May 31, 2020
Worship Media
Entertainment

Blood in the Gutters, 127 Takes and the Twins Then and Now: 40 Haunting Secrets About The Shining

37. Stephen King famously thought the movie was trash (and he was hardly alone, with critics divided on what it betrayed more, King’s book or Kubrick’s previous work). Brian DePalma‘s Carrie in 1976 and a 1979 Salem Lot miniseries both took significant liberties with their source material, but The Shining really stuck in King’s craw—even after his own 1997 miniseries, which he wrote and produced, starring Steven Weber as Jack Torrance, landed with a thud.

“I think The Shining is a beautiful film and it looks terrific and as I’ve said before, it’s like a big, beautiful Cadillac with no engine inside it,” King told Deadline in or around 2013. “In that sense, when it opened, a lot of the reviews weren’t very favorable and I was one of those reviewers. I kept my mouth shut at the time, but I didn’t care for it much.”

“I feel the same [now],” he continued, “because the character of Jack Torrance has no arc in that movie. Absolutely no arc at all. When we first see Jack Nicholson, he’s in the office of Mr. Ullman, the manager of the hotel, and you know then, he’s crazy as a s–t-house rat. All he does is get crazier. In the book, he’s a guy who’s struggling with his sanity and finally loses it. To me, that’s a tragedy. In the movie, there’s no tragedy because there’s no real change. The other real difference is at the end of my book the hotel blows up, and at the end of Kubrick’s movie the hotel freezes. That’s a difference.

“But I met Kubrick and there’s no question he’s a terrifically smart guy. He’s made some of the movies that mean a lot to me, Dr. Strangelove, for one and Paths of Glory, for another. I think he did some terrific things but, boy, he was a really insular man. In the sense that when you met him, and when you talked to him, he was able to interact in a perfectly normal way but you never felt like he was all the way there. He was inside himself.”

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