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January 25, 2013


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Lovely. Stumble upon this just after the news that Room 237 finally has a release date. Really can't wait to catch up with that.

Also worth noting, Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich runs The Overlook Hotel site. His fascination with the film can be traced back to the carpet pattern in Sid's house in the original Toy Story.


To think Barry Nelson could have joined James Mason and Tom Cruise who also had Kubrick scenes of checking in at a hospital reception desk wearing an overcoat in LOLITA and EYES WIDE SHUT. Of course McDowell checked in at a hospital desk in CLOCKWORK ORANGE but he wasn't wearing an overcoat.

Robert Cashill

I saw it at Cinema One on 46, too, with my mom. It was right after it opened; indeed, maybe that Saturday, May 24. No hospital ending. Could the minions have cut it that quickly?

David Ehrenstein

I saw that hospital scene at the press preview and was slightly surprised to hear that Kubrick had cut it shortly afterwards. As I recall Barry Nelson's rolling the ball to Danny was rather scary -- almost as if HE were one of the ghosts.

Still cutting the scene made for a more dramtically direct ending.

What most people discussed was how Kubick had completely avoided a finale filled with convulsive horror imagery a la Friedkin, De Palma or Ridley Scott. For him the REAL horror was Jack -- a psychotic abuser.

It's a testament to the power of Kubrick's art that the film continues to fascinate to this very day.

Henry Holland

Has anyone seen the European version, which is 31 minutes shorter due 21 cuts? Thoughts?


But wasn't it topiary in the novel? Hedge maze for the film? Oh the vagaries of memory!


Topiary ANIMALS, I should say. Oh to wrong again!


Interesting anecdote. Was DRESSED TO KILL released too late that summer for multiple reviewings or did not all your friends like it? The #1 movie on Hoberman's top 10 that year was THE COLOUR OF POMEGRANATES, but I doubt it ran very long in New York that year.

Scott Is NOT A Professional Film Critic

Kenny, you fuckin' bad boy, keeping nurses from their much-needed rest by blasting Roxy Music albums. (Let me guess, you and your bros were Eno-era types? Side Two of For Your Pleasure at four in the morning?)

As to the subject at hand: hot damn off a redhead's tender ass if Kubrick isn't one of those few directors who make you wish we could get a load of all their deleted scenes on the DVD/Blu-Ray. From all the things I've read over the years, it sounds as if there were a good two or three versions of The Shining that potentially existed - each one altering a viewer's take on the ending and on the implications of the events inside The Overlook. Seems like those of you who were available for the film's initial screenings in '80 were privy to something that the rest of us will forever have to torture ourselves by merely imagining.

Damn my parents for not having met years earlier.

D Cairns

The shorter cut of The Shining was the first one I saw, so I probably have a different take on it than if I'd seen one of the US cuts first. Obviously I'm glad to have a longer version and wish we had all the outtakes, but I could see the reasons for the cutting. All the information we get in the extended version is there in the shorter one, just in a different order. And it doesn't have the skeletons, which are kind of silly. But kind of cool.

And yes, topiary animals in the book.

Ron Goldberg (TM)

As I remember it, we see Jack frozen in the snow. It then cuts to the hospital, as Ullman asks a nurse's station where Wendy's room is. The rest of the scene is poor Shelly Duvall basically repeating variations on "But I saw it!" while Ullman (and a cop?) tell her there was nothing there. No, Jack was not found. I wish I remembered Ullman rolling a ball to Danny -- that would have been creepy -- but I don't. I do remember that the scene was not only superfluous, but really undercut Duvall's performance, which until then had expertly straddled innocent and ninny - this scene just made her look like a ninny. Then we get the tracking shot to the photo on the wall. To this day, I'm amazed they were able to edit copies of a film already in the theaters. With digital, that shouldn't be hard anymore (perhaps unfortunately).

BTW, while overall it's not very good, the 2-part Stephen King made-for-TV version has its moments, and the topiary finally gets its due. It's just as creepy as in the book. I had heard Kubrick tried to film the topiary and the SFX just weren't good enough at the time, hence the hedge maze. I also heard that Tomita was originally considered for the soundtrack before Wendy Carlos. There, I've used up almost all my Shining trivia!


I remember reading something years ago (can't remember where) about the last scene in the hospital being cut - the article claimed that the point of the scene was to make it look like Ullman was somehow behind it all.

There was a documentary on British tv a while back called "Stanley Kubrick's Boxes" where the writer John Ronson was invited by Kubrick's estate to come to Kubrick's home and look through all his boxes (and there was thousands of them) filled with all manner of material, from abandoned projects, fan-letters & hate mail etc. There were interviews with Kubrick's employees that were fascinating - apparently Kubrick had US newspapers carrying ads for "The Shining" sent to his home and he would measure them to see if they were the proper size, and if they were smaller by one centimetre or so, he would get his people to contact the newspapers to complain and have the ads re-printed with the proper specifications. There was an interview with, i think, someone from Warner Bros. who Kubrick contacted a few days after the US premiere of "The Shining" and ordered him to go round the cinemas where it was showing and snip the hospital scene from the negatives. I think "The Shining" was only being shown on a few screens in it's first week, so it was easily done.

Clips from the documentary are on youtube, but sadly not the whole thing.


One of my film studies professors at UCLA told his class that he made sure to get down to a theater on opening day because he knew Kubrick would probably cut... Something.
The one piece of his description I remember, was that the last shot before the hallway pan, was Danny, bouncing a ball against a wall the way Jack had done earlier in the film.
Keep in mind that this was 1996 and info on the Internet wasn't very authoratative so I had no way of proving it right or wrong.

Kevin Michael Grace

Stanley Kubrick's Boxes is one of the extras on the new WB blu-ray of Full Metal Jacket.

Jonathan Rosenbaum

I not only saw the original versions of both 2001 and The Shining in New York; I'm nearly positive that I also saw Kubrick himself on the street in New York's Soho around the same time that The Shining opened--wearing a sloppy T-shirt and, interestingly enough, tearing down a small poster for the Soho News that advertised an interview with none other than Stanley Kubrick. Maybe I was hallucinating this or seeing an uncanny lookalike--I've never heard any other accounts of Kubrick being in New York at the time. But presumably he could have gone over on a boat (or gritted his teeth and taken a plane, despite his phobia), and it would have made sense for him to have been there to make last-minute adjustments.

For whatever it's worth, I don't think his cutting the hospital scene in The Shining represented any significant loss at all, because the sequence seemed quite perfunctory and unnecessary, adding virtually nothing. I'm much less sure about the much more extensive cuts that he made to 2001 being improvements--even though I was frankly so puzzled after my first viewing that it might have made the film a bit easier at the time for a rube like me.


Was 'Stanley Kubrick's Boxes' shot on film, high-def or SD? If the last (as I suspect), it makes Warners' decision to limit its availability to a double-dip blu-ray of a second-rate Kubrick all the more infuriating.







Very interesant post.

Jack Womack

Same here. I saw The Shining on the Friday it opened in NYC, at a theater at around 3rd/86th (Lex/86th? one of the newer, at the time) and the footage following frozen Jack was exactly as described -- Shelly Duvall in hospital bed essentially being told nothing had happened. Then, back to long track leading up to photo from old hotel w/JN in center).Remember esp because this is only time I've seen a *pre-cut* version of any film.

Grant L

Excuse me, but are you the Jack Womack who wrote the Dryco series? Read the entire thing twice...harsh and moving, and I'm so glad you decided to take mercy on everyone in the last book.

Jacquie Collins

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