The famous “Heeeeeeeere’s Johnny!” line was improvised.

 

Although most exterior shots were done at the Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood, Oregon, all of the interiors were a movie set. Kubrick refused to film in the States if he had to, since he was an ex-pat. At the time, the movie set was the largest ever built.

 

Stephen King didn’t care for much of the Kubrick version, which is why he made his own T.V. miniseries version in 1997. Among other things, he didn’t agree with the casting of Shelley Duvall as Wendy Torrance. He pictured Wendy as a blonde, cheerleader type who had clearly never known any type of hardship – pretty much the opposite of Duvall. He cast Rebecca DeMornay in the 1997 version, which, you have to admit, fits King’s original vision much better.

 

 

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