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

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

  1. Giant Sea Panda

    Giant Sea Panda Forum Resident

    New Zealand
    The one thing I do like about the shorter cut is when Wendy is talking to Jack about his writing and he says "that's all it is" there's a sharp cut straight to him bouncing the ball in the writing room which provides a great bit of humour absent in the longer cut.
  2. action pact

    action pact Forum Resident

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  3. Zep Fan

    Zep Fan Sounds Better with Headphones

    N. Texas
    Mystery solved about how the Torrances got all of their luggage to the Overlook Hotel in a VW with this Imgur link....

    The Torrance Family | credit: www.theoverlookhotel.com

    The helicopter footage shot for the title sequence was originally intended to be used only for that sequence. For the later sequence where Jack Torrance returns to The Overlook with Wendy and Danny, Kubrick had originally planned to use a series of ground-based shots showing the yellow Volkswagen towing a small trailer with the family’s possessions. Those shots were filmed by the 2nd unit crew, but during the editing process, Kubrick decided not to use them. He instead made use of more of the footage that had been shot for the title sequence. Many have speculated as to how the Torrance family could have possibly brought all the luggage shown in the hotel’s lobby when they arrive. This explanation answers that question.

    2nd Unit camera operator Jeff Blyth, Jeff’s wife, and their camera assistant doubling for the Torrance family in many unused shots of the car and wearing costumes from the film.

  4. I just assumed that he took his luggage up there with him for the first interview and carried hers and Danny's for the second trip. This makes sense though. If this were the "Alien Covenant" thread, they'd say it was a "plot hole".


    I mean there IS stuff shot or scripted that never makes it into a movie.
    DHamilton likes this.
  5. EddieVanHalen

    EddieVanHalen Well-Known Member

    I'm Spanish and I've always lived in Spain. Watching The Shinning both in English and Spanish many many times since I was a teen I always felt that something was missing and sometimes continuity seemed a bit weird on some spots.
    I first bought the European BD in 2007 knowing nothing about a "extended US release" of the film, nothing new on this release except for the HD video. Sometime later I found out on a similar thread like this one that the US got a longer version, it was a coincidence that the same day I got to know about the extended cut it was at 7.95$ so I ordered it.
    The US cut of The Shinning made me a happy guy, the weird editing at some spots and de addition (not true, they were there in the first place) of some scenes were a thing of the past and at least I got to watched a version of The Shinning that didn't feel disjointed and "jumpy" at certain spots. So, US release for me please.
    izgoblin likes this.
  6. Dude111

    Dude111 An Awesome Dude

    Excellent isnt it??

  7. Zep Fan

    Zep Fan Sounds Better with Headphones

    N. Texas
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  8. yesstiles

    yesstiles Forum Resident

  9. Zep Fan

    Zep Fan Sounds Better with Headphones

    N. Texas
    Stanley Kubrick’s Right-Hand Man Leon Vitali Speaks: The Personal Toll of Working With a Genius

    Stanley Kubrick’s Right-Hand Man Speaks: The Personal Toll of Working With a Genius

    Tony Zierra’s Filmworker, a superb documentary about Vitali’s career alongside Kubrick that serves as a case study of both selfless devotion and self-destructive mania—as well as a much-deserved celebration of a true artist-behind-the-artist. And according to its subject, it certainly doesn’t overstate how uniquely demanding it was to work with one of cinema’s true geniuses.
    somnar, enro99 and Old Rusty like this.
  10. Zep Fan

    Zep Fan Sounds Better with Headphones

    N. Texas
  11. Zep Fan

    Zep Fan Sounds Better with Headphones

    N. Texas
    BTY, Wal-Mart has the "Full Aspect Ration of the Original Camera Negative" DVD for $5
  12. Richard--W

    Richard--W Forum Resident

    I haven't seen The Shining in quite awhile. I think I'll watch the bluray tonight.

    I miss seeing a new film by Stanley Kubrick every few years.

    I wish he'd made a dozen more movies ...
    ... I also wish Jack Nicholson had played the Dr. Harfod in Eyes Wide Shut instead of wooden-headed Tom Cruise.
    enro99 likes this.
  13. reddyempower

    reddyempower Forum Resident

    columbus, oh, usa
    Man you are a good writer.
    mark renard likes this.
  14. Richard--W

    Richard--W Forum Resident

    The initial post:

    Kubrick observed restlessness in the cinema and concluded the film was too long for English audiences. So he shortened it. Listen to the commentary channel and watch the supplements on the blu-ray for further explication. A couple of Kubrick's biographers have also documented why he cut it, but I haven't read those books in years.

    A lot has happened with The Shining since this thread began in 2011. The film has been restored and released on blu-ray in both edits with an abundance of bonus material. It is easily obtained, so everyone can see what's what. The changes Kubrick made in the story were for the best and to the advantage of cinema; and the performances by everyone, including Jack Nicholson and Shelly Duvall, are exactly as they should be, and pitched just right for the film. I know Kubrick's version gets a lot criticism for not being exactly like the book especially from King himself. That's a good thing. For contrast, watch King's 4-hour mini-series, now on DVD, a literal transfer of the book that fails on every level including basic competence even though it had the advantage of digital technology to show the tree sculptures moving in the snowstorm.

    King fans criticize Kubrick for what he changed and cut, instead of "seeing" how he told the same story visually without carrying the baggage of explanatory narration or dialogue. The design of the hotel and the aesthetics inside convey the presence of the past and -- for lack of a better word -- the "haunting" very effectively.

    Fans of The Shining have the novel, the Kubrick film, and the mini-series to enjoy.

    I appreciated this astute discourse from Collector Man:

    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018
  15. Greg Arkadin

    Greg Arkadin Forum Resident

    Whenever I see people criticizing how Kubrick adapted the novel, I'm reminded of what James Ellroy told Curtis Hanson when he was about to film LA Confidential: "My book, your movie." I don't find the Shining "scary" in any typical sense, but it's eerie and fascinating.
    somnar and Richard--W like this.
  16. Richard--W

    Richard--W Forum Resident

    I recommend this analysis of the film. Concise, straight to the point and very interesting:


    The Shining (BFI Film Series) by Roger Luckhurst:

    Other books that analyze the film:

    The Shining Explored by Paul Whittington:

    The Shining Scene-By-Scene by John David Ebert:
    enro99 likes this.
  17. No offence intended, but that version isn't worth a dollar. Get a proper hi-def transfer in the 1.85/1 aspect ratio & watch the movie the way it's meant to be seen.

    Richard--W likes this.
  18. Zep Fan

    Zep Fan Sounds Better with Headphones

    N. Texas
    Well, it's a matter of taste and opinion, as to which HD xfer is watching "the movie the way it's meant to be seen."

    The DVD version released in 2010, has been digitally restored and remastered.

    You know, you can keep hi-ressing a film to the point it doesn't look to the eye on your flatscreen what the director originally intended to be seen, as compared to what the eye sees on a theater screen. 4K, 8K, etc... where does it end ??
  19. It ends when the video transfer can faithfully render the properties of the original cinematography.
    Richard--W likes this.
  20. Richard--W

    Richard--W Forum Resident

    It's a matter of math, not opinion. Blu-ray technology improves on DVD technology. Instead of 480 interlaced scanlines you get 1080 progressive scalines. The increase is visible to the naked eye in terms of color range and shadow detail and density and resolution. That's a fact.

    Actually, DVD was a good start. But a bluray more accurately represents a film.

    The blu-ray accurately represents how Kubrick projected the film in 1980 and how he intended it to look.

    The blu-ray is the only way to watch The Shining.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
    enro99 likes this.
  21. Agreed. I had the good fortune of being able to theatrically project a 35mm print of 'The Shining' in the mid-1990's. Even though it was a 15-year-old original print, it was in beautiful shape & clean as a whistle. In the Warner Brothers reel-case were instructions from Stanley himself on how to properly align & matte the print for projection. Yes, the instructions were to matte the print, either in 1.66 or 1.85/1. I can't remember which aspect ratio it was, but I'm leaning towards 1.85/1. So there were no helicopter shadows, or microphones visible, like in those terrible 1.33/1 video transfers.

    I get a real chuckle out of all these online posts about the 1.33/1 'full-frame' video-transfers or some old found film-prints, claiming that's the way Stanley wanted us to see the movie. My personal experience leads me to believe this is all well-intentioned nonsense.

    Anywhoo...the university theater just had a new sound system installed, but the students running the film-society there had no clue, so I read the JBL manual & tweaked that very impressive system in 'just right'. A monstrous JBL subwoofer as big as a van sat behind the perforated movie-screen & when that opening shot over the lake hit the screen with that wicked bass-note intro, viewers jumped out of their seats. And off we all went, slowly descending into supernatural madness. That was a fun night...
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  22. Richard--W

    Richard--W Forum Resident

    Here's the evidence to back you up, Old Rusty.
    Kubrick's notes to his cameraman on the storyboard.
    This is for a wide angle (18mm lens specified at top of sketch) on the Overlook Hotel in the snow.

    Note the frame lines he draws and the instructions to his cameraman on the aspect ratio.
    Feature films used to be shot in a theatrical aspect ratio while protecting for the different aspect ratio of broadcast television.

    The theatrical screen aspect ratio, according to Kubrick, is 1.85:1 same as the blu-ray.
    The broadcast television aspect ratio is 1.33 which is simply extra top and bottom space.
    Since televisions are widescreen now, there is no need to protect for 1.33.


    This comes out of a book about Kubrick. I'll try to find a larger scan.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
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  23. Wicked! Stanley really was a bonafide cinematic genius wasn't he? Awesome...
    Richard--W likes this.
  24. Richard--W

    Richard--W Forum Resident

  25. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

    Not to be picky, but isn't Mr. Kubrick's aspect ratios expressed with the wrong punctuation? It states "1-1:85" and "1-1:33" on these notes. Now I fully understand what is meant, but shouldn't it technically be "1-1.85" and "1-1.33"?

    I always understood that if an aspect ratio was expressed as full numbers, then a colon is used. "16:9", for example, or "4:3". But whenever it's reduced to decimals then a decimal point goes in between the 1 and its decimal part. I suppose it would be optional to use the colon in the notes above as "1 : 1.85" or "1 : 1.33", but I rarely see that.
    Richard--W likes this.

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