The Shining - 1980 | Story and Screenshots

This story presentation includes some of the dialogue

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The story begins with a panoramic view of Colorado mountains and lake. A car moves along the road, entering and exiting a tunnel. Former teacher and recovering alcoholic Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) arrives at the Overlook Hotel, enters the lobby, and approaches the receptionist.

Jack: Hi, I've got an appointment with Mr. Ullman. My name is Jack Torrance.

Jack interviews for a caretaker job at the Overlook Hotel in an effort to rebuild his life after his volatile temper lost him his teaching position. The person interviewing him is the hotel manager, Mr. Stuart Ullman (Barry Nelson).

Stuart: Jack, just make yourself at home. Would you like some coffee?

Jack: Well, if you are going to have some, I wouldn't mind. Thanks.

Stuart: Susie. Oh, and would you ask Bill Watson to join us?

At the same time in an apartment, Jack's wife, Wendy (Shelley Duvall), and their son, Danny (Danny Lloyd), talk. Danny is sitting at a table eating a sandwich and Wendy is reading a book.

Danny: Mom?

Wendy: Yeah?

Danny: Do you really want to go and live in that hotel for the winter?

Wendy: Sure Danny, it will be lots of fun.

Danny: Yeah, I guess so. Anyway, there's hardly anybody to play with around here.

Wendy: Yeah, I know. It always takes a little time to make new friends.

Danny: Yeah, I guess so.

Wendy: What about Tony? He's looking forward to the hotel, I bet.

Danny wiggles his forefinger and speaks with a different voice.

Danny [as Tony]: No, I ain't Mrs. Torrance.

Wendy: Oh come on, Tony. Don't be silly.

Danny [as Tony]: I don't want to go there, Mrs. Torrance.

Wendy: Well, how come you don't want to go?

Danny [as Tony]: I just don't.

Wendy: Well, let's just wait and see. We're all going to have a real good time.

Back to interview: Bill Watson has joined the interview, the one to show Jack around after the meeting.

Stuart: Let's see, where were we? Yes. I was about to explain that eh... our season here runs from oh May 15th to October 30th and then we close down completely until the following May.

Jack: Do you mind if I ask why you do that? It seems to me that the skiing up here would be fantastic.

Stuart: Oh, it sure would be, but the problem is the enormous cost it would be to keep the road to the Sidewinder open. It's a... It's a 25 mile stretch of road - gets an average of 20 feet of snow during the winter, and there's just no way to make it economically feasible to keep it clear. When the place was built in 1907, there was very little interest in winter sports, and this site was chosen for its seclusion and scenic beauty.

Jack [laughs]: Well, it's certainly got plenty of that.

Stuart: The winters can be fantastically cruel. And the basic idea is to cope with the very costly damage and depreciation which can occur. And this consists mainly of running the boiler, heating different parts of the hotel on a daily, rotating basis, repair damage as it occurs, and doing repairs so that the elements can't get a foothold.

Jack: Well, that sounds fine to me.

Stuart: Physically, it's not a very demanding job. The only thing that can get a bit trying up here during the winter is, uh, a tremendous sense of isolation.

Jack: Well, that just happens to be exactly what I'm looking for. I'm outlining a new writing project and, uh, five months of peace is just what I want.

Stuart: That's very good Jack, because, uh, for some people, solitude and isolation can, of itself become a problem.

Jack: Not for me.

Stuart: How about your wife and son? How do you think they'll take to it?

Jack: They'll love it.

Stuart: I don't suppose they told you anything in Denver about the tragedy we had in the Winter of 1970?

Jack: I don't believe they did.

Stuart: Well, my predecessor in this job hired a man named Charles Grady, as the winter caretaker. He came up here with his wife and two little girls of about eight or ten. And he had a good employment record, good references and from what I've been told, I mean, he seemed like a completely normal individual. But at some point during the winter, he must have suffered some kind of a complete mental breakdown.

He ran amok and eh... killed his family with an axe, stacked them neatly in one of the rooms in the West Wing, and then he put both barrels of his shotgun in his mouth. The police, they thought that it was what the old-timers used to call cabin-fever, a kind of claustrophobic reaction which can occur when people are shut in together over long periods of time.

Jack: Well, that is quite a story.

Stuart: Yes, it is. Oh, it's still hard for me to believe that it actually happened here, but it did and I think you can appreciate why I wanted to tell you about it.

Jack: I certainly can and I also understand why your people in Denver left it for you to tell me.

Stuart: Well, obviously some people can be put off by the idea of staying alone in a place where something like that actually happened.

Jack: Well, you can rest assured Mr. Ullman, that's not going to happen with me, and as far as my wife is concerned, I am sure she'll be absolutely fascinated when I tell her about it. She's a confirmed ghost story and horror film addict.

Given his own desperation and the opportunity to pursue his true passion, writing, Jack accepts the job. Jack phones Wendy and informs her he accept the job.

Meanwhile, Danny has a seizure while talking to his imaginary friend Tony about the Overlook Hotel. He has a vision of blood splashing out of an elevator in the hotel, an image which is revisited several times throughout the story. Danny screams and blacks out.

Wendy calls in a doctor to check on Danny.

Doctor: Now Danny, can you remember what you were doing just before you started brushing your teeth?

Danny: Talking to Tony.

Doctor: Is Tony one of your animals?

Danny: No. It's the little boy that lives in my mouth.

Wendy: Tony is his imaginary friend.

She instructs Danny to stay in bed the rest of the day, then joins Wendy in the living room to talk.

Doctor: Mrs. Torrance, I don't think you have anything to worry about. I'm quite sure there is nothing physically wrong with Danny. Kids can scare you to death, but believe me these episodes are not at all uncommon, and they look much worse than they are. Most of the time these episodes with kids are never explained. They are brought on by emotional factors, and they rarely occur again. They're more akin to auto-hypnosis, a kind of self induced trance. If it re-occurs which I doubt you can always think about having some tests done.

Wendy confides to the doctor that one night Jack had been drinking. Angry at Danny for making a mess, Jack grabbed his arm, used too much strength and he injured Danny's arm. That's when jack voweled to quit drinking, which was five months ago.

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Resource Credits: imdb.com,

Excerpts from the Post Production Script. July, 1980











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