50 Rare and Candid Behind the Scenes Photographs During the Making of ‘The Shining’

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The Shining is probably the most classic psychological horror movie and one of Stanley Kubrick’s masterpieces that influenced cinematic subjects and practices and definitely changed everybody’s nights. Even after 40 years since its release, The Shining continues to be one of the most iconic products of pop culture, a movie that made Jack Nicholson, apart from the best, the scariest actor in Hollywood.

The film, based on Stephen King’s 1977 novel The Shining and starring the likes of Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers and Danny Lloyd, tells the tale of Jack Torrance, an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic who takes the job as an off-season caretaker of the secluded ‘Overlook Hotel’ in Colorado.

Incredibly, the production of the film was almost exclusively filmed at EMI Elstree Studios with expertly crafted sets which were based on real locations. However, upon release, the film failed to impress. The reviews were mixed and Warner Bros. crawled to a small profit. In fact, in an interview with Playboy in 1983, Stephen King himself felt let down by the result: “I’d admired Kubrick for a long time and had great expectations for the project, but I was deeply disappointed in the end result. Parts of the film are chilling, charged with a relentlessly claustrophobic terror, but others fell flat.”

However, in the years that followed, a severe change in perception would develop. The reappraisal of the film would see critics who had initially struggled with The Shining, change their opinions and grown on board with the hypnotic quality of Kubrick’s work.

During these recent past years, the Internet graced us with its presence, many photos of the backstage and behind the scenes fun moments, have surfaced. The dark and disturbing essence of the movie has here disappeared, as we watch the actors and the director of the film, read the newspaper or pose for artistic selfies.

Actors Shelley Duvall and Jack Nicholson celebrate with crew members on the set of The Shining.

This Polaroid image was photographed during an early lighting test on the set of Hallorann’s Florida bedroom. Kubrick can be seen lying on the bed, studying another Polaroid. Standing next to the bed is Camera Assistant Douglas Milsome.

On the set of The Shining, with Stanley Kubrick, Jack Nicholson, Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown, Kubrick’s daughter, Vivian, Continuity Supervisor June Randall, and others.

Stanley Kubrick directs Jack Nicholson on the Gold Room Bar set of The Shining.

On the set of The Shining with director Stanley Kubrick and actress Shelley Duvall. Actor Danny Lloyd sits in the lap of his on-set coach and longtime Kubrick assistant Leon Vitali. To the left, Kubrick’s daughter Vivian holds the camera she used to film the Making of The Shining documentary. Behind them, Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown stands with camera operator Kelvin Pike and another unidentified crew member.

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