The Shining
The Shining
Theatrical release poster

Directed by

Stanley Kubrick

Produced by

Stanley Kubrick

Jan Harlan

Martin Richards

Written by

Stanley Kubrick

Diane Johnson

Based on

"The Shining"

Stephen King

Music by

Wendy Carlos

Rachel Elkind


John Alcott

Editing by

Ray Lovejoy

Running time

146 minutes

The Shining is a 1980 psychological horror film that was directed, co-produced, and co-written by Stanley Kubrick. The film is based on the 1977 Stephen King novel of the same name. Despite initially receiving mixed reviews from critics, The Shining is today regarded as a masterpiece, as well as one of the scariest and most influential films ever made. Martin Scorsese, an avid fan of Kubrick's films, ranked it as one of the 11 scariest horror movies of all time.


Jack Torrance receives a job as a caretaker at the Overlook Hotel. His family of a wife named Wendy and a child named Danny also comes with him to stay at the hotel for the winter. However, Jack is truly at the hotel to write a book that he's been working on in a peaceful and quiet environment. As there is less peace and quiet within the hotel, Jack gets more and more angry that he can't write his book in peace.

Cast Edit

  • Jack Nicholson - Jack Torrance
  • Shelley Duvall - Wendy Torrance
  • Danny Lloyd - Danny Torrance
  • Sctman Cothers - Dick Hallorann
  • Joe Turkel - Lloyd the Bartender
  • Barry Nelson - Stuart Ullman
  • Philip Stone - Delbert Grady
  • Lia Beldam - Young Woman

Interpretation and analysisEdit

The ending of The Shining consists of an almost two-minute long camera shot that zooms into a picture of Jack Torrance at the July 4th Ball in 1921, right before fading to black and having the credits appear right after. At first thought, this does not make any sense; Torrance was not an adult in 1921. Just this picture of him has sparked wide debates over the meaning of the entire film. One of the most early interpretations was by Bill Blakemore, who suggested that the whole film was a metaphor representing the genocide of Native Americans.

During a tour of the hotel, Stuart Ullman tells Wendy that the staff had to fend off some Indian attacks because the hotel was built on an Indian burial ground. This relates to the picture of the July 4th Ball, and Blakemore says that it is connected because the fourth of July was no "ball" or "celebration" to the Indians. It is also subliminal, but obvious, that there is lots of Indian artwork on the walls of the hotel, as well as an American flag near the ceiling of the large room where Jack writes his novel.