16 Bone-Chilling Behind-The-Scenes Facts About 'The Shining'

The Shining is the movie that taught us, a long time ago, how maddening it can be to be locked in a place for months on end. Today, to celebrate the 40-and-a-bit-th anniversary of its release, we're bringing you a collection of behind-the-scenes facts for you to enjoy in the safety of your home, hopefully away from any ambiguous ghosts, cryptic happenings, or door-scribbling children.


KUBRICK ALMOST LEFT THE HERE'S JOHNNY! PART OUT.  The line was thrown in by Jack Nicholson - and Kubrick, being British, didn't get that it was a reference to The Tonight Show. He came close to cutting out the film's most iconic shot.

Source: The Independent


THE FINGER WIGGLING WAS DANNY LLOYD'S IDEA. Lloyd came up with Tony's finger- talking during his audition, and Kubrick liked it enough to keep it.

Source: Far Out Magazine


IT WASN'T A FUN EXPERIENCE FOR SHELLEY DUVALL.  An emotionally and physically taxing role, compounded by an abusive director, made Duvall have a really shitty time. She considered quitting acting after the movie was done.

Source: The Vintage News


DICK HALLORANN WAS SUPPOSED TO BE THE HERO. THE THESHINING In the original script, Halorann does manage to save Danny and Wendy. But then Kubrick thought that, this being a horror movie, someone had to die-and he picked the black guy. CRACKED.COM

Sources: Scraps from the Loft, Entertainment Weekly


“ALL WORK AND NO PLAY” WAS REALLY TYPED COUNTLESS TIMES. Kubrick made his secretary, Margaret Warrington, a really dull gal, by having her type Jack's mantra on about 500 sheets of paper -- and then again in four other languages, for foreign releases of the movie.

Source: Cabinet Magazine


JACK NICHOLSON WAS KUBRICK'S FIRST CHOICE TO PLAY JACK TORRANCE. Stephen King didn't like him, though. He thought Nicholson made Jack look deranged to begin with, undermining the point that he was just a regular guy before the Overlook.

Sources: The Guardian, Salon


THE SHINING MADE IT TO THE GUINNESS BOOK OF RECORDS. The scene where Danny and Hallorann discuss the titular shining reportedly took 148 takes - more than any other scene with dialogue ever.

Source: Guinness World Records


JACK NICHOLSON ATE ONLY CHEESE SANDWICHES FOR TWO WEEKS. Nicholson hates cheese sandwiches-So Kubrick had him eat nothing but that, to push him into Jack Torrance's murderous rage.

Source: Far Out Magazine


SCATMAN CROTHERS HAD LONG WANTED TO BE DICK HALLORANN. Crothers read the novel before the adaptation happened, and thought that Hallorann would be a great character for him to play. He was disappointed when Kubrick chose to kill him.

Sources: Scraps from the Loft


KUBRICK TURNED DOWN CASTING JESSICA LANGE. Lange was suggested for the role of Wendy Torrance, but she didn't fit Kubrick's idea of Wendy as a fragile, codependent woman. (Stephen King hated that Kubrick turned the character into that.)

Sources: Screen Rant, The Vintage News


DANNY LLOYD HAD NO IDEA HE WAS IN A HORROR MOVIE. Kubrick decided not to tell the five-year- old what the movie was about. Lloyd thought the film was just about a family.

Source: The Guardian


THE CREW KEPT GETTING LOST IN THE HEDGE MAZE. The maze was a set made with pine boughs stapled to plywood, but it was still maze-like. The crew was given a map, and even SO they got lost several times while shooting.

Source: American Cinematographer Magazine (via visual-memory.co.uk)


SLIM PICKENS ALMOST PLAYED DICK HALLORANN. Pickens said that he'd take the role, as long as his scenes were shot in under 100 takes- not exactly something Stanley Kubrick would commit to.

Source: Screen Rant


THE MAZE SCENES WERE HELL. The set was hot, the fake snow was difficult to run on, and the smoke pumped in to make the environment misty made it hard to breathe. At one point, the crew resorted to wearing gas masks.

Source: American Cinematographer Magazine (via visual-memory.co.uk)


THE SHOOTING WENT WAY OVER SCHEDULE. The movie was supposed to be shot over 17 weeks. Kubrick's trademark fastidiousness turned that into a full year.

Source: The Guardian


DANNY LLOYD WAS PROMISED THE TRICYCLE, BUT NEVER GOT IT. A crew member said Lloyd could have the tricycle once filming was done. They never gave it to him. Lloyd called in it 2017 a lesson in the hollowness of grownup promises.

Source: The Guardian