The director Stanley Kubrick is known as a perfectionist in the world of film but on the set of The Shining he entered a whole new level. To reach perfection Kubrick likes to take shots over and over again but not just any shots, every shot. During the most famous scene in The Shining (1980) Jack Nicholson playing the crazed character of Jack Torrance takes an axe to a door shouting “here’s Johnnyyy”. It was reported that to achieve perfection Kubrick re-shot that scene nearly 30 times. The best bit was that Jack had training as a fireman previously and said to Stanley Kubrick to give him a real axe and to use a solid oak door to make the scene realistic as possible, unknowingly he didn’t realise he had to smash his way through 30 solid oak doors. Poor Jack Nicholson didn’t even get a nomination let alone an award, on the brighter side at least his role has been made famous by Lenny Henry in the Travel Lodge adverts.
Jack Nicholson wasn’t the only victim of Stanley Kubrick on the set of The Shining, Shelley Duvall who played Wendy Torrance, Jack’s wife had a full on breakdown. Kubrick ordered the final sequences to be re-shot over a dozen times, in the final sequences Shelley Duvall had to act scared and upset as her crazed husband hunts her down with an axe. Where she had to keep crying it was reported that crew members had to keep getting her water where she had lost so much fluid due to the tears. After a few retakes she actually had a genuine breakdown and had to take a break. Shelley Duvall took a break from being an actress after filming and no surprise too as just like Jack she didn’t even get a nomination.
Reviewing films and TV (sometimes other things) while doing a degree in Film and Literature. Find me elsewhere on tumblr: http://skruffreviews.tumblr.com Blogspot: http://skruffreviews.blogspot.co.uk Twitter: @SkruffReviews