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Old 27-09-2006, 09:32   #41
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Originally Posted by MaxNutter
a bit like in Sapphire & Steel?
That's it No doubt Stan was watching it in the evenings during the shoot.

In fact, thinking back, that's Joanna Lumley standing next to Jack in the photo
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Old 27-09-2006, 09:40   #42
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Originally Posted by DanWilde1966
Kubrick changed a key emphasis in King's story. If memory serves, the novel offers a character who has his domestic issues prior to going to the Overlook, but who's basically sane. The hotel itself causes his decline. In the movie, however, it seems clear that Torrance (in Nicholson's hands) is already twitchy. Look at his face near the beginning of the movie, when he's driving the family to the hotel. He says something like, "See. It's ok. He saw it on the television," then looks... a bit maniacal. He's already a bit mad, and the hotel seems simply to accentuate a pre-existing condition.

To me, the photo at the end is a a fairly cheap way of ending the movie: it's a twist that provides a temporary moment of revelation, but which doesn't actually make sense. Follow it through: unstable Nicholson goes to the Overlook; his instability is exacerbated by writer's block and cabin fever; he has hallucinations (whether as a result of the hotel's evil or not), possibly kick-started by Ullman's revelation in the first scene; he goes on the rampage,
.

How would Torrance have been alive since the 20s? Has Wendy married a ghost?
I didn't say that i thought Jack was alive in the 1920s. I don't think that's the suggestion either. Rather, The Overlook has 'added' Jack to its history, no matter how ambiguous that is.

And the whole debate about whether Jack is 'unstable' before he arrives at The Overlook seems to be mis-placed in my view. I don't think he is supposed to unstable - that's just how Nicholson acts - take it or leave it. Agreed that the film doesn't set up his issues in keeping with the novel (especially in the UK 120min cut), but i've never had much problem with his decline once he's there. I think to read a suggestion of prior mental instability (rather than the issues developed in the novel) into his character has always been a cheap shot - in a similar vein to complaints about Nicholson's over-acting.

Last edited by Steve Parkinson; 27-09-2006 at 09:41.
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Old 27-09-2006, 09:47   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanWilde1966
In the movie, however, it seems clear that Torrance (in Nicholson's hands) is already twitchy. Look at his face near the beginning of the movie, when he's driving the family to the hotel. He says something like, "See. It's ok. He saw it on the television," then looks... a bit maniacal. He's already a bit mad, and the hotel seems simply to accentuate a pre-existing condition.
that's just Nicholson, isn't it?

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How would Torrance have been alive since the 20s? Has Wendy married a ghost?
no, the photos represent some sort of trophy to the Overlook (as an entity), displaying some of the souls it has captured ... as for why it's the 20s, maybe that's when it was at it's most powerful? ... was Grady 'active' in the 20s?
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Old 27-09-2006, 09:53   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxNutter
that's just Nicholson, isn't it?
Fair enough, though this rather kills the idea that it's a great performance, if Jack is simply being Jack.

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no, the photos represent some sort of trophy to the Overlook (as an entity), displaying some of the souls it has captured ...
Yep - as argued Steve above.
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Old 27-09-2006, 10:03   #45
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Originally Posted by DanWilde1966
Fair enough, though this rather kills the idea that it's a great performance, if Jack is simply being Jack.
and that is why King objected to Nicholson's casting, he feared that people would just accept Torrence's descent into madness as that's just how Nicholson is ... it's all too unbelievable ... rather than a previously (clearly) sane man, slowly going mad ...
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Old 27-09-2006, 10:17   #46
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Originally Posted by MaxNutter
and that is why King objected to Nicholson's casting, he feared that people would just accept Torrence's descent into madness as that's just how Nicholson is ... it's all too unbelievable ... rather than a previously (clearly) sane man, slowly going mad ...
Which of course is fair enough as being King's look-out. But nobody goes mad quite like Jack, and no Jack = no Heeeeeere's Johnny.

I'd take that over a Mick Garris production any day of the week.
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Old 27-09-2006, 10:21   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Parkinson
Which of course is fair enough as being King's look-out. But nobody goes mad quite like Jack, and no Jack = no Heeeeeere's Johnny.

I'd take that over a Mick Garris production any day of the week.
fair play, and i agree ... but he's always seemed a bit nutty, so you can understand King's fears ... plus, he'd just done Cuckoo's Nest, so there was the worry that he was already easily perceived as a nutter by the viewer, even though he isn't actually mad in that film ...

not seen the remake, but i think i'll stay clear, even though it has Rebecca Demournay in it ...
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Old 29-09-2006, 08:58   #48
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I remember, quite clearly, watching this back in the day, and the cinema audience I was in were laughing in all the wrong places. Admittedly the chap next to me was a The Hills Have Eyes fan (so cerebral horror was a no-no), and he hooted at the lift scene, 'Redrum' and Scatman Crothers bow legs, but Mrs H and I were suitably impressed.

It isn't Kubrick's best work (and I agree it has little to do with the excellent source novel - though I'm a bigger fan of King's novel of Salem's Lot), but there's still much to admire and Jack saves the day IMHO. And yes, the bathroom scene still scares the bejeezus out of me.

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Old 30-09-2006, 15:45   #49
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Spurred on by this thread, I watched the R1 last night (I also have the R2/4) for the first time; maybe my memory's playing tricks but there was nothing therein that I don't remember seeing half a lifetime ago in the cinema. But, obviously, my memory must be playing tricks (and it was shown in this form on British TV in the '80s wasn't it?)

A couple of points; first, seeing it again for the first time in four or five years, I didn't find the bathroom scene quite as terrifying as I recalled, but I was actually more impressed with the film as a whole. It's quite mesmirising; it has a truly claustrophobic and creepy atmosphere aided and abetted by a well edited score, some gorgeous lighting and cinematography, and both Jack and Shelley Duvall (who spent weeks before the camera as an emotional wreck) deserve the highest praise.

Nicholson appears to be having a ball with this part, but some of his glowering is still most...unsettling.

I watched it at 1.78:1 BTW, because (a) that's how I first watched it, and (b) it's perfectly framed at that ratio.

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Old 30-09-2006, 15:49   #50
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When I watched this at a Halloween showing not so long ago, the scene that got the biggest laugh was when Danny shines to Halloran, and you see the quite splendid prints he has on his walls of naked nubian ladies with enormous afros...
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Old 30-09-2006, 15:57   #51
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Originally Posted by anephric
When I watched this at a Halloween showing not so long ago, the scene that got the biggest laugh was when Danny shines to Halloran, and you see the quite splendid prints he has on his walls of naked nubian ladies with enormous afros...
Yeah, noticed that last week!!! Class!
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Old 30-09-2006, 16:03   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hodson
Spurred on by this thread, I watched the R1 last night (I also have the R2/4) ... it's quite mesmirising; it has a truly claustrophobic and creepy atmosphere aided and abetted by a well edited score, some gorgeous lighting and cinematography, and both Jack and Shelley Duvall (who spent weeks before the camera as an emotional wreck) deserve the highest praise.
Interesting you should say this, John. Spurred on by this thread, I looked at the R2 disc twice in the week, and came to much the same conclusions as you. The look of the film is gorgeous: resplendent and pristine.
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Old 30-09-2006, 17:41   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hodson
Spurred on by this thread, I watched the R1 last night (I also have the R2/4) for the first time; maybe my memory's playing tricks but there was nothing therein that I don't remember seeing half a lifetime ago in the cinema. But, obviously, my memory must be playing tricks (and it was shown in this form on British TV in the '80s wasn't it?)

A couple of points; first, seeing it again for the first time in four or five years, I didn't find the bathroom scene quite as terrifying as I recalled, but I was actually more impressed with the film as a whole. It's quite mesmirising; it has a truly claustrophobic and creepy atmosphere aided and abetted by a well edited score, some gorgeous lighting and cinematography, and both Jack and Shelley Duvall (who spent weeks before the camera as an emotional wreck) deserve the highest praise.

Nicholson appears to be having a ball with this part, but some of his glowering is still most...unsettling.

I watched it at 1.78:1 BTW, because (a) that's how I first watched it, and (b) it's perfectly framed at that ratio.
As I've said, over the years I've come to really enjoy the film and its style - it IS mesmerizing to watch and has a wonderful atmosphere. The only things I find creepy are the twin girls and the empty Overlook hallways, along with the performance of the actor who plays Grady (is that the right name? The bathroom attendant). Watching at 1:78 is the ONLY way, IMO - I can't stomach it full frame - it looks silly.
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Old 30-09-2006, 17:47   #54
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"I... corrected them, sir."

Philip Stone? He's Alex's dad in A Clockwork Orange too. I enjoy Kubrick's reusing of character actors immensely (Joe Turkel, Berkoff, Stone, Rossiter etc).
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Old 30-09-2006, 17:51   #55
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"I... corrected them, sir."

Philip Stone? He's Alex's dad in A Clockwork Orange too. I enjoy Kubrick's reusing of character actors immensely (Joe Turkel, Berkoff, Stone, Rossiter etc).
Indeed - I was just going to make this point. On Kubrick's death, Philip Stone was interviewed quite extensively as I recall - as someone who had managed to work with Kubrick and his perfectionist ways more than once.
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Old 30-09-2006, 17:51   #56
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'Mesmerizing' (take a 100 lines Hodson); Grady is the stalwart Philip Stone, seen in countless British TV appearances as well as being 'er, that's wotsisname' in many, many films.*

I agree; Kubrick can't leave the damned Steadicam alone (new toy...), but it's those tracking shots along the hallways that stand out - gives the impression the Overlook is watching...

*Last again

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Old 30-09-2006, 17:59   #57
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So what version do you chaps watch? I'm most familiar with the longer one.
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Old 30-09-2006, 18:17   #58
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So what version do you chaps watch? I'm most familiar with the longer one.
Being in the US, I have never seen the shorter version - have no idea what's cut or why, since the version I know has never seemed overlong, not even with the extra scene with Anne Jackson at the end (it was superfluous, yes, but it didn't kill the film or anything).

One thing that really hurt the film's box office, IMO, was the trailer - the trailer was brilliant and promised something the film never delivered. Can't do that - audiences of the time were ready to be SCARED and to SCREAM and there was not one single moment in the film where they did (save for Nicholson's leaping out to ax Scatman). And, of course, we'd seen the elevator scene in the trailer way too many times for it to have any impact whatsoever.
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Old 30-09-2006, 18:21   #59
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Of course, we'd seen the elevator scene in the trailer way too many times for it to have any impact whatsoever.
And what's the point of it anyway? As Pauline Kael noted in her review, no one actually takes an elevator in this movie. The image is redundant and adds nothing to the film.
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Old 30-09-2006, 19:09   #60
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Say what you like about Kubrick but no one else could have made The Shining. A true master of cinema. Even Eyes Wide Shut had a strange eerie feel to it that only Kubrick could have been responsible for. Although I remember not really thinking too much of the latter film for some reason I couldn't get it out of my head for ages afterwards. Although I like Stephen King he is not really a great writer. Kubrick is undeniably a great director.
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