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[This Day In Horror] Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’ Is Released Theatrically

Easily one of my favorite films of all time, Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’ was released theatrically this day May 23, in 1980. Based on the novel by Stephen King the film was produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Diane Johnson. It starred Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, and Danny Lloyd as the Torrance family who spend their winter in the isolated Overlook Hotel.

While some prefer the TV miniseries because it stays truer to the book, there’s no denying the power and impact that Kubrick’s version had. Over 30 years later and we’re still debating the film and asking questions… even though some questions have been answered by Kubrick himself (the picture at the end for example).

What are your thoughts? Kubrick Vs King? Film vs TV miniseries? Tonight I’ll be sitting back watching it again, with the hair of the dog that bit me, Lloyd.



  • coldblood

    King vs Kubrick? A legendary writer vs a legendary director.

    King came up with an amazing story line, and Kubrick did what he did best – made a movie that would stand the test of time.

    And Kubrick’s version had Jack Nicolson in it during his prime.

    I think its the best 3 person collaberation since Paul Schrader, Martin Scorsese, and Robert De Niro made Taxi Driver.

    Sorry, the tv show was good but it wasn’t one of the greatest of all time. Kubrick’s The Shining was.

    ps. For those of you that don’t know – Paul Schrader would go on to write Raging Bull, American Gigolo, Rolling Thunder, and The Last Temptation of Christ.

    • Tom Owen

      I was more referencing the fact that Stephen King was publicly vocal about his disappointment in what Kubrick did with his story, Nicolson’s character in particular… but yeah I agree, the movie > miniseries all day.

  • MontagTheMagician

    Kubrick’s version is not only the worst excuse for a horror movie ever made, it is in the top 3 worst movies of all time. The mini series while not perfect was miles above this disaster. I guess if Kubrick’s idea was to make a slap stick comedy then it works to a degree. Nicholson was horrible in it. He starts the movie off bat shit crazy then just turns it into over acting camp. When this movie came out the critics hated it and for once they got it right. It does have one thing going for it and that is excellent cinematography. I saw the movie first when it was released and didn’t want to read the book after because I thought it would be like the movie. I’m so glad I gave in and read it.

  • menoch

    ….Is that a tumbleweed blowing past?…..

  • I will never understand why people hold this version in such high regard and totally lambast the mini-series. The mini-series was FAR from perfect, but at the same time it had Jack Torrance actually come across as a real guy with real problems, and considering the fact that The Shining was King’s opus on his own demons with alcoholism, I’m pretty sure that was the point. Not only was the mini-series scary in it’s own right, but it actually provoked some tears when Jack was redeemed in the end (from me at least).

    Kubrick’s Jack was a monster and a tyrant. Rather than root for his redemption you were glad when he froze his ass to death. And for me that just killed the movie as an adaptation. There was no sympathy for the main character, and he was divulged down to an axe murderer.

  • shelly84

    I am pretty sure this movie figures in my top 10 list too. Kubrick shows an excelent directing skill, in this King`s masterpiece. The tv series was pretty neat too (a lot of people say it is a more faithful adaptation of the book), but still not comparable to Stanley Kubrick`s movie. Let’s not forget about the main character, theres no way to compare the “crazy murderer” from these two different movies, Nicholson was brilliant, scary, unforgettable..

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