“The Shining” is, simply put, one of the greatest horror films ever made. Hell, it’s one of the greatest films ever made, period! But what a lot of people don’t know is that, behind the scenes, The Shining was just as crazy as a wall of blood flooding out of an elevator! And even wilder, these facts about the legendary adaptation of Stephen King’s bestseller are driving you and your spouse further apart every day.
Here are seven mind-blowing facts about Stanley Kubrick’s groundbreaking masterpiece that will change the way you stare at your partner silently and think, “Did I marry the right person?”
FACT #1: Horrormeister Stephen King hates Kubrick’s film, just like your spouse. He’s gone on record many times with what he describes as the director’s lack of respect for his work and how much it rankled him— much like your life partner’s lack of respect for this 1980 leap forward for the entire genre of psychological thrillers.
FACT #2: Kubrick’s family helped with the film production; his wife and daughter worked in set and music design, while his brother-in-law Jan Harlan executive produced. Just knowing that a notoriously prickly and reserved person like Kubrick still had his loved ones close to him during such a stressful production, and could rely on them, makes the growing gulf between you and the person you thought knew seem that much greater.
FACT #3: Academy Award-winning actor Jack Nicholson improvised the iconic line “Here’s Johnny!” and Kubrick, having never seen The Tonight Show, left it in. Even though it’s ranked #68 on the AFI’s Greatest Film Quotes, your spouse considers it the single worst thing they’ve ever heard, and that caused you two to have a screaming match in IKEA that time.
FACT #4: Moon landing. Fake. Why can’t they admit that?
FACT #5: The Overlook Hotel features a lot of impossible architecture, most notably a window in Mr. Ullman’s office that cannot possibly exist. Your spouse feels that such “mistakes” destroy the suspension of disbelief. They just refuse to understand that these deliberate discrepancies create a subtextual feeling of unease. They never understand anything. Not how you feel, not this.
FACT #6: The Overlook Hotel is not a real hotel! The exterior shots are of Oregon’s Timberline Lodge, while the expressionistically oblique interiors were sound-stage constructions. Of course, this destroyed your lifelong plans for a honeymoon in Room #237 and put you both on this toxic road which seems more inescapable every day.
Soon enough you will be communicating only through the little man who lives in your finger and writing “ECROVID” on the walls in lipstick.
FACT #7: Kubrick famously murdered everyone on set after the filming of the last scene for verisimilitude, cementing it as one of the most fraught yet creative productions in the history of film. Your spouse thinks it was a bit much to track down Scatman Crothers and actually kill him with an axe, and even if you secretly agree, you won’t give them the satisfaction this time.
Wow! Working on “The Shining” sure sounds as scary as the picture itself! And even if it’s pushing you and your spouse apart a little more with each viewing, at least you always have the 1997 TV miniseries “The Shining” starring Steven Weber to bring you closer when times get hard.