The Shining (1980)

USA, UK, 1980
114m [Australia/UK – theatrical], 119m, 146m [UK – television; USA – theatrical/video/laserdisc]
35mm film, colour, 1.37:1 [Kubrick’s preferred ratio], 1.33:1 [DVD ratio], 1.85:1 [most theatrical screenings]
mono, English

An American/British horror film directed by Stanley Kubrick.

Plot Summary

Novelist Jack Torrance is in search of inspiration. He takes his wife Wendy and young son Danny to the bleak and remote Overlook hotel where they are to be caretakers for the long winter months. But Danny has a gift, “the shining” which allows him to communicate telepathically with the ghosts that haunt to Overlook. His father, meanwhile, is being driven insane by his own encounters with the haunting spirits and soon decides that his family must die…


Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
This motion picture © 1980 Warner Bros. Inc.
Warner Bros. Pictures [opening logo]. A Stanley Kubrick film. Produced in association with The Producer Circle Company – Robert Fryer, Martin Richards, Mary Lea Johnson. A Peregrine film. Distributed by Warner Bros. a Warner Communications company. Made by Hawk Films Ltd
Executive Producers: Jan Harlan
Produced by: Stanley Kubrick
Screenplay by: Stanley Kubrick & Diane Johnson
Based Upon the Novel by: Stephen King
Photographed by: John Alcott
Film Editor: Ray Lovejoy
Music by: Béla Bartók (Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta, conducted by Herbert von Karajan, recorded by Deutsche Grammophon), Krysztof Penderecki, Wendy Carlos & Rachel Elkind, György Ligeti
Sound Recordists: Ivan Sharrock, Richard Daniel
Costume Designed by: Milena Canonero
Make-up by: Tom Smith
Hairstyles: Leonard
Special Effects: Alan Whibley, Les Hillman, Dick Parker
Production Designer: Roy Walker
Locations: Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, USA; Colorado, USA; Glacier National Park, Montana, USA; London, England, UK; Timberline, Oregon, USA; Timberline Lodge, Mount Hood National Forest, Oregon, USA; Yosemite National Park, California, USA [all uncredited]
Made at: EMI Elstree Studios Ltd, England

Jack Nicholson (Jack Torrance)
Shelley Duvall (Wendy Torrance)
Danny Lloyd (Danny Torrance)
Scatman Crothers (Hallorann)
Barry Nelson (Ullman)
Philip Stone (Grady)
Joe Turkel (Lloyd)
Anne Jackson (doctor) 1Both Anne Jackson and Tony Burton were in Kubrick’s original 146m cut but all of their scenes were cut from subsequent prints although their credits remain in the opening and closing titles.
Tony Burton (Larry Durkin) 2Both Anne Jackson and Tony Burton were in Kubrick’s original 146m cut but all of their scenes were cut from subsequent prints although their credits remain in the opening and closing titles.
Lia Beldam (young woman in bath)
Billie Gibson (old woman in bath)
Barry Dennen (Bill Watson)
David Baxt (forest ranger 1)
Manning Redwood (forest ranger 2)
Lisa Burns, Louise Burns (Grady daughters)
Robin Pappas (nurse)
Alison Coleridge (Susie the secretary)
Burnell Tucker (policeman)
Jana Sheldon (stewardess)
Kate Phelps (receptionist)
Norman Gay (injured guest)

L’Enfant lumière – Canada (France)
Hiilgus – Estonia O Iluminado – Brazil
Isijavanje – Serbia
I lampsi – Greece
Lsnienie – Poland
Ondskabens hotel – Denmark
Ondskapens hotell – Norway
Ragyogás – Hungary
El resplandor – Argentina, Mexico, Spain
La resplendor – Spain (Catalan)
Shining – Austria, France, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Portugal, West Germany
The Shining – hohto – Finland
Shining: L’enfant lumière – Canada (France)
Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining – advertising title
Stralucirea – Romania
Surmahotell – Estonia
Sýnir – Iceland


30-Second Bunny Theatre (2004)
The Shining (1997)
The Shining in 30 Seconds (and Re-enacted by Bunnies) (2004)

Includes extracts from
Little Beau Pepé (1952)
Stop! Look! and Hasten! (1954)
To Itch His Own (1958)
The Road Runner Show (1966)

Extracts included in
The 100 Scariest Movie Moments (2004)
20 to 1: 50 to 01: Great Movie One Liners (2007)
20 to 1: Movie Saints and Sinners (2007)
78/52 (2017)
The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007)
The 82nd Annual Academy Awards (2010)
AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Heroes & Villains (2003)
AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movie Quotes: America’s Greatest Quips, Comebacks and Catchphrases (2005)
AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Thrills: America’s Most Heart-Pounding Movies (2001)
Best! Movies! Ever!: Hotels (4 April 2007)
Best! Movies! Ever!: Rants (10 January 2007)
Cinemania: Stephen King: O vasilias tou tromou (15 January 2009)
Dans le labyrinthe de Marienbad (2005)
De l’origine du XXIe siècle (2000)
Great Bolshy Yarblockos! Making A Clockwork Orange (2007)
Here’s Looking at You, Warner Bros. (1991)
Lost Kubrick: The Unfinished Films of Stanley Kubrick (2007)
Making The Shining (1980)
Movie Mistakes Uncovered: Uncut: 30 November 2003
Mulva Zombie Ass Kicker! (2001)
The Perfect Scary Movie (2005)
Precious Images (1986)
The Rotten Tomatoes Show: Wolverine/Ghosts of Girlfriends Past/Battle for Terra (2009)
Standing on the Shoulders of Kubrick: The Legacy of 2001 (2007)
Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures (2001)
Terror in the Aisles (1984)
View from the Overlook: Crafting The Shining (2007)
The Visions of Stanley Kubrick (2007)
What a Year: 1980 (30 July 2007)

See also
The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror V (1994)


The Shining was met with mixed review when it first opened. Jeffrey Wells in Films In Review seemed baffled by it, suggesting that “depending on how you take it, The Shining may be a masterpiece, very predictable or very funny. Or maybe all three. Or none of the above. It’s hard to imagine, in any event, someone coming away from The Shining and not concluding they’ve just seen something very, well, unusual… The Shining is supposed to be a scary movie. It isn’t, actually, but not because Kubrick doesn’t know what he’s doing. It’s because he doesn’t have the faintest idea what the audiences are like any more, or who they are or what affects them.” 3Films In Review August/September 1980 pp.438, 439

Har, writing in Variety, claimed that “Stanley Kubrick has teamed with jumpy Jack Nicholson to destroy all that was so terrifying about Stephen King’s bestseller” and was particularly harsh on Nicholson: “Without exception, in every scene Nicholson has that should be building terror and suspense, he blows it and it’s hard to reconcile what’s on screen with Kubrick’s vaunted reputation for demanding 50 takes to get what he wants. If Nicholson’s performance is what the director wants after 50 takes. it’s no wonder he demands the final cut: it’s impossible to imagine what the 49 takes he threw away could look like.” 4Variety 28 May 1980 p.14 It was no better received in the UK – when it was re-released in 1982, Ian Penman of New Musical Express was still unsure about its merits: “Many saw gold at the end of Stanley’s methodical rainbow; myself, I found the Shin-dig impossibly histrionic and hollow. (I’m not saying Jack Nicholson’s performance is hammy, but it’s said he was hung up on a hook between takes!)” 5New Musical Express 16 January 1982 p.41

Flo Leibowitz and Lynn Jeffress in Film Quarterly were kinder, seeing the film as a critique of the American way of life: “If there are any frontiers left for Kubrick, they do not involve the expansion of boundaries but the construction of new social relationships within our existing borders. In her review of The Shining, Pauline Kael implies that Kubrick, too long absent from America, cannot really understand us. But it is evident from the film that he understands us very well and is trying to tell us something important about ourselves. Kubrick, in fact, is coming home.” 6Film Quarterly Spring 1981 pp.45-51



American Cinematographer August 1980 pp.780-789, 827-845 – illustrated article
American Film June 1980 pp.49-52 – production report
Cinefantastique Autumn 1978 p.74 – article
Cinefantastique Winter 1978 p.74 – article
Cinefantastique Autumn 1980 p.38 – article
L’Écran Fantastique no.15 (1980) pp.56-57 – review
Film Comment July/August 1980 pp.28-32 – review
Film Quarterly Spring 1981 pp.45-51 – review (by Flo Leibowitz and Lynn Jeffress)
Filme no.6 (1980) pp.50 – 56 – article
Films In Review August/September 1980 pp.438-439 – review (by Jeffrey Wells)
Halls of Horror no.27 p.26 – note
The Hollywood Reporter 23 May 1980 p.2 – review
The Listener 9 October 1980 pp.484-485 – review
Motion Picture Product Digest 11 June 1980 p.3 – credits, review
The Movie p.1920 – credits, review
New Musical Express 16 January 1982 p.41 – review (In the Can) by Ian Penman
Positif no.234 (September 1980) pp.15-18 (France) – article
Screen International 13 May 1978 p.14 – credits
Screen International 18 October 1980 p.20 – review
Starburst no.27 (1980) pp.24-27 – illustrated preview (by Phil Edwards)
Time Out 2 March 1979 p.33 – review
TV Filmes October 1997 p.64 – review (by Manuel Pereira)
Variety 28 May 1980 p.14 – review (by Har)


Diário de Notícias 26 May 1999 p.55 – review


Critical Insights: Stanley Kubrick by Peter J. Bailey (ed.) pp.3-16; 22; , 53, 54, 57, 58, 84, 86, 87, 91, 107, 176, 178, 183, 184, 187, 188, 189, 190, 202, 203, 207, 212, 217, 226, 255, 257, 260, 261
Dead or Alive: British Horror Films 1980-1989 (Festival Edition) by Darrell Buxton (ed.) pp.25-27 – reviews (by Darrell Buxton and Wayne Mook)
Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.351 – credits
The Stanley Kubrick Companion by James Howard pp.145-157 – illustrated credits, chapter
Stanley Kubrick: New York Jewish Intellectual by Nathan Abrams pp.2, 28, 29, 31, 33, 40, 90, 165, 190-213, 214, 216, 217, 219, 223, 226, 242, 244, 245, 247, 252, 254, 262, 263, 266, 267-268