1980 ***** 142 mins.
(International version runs 119 mins.)
Let me start off by saying to all of you nitpickers out there who think books are better than movies, you need to open your eyes and open your minds. This film is hardly anything like Stephen King's source novel. Does that automatically make the book better? NO!!! If anything, this film, directed by the great Stanley Kubrick, improves greatly upon Stephen King's highly predictable story. In the book, one knows from the third chapter how it's going to end. The third chapter, in a nutshell, is like this: "You've got to dump the boiler three times a day. If you don't, it'll creep and creep until it blows. When it blows, this whole place is going to go 'Rocky Mountain High.' Make sure you dump the boiler. Say it with me, 'I will dump the boiler three times a day.'" Get the point? Not to spoil the ending of the book, or anything. With Stanley Kubrick's beautiful, haunting, and chilling tale, there is no boiler. It's never mentioned. There is a scene with Wendy (Shelley Duvall) in the basement fiddling with what looks like it might be a boiler, but that's it. So, the ending is a much better one that takes the viewer by surprise.
Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) has been hired as the winter caretaker of a hotel in the Colorado mountains. He brings with him his wife Wendy and his son Danny (Danny Lloyd). Danny has "The Shining" - the ability to see things that have already happened or that could happen in the future. Once they arrive at the hotel, the hotel's true face begins to show. The result is a highly entertaining, thrilling, and chilling horror film that scares through implication and suspense rather than cheap scares. This is horror as an art form.
The Shining is the second Kubrick film I got to see in a movie theatre. Unfortunately, though, it was during the digital age, so I didn't get to see a film print.
Original theatrical aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Rated R for language, violence, gore, and nudity.
Based on the Novel by
Stanley Kubrick & Diane Johnson