The Shining Film Plot as a tube / underground map by Mike Bell

10 Odd Stories From the Set of 'The Shining'

Mike Bell
The Shining Film Plot Lines as a tube underground map by Mike Bell

Stanley Kubrick's 1980 horror film, 'The Shining,' is a classic that still captivates audiences today. 

While the movie's plot and visuals are eerie enough, sparking endless discussions and fan theories, the tales from behind the scenes are equally intriguing and have generated their own debates within the film community.

The making of 'The Shining' was filled with peculiar stories, odd moments, and anecdotes that showcase the unique working style of director Stanley Kubrick and the challenges faced by the cast and crew.

From Kubrick's perfectionism, which led to an unprecedented number of takes for certain scenes, to the intense pressure that affected the actors' performances and personal lives, these behind-the-scenes tales have become legendary in their own right.

Some stories, such as the difficult relationship between Kubrick and actress Shelley Duvall, or the improvisation of iconic lines by Jack Nicholson, have sparked conversations about the ethics and creative processes in filmmaking.

As a result, the making of 'The Shining' has become almost as famous as the film itself, inspiring documentaries, articles, and discussions about the art of filmmaking and the dedication required to create a true masterpiece. These behind-the-scenes stories continue to captivate fans and fuel debates, proving that 'The Shining' is not only a horror classic but also a fascinating piece of cinema history.

Here are ten odd, and possibly not true, stories from the set of 'The Shining' that you might not know!

The Shining Tube map Detail 1

1. Danny's actor didn't know he was in a horror film: Danny Lloyd, who played young Danny Torrance, was only six years old during filming. To protect him from the film's dark themes, Kubrick told him they were making a drama. Danny didn't see the completed film until he was a teenager.

2. Jack Nicholson demolished 60 doors: In the famous "Here's Johnny!" scene, Nicholson, a former volunteer firefighter, was so skilled with an axe that he went through 60 prop doors before Kubrick was satisfied with the shot.

3. Kubrick's daughter shot the behind-the-scenes footage: Vivian Kubrick, Stanley Kubrick's then-17-year-old daughter, was responsible for filming the behind-the-scenes documentary, which provided a rare insight into her father's filmmaking process.

4. A fire destroyed part of the set: A massive fire broke out on the set of the Overlook Hotel, causing significant damage and delaying production. The fire's cause remains unknown.

5. Kubrick phoned Stephen King at 7 a.m. to debate a philosophical point: In the middle of filming, Kubrick called King to discuss whether he believed in God, as the director felt the story's supernatural elements had significant philosophical implications.

The Shining - the twins

6. The twins weren't actually twins: The actresses who played the Grady twins, Lisa and Louise Burns, were not real twins but sisters born 18 months apart.

7. Scatman Crothers cried during filming: The scene in which Hallorann explains the "shining" to Danny took over 140 takes, and the pressure eventually caused actor Scatman Crothers to break down in tears.

8. Kubrick received a Guinness World Record for his typewriter collection: The director collected over 60 typewriters to find the perfect one to use in the "all work and no play" scene.

9. The fake blood took nine days to clean up: The iconic elevator blood scene required a massive amount of fake blood, which took the crew nine days to clean up after each take.

10. Kubrick's secretary heard the sound of typing for months: The director tasked his secretary, Margaret Worthington, with typing out the endless "all work and no play" pages. She reportedly heard the sound of typing in her sleep for months afterward.

These odd stories from the set of 'The Shining' provide a unique look into the making of this horror classic. The film's lasting impact on pop culture is a testament to the dedication and vision of Stanley Kubrick and the talented cast and crew.

If you enjoyed learning these peculiar stories from 'The Shining,' be sure to share this post with fellow fans and follow Mike Bell Maps for more fascinating film trivia and insights!


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