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Things You Probably Didn’t Know About The Shining

Danny talks to Tony, the little boy who lives in his throat - The Shining - Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Shining
Danny talks to Tony in The Shining

Horror fans are unlike any other breed of cinephile. We go to great lengths to unearth little known facts about our favorite feature films. Because of that, it’s a challenge to find trivia that will pass fact checking and surprise dedicated fans. But, in spite of that, we have taken it upon ourselves to attempt to unearth some lesser-known details about Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. Read on for: Things you probably didn’t know about The Shining. 

The scene where Wendy is swinging the bat reportedly took 127 takes to complete

This set a world record for the most takes ever done for a scene that included dialogue. There is some controversy regarding the exact number. Some of the crewmembers believe it was fewer than 127 and that another scene required well over 100 takes but The Guinness Book of World Records reported it at 127.

The finale required over 900 tons of salt

Since the temperature outside was too warm for snow, it had to be created. The crew used a mixture of salt and Styrofoam to capture the appearance of the cast being snowed in.

The room that the evil emanated from was changed from 217 to 237 for the film

In the book, the haunted room is #217. However, the management at Timberline Lodge (where the exterior shots were taken) requested that the room number be changed to 237 because there is no room #237 there. The lodge was concerned that room 217 might be stigmatized as a result of the film.

Kubrick didn’t even read Stephen King’s treatment of the script

King took a pass at the script but rather than work with King on a draft of the screenplay, Kubrick opted to join forces with author Diane Johnson to cultivate a script that he deemed worthy. It has been reported that Kubrick thought of King’s writing as weak, thus why he so unceremoniously dismissed King’s script.

The Line “Heeere’s Johnny” never appeared in the script

The line was ad libbed as a spur of the moment addition by Jack Nicholson during production.

Stephen King believed Jack Nicholson was miscast

It’s common knowledge amongst horror fans that Stephen King didn’t like what Stanley Kubrick did with his novel but Kings has also suggested that Jack Nicholson was the wrong choice to play Jack Torrance. King believed that Nicholson’s maniacal grin and recent appearance in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest made it obvious that Jack Torrance was going to go crazy but in the book, Torrance slowly deteriorates until he eventually dissolves into madness.

A fire destroyed several of the sets during production

The estimated cost of rebuilding one set was upwards of two million dollars. The cause of the fire is attributed to a lighting malfunction.

Danny Lloyd wasn’t Stanley Kubrick’s first choice to play Danny Torrance

Kubrick reportedly wanted Carey Guffy (Close Encounters of the Third Kind) to play the role but his parents objected to the film’s subject matter and declined on the boy’s behalf.

It was Danny Lloyd’s idea to move his finger when Tony was speaking

According to multiple sources, Danny using his finger when Tony was speaking was not written into the script. Danny Lloyd came up with that iconic gesture spontaneously during production.

The Burns twins, who play the Grady daughters in the film never made another movie after The Shining

The Shining was the first feature film for the girls and incidentally their last. The twins disappeared from the public eye for a long time after the film was released but recently resurfaced at the 50th Anniversary Screening of the Kubrick film Dr. Strangelove.

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Written by Tyler Doupé
Tyler Doupe' is the managing editor at Wicked Horror. He has previously penned for Fangoria Mag, Rue Morgue Mag, FEARnet, Fandango, ConTV, Ranker, Shock Till You Drop, ChillerTV, ComingSoon, and more. He lives with his husband, his dogs, and cat hat(s).
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