Why did Kubrick cut down "The Shining" for international release?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by C6H12O6, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. What Stanley Kubrick got wrong about “The Shining”

    I like Salon's analysis of the film vs. novel. Don't agree with it 100% but there are some sharp observations.

    You don't have to dislike Kubrick's "The Shining" to see King's point. The two men represent diametrically opposed approaches to creating narrative art. One is an aesthete and the other is a humanist. Kubrick was a consummate and famously meticulous stylist; King's prose is workmanly and his novels can have a shambolic bagginess. The great theme of King's fiction is the capacity of the average person -- especially working-class or similarly humble men and women -- both for evil and for heroism. Although there's almost always a battle against a supernatural antagonist in King's books, the best of his novels hinge on the protagonists' struggles with themselves. In "Doctor Sleep," it is just as valiant for Danny Torrance -- the psychic child character in "The Shining," now grown up -- to stay sober as it is for him to challenge the novel's Big Bad.

    King has always thought Jack Nicholson seems "too crazy" at the very beginning of Kubrick's "The Shining." Everything that makes Nicholson's performance iconic -- his grinning, campy, manic nastiness -- undermines King's point, which is that Jack Torrance could be you. We all love Jack Nicholson, but he's no Everyman. In King's novel, the Overlook Hotel's seduction of Jack Torrance is rooted in the nebbishy failed writer's frustrated desire to be extraordinary, larger than life. It's impossible to imagine Jack Nicholson wanting to be anyone but himself. In Kubrick's film, Jack's madness becomes that of an imperious auteur, convinced of his own importance, running amok and seeking to wipe out the mere human beings whose inconvenient presence muddles his vision. That two such different men as King and Kubrick were able to see themselves in this character indicates what a remarkable creation Jack Torrance is.
     
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  2. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    King has been pretty vocal about not liking Jack starting that way. He points out this difference and talked a lot of crap on Kubrick because of it. I say so what? If it works, it works and the TV movie shows that sticking to the material is not really the best way to exhibit what works in a book.

    Though like I said, the book is not
    perfect by a long shot.

    *update your last post article essentially states this.

    As for Jack movie. I always wanted to be him and not "everyman".
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
  3. Very true--King has positively attacked Kubrick's film. He's very protective of his work--rightly so--but, at some point, he has to realize that "The Shining" is Kubrick's version of the story with a different focus. I think Nicholson works perfect in Kubrick's film--he's outsized and larger than life which works especially with Kubrick's detached or lack of humanism in his material. The approach reminds me of the contrast between Kubrick's "2001" and Tarkovsky's "Solaris". I like both and their different approach to similar themes remains fascinating.
     
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  4. Richard--W

    Richard--W Forum Resident

    Kubrick's film is brilliant, but I believe there is room for another adaptation, and perhaps a mini-series is the best venue, but the team King assembled just weren't very good at it.

    If a literal and more complete version of the novel is to work, it would have to be made by a more discerning director from a more sophisticated script and with better casting.
     
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  5. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    Perhaps, but they need to quit with the stulid CGI. I hate that and I cannot think of any films that truly scare me like the ones devoid of it....wait nevermind. Mother! did a number on me.
     
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  6. I agree and I have to wonder if it is in development especially with "Doctor Sleep" forthcoming.
     
  7. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Location:
    Marple, PA, USA
    I knew that would happen one day. The way Hollywood has been churning out so much crap, I fear what will happen here.
     
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  8. Derek Slazenger

    Derek Slazenger Specs, rugs & rock n roll

    Great thread. Just read the whole thing :)

    Quick question - Why is the person in the bear costume always assumed to be a man? Why couldn't it just as easily be a woman?
     
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  9. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    Because it was based on the "Before the Play" I think. Plus I think the person looks really burly...but who knows perhaps you are right.
     
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  10. Well if "Doctor Sleep" IS successful (and I'm betting it will be) expect to see a prequel.
     
  11. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Location:
    Marple, PA, USA
    The violence against children must be handled tastefully, that's for sure.
     
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  12. Derek Slazenger

    Derek Slazenger Specs, rugs & rock n roll

    What is "Before The Play" please? :)
     
  13. Derek Slazenger

    Derek Slazenger Specs, rugs & rock n roll

    Also, I'm not sure I would want to get sucked off through that mouth aperture.

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    It was a part cut by the editor/publisher because of novel length. It ended up being published in Whispers magazine in 1982.

    I read from wiki that it and an epilogue After the Play was found and will be in the deluxe edition coming soon.
     
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  15. Knowing HOllywood it really depends on the director, rating they’re going for, what elements they choose to focus on, etc. I agree but it all depends on what sells and works within the context of the film. It’s tough to say as both violence against children in films has largely been taboo. let’s hope it stays that way and theyfigure out a way to deal with it cinematically that works without going there.
     
  16. Not sure about any of that. Curiously Kubrick was ahead of his t8me when it comes to people dressing up as animals and sex.
     
  17. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident

    Location:
    US

    It may be this thread in which I posed it before, but I went to the Stanley Kubrick photo exhibit in NYC and noticed this photo of a dwarf in bear suit shaking hands with a pretty woman. All I can say is: I bet this photo he took was still in the back of Stanley's' mind someplace.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. unclefred

    unclefred Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oregon Coast
    The Shining, sinister as it is, also hints at other possible sinister goings on, perhaps even with Jack and Danny from the past.
     
  19. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    The thing is that my theory on annoyance goes back to Wendey not believing Jack because of an accident. He was a drunk for sure and no doubt used excessive force because of being mad at work papers possibly being ruined, but her blaming him for the woman was pretty unfair.

    She was ready to take his child away and didn't even give him a chance to explain or even know what happened...then she comes back and asks for his help as if she was never cruel to him.

    Though he was rude to her before when working on writing, one could say she was being equally annoying to him too.;)

    The scene with Jack saying he would never hurt him was creepy and no doubt had a purpose but I don't think there was any sexual abuse.
     
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  20. Richard--W

    Richard--W Forum Resident

    Absolutely there was no sexual abuse implied nor inferred in the Torrance family.

    I'm in complete agreement with genesim's post above.

    There is sexual kinkiness and perversion in the hotel's ghostly residents, however.
     
  21. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    It still looks like a cool party happened. :D
     
  22. Richard--W

    Richard--W Forum Resident

    Not my kind of party. Looks sick and twisted and unpleasant.
     
  23. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    Just a little bloody with animal outfit fun.;) Truth be told, there is not a whole lot we do see, but looked kinda classy to me.
     
  24. mBen989

    mBen989 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scranton, PA
    This thread got bumped?

    Why was The Shining cut? Simple; one more show a day, more concession revenue.

    Just like ever other movie that got post-release cuts.
     
  25. As I recall, they are in the hospital being visited by the hotel manager who brings Danny the ball that was seen rolling down the hallway. I'm pretty sure Scatman's character was dead as he got an ax in the chest.
     

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