1980 Film Original Poster
1978 Mass Market Cover
What makes a classic, whether in print or on film? It’s hard to say, but you know one when you see one – especially when it continues to inspire 35 years on. Stephen King’s novel, and the film of the same name, still hold the imagination of people everywhere. Read more about all things Shining, and look out for kids on trikes, topiary animals, and a writer with a serious case of writer’s block.
I don’t read much horror; images that I read and see stay stuck in my head for a long time so I try to choose wisely. However, sometimes it’s the only thing to read in the house, and you’re home sick, stuck on the couch, with a long day ahead. That’s I how I read my first Stephen King fiction, a collection called “Night Shift”. It was scary, but scary good. That collection was published to coincide with the paperback edition of his 3rd novel, “The Shining”, a year or so before the film debuted in 1980. I’d been hearing about how our own Timberline Lodge was going to feature in the upcoming movie, so I sucked up my courage one weekend and devoured the novel to my great (scary) delight.
There’s been lots of confusion over the years about where it was filmed, and whether the hotel really existed, with its malevolent elevator (or boiler, if you prefer the novel’s version). Of course, Timberline Lodge is only seen briefly in the film, but provides the only real snow seen on-screen (the rest is Styrofoam and salt). If you’re willing to dig deep in the trivia here or even here, you’ll find out that even though King was inspired by a visit to the Stanley Hotel of Estes Park, CO, and a Ray Atkeson photo of Timberline Lodge, the hotel set was built at Elstree Studios, where it covered the entire back lot. The film took so long to complete it delayed production on other films, such as Raiders of the Lost Ark. Even though the film never saw the inside of Timberline Lodge, Room 217 is said to be the most requested room in the hotel.
The film continues to inspire – check out this new parody ad from IKEA, conflating a global brand with the nightmare of a child’s path through long ride through hallways. OR, snuggle up to the fire and read a good horror story instead.
Update: The fan site “The Overlook Hotel” http://www.overlookhotel.com, is a wonderful resource that is offline as I write this (Tuesday the 28th). Check back soon for more trivia!
Enjoy! – Liz