The Shining

Question: Does Danny's ability to "shine" have any connection to Jack's insanity and the events that occur in the hotel?

Chosen answer: Effectively, Danny's shining is what brings the hotel to life. Because he has such an incredibly powerful shine about him, all these weird ghost things in the hotel are able to materialize and reveal themselves. These weird ghost things are always present to some degree, and those people with a small degree of shine get glimpses of them - like Dick Hallorann. (It's not quite made clear in the movie, but Dick saw the woman in room 237 in the book). However, Danny's shine is so great that he gives these forces enough life to appear to those without any shine, people like his father and mother. As it's the hotel that's slowly driving Jack crazy, and the hotel gets its power from Danny's shining, then I'd say there's definitely a connection between Jack's insanity and Danny's abilities. In the movie, it's not as clear as it is in the book, but Jack is effectively possessed by the hotel. He's not a flawed drunk with an anger problem who loses his mind because of isolation. He's a flawed drunk with an anger problem who's doing the best he can, until the forces of the hotel get inside his head and make him lose it.

Answer: The movie is really 2 parallel story-lines with history repeating itself. In 1920s Jack visited the same hotel with his wife and son, they got stuck there due to snow storm along with rest of hotel crew (which leaves early in a hurry in 1980s). The director has carefully changed background score on things which were not present in 1920s when Dick is showing the facilities to Danny and his mother (like food cold storage). In the 80's version, Danny, Jack and Dick are the ones who have the power to shine or see scenes from the past in the same place. But as Dick says, its like reading a book and has no physical presence in current world. Whenever Dick is talking to Danny, it happened exactly the same way in 1920s, except replace the secret of shining with the secret of cannibalism around the hotel. Jack's insanity is just a repeat of his past, in the 20's the job of being the butcher (of human flesh) got to his mind and he started behaving weird. In the hotel lobby, replace the sound of heavy typing on the long table with sharp knife falling on human flesh. Red carpet depicts the blood and body parts all around the floor in 20s.

Question: Whenever Jack is talking to Delbert Grady, Grady mentions his wife and two daughters; one of whom tried to burn the overlook down. My question is, are they the same twin girls Danny has visions of? Whenever Danny sees them dead in the hallway, the vision matches the story Ullman told Jack about Charles Grady. Why does Delbert Grady deny killing his wife and daughters when he was the caretaker, but then contradicts himself and go on to say he "corrected" them? Was he only denying being the caretaker since Jack has always been the caretaker? What is the connection between Delbert's story and what happened with Charles Grady?

Chosen answer: Delbert Grady has always been at the hotel, just as Jack Torrance has...however, "Charles Grady" was one incarnation of the hotel's "caretaker", which Jack Torrance currently is. Delbert, evidenced by his appearance, occupation, and archaic racial views, has been with the hotel since its turn-of-the-century inception, just as Jack, in the photo at the end, has been. We don't know what "spirit-Jack's" function in the Overlook is...we only know that the present Jack (whom Delbert is talking to) embodies the "caretaker" who has always been there, just as Charles Grady did in his time. Delbert refers to his wife and two daughters, whom he did not murder...his "caretaker" version, Charles Grady, did that.

Question: Who were all the skeletons that the Mother sees toward the end of the film? It's never explained. Also, what room was that?

Chosen answer: It was The Gold Room. The skeletons are simply those of past guests: we never learn their identities.

Question: According to many websites including IMDB, it says Staney Kubrick demanded about 128 takes of Shelley DuVall saying a line. Does anybody know this scene and specific line?

Hamster

Chosen answer: The scene was from when she discovers all his papers just say "All work and no play..." to when she bonks him on the head. That was one continuous scene, with no cuts, and Mr. Kubrick wanted it perfect.

SexyIrishLeprechaun

Question: Actually a further answer to the person who inquired after Jack's picture being on the wall at the end of the movie, a picture dated during the 1920s. Some interpret the hotel itself as both a real place and a symbolic representation as the working's of Jack's mind. Hence, as he gets crazier, it gets crazier. Grady's comment in the restroom to the effect that "you've always been the caretaker" ("you've always been responsible for what goes on here") could be taken as an allusion to this idea. Remember that Jack sees far more supernatural events than the rest of the family, and most of what Danny sees is in visions. So how much of it "really" occurs?

Chosen answer: It all really happens. He goes crazy because the hotel is working its supernatural powers on him, so by the end it is easy to persuade him to do its dirty work. The point of the picture at the end is that Jack keeps returning to the hotel in different reincarnations and getting the job as the caretaker. If it were all just visions, who unlocked the pantry door?

Answer: The hotel is both real and metaphorical, while half the story being told is a complex supernatural horror story, the other half is a overlying metaphor for mental insanity. There are allusions to this though out the movie as you said, the line "you've always been the caretaker" hold a double meaning. First it is a reference to the fact that he is the reincarnation of a malicious spirit, Second it is a reference to how Jack's insanity was foremost caused by his weak will. There are multiple clues to this metaphorical context in the sense that the movie depicts many of the stages and symptoms of a severe mental break (e.g. Substance abuse, Insomnia, Night terrors, Loss of inhibitions, Loss of logic, Loss of compassion, Delirium, and Incoherent or illogical speech.) Most of these symptoms were brought on by Jack's weak mental will. He was the one who kept himself awake, he asked for liquor before it appears, and he made the choice to engage the seductress.

Question: After saying that he would sell his soul for just one beer, Jack looks up and greets the barman Lloyd. Since this was Jack's first time at the hotel, how could he have known the barman's name?

Chosen answer: In The Shining, both Jack and Danny experience psychic episodes and visions. Lloyd could be a product of Jack's (crazy) imagination, or he psychically knew Lloyd's name and that he's the best bartender from Timbuktu to Portland (Maine or Oregon). Or, as referenced in another question here, "Jack's soul is forever linked to the hotel, and every once in a while, he is reborn into the world, only to return to it and instigate more killings." So Lloyd's soul may be linked to the hotel in the same way that Jack's is, and they have always known each other just as Jack has "always been the caretaker."

Sierra1

Question: What exactly happened to Jack? Why is he in that picture at the end of the movie?

Socks1000

Chosen answer: There are two possibilities: Most likely, Jack's soul is forever linked to the hotel, and every once in a while, he is reborn into the world, only to return to it, and instigate more killings. Basically, he is constantly resuming his duties as the caretaker of the spirits in the Hotel. That, or every time someone dies at the hotel, their soul becomes linked to it, and the photo at the end changes to illustrate that link. However, if that theory were true, then the cook would also be in the photo.

Question: We see Jack in the picture at the end of the film which was painted in 1921 which I guess means that Nicholson was either possessed or reincarnated...but does anyone have a definite answer? Or does Kubrick just want us to decide for ourselves?

Gavin Jackson

Chosen answer: The idea is that Nicholson's soul has been around for a long time, and that each time he is reborn he returns to the Overlook Hotel and goes on a murder spree. This is facilitated by the evil, restless spirits residing in the hotel. The movie definitely drops some hints that Jack is a reincarnation in the following scenes: After they have been at the Overlook awhile, Wendy talks to Jack upstairs in the bedroom after she brings him breakfast. Jack tells Wendy that he feels like he has been at the Overlook before and upon being given the initial tour of the hotel, he almost knew what was around every corner. According to Delbert Grady during the chilling bathroom scene, Jack has always been the caretaker, which most certainly suggests he is a reincarnation.

Phoenix

Question: Who is the old woman in room 237 and what is her significance?

Socks1000

Chosen answer: In the book, she is Mrs. Massey, an older woman who is seducing a man much younger than her, until late one night he leaves in the car they arrived in, and doesn't return. Distraught, Mrs. Massey kills herself with liquor and sleeping pills while taking a bath. However, since none of this is in the actual film, fan theories have sprung up regarding her importance to the movie. One theory is that she is in fact Grady's wife, and 237 is where he murdered his family.

Answer: The old woman in room 237 could have been a sex-worker. The shining parallel story shows Jack going in and having sexual advances with her (before they cut it with her current rotten version). Until one day, she lures Danny in her room and bit him out of hunger. That's when Jack goes in the room and kills the old lady.

Question: I know the phrase "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" is supposed to be scary, but I don't understand. Why is it scary and what does it mean?

Chosen answer: The phrase in itself is not scary, the fact that Jack had typed it out thousands of times is. It shows the deteriation of his mental state.

Mad Ade

Answer: The phrase depicts how in the 20s while doing the human flesh butcher job over and over, Jack had started to become dull. This is also visible in 80s Jack's behavior. This ultimately led him to take extreme step of killing his wife and kid out of hunger.

Question: What is the significance of the man in the Chipmunk costume with the man in tuxedo seen by Wendy in the bedroom ? What are they supposed to be doing?

eeyore0101

Chosen answer: In actuality, the significance behind this scene is explained in much greater detail in the novel. It is a dog costume, not a chipmunk costume, and the character in the book is referred to as the "Dogman." In the novel he chases Danny through the hotel, scaring him with absurd sexual threats. The man in the tuxedo is Derwent, a corrupt playboy and former owner of the hotel. The pair were former lovers, but Roger, the man in the costume, is desperate to continue the relationship. Derwent agrees at only one cost - Roger must dress in a humiliating dog costume, walk on all fours and bark. This all happened in the past and is being relived in this scene. The Dogman is perfoming fellatio on Derwent.

Question: Who is Tony?

Socks1000

Chosen answer: Danny's middle name is Anthony and "Tony" is his imaginary friend. At first Danny fears Tony, but he later becomes Danny's source of strength.

raywest

Answer: Tony was a god-sent to change the course of history, which ultimately saved Danny and his mother in the 80s compared to the 20s when both of them were finally killed and eaten by Jack. Tony appeared in Danny's life when he started reading alphabets and his main message was 'REDRUM'. This was critical in the movie, as its mirror image 'MURDER' saved Wendy's life in the 80s.

Question: What does "Here's Johnny" mean? Torrance says this as he chops down the bathroom door.

Chosen answer: "Here's Johnny" is a classic line used on the Tonight Show when Johnny Carson hosted. Anytime Johnny would enter the stage at the beginning of the show, Ed McMahon would shout "Here's Johnny" as his introduction. Jack Nicholson ad-libbed the line.

T Poston

Question: Someone has asked about redrum and whoever responded simply explained that it was murder backwards. And if you pay attention it shows you that right after Danny writes it on the door his mom sees it in the mirror. However what I think they were looking for was what is the significance of it.? Why does Danny only know it as redrum. Who passed it on to him and what happened that they only saw it backwards. We need backstory here. Also if Hallorann was also gifted with the same talent why isn't the hotel thriving off him dying in the hotel?

Chosen answer: In the novel, Danny's visions of "redrum", provided by Tony, were always in a mirror, though he didn't realise it and was too young to make the jump to "murder". He assumes it is literal rum, based on his father's history with alcohol. Towards the end of the novel, just before Jack snaps, Danny sees the vision reflected twice and sees "murder", finally realizing what will take place. And to your last question...Hallorann's "shining" is not nearly as powerful as Danny's, is in fact rather weak compared to his, and so while the hotel does feed off him (and he knows it), it is not nearly as powerful as when Danny is there.

Question: Why did Jack type "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" a thousand times? In the interview, he said he was working on a new project, and I doubt that he was referring to typing the same thing over and over. Also, does Jack actually know the truth about the hotel? He implies in the breakfast scene that he's not really sure about why he feels so strongly with the hotel, but he seems to personally know the bartender and doesn't seem surprised in the gold room right before he meets Grady.

Chosen answer: The hotel has a strong influence on Jack's mentality. Jack had every intention on writing a play, but once the Torrances arrived at the Overlook, the hotel began working its powers on him, affecting his mental state. During the interview, Jack was not yet under the hotel's influence because in order to achieve its true goal (to capture Danny's shining ability) it needed to get the Torrance family to the hotel first. It is strongly implied that Jack is a reincarnation and had been the hotel many years before, explaining the strong sense of deja vu he feels. It is widely believed that Jack knows Lloyd the barman and Grady from a past life, and that all of their souls are forever linked to the Overlook.

Question: Who or what is actually possessing the Overlook Hotel? Also, why do the said possessors want to drive Jack Torrance insane?

ModestFilmCollector

Chosen answer: There is never a definitive answer, in either the book or the movie, as to what exactly possesses the Overlook. (There's a passing mention in the movie of the hotel being the site of an old Indian burial ground; Ullman says it as he's leading Jack and Wendy on the tour). The book makes mention of a lot of violent and unpleasant things that have occurred at the Overlook in the past, so the implication is that the hotel contains traces of these things. The answer to that question is left vague in both versions, though. You might get differing answers on the second part of your question, but most people who've read the book will probably tell you that the hotel's "goal" was not to drive Jack insane. Rather, its goal was to capture Danny's shining power. (The shining is a relatively rare power to begin with, and Danny's shine is extremely strong and powerful). The only way, of course, for Danny and his power to remain at the Overlook forever was for Danny to die there. Thus, the Overlook wants Jack to kill Danny, to ensure that Danny can never leave. If Jack's insanity is a side effect of that goal, there's no reason for the Overlook to care much about it.As an interesting side note, Jack believes that it is him that the hotel wants. In his conversations with Derwent and the bartender, he is led to believe that he is "managerial material" that is, that he will rise up the ranks from caretaker to the prestigious job of managing the Overlook. The Overlook does a good job of not revealing its true goal: to get Danny. Even though Jack is very flawed, he loves his son, and he repeatedly tells the manifestations of the Overlook that Jack's position in the hotel has nothing to do with Danny, and that Danny is ultimately none of the Hotel's concern. The Overlook finally begins to convince Jack of the need to "correct" Danny when it appears that Danny and Wendy's behavior might keep Jack from getting the manager job. (These last two paragraphs refer to the book, not the movie, as the movie provides virtually no answers at all to your second question).

Question: My media studies teacher has a theory that there are no ghosts in this film and everything that Jack sees is in his imagination. He also thinks that when Wendy sees the man in the costume, it is meant to be a realisation to her that Danny may be a victim of sexual assault, from his father, Jack. He also believes that the costume is a bear and that Jack is associated with a bear throughout the film. He says that Danny may have opened the pantry door to let Jack out because he had formulated a plan to kill Jack by getting him lost in the maze. Also, the woman in 237, he thinks that there is no woman and that Jack himself hurt Danny's neck. Leading to Wendy's realisation of Jack's abusiveness. I'm not really sure if I agree with him or not. There are a lot of holes in his theory, but you never know. Just wondering if anyone would like to share their opinion and shed some light on the situation. Do you think his theory is possible?

Chosen answer: The sexual assault thing is completely wrong. As far as the rest, it is highly debated. However, ghosts, I think, is the accepted answer. Some of the things that Wendy and Danny see can't be explained by Jack's psychosis. Also, the costume is suppose to be a dog. There is a whole back story to that character.

MasterOfAll

Answer: 1. It's obviously an important part of the movie that Jack has previously abused Danny. 2. The basis for the sexual assault claim is the "loving father scene" where you cannot see where Jack is touching Danny after they embrace. The bear references are all over the movie, despite that the costume is a "dog" in the book. There's a picture of a bear on the wall, Danny's pillow at home when he is with the psychiatrist is a giant bear. In the book there's a story about an old guy who has an affair with a young man at the hotel, and he calls the younger guy his little dog, but it's a stretch to say that's part of the movie. Dismissing the abuse references which were not in the book is completely wrong. 3. With regard to the issue of psychosis versus ghosts, this is one of the most important mysteries of The Shining movie. It's not just about a haunted hotel, it's about whether the "ghosts" are a manifestation of people who are going crazy in the hotel. Then you draw your own interpretation with the only real clue being how Jack gets out of the pantry.

Question: Who hurt Danny after his visit to room 237?

Socks1000

Chosen answer: In the book, after Danny visits room 217 (237 for the movie) the ghost of the woman who killed herself in the bath chokes him.

Answer: In the 80s it was the old lady's ghost who hurt Danny. This was a repeat of the 20s when the actual old lady lured Danny in her room and tried to bite him and satisfy her hunger. (Given the lack of food due to snow storm).

Question: If Jack is a reincarnation, how does he not know Danny possesses the shining? The other ghosts, such as Delbert Grady, who have always been there, can see Danny's talent. If Jack has always been there, how come he can't see what Grady sees?

Chosen answer: Jack is the same soul as the man in the 1921 ball photo, but that does not necessarily mean he retains their full memory. Jack also has the ability to Shine, but probably does not know how to use, or is even aware that he has the ability to Shine.

Question: Why exactly is this film (and the book it was based upon) called "The Shining"?

Chosen answer: It refers to the "gift" that Danny and Mr. Halloran shared as in this quote from Mr. Halloran: "I can remember when I was a little boy, my grandmother and I could hold conversations entirely without ever opening our mouths. She called it shining."

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Quotes

Jack: Wendy, darling, light of my life, I'm not gonna hurt ya. You didn't let me finish my sentence. I said, I'm not gonna hurt ya, I'm just gonna bash your brains in. Gonna bash 'em right the f*ck in!

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Mistakes

While breaking down the bathroom door with the axe, Jack repeatedly strikes and damages the right hand panel, but as he turns away from the door (when he hears the snow-cat) both left and right panels have been damaged.

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Trivia

Stephen King has admitted not liking this version of his book.

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