Episode 5, October 28, 2016: The Shining

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Tony talks to Danny and to us about the Kubrick classic, The Shining. We talk about Kubrick's tear inducing necessity for excellence in his actors, Nicholson's S'mother, and those twin little girls that gave us nightmares for years.

Warning: Spoilers, adult humor, and harsh language ahead. Listen at your own risk.

Show Notes:

2DudeReview - Episode 5: The Shining

I. Introduction
- Discuss site, Twitter, etc.

II. First Impressions of The Shining

III. Origin & tidbits

- Kubrick was disappointed in the success of his latest film, Barry Lyndon and wanted to make something more commercially successful so he grabbed a bunch of horror books and The Shining is the only one he didn't throw against the wall.
- It was the only movie of the last nine Kubrick did that received no Oscar nominations but did get two Razzie noms. One for worst director and one for worst actress.
- Kubrick wanted to film in order so he had sets build. The sets, including a full set of the outside, were constructed and were the biggest that studio had ever built.
- The exterior shots were done at Glacier National Park in Montana. The Timberland Lodge on Mount Hood in Oregon was used for the exterior shots of the building. The Timberland Lodge does not have a hedge maze. The Timberland Lodge requested the Kubrick not use room 217 as stated in the novel and changed it to room 237 out of fear no one would want to stay there. The opposite was true. It is the most requested room.
- The snowy maze at the end consisted of nine-hundred pounds of salt and styrofoam (much of that was used in The Empire Strikes Back Hoth scene since they were shot in the same studio).
- Kubrick's lighting burned down the exterior set of the hotel and had to be rebuilt.
- It was one of the first films to use steadicam. That was responsible for the great shots of Danny on his big wheel perusing the halls.
- Shelly Duvall didn't get along with Kubrick. They would argue on set about lines, acting technique, and just about everything else. The stress of long shooting days and an ever-changing script made her ill for months and her hair started to fall out. Nicholson also got frustrated at the long days and changing script to the point he would throw away new scripts and not bother memorizing them since he knew it would change. Nicholson would later say that Duvall's performance was the most difficult he had ever seen an actress undertake. Kubrick instructed others to give Duvall no sympothy on set as it would not help her character. Duvall would run out of tears from crying so much and had to keep water with her to keep herself hydrated.
- Speaking of Nicholson, he was Kubrick's first choice. Others who auditioned were Robin Williams, Harrison Ford, and Robert De Niro. De Niro said the script gave him nightmares for months. All of them King didn't like for the role. Thanks to @Darin_Tino for bringing that point up.
- To get Nicholson in the mood of the role, he was fed cheese sandwiches which he hates.
- Throwing the tennis ball was Nicholson's idea.
- Danny Lloyd was sheltered by Kubrick. He thought he was making a drama not a horror movie. He didn't see an unedited version of the film until he was seventeen.
- The idea of Danny talking to his finger was Danny Lloyd's.
- Unexplained in the movie, Tony is explained in the novel as Danny's adult self talking to him.
- Outtakes of the opening shots were used in Blade Runner by Ridley Scott. They filmed that using a helicopter and you can see the shadow of the helicopter in one scene.
- The original theatrical international version had different things written in the typewriter that Wendy reads. German we "Never put off till tomorrow what may be done today," Italian was "The morning has gold in its mouth," French was "One 'here you go' is worth more than two 'you'll have it'", the equivalent of "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush," Spanish was "No matter how early you get up, you can't make the sun rise any sooner.". These were not in the DVD and they only used the English.
- During production, Kubrick showed the cast and crew David Lynch's Eraserhead to show what he wanted to convey. Eraserhead is on our 1001 movies list.
- The color red can be seen in nearly every scene of film.
- Kubrick's secretary typed out the, 'all work and no play' pages and were recorded since Kubrick wanted the actual sounds of the correct letters being typed.
- Nicholson was a volunteer fire marshal so they had to use a real door for the axe scene since he went through the fake one too quickly.
- Nicholson improved the, "here's Johnny," line from Johnny Carson. Kubrick didn't know who that was and almost took it out. That scene took three days to film and went through sixty doors.
- They rehearsed the bar scene for six months prior to shooting.
- Kubrick wanted seventy takes of Jack killing Halloran but Nicholson convinced him to stop after forty since the sixty-nine year old actor couldn't take any more and broke down crying asking Kubrick what it was he wanted.
- Originally the end was to have Wendy in a hotel bed and Ullman tell her they never found Jack's body. He then gave Danny a tennis ball they found. This was taken out for time restriction.
- There was a rule by the MPAA that blood cannot be in a trailer. Kubrick used only the blood shot of the elevators after convincing the MPAA that it was rusty water, not blood.
- King hated the movie. He hated Nicholson since he thought it was a given he would be crazy after One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. He wanted a more Christopher Reeve type actor. He also hated Shelly Duvall's character saying that wasn't the character he wrote and that all she did in the movie was sit and scream. He called it one of the most mysoginistic characters ever put on screen. Nicholson agreed and wanted Jessica Lange to play the role since she would be more like the book's character but Kubrick shot the idea down.
- Delbert Grady was the butler Jack talks to. Charles Grady is the man who butchers his family in 1970. Are they the same man?
- Ghosts vs. Cabin Fever?
- Was the story predetermined based on the picture at the end or could Jack have changed if his weakness didn't give into the temptation of madness?

IV. Our notes on The Shining

V. How rotten is The Shining? The Shining was given an 88% by Rotten Tomatoes. Do the following films fall higher or lower than 88%? A Clockwork Orange, Eyes Wide Shut, Dr Strangelove, Full Metal Jacket, 2001, Popeye, A Few Good Men, Batman, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, Room 237

VI. Mention next film, Airplane, plus reiterate the Web site and social media feeds

VII. Final Grade of A-F

Chad's Grade: A
Brian's Grade: A-
Karina's Grade: A+