United Kingdom, 1980, 146 Minute Running Time
Additional Countries: United States
Repudiated by novelist Stephen King and greeted with relatively lukewarm reviews in 1980, The Shining is surely Stanley Kubrick's most underrated film – also his densest and most enigmatic. Yet its reputation has grown and grown over the years, to the point where many consider it one of his greatest achievements.
In one of his most memorable performances, Jack Nicholson is Jack Torrance, an aspiring writer who signs on as caretaker for a large hotel so remote that it’s closed and cut off from civilization through the winter months. He takes his wife and son with him, but slowly becomes unraveled under the malign influence of the place.
As PSIFF documentary Room 237 shows, there are multiple entry points to the Overlook Hotel, and not a few mental trapdoors too. Is it a metaphor for the Holocaust, the genocide of the American Indian, or a coded confession for the faked Moon landings? Repeat viewings may afford more questions than answers, but The Shining remains a terrifying and fascinating film - in fact after analyzing the data in 2004 mathematicians at King's College London declared this was "the perfect scary movie".
DIRECTOR: Stanley Kubrick
Producer: Stanley Kubrick
Editor: Ray Lovejoy
Screenwriter: Stanley Kubrick, Diane Johnson
Cinematographer: John Alcott
Music: Wendy Carlos, Rachel Elkind
Principal Cast: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers
Filmography: Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Full Metal Jacket (1987), Barry Lyndon (1975), A Clockwork Orange (1971), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)