Shining, The (1980)

A Masterpiece Of Modern Horror

Original Title : The Shining
Director : Stanley Kubrick
Writer : Stephen King
Stanley Kubrick
Diane Johnson
Genre : Horror
Country : UK
Language : English
Producer : Robert Fryer , Jan Harlan , Mary Lea Johnson , Stanley Kubrick , Martin Richards
Music : Wendy Carlos
Rachel Elkind
Photography : John Alcott
IMDB ID : 0081505
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poster for "Shining, The" by Stanley Kubrick (1980)
Shining, The (1980) - Stanley Kubrick


Jack Nicholson Jack Torrance
Shelley Duvall Wendy Torrance
Danny Lloyd Danny Torrance
Scatman Crothers Dick Hallorann
Barry Nelson Stuart Ullman
Philip Stone Delbert Grady
Joe Turkel Lloyd, Overlook bartender
Anne Jackson Doctor
Tony Burton Larry Durkin
Lia Beldam Young woman in bath
Billie Gibson Old woman in bath
Barry Dennen Bill Watson
David Baxt Forest Ranger
Manning Redwood Forest Ranger
Lisa Burns Grady daughter
Louise Burns Grady daughter
Robin Pappas Nurse
Alison Coleridge Suzie (Mr. Ulman's secretary
Burnell Tucker Policeman
Jana Sheldon Stewardess
Kate Phelps Receptionist
Norman Gay Injured guest
Vivian Kubrick Smoking guest on ballroom couch (uncredited


Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) gets a job as the custodian of the Overlook Hotel, in the mountains of Colorado. The place is closed down during winter, and Torrance and his family will be the only occupants of the hotel for a long while. When the snow storms block the Torrance family in the hotel, Jack's son Danny - who has some clairvoyance and telepathy powers - discovers that the hotel is haunted and that the spirits are slowly driving Jack crazy. When Jack meets the ghost of Mr. Grady, the former custodian of the hotel who murdered his wife and his two daughters, things begin to get really nasty...


A great horror story from Stephen King is given the Kubrick treatment here, which results in sheer brilliance, only weighed down by a confused storyline. The story has not only been adapted but also it has been manipulated by Kubrick, giving the film an uneasy ambivalence, especially at the end. Other than the screenplay, the film rarely faults, and it is always intense and intriguing to watch, even when one does not understand. Technically, it is an ultimate horror experience, with a rather sterling production design and excellent cinematography. Great sound effects and an underplayed haunting music score are able to create an astonishing atmosphere that is perfect for the film. Also generally well acted and rather well directed, it is a shame that the screenplay lets a bravura horror film down, even if it is still excellent nonetheless.