The Shining Review
13 June 1980
Behind the Scene and other Major Plot Points
Policy of MPAA
At the time of release, it was the policy of the MPAA to not allow the portrayal of blood in trailers that would be approved for all audiences. Bizarrely, the trailer consists entirely of the shot of blood pouring out of the elevator. Stanley Kubrick had convinced the board the blood flooding out of the elevator was actually rusty water
Demand of Director
Despite Stanley Kubrick’s fierce demands on everyone, Jack Nicholson admitted to having a good working relationship with him. It was with Shelley Duvall that he was a completely different director. He allegedly picked on her more than anyone else, as seen in the documentaries Making ‘The Shining’ (1980) and Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures(2001). He would really lose his temper with her, even going so far as to say that she was wasting the time of everyone on the set. She later reflected that he was probably pushing her to her limits to get the best out of her, and that she wouldn’t trade the experience for anything – but it was not something she ever wished to repeat.
Other actors considered for the main role
Stanley Kubrick considered both Robert De Niro and Robin Williams for the role of Jack Torrance but decided against both of them. Kubrick did not think De Niro would suit the role after watching his performance in Taxi Driver (1976), as he deemed De Niro not psychotic enough for the role. He did not think Williams would suit the role after watching his performance on Mork & Mindy (1978), as he deemed him too psychotic for the role. According to Stephen King, Kubrick also briefly considered Harrison Ford.
One of Stanley Kubrick’s favorite films was Eraserhead (1977), directed by David Lynch. Kubrick cited the film as a creative influence during the making of The Shining and screened Eraserhead to put the cast and crew in the mood he wanted to achieve for the film
Selection of the Lead Female
After explaining the changes he had made, Kubrick convinced him that Duvall was the correct choice, as she best suited the emotionally fragile Wendy he had in mind. Many years later, Nicholson told Empire magazine he thought Duvall was fantastic and called her work in the film, “the toughest job that any actor that I’ve seen had”.
The Color Red
The color red is visible, either overtly or subtly, in nearly every shot of the film.
Prior to hiring Diane Johnson as his writing partner, director/producer Stanley Kubrick rejected a screenplay written by Stephen King himself. King’s script was a much more literal adaptation of the novel, a much more traditional horror film than the film Kubrick would ultimately make. He was considering hiring Johnson because he admired her novel “The Shadow Knows,” but when he found out she was a Doctor of Gothic Studies, he became convinced she was the person for the job.
Other actors considered for the main role(as per Stephen King)
Stephen King tried to talk Stanley Kubrick out of casting Jack Nicholson in the lead suggesting, instead, either Michael Moriarty or Jon Voight. King had felt that watching either of these normal-looking men gradually descend into madness, would have immensely improved the dramatic thrust of the storyline.
RT/Meta Critic Review
Kubrick has made a movie that will have to be reckoned with on the highest level.(click here to see)