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The Shining (1980)

R  |   |  Horror  |  23 May 1980 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 546,833 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 1,279 user | 246 critic | 10 from

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
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Signing a contract, Jack Torrance, a normal writer and former teacher agrees to take care of a hotel which has a long, violent past that puts everyone in the hotel in a nervous situation. While Jack slowly gets more violent and angry of his life, his son, Danny, tries to use a special talent, the "Shining", to inform the people outside about whatever that is going on in the hotel. Written by J. S. Golden

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He came as the caretaker, but this hotel had its own guardians - who'd been there a long time See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

23 May 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining'  »

Box Office


$19,000,000 (estimated)


SEK 6,140,088 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(cut) | (cut) (European) | (original)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The throwing around of the tennis ball inside the Overlook Hotel was Jack Nicholson's idea. The script originally only specified that, "Jack is not working". See more »


When Jack is at his typewriter, and Wendy asks "get a lot written today?" there is a table and chair against the wall in the background. In the next shot of Jack, the table and chair have vanished, then reappear in the next shot. See more »


[first lines]
Jack Torrance: Hi, I've got an appointment with Mr. Ullman. My name is Jack Torrance.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the 146 minute version of the film was met with poor reviews and weak box office in the US, Stanley Kubrick re-edited the film for European release, removing 24 minutes of footage. Included in the removed footage were the entire performances of Anne Jackson as the Doctor and Tony Burton as Larry. However, both Jackson and Burton's names were still listed in the opening credits despite them no longer appearing in the film. See more »


Referenced in The Simpsons: The Boy Who Knew Too Much (1994) See more »


De Natura Sonoris No.1
Music by Krzysztof Penderecki
Performed by Narodowa Orkiestra Symfoniczna Polskiego Radia w Katowicach (uncredited)
Conducted by Krzysztof Penderecki (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A truly brilliant and scary film from Stanley Kubrick.

I can't praise this film long enough!

The Shining is, without doubt, one of Stanley Kubrick's undisputed masterpieces and a true classic in horror cinema. It is a film that, over the course of the years, has managed to scare the living hell out of its audiences (and still does). The film is an adaptation of Stepehen King's original novel, written in the late '70s, and although the film is not very loyal to the book, it still stands as a thing of its own.

Right from the beginning, as we contemplate the car going to the hotel from those stunning aerial shots, deeply inside us we know that something in the film, somehow, sometime is going to go wrong. As we obtain that severe warning, an almost inaudible voice gently whispers to us 'sit tight', a sense of unexpectedness invades us all, and it is that very same feeling that makes our hair stand on end throughout out the entire movie.

The plot is simple: Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) becomes the caretaker of the Overlook Hotel in up in the secluded mountains of Colorado. Jack, being a family man, takes his wife (Shelley Duvall) and son (Danny Lloyd) to the hotel to keep him company throughout the long, isolated nights. During their stay, strange things occur when Jack's son Danny sees gruesome images powered by a force called 'the shining' and Jack is heavily affected by this. Along with writer's block and the demons of the hotel haunting him, Jack has a complete mental breakdown and the situation takes a sinister turn for the worse.

The film, unlike many horror-oriented films nowadays, doesn't only rely on stomach-churning and gory images (which it does contain, anyway) but on the incredibly scary music based on the works of Béla Bartók and on the excellent cinematography (the Steadicam is superbly used, giving us a sense of ever-following evil), as well. The terrifying mood and atmosphere of the film is carefully and masterfully woven by Kubrick, who clearly knows how to really make a horror movie.

Jack Nicholson's powerful performance as the mad father and husband is as over the top as it is brilliant. Shelley Duvall, who plays the worrying wife who tries to help her son, is also a stand out; she shows a kind of trembling fear in many scenes and is able to display weakness and vulnerability in a very convincing way. Undoubtedly, The Shining is full of memorable moments (the elevator scene or the 'Heeeeeere's Johnny' one-liner for instance) and, simply put, it's flawlessly brilliant.

Stanley Kubrick's direction is pure excellence, giving the whole film a cold and atmospheric look, thus creating an unbearable sense of paranoia and terror. There are moments of sheer brilliance and exquisite perfection in this film; the horrifying maze chase is a perfect example. Every single shot is masterfully created and there are some genuinely scary scenes which will make you sit on the edge of your seat.

The Shining is, in my opinion, a special landmark in horror cinema which will always be regarded as one of the scariest movies in film history. Since I saw it last year, when I was 13, I have rarely been able to have a bath in my bathtub.Just in case, ya know. Overall, The Shining is incomparably the scariest film I've ever seen in my whole life (and I can tell you I've seen a great deal of horror films).

It is an unforgettable, chilling, majestic and truly, profoundly scary film crafted by an eccentric genius who wants to show that the impossible can be done. The Shining is a sublime, hauntingly intriguing and endlessly watchable film that shows Kubrick at his best.

422 of 541 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Too many conspiracies thomaswilliamboner
Scariest parts of the film...?? detataandrea
Was The Overlook Hotel haunted, or had Wendy gone insane? rafaytherman
Is this an anti-capitalist film? osprey1987
61 on metacritic ? stormb1337
Alternate ending question. thomaswilliamboner
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