The Shining

Question: Why did Jack type "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" a thousand times? In the interview, he said he was working on a new project, and I doubt that he was referring to typing the same thing over and over. Also, does Jack actually know the truth about the hotel? He implies in the breakfast scene that he's not really sure about why he feels so strongly with the hotel, but he seems to personally know the bartender and doesn't seem surprised in the gold room right before he meets Grady.

New this month Answer: The hotel has a strong influence on Jack's mentality. Jack had every intention on writing a play, but once the Torrances arrived at the Overlook, the hotel began working its powers on him, affecting his mental state. During the interview, Jack was not yet under the hotel's influence because in order to achieve its true goal (to capture Danny's shining ability) it needed to get the Torrance family to the hotel first. It is strongly implied that Jack is a reincarnation and had been the hotel many years before, explaining the strong sense of deja vu he feels. It is widely believed that Jack knows Lloyd the barman and Grady from a past life, and that all of their souls are forever linked to the Overlook.

Question: Did the Grady girls also possess the shining? Did they die for the same reasons the hotel tries to get Jack to kill his family?

New this month Answer: The Grady girls did not possess the shining. They were murdered by their father, because the hotel drove him crazy, just like what happened to Jack.

lionhead

Question: Does Danny's ability to "shine" have any connection to Jack's insanity and the events that occur in the hotel?

Answer: Effectively, Danny's shining is what brings the hotel to life. Because he has such an incredibly powerful shine about him, all these weird ghost things in the hotel are able to materialize and reveal themselves. These weird ghost things are always present to some degree, and those people with a small degree of shine get glimpses of them - like Dick Hallorann. (It's not quite made clear in the movie, but Dick saw the woman in room 237 in the book). However, Danny's shine is so great that he gives these forces enough life to appear to those without any shine, people like his father and mother. As it's the hotel that's slowly driving Jack crazy, and the hotel gets its power from Danny's shining, then I'd say there's definitely a connection between Jack's insanity and Danny's abilities. In the movie, it's not as clear as it is in the book, but Jack is effectively possessed by the hotel. He's not a flawed drunk with an anger problem who loses his mind because of isolation. He's a flawed drunk with an anger problem who's doing the best he can, until the forces of the hotel get inside his head and make him lose it.

Question: We see Jack in the picture at the end of the film which was painted in 1921 which I guess means that Nicholson 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. The movie definitely drops some hints that Jack is a reincarnation in the following scenes: After they have been at the Overlook awhile, Wendy talks to Jack upstairs in the bedroom after she brings him breakfast. Jack tells Wendy that he feels like he has been at the Overlook before and upon being given the initial tour of the hotel, he almost knew what was around every corner. According to Delbert Grady during the chilling bathroom scene, Jack has always been the caretaker, which most certainly suggests he is a reincarnation.

Phoenix

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 pills 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: 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.

Mad Ade

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: In actuality, the significance behind this scene is explained in much greater detail in the novel. It is a dog costume, not a chipmunk costume, and the character in the book is referred to as the "Dogman." In the novel he chases Danny through the hotel, scaring him with absurd sexual threats. The man in the tuxedo is Derwent, a corrupt playboy and former owner of the hotel. The pair were former lovers, but Roger, the man in the costume, is desperate to continue the relationship. Derwent agrees at only one cost - Roger must dress in a humiliating dog costume, walk on all fours and bark. This all happened in the past and is being relived in this scene. The Dogman is perfoming fellatio on Derwent.

Question: Who is Tony?

Answer: Danny's middle name is Anthony and "Tony" is his imaginary friend. At first Danny fears Tony, but he later becomes Danny's source of strength.

raywest

Question: Who or what is actually possessing the Overlook Hotel? Also, why do the said possessors want to drive Jack Torrance insane?

Answer: There is never a definitive answer, in either the book or the movie, as to what exactly possesses the Overlook. (There's a passing mention in the movie of the hotel being the site of an old Indian burial ground; Ullman says it as he's leading Jack and Wendy on the tour). The book makes mention of a lot of violent and unpleasant things that have occurred at the Overlook in the past, so the implication is that the hotel contains traces of these things. The answer to that question is left vague in both versions, though. You might get differing answers on the second part of your question, but most people who've read the book will probably tell you that the hotel's "goal" was not to drive Jack insane. Rather, its goal was to capture Danny's shining power. (The shining is a relatively rare power to begin with, and Danny's shine is extremely strong and powerful). The only way, of course, for Danny and his power to remain at the Overlook forever was for Danny to die there. Thus, the Overlook wants Jack to kill Danny, to ensure that Danny can never leave. If Jack's insanity is a side effect of that goal, there's no reason for the Overlook to care much about it.As an interesting side note, Jack believes that it is him that the hotel wants. In his conversations with Derwent and the bartender, he is led to believe that he is "managerial material" that is, that he will rise up the ranks from caretaker to the prestigious job of managing the Overlook. The Overlook does a good job of not revealing its true goal: to get Danny. Even though Jack is very flawed, he loves his son, and he repeatedly tells the manifestations of the Overlook that Jack's position in the hotel has nothing to do with Danny, and that Danny is ultimately none of the Hotel's concern. The Overlook finally begins to convince Jack of the need to "correct" Danny when it appears that Danny and Wendy's behavior might keep Jack from getting the manager job. (These last two paragraphs refer to the book, not the movie, as the movie provides virtually no answers at all to your second question).

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: 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.

T Poston

Question: If Jack is a reincarnation, how does he not know Danny possesses the shining? The other ghosts, such as Delbert Grady, who have always been there, can see Danny's talent. If Jack has always been there, how come he can't see what Grady sees?

Answer: Jack is the same soul as the man in the 1921 ball photo, but that does not necessarily mean he retains their full memory. Jack also has the ability to Shine, but probably does not know how to use, or is even aware that he has the ability to Shine.

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: 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: Who hurt Danny after his visit to room 237?

Answer: In the book, after Danny visits room 217 (237 for the movie) the ghost of the woman who killed herself in the bath chokes him.

Question: After saying that he would sell his soul for just one beer, Jack looks up and greets the barman Lloyd. Since this was Jack's first time at the hotel, how could he have known the barman's name?

Answer: In The Shining, both Jack and Danny experience psychic episodes and visions. Lloyd could be a product of Jack's (crazy) imagination, or he psychically knew Lloyd's name and that he's the best bartender from Timbuktu to Portland (Maine or Oregon). Or, as referenced in another question here, "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." So Lloyd's soul may be linked to the hotel in the same way that Jack's is, and they have always known each other just as Jack has "always been the caretaker."

Sierra1

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.

Phixius

Question: Who were all the skeletons that the Mother sees toward the end of the film? It's never explained. Also, what room was that?

Answer: It was The Gold Room. The skeletons are simply those of past guests: we never learn their identities.

Question: Whenever Jack is talking to Delbert Grady, Grady mentions his wife and two daughters; one of whom tried to burn the overlook down. My question is, are they the same twin girls Danny has visions of? Whenever Danny sees them dead in the hallway, the vision matches the story Ullman told Jack about Charles Grady. Why does Delbert Grady deny killing his wife and daughters when he was the caretaker, but then contradicts himself and go on to say he "corrected" them? Was he only denying being the caretaker since Jack has always been the caretaker? What is the connection between Delbert's story and what happened with Charles Grady?

Answer: Delbert Grady has always been at the hotel, just as Jack Torrance has...however, "Charles Grady" was one incarnation of the hotel's "caretaker", which Jack Torrance currently is. Delbert, evidenced by his appearance, occupation, and archaic racial views, has been with the hotel since its turn-of-the-century inception, just as Jack, in the photo at the end, has been. We don't know what "spirit-Jack's" function in the Overlook is...we only know that the present Jack (whom Delbert is talking to) embodies the "caretaker" who has always been there, just as Charles Grady did in his time. Delbert refers to his wife and two daughters, whom he did not murder...his "caretaker" version, Charles Grady, did that.

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.

Neil Jones

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