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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Good Movies  |  The Shining (1980) « previous next »
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Author Topic: The Shining (1980)  (Read 6890 times)
Mr_Vindictive
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« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2008, 07:02:49 AM »

I've been a King fan for a good while now.  Any King fan will admit that his work is hit or miss.  He seems to have a habit of writing a fantastic story but then generally murders his endings.  IT is a classic example of that.  Decent book, awful ending!

The Shining is by far one of my favorite horror films.  Hell, it is one of my favorite films, PERIOD.  The film is absolutely gorgeous, has superb acting all around and is a truly haunting experience.  It's the film that turned me on to Kubrick's work and his genius.  It doesn't rush itself at all.  It takes it's time, builds up the tension until the fantastic third act.  I can't speak highly enough of the film.

The King book on the other hand is one that I disliked immensely compared to the film.  I liked the idea that the Jack Torrance character was damaged and violent well before going to the Overlook.  Otherwise the book didn't work for me.  How the hell am I supposed to be frightened of a fire hose?  Seriously?

The film wins hands down for me.  King has admitted to not knowing very much about film and promised to not make a film after Maximum Overdrive for that same reason.  Sure Kubrick didn't make a faithful adaptation....but that is why the film is so damn good.
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trekgeezer
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« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2008, 07:33:44 AM »

Different strokes for different folks, Skaboi.   I agree it's beautifully shot, but I think Nicholson just hammed it up too much and I hated the ending.  As far as I can recall I have never watched it all the way through again and don't intend to.

I'm not one to rant about hating movies and I don't hate it, it just didn't meet  my expectations, so I have no interest in seeing it again.
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And you thought Trek isn't cool.
clockworkcanary
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« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2008, 08:15:40 AM »

Hey that's cool Trek - if that's how it made you react, then that's how it made you react - no problem :)  -nothing wrong with how you feel.  I had the same experience when Queen of the Damned came out - was really let down as my expectations were somewhat different than what I got in the theater.

Question though, since I didn't read the book (yet) - was the whole underlying (and "Overlooked") "colonialism genocide of the natives" theme in the book too?  Because I was thinking, if Kubrick wanted to use the movie to send that message (if it wasn't in the novel) then that would explain some of the changes <shrugs>.

I was thinking of that last shot ...the pic of the roaring '20s party with the July 4th date plus all the other themes (Native American images and symbolism but no Native Americans).  Kubrick likes to give a puzzle especially during the last shot.

True, if it's there, it's a bit subtle.  I read an essay on how the film reflects we as a country expanding w/apelike violence and that the genocide is practically "overlooked" and whitewashed, so to say.  If I come back across it, I'll link to it.  Not sure if I agreed with everything but it was an interesting take none-the-less.

But I do notice a lot of Native American themes and/or suggestions related to that thesis:
* the place was built on Indian burial grounds...even had to fight off attacks during construction
* Native American murals and carpet designs everywhere, for example
* Native American images on the cans in the background in the food storage room
* Jack pounding a ball almost violently against the murals
* the use of an axe over the mallet
* Danny using the Indian trick of repacing his steps to escape Jack at the end
* the date of the painting, July 4th, America's Independence Day and what that might mean to natives already living here

Those bullet points don't seem to mean much individually but together, it suggests Kubrick had some sort of message.  I'm curious whether that same message was in the book.
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Neville
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« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2008, 09:09:29 AM »

I think the whole native american angle was overlooked in the nocel. I could be wrong, because it's been years since I last read it, but I think the hotal manager mentioned in the job interview to Torrance and that's it.

The whole thing about the hotel in the novel resembles more another Stephen King staple, the "place gone bad". In his novels there are often places that have a history of paranormal activity or just too many bad things happening over the time that predates the events in the plot. Think of the town and surroundings in "It", the house in "Rose Red" mini, which he also wrote, or the scenario of "Pet Sematary". At one point of this novel a native chieftain is said to mention the lands are cursed, but King doesn't specify if the chieftain cursed them or was just stablishing a fact.

As for Kubrick, he was probably pointing to another subtext / reading, yeah. Personally I didn't notice it (it doesn't help that the final ballroom scene is nowhere to be found in international copies), but Kubrick was well known for his attention to detail, I don''t think it was casual at all.
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peter johnson
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« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2008, 11:07:17 AM »

The way I understood the real bone of contention between King and Kubrick/Book vs. Film was that King comes down square on the side of the Supernatural -- That the demons and ghosts and apparitions are quite real -- and that Kubrick rejects the spiritual/supernatural altogether and makes it a story of psychological horror, despite the presence of PSI/ESP.  This is the root of their creative differences.
That Torrence is a disturbed individual descending into madness is something shared by both book and film, but the book emphasises the hotel as a repository of Supernatural Evil that has been alive there long before Jack appears, and that has devoured many many before him.  Kubrick refocuses that and makes the story more about Jack's singular descent, and less about the hotel itself.
* * *
That said, I think the 4-night miniseries version of 'Salem's Lot" -- NOT the 2hr. shortened adaptation movie made from the longer miniseries -- is the best King I've seen on film.
peter johnson/denny crane
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AndyC
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« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2008, 12:20:29 PM »

I thought Kubrick removed all doubt when Wendy started seeing apparitions as well. Up to that point, it was fairly ambiguous as to whether the events were real or imagined by Torrance. I've often thought the movie would have been much better if that point was left undecided.

I love the movie, but I must admit I never read the book. I might just do that.
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AndyC
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« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2008, 02:08:41 PM »

There was a TV mini-series starring Steven Weber as Jack Torrance and written by King himself which adheres to the book much more than Kubrick's version.

Ummmm.... that's been discussed in a few of the previous posts. Did you read the whole thread before you posted?  TeddyR
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peter johnson
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« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2008, 05:52:54 PM »

The miniseries of The Shining was shot just up the road from me at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, where King wrote most of the original story.  I did NOT get work on the production, but quite a few of my friends did -- If you go there today, they have the whole basement given over to memorabilia from the film:  Stills, autographs, props, you name it -- Also several first-edition copies of The Shining under glass.  You can buy coffee mugs with "The Shining" in shiny gold letters, and a likeness of the hotel. 

King also references Boulder, Colorado, in The Stand & names quite an number of local places:  The Broken Drum was a real bar in a broken-down Victorian Manor House -- you could get quarts of Pabst Blue Ribbon at the bar & play shuffleboard.  The police referred to it as "The Drunken Bum" -- I drank there quite a bit in '83/'84, before they tore it down.
* * *
When does Wendy see apparitions in the movie?  I can't remember -- What I do remember is King and Kubrick both giving interviews separately from one another at the time & them both making the arguments I attribute to them -- King was upset with Kubrick because King felt Kubrick was removing the supernatural evil element from the hotel & replacing it with "it's all in their minds".  Kubrick expressed exasperation with ghosts and demons & said he didn't find King's obsessions with the supernatural to be all that interesting.

Really, I like both the book and the movie as different things altogether.  Same as still liking Peter Jackson's version of Lord of The Rings, even though he removed "The Scouring of The Shire", which, to me, is the whole point of the whole 3-book series.

peter johnson/denny crane
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Neville
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« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2008, 06:18:14 PM »

There are two cuts of the movie.

In the international cut, some scenes were removed with Kubrick's consent. This version is to be avoided, it pretty much ruins everything. Most references to the ghosts of the hotel are gone, making scenes like when Jack is released from his confinement ilogical.

In the American cut, there are some extra scenes, like a doctor examining the kid at the begining of the movie, and several shots at the very end, when Wendy is running away from Jack inside the hotel, and she sees glimpses of ghosts.

Without the "extra" scenes of the American cut, you get the impression everything was in Jack's mind, whereas in the American cut the ghosts of the hotel are real and take an important place in his derangement.
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Mr. DS
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« Reply #24 on: May 30, 2008, 08:39:55 PM »

Side note about King's writing.  I started reading the Dark Tower series in high school up through the Wastelands.  It was only recently I decided to continue with Wizard and Glass.  I immediately stopped about 50 pages in.  King simply loses me with his attempt at fantasy.  Wasn't sure what I was thinking reading the first three books and thinking they were good. 
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voltron
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« Reply #25 on: June 13, 2008, 01:54:26 PM »

I haven't read the book, but I always thought the film is overrated. They show it repeatedly on A&E which is probably why I'm so sick of it. I think my favorite King book at the moment would be The Talisman (his collaberation with Peter Straub).
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Neville
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« Reply #26 on: June 16, 2008, 04:14:49 PM »

Have you read the sequel, "Black House"? It's every bit as good. King and Straub couldn't get more different, if you've read their solo works, but they do work very well together.
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HappyGilmore
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« Reply #27 on: June 17, 2008, 09:18:23 AM »

Haven't read any of King's books, YET, but am looking to pick a few up, so I can't really do the argument over which is 'better'.  But I have seen the film. 

I prefer the Kubrick film to the tv movie with Weber.  Weber did a decent enough performance, but felt it dragged in parts and, I just overall wasn't as interested in the tv movie, personally. 

Of the King book/movie adaptions, my favorites would be Shining, IT, and Stand by Me.  Tim Curry rocked it as the Clown.
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