Every year we have a tradition in the Forto house where we celebrate the greatest month of the year, October, with scare your socks off, hide under the covers, turn on all the lights, sleep with one eye open, fright fest, movie marathon everynight of the month! We call it 31 Days of Horror
Tonights Movie: The Shinning is one of my favorites. It is a movie that I watch every year. I have been a Stephen King fan for as long as I can remember and remember reading his books for book reports in junior high. While one of Stephen King’s greatest books isThe Shining he has often said that he did not like the movie version directed by Stanley Kubrick.
Kubrick even went so far to reject a screenplay for the movie written by King and Kubrick ended up doing it himself.
In today’s movie review I am going to do things a bit different. I want to share with my rabid reader, friends and fans some little known facts about the movie:
According to Stephen King, the title is inspired by the refrain in the Plastic Ono Band’s song, Instant Karma (by John Lennon) which features the chorus: “We all shine on.”
The Timberline Lodge in Mt Hood Oregon, the hotel you see in the opening scenes, feared that no one would ever stay in room 217 (the number of the haunted room in King’s book) so it was changed to 237. There is no room 237 in the Timberline Lodge. Also the inside shots were done entirely indoors on sound stages in London. The Timberline Lodge was only used for the front views.
In the scenes where Jack his typing is novel, Kubrick had a typist type the words: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” (These are the only words he types in his descent into madness). Kubrick thought that typing letters on a typewriter made distinct sounds so he wanted to be authentic.
In the scene where Wendy wakes Jack up with breakfast in bed, Jack is wearing a shirt that says Stovington. Stovington is the school Jack worked at that is mentioned in the movie and the name of the school is mentioned in King’s book only.
The famous line by Jack, “Here’s Johnny!”, made famous by the Johnny Carson Show was ad-libbed by Nicholson. Kubrick did not know the line when it was taped.
Danny Lloyd (Danny) was 17 years old when he first saw the full film. 11 years after it was made. His parents told him he was making a drama not a horror film. Danny was 6 at the time the film was made and now is a professor in a college in the Midwest.
The finger gesture used by Danny when his “invisible friend” talked was his own idea.
Danny says REDRUM 43 times before his mom wakes up in the iconic scene. REDRUM spells Murder backwards and you can see it in the mirror in the film.
In one weird scene in the movie where Danny is on the floor playing with his toys and he and his mom are watching TV, there is no cords or plugs for the TV that is in the middle of the room.
It took over a year to make the iconic blood scene and had to be “just right” according to Kubrick.
The movie was released on Scatman Crothers (Dick Hallorann) 70th birthday.
The made-for-TV version of the film was filmed at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado and is believed to be really haunted. In the book and the film the hotel is said to be in Colorado. In the film and the book it is called The Overlook Hotel.
In the opening scenes of the film where you see Jack driving up to the hotel for his interview is supposed to be Colorado but was actually filmed near Glacier National Park. Kubrick actually sent a crew to film the scene in the mountains of Colorado but the director didn’t like the way it looked. If you have ever driven to Estes Park from Denver the drive is very similar to what you see on the film with long windy roads and steep cliffs.
The radio station that is playing in the blizzard in Denver is an actual AM radio station in Denver-KHOW and it happens to be one of my favorite talk radio stations in the nation.
- 31 Days of Horror. Day 17: Misery (robertforto.com)
- 31 Days of Horror. Day 14: Cujo (robertforto.com)