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[Random Cool] Long Lost Script Pages For Deleted ‘The Shining’ Finale

the shining alternate ending

One of the most curious decisions in the history of cinema was back in May of 1980 when Stanley Kubrick deleted the final moments of his adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining after hitting theaters. Maybe it was the mixed critical reaction, or maybe because he realized it was just freakin’ stupid (’cause it is), but either way it’s never been seen again.

Thanks to fan site The Overlook Hotel, run by Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich, we can now use the power of imagination to view the final scenes. The site has shared the 4 pages of the screenplay that were snipped from the infamous psychological horror tale that starred Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall and Danny Lloyd. Since a few still images remain, it’ll help you play the story out in your head. Below you’ll find the pages, which take us into a hospital where both Wendy and Danny are recovering from the ax-attack.

“This hospital epilogue was located between the shot of Jack frozen in the snow and the long dolly shot through the lobby that ends on the July 4, 1921 framed photo,” explains the site.

They continue, “Kubrick decided to remove the scene very shortly after the U.S. opening, sending out assistants to excise the scene from the dozens of prints showing in Los Angeles and New York City. All known copies of the scene were reportedly destroyed, although it is rumored that one surviving copy may exist.

Very little remains of the hospital epilogue beyond some continuity polaroids, costumes, and 35mm film trims housed in the Stanley Kubrick Archive. Evidence of just how late in the process the scene was removed lives on in the form of two actors listed in the end credits, despite the fact that they don’t appear in the finished film: Burnell Tucker in the role of “Policeman” and Robin Pappas in the role of “Nurse”.

Kubrick’s co-screenwriter on The Shining, Diane Johnson, had this to say about the deleted epilogue:

Kubrick had filmed a final scene that was cut, where Wendy and Danny are recovering from the shock in a hospital and where Ullman visits them.

Kubrick felt that we should see them in the hospital so we would know that they were all right. He had a soft spot for Wendy and Danny and thought that, at the end of a horror film, the audience should be reassured that everything was back to normal.

  • Dr_Loomis

    “All known copies of the scene were reportedly destroyed, although it is rumored that one surviving copy may exist.”

    I thought some movie theater did a one night screening last year with this scene intact.

  • WalkingDeadGuy

    I think Kubrick made the right decision taking this scene out, but man, what I would do to watch it. ‘The Shining’ is one of those rare movies that elevated itself beyond the walls of its genre; it’s art.

  • Michael_M

    Having watched horror films for decades, it wasn’t until a few years ago when I saw the American version of Funny Games that I had the conscious desire for some kind of positive ending.

    Funny Games isn’t the most relentless in its depiction of suffering; Martyrs wins that award but its ending is appropriate and consistent. Perhaps because Funny Games deals with a family that I wanted at least something good to happen.

    I tried to recall a horror film with any positive outcome and struggled to name one. Yes, Sally escapes in Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but she’s very damaged by the experience, ditto Frontiers.

    I appreciate Kubrick’s desire to show that there is some possibility for survival and redemption. Isn’t that what horror is about, to experience it and come through the other side a survivor? Anybody have examples of horror movies with an upbeat ending, or is that an oxymoron.