Jack Torrance: Here's to five miserable months on the wagon, and all the irreparable harm it has caused me.
In the beginning when Wendy is talking to the doctor, Wendy lights a cigarette, seconds later the paper has burned almost to the filter. See more...
The famous scene where Wendy reads through Jack's accumulated work naturally doesn't have the same impact if the viewer can't read English. Therefore, for every foreign language the film was released in, Kubrick remade this shot with an appropriate cliche in each language - French, German, etc. Also, every page of every manuscript was hand-typed to recreate the realism of typos and misalignments. See more...
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The Shining (1980) - 20 questions
The "questions" section is for any random questions that occurred to you while watching this film, or anything you didn't entirely understand, and which Google or the IMDb can't help with. Submit them as a question, and hopefully someone will answer (the bold comments in brackets) - check back regularly. If the answer is wrong, or missing information, please use the "clarify answer" option. Don't feel limited - want to know what music played in a certain scene? Whether this was the first film to use a certain effect? Here's the place to ask!
Question: Who is the old woman in room 237 and what is her significance?
Answer: In the book, she is Mrs. Massey, an older woman who is seducing a man much younger than her, until late one night he leaves in the car they arrived in, and doesn't return. Distraught, Mrs. Massey kills herself with liquor and sleeping bills while taking a bath. However, since none of this is in the actual film, fan theories have sprung up regarding her importance to the movie. One theory is that she is in fact Grady's wife, and 237 is where he murdered his family.
Question: What exactly happened to Jack? Why is he in that picture at the end of the movie?
Answer: There are two possibilities: Most likely, Jack's soul is forever linked to the hotel, and every once in a while, he is reborn into the world, only to return to it, and instigate more killings. Basically, he is constantly resuming his duties as the caretaker of the spirits in the Hotel. That, or every time someone dies at the hotel, their soul becomes linked to it, and the photo at the end changes to illustrate that link. However, if that theory were true, then the cook would also be in the photo.
Question: Who or what is actually possessing the Overlook Hotel? Also, why do the said possessors want to drive Jack Torrance insane?
Answer: Nothing is ever said in the movie to answer your question, but in the book Jack was driven mad by alcohol. He was an alcoholic and drank too much. This combined with the isolation drove him insane.
Question: Why is the supposed foreign version of the Shining with the deleted ending impossible to find? Does anybody have this version or know how to get it? I have a feeling it's an elaborate Internet rumor and does not actually exist.
Answer: Stanley Kubrick changed the ending of The Shining after it had been in theatres for about three days. About ten minutes of footage was removed. The full US theatrical version runs 145mins, everywhere else 115mins after Kubrick trimmed the movie to remove what he considered "unnecessary" scenes. There is no specific "foreign version" save for cuts any TV networks may make for transmission.
Question: Couldn't almost any continuity "mistake" be attributed to the Overlook's ability to "shine" or control Jack's mind and perceptions of his surroundings? Or are there only certain missing/moved/incongruous items that were deliberate examples of the hotel "shining"?
Answer: One could argue that point, but Kubrick likely had specific incidences in mind, and others are genuine oversights of the editor.
Question: Actually a further answer to the person who inquired after Jack's picture being on the wall at the end of the movie, a picture dated during the 1920s. Some interpret the hotel itself as both a real place and a symbolic representation as the working's of Jack's mind. Hence, as he gets crazier, it gets crazier. Grady's comment in the restroom to the effect that "you've always been the caretaker" ("you've always been responsible for what goes on here") could be taken as an allusion to this idea. Remember that Jack sees far more supernatural events than the rest of the family, and most of what Danny sees is in visions. So.how much of it "really" occurs?
Answer: It all really happens. He goes crazy because the hotel is working its supernatural powers on him, so by the end it is easy to persuade him to do its dirty work. The point of the picture at the end is that Jack keeps returning to the hotel in different reincarnations and getting the job as the caretaker. If it were all just visions, who unlocked the pantry door?
Question: Early in the film the hotel manager mentions that the Overlook was built on an old Indian burial ground and that builders had to repel several Indian attacks during construction. Indian attacks? During the 20th century? And why mention this detail, since it was never mentioned again or became part of the story.
Answer: "Indian attacks" just means attacked by Indians who owned the land. It does not necessarily mean Indians with warpaint/horses/etc., just that the attack came from the tribe who owned the land. As for him mentioning it to Jack, he is just giving him a brief history of the Overlook Hotel, as Jack will be the caretaker and might want to know about the history surrounding the Overlook.
Question: One of the corrected entries here says that the film was shot entirely at Elstree Studios in England. Why? I mean with all the possible locations in the US especially Hollywood and all the facilities they have there, why was the entire film shot in England?
Answer: Many major US-financed films have been shot in England. The original Star Wars trilogy, the Indiana Jones opening sequence, the first three Alien films and many others were all shot in the UK. The rationale is often financial - it can simply be cheaper to make films outside the US, with Australia being another common choice. In Kubrick's case, part of the rationale may well have been financial, but he also had a fear of flying, so made all his films from 1962's Lolita onwards in the UK where he lived.
Question: In the book, there is a bit (I'm not sure which chapter) where Danny is in the playground and is nearly trapped in a cement tunnel with what he thinks is a demon that doesn't want him to leave,and the swings move on their own.There are also lots of bits in the book where he is chased by the hedges shaped like animals but never sees them move, just hears them.Is there a good reason why this wasn't in the film, because for me they were the scariest parts?
Answer: I know they cut the hedge animals simply because the special effects to make hedges move were deemed impossible to do at the time. But both of these scenes were included in the TV miniseries "Stephen King's The Shining", http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118460/.
Question: Why exactly is this film (and the book it was based upon) called "The Shining"?
Answer: It refers to the "gift" that Danny and Mr. Halloran shared as in this quote from Mr. Halloran: "I can remember when I was a little boy, my grandmother and I could hold conversations entirely without ever opening our mouths. She called it shining."
Question: I know the phrase "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" is supposed to be scary, but I don't understand. Why is it scary and what does it mean?
Answer: The phrase in itself is not scary, the fact that Jack had typed it out thousands of times is. It shows the deteriation of his mental state.
Question: According to many websites including IMDB, it says Staney Kubrick demanded about 128 takes of Shelley DuVall saying a line. Does anybody know this scene and specific line?
Answer: The scene was from when she discovers all his papers just say "All work and no play..." to when she bonks him on the head. That was one continuous scene, with no cuts, and Mr. Kubrick wanted it perfect.
Question: What does "Here's Johnny" mean? Torrance says this as he chops down the bathroom door.
Answer: "Here's Johnny" is a classic line used on the Tonight Show when Johnny Carson hosted. Anytime Johnny would enter the stage at the beginning of the show, Ed McMahon would shout "Here's Johnny" as his introduction. Jack Nicholson ad-libbed the line.
Question: We see Jack in the picture at the end of the film which was painted in 1937 which I guess means that Nicholson's character was either possessed or reincarnated...but does anyone have a definite answer? Or does Kubrick just want us to decide for ourselves?
Answer: The idea is that Nicholson's soul has been around for a long time, and that each time he is reborn he returns to the Overlook Hotel and goes on a murder spree. This is facilitated by the evil, restless spirits residing in the hotel.
Question: What is the significance of the man in the Chipmunk costume with the man in tuxedo seen by Wendy in the bedroom ? What are they supposed to be doing?
Answer: They are just guests from the hotel's past. I am not sure what they are doing, but the point is that the hotel is coming to life again.