Production Country: UK-USA
Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
Featuring: Jack Nicholson / Shelley Duvall / Danny Lloyd
Distributed by: BFI
Running time: 144min
Stanley Kubrick’s remarkable 1980 horror film, showing in its longer US cut. Read more
Showing in its longer US cut, Stanley Kubrick’s remarkable 1980 horror film has lost none of its power to shock.
When a troubled writer takes his wife and son to a remote hotel, the ghosts of the Overlook’s bloody past come back to haunt them. Kubrick’s spine-tingling adaptation of Stephen King’s bestseller (which itself drew inspiration from Shirley Jackson’s novel The Haunting of Hill House) has been voted one of the greatest horror movies of all time, with Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of the increasingly deranged Jack Torrance becoming an icon of psychotic screen terror. Yet it is Shelley Duvall’s all-too-real portrayal of an anguished wife that really lends the drama such a gut-wrenchingly visceral punch – her utterly credible performance having been provoked by the director with a ruthlessness that perhaps borders on cruelty. Criticised by King devotees for straying from the details of the author’s logically linear text, The Shining was recut by its notoriously perfectionist director after its initial US release, making the film even more elliptical and enigmatic. Decide for yourself whether this longer US cut – never released in UK cinemas – was superior to the slimmed-down international version.
– Mark Kermode