I’ve just re-watched The Shining tonight, it is for sure one of the best horror film ever produced and I think no one can deny that. On the other hand, if I had to rank it inside Kubrick’s oeuvre, it would be placed at the bottom. Infact I would pick before: Paths of Glory, Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odissey, A Clockwork Orange, Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut. So how much, outside its genre, is The Shining worth?
I love The Shining, it’s in my Top 20. Unless you count Psycho as horror, then I’ll agree with you that it’s the best horror film of all time, but it’s also my second favorite Kubrick (behind 2001). Jack Nicholson’s finest hour, too.
It is for sure Scottie. I was just surprised that in my personal rank it would be at the bottom of Kubrick’s oeuvre, I was curious if anyone had the same opinion about. And yes, Jack Nicholson finest hour, along with Chinatown.
I am like Scottie : I love The Shining and it’s one of my favorite Kubrick films. I wonder, Andrea, if your feelings are an indicator of how much you admire his work. So even a film of his you love as a horror film still falls behind the pack when just looking at Kubrick films. One question : Are you a big horror fan??
In my ranking of Kubrick i have The Shining at #2, right under Dr. Strangelove. I definitely think it could be my favorite horror and i definitely feel from the type of things i go for movie wise that it’s one of Kubricks top works for me.
By the way, I’ve always heard that Steven King hates the shining but i’ve never heard exactly why. Can anyone explain it to me? Out of all the movies that his books have been adapted from i would expect this to be the last one the guy would ever dislike.
Interesting, very interesting. Thank you.
Stephen King: "I’d like to remake The Shining someday, maybe even direct it if anybody will give me enough rope to hang myself with”
And he did and it was awful.
Yeah, I think the main reason he didn’t like the film is because it hugely transcended his source material. From what I’ve read, Kubrick liked the bare bones of the book, but thought it was executed poorly.
Anyway, The Shining is by faaaar my favorite Kubrick. It is really, really close to being an absolutely perfect film, IMO.
The novel, I think, is one of King’s best, but it has what to me are some things that obviously wouldn’t work in a film—the topiary animals coming to life at the end, for example.
There needs to be a truce between the film as the book as both are among the best works by their respective creators. They just really have very little to do with each other aside from general story points and should be viewed as wholly separate works.
I love Kubrick’s The Shining (although, I like two or three of his films better) and I couldn’t care less about King’s The Shining. Supernatural horror is my favorite genre and yet the only Stephen King book I enjoyed, out of the eight I’ve read, wasn’t part of the genre, what’s wrong with me? I guess there’s something about his writing that completely turns me off.
In general, I prefer when adaptations take great liberties than when they stick too closely to the source material.
I’m not a big horror fan and that’s why The Shining is not one of my favourite Kubrick’s movie. But I must admit the King’s opinion on the movie is not completely wrong and it doesn’t matter if the book itself is not a masterpiece, ha has the right to comment anyway. I mean, everything is perfect in this movie, the camera work, the editing, the audio, the score, the acting, you could say it’s flawless. But to me it’s terribly cold, it simply doesn’t deliver. Sometimes perfection can be, if not boring, at least forgettable, or at least that’s my impression. I could say the same about Eyes Wide Shut. I read Schnitzler’s book, Dream Story, and I consider it much more rewarding than the book. But don’t get me wrong, I loved Eyes Wide Shut.
I feel like Kubrick had enough of a track-record at that point for people to realize when he adapts it is not going to be word-for-word. Sure, he worked closely with Arthur C. Clarke with 2001 and yeah, there were many reasons there were changes in Lolita but he had a record of playing loosely with literary source material.
The Shining is in my personal top ten and 2001 and Dr. Strangelove are the other films in the Kubrick oeuvre in the discussion but The Shining was the first Kubrick film I ever saw. It holds a special place in my heart as a horror fan and cinephile.
Given that even Carrie is getting remade, I am surprised and not surprised nobody wants to just remake The Shining (the terrible mini-series was not helped with cable TV production values) just because they have the excuse of ‘it is going to be closer to the novel’. Unsurprised because I think most people think it is so iconic that it cannot be topped and could not possibly avoid association but still surprised because this is a genre that has seen Psycho remade (I don’t care about GVS’s defense of doing it, a remake is a remake).
“he worked closely with Arthur C. Clarke with 2001”
That’s a bit different because the script came first, and then Clarke adapted it into a novel. (though the screenplay draws elements from various Clarke short stories, including “The Sentinel” and “Encounter at Dawn”).
I’m still kind of shocked at the dramatic shift in the reputation of this film over the course of 30 years or so. It used to be almost universally considered to be the worst of Kubrick’s mature films.
King should build a shrine to Kubrick. That miniseries he made of The Shining is all the proof we need to realize how Kubrick elevated and dignified the material.
@ Matt Parks
Yes, the re-evaluation of this film is fascinating. Considering the reviews it received upon release (not to mention its Razzie nominations). Makes me wonder what films of recent years will be re-evaluated to such a degree. Especially in terms of horror.
Kubricks made seven or eight masterpieces. Still, “The Shining” is his crowning achiewement, the idiosyncratic, definitive Kubrick film. His most stylistically complex work, and – for me – the most effective film ever made.
For those of you who can read norwegian, I wrote an article about it here, focusing on the film’s questions about gender: