Considered one of Stephen King’s most popular and celebrated novels, The Shining was initially conceived because the writer’s family was staying at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. There, King developed a narrative of a haunted hotel, and since he had already given some thought into writing a narrative of a boy with Extra Sensory Perception (ESP), he merely put the two narratives collectively. His novel being an enormous success, it was shipped to Stanley Kubrick by John Calley of Warner Bros.

The great filmmaker cherished it and quickly discovered that inspirational spark needed to deliver it to life. Having briefly thought-about the potential of King adapting his own work, he determined to join forces with American novelist Diane Johnson to do it himself, after reaching the conclusion a number of weaker plot points within the original story needed to be fixed. However at the same time as the two of them completed the screenplay and the shooting started—and this isn’t difficult to believe since we’re all accustomed to the extent of Kubrick’s infamous perfectionism—the script was allegedly modified so many instances throughout production, even a couple of instances a day, that Jack Nicholson, Kubrick’s lead, merely stopped studying it.

I had already been working on the treatment of the book, prior to her starting, but I hadn’t actually begun the screenplay. With The Shining, the problem was to extract the essential plot and to re-invent the sections of the story that were weak. The characters needed to be developed a bit differently than they were in the novel. It is in the pruning down phase that the undoing of great novels usually occurs because so much of what is good about them has to do with the fineness of the writing, the insight of the author and often the density of the story. But The Shining was a different matter. Its virtues lay almost entirely in the plot, and it didn’t prove to be very much of a problem to adapt it into the screenplay form. Diane and I talked a lot about the book and then we made an outline of the scenes we thought should be included in the film. This list of scenes was shuffled and reshuffled until we thought it was right, and then we began to write. We did several drafts of the screenplay, which was subsequently revised at different stages before and during shooting. 

Stanley Kubrick

At the time of the production, King publicly expressed sure doubt about whether or not both Kubrick and the actors he’d chosen had been in fact the best possible choice for the adaptation of the novel, however Kubrick actually didn’t permit himself to be shaken up by preliminary skepticism. He put his brilliantly artistic thoughts to work, relentlessly laboring over the venture. It took a full year for principal photography to be completed. Constantly altering the script and developing with new ultimate methods of delivering the narration, Kubrick brought the crew on the verge of a nervous breakdown, particularly Shelley Duvall, with whom he had frequent arguments, and extremely irritated Nicholson. However the months of perspiration paid off, as The Shining continues to be considered probably the most accomplished horror movies ever made.

On the occasion of celebrating 40 years of its release on this day 23 May 1980, The Shining is well known fro its treatment. here, we are providing you the treatment of the movie (Note: Only for Educational & Research purposes only).

(or Check here…)

Glimpses:

Interview of Stanly Kubrick:

A rare interview with Kubrick, conducted in May of 1980 by John Hofsess and published in The Soho News.

The Visions of Stanley Kubrick:

Stanley Kubrick 11-minute interview on The Shining. Taken from ‘Stanley Kubrick A Voix Nue’ (French radio broadcast). Parts of French interviewer Ciment (voice-over) were edited out of this clip. Copyright: France Culture/Michel Ciment. Courtesy of Eyes On Cinema.

(Note: Photo credit: The Shining still photographer is Murray Close © Warner Bros., Hawk Films, Peregrine, Producers Circle. Intended for editorial use only. All material for educational and noncommercial purposes only.)

Leave a comment