Sunday marks the 41st anniversary of the Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duval led The Shining and it’s still one of the most haunting and masterful films in cinematic history.
On May 23, 1980 Stanley Kubrick’s psychological horror film The Shining hit theaters for the first time leaving audiences chilled to their bones.
The film, which is famously adapted from the Stephen King book of the same name, follows Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) as he becomes the winter caretaker of the vacant but haunted Overlook Hotel. Jack is accompanied by his wife Wendy (Shelley Duval) and their son Danny (Danny Llyod). After a brutal winter storm leaves the family stranded at the hotel, Jack slowly begins to lose his sanity, becoming a threat to both his wife and son.
The Shining is currently streaming on HBO Max so horror fans can celebrate the film’s 41st birthday from home, let’s just hope your living room isn’t as haunted as room 237!
What are The Shining characters up to today?
One of The Shining’s shining moments is the great performance by its cast. The most acclaimed actor in the film is none other than the legendary Jack Nicholson. The 84 year old actor is the most nominated male actor in Academy Awards history with 12 nominations. At the time of The Shining’s release, Jack Nicholson had already received five Oscar nominations including one win for 1975’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. However, his post-Shining career brought home even more acclaim, adding on seven more Oscar noms and two more wins.
Although Jack Nicholson hasn’t officially retired from acting, his last role came over 10 years ago in the romantic comedy How Do You Know. The actor has spent the 2010s sitting courtside at countless Los Angeles Lakers games, where he has been a season ticket holder since 1970.
Happy 83rd birthday to legendary actor and Lakers superfan Jack Nicholson.
While filming ‘The Departed’ in 2006, he reportedly had all Celtics gear banned from the set. pic.twitter.com/ggX9niAVPx
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) April 22, 2020
Shelley Duval followed up her performance in The Shining by portraying Olive Oyl in the 1980 cult classic Popeye. The actress then shifted towards children programming when she created Faerie Tale Theatre in 1982. The fairytale fantasy series aired for six seasons and earned Shelley Duval a Peabody Award in 1984. The actress was later nominated for two Emmys for similar children programs, Tall Tales & Legends and Shelley Duvall’s Bedtime Stories.
The real life Overlook Hotel isn’t as haunting
While The Shining’s Overlook Hotel is purely fictional, Stephen King drew inspiration from his 1974 stay at a similarly isolated Colorado hotel when writing the film’s source material. Stephen King visited the Stanley Hotel, which is located in Estes Park, right as they were beginning to close down for winter. The hotel’s grand size, remote location and eerie isolation acted as the framework for The Shining.
During his stay Stephen King drank alone at the hotel bar where he was served by a bartender named Grady, who’s name was repurposed as the hotel’s former caretaker in the novel and film. He spent the rest of his night wandering the long empty hallways before having a dream of something chasing his son through those same corridors. By the time the author checked out of the Stanley Hotel, he already had most of The Shining’s plot written in his head.
While Stanley Kubrick ultimately chose not to film The Shining at the Stanley Hotel, the hotel became a hotspot filming destination in the 90s. Both the 1994 film Dumb and Dumber and the 1997 TV miniseries remake of The Shining used the Stanley Hotel as a primary filming location.
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park is all dressed up for the holiday season! 🎄
(📸 : Paul J Marcotte) pic.twitter.com/W9GvuWHYjn
— Denver7 News (@DenverChannel) December 11, 2020
The lasting legacy of The Shining
The Shining has aged like fine wine since it hit theaters 41 years ago. The film popularized the steadicam and is considered one of the greatest horror films ever made, earning entry into the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry in 2018. Additionally, the film inspired Room 237, a documentary about The Shining’s many interpretations. However the flick’s fictional narrative continued on the big screen in 2019 when the sequel, Doctor Sleep, was released.
The Shining memes keep the movie relevant, 41 years later
But perhaps the best part about The Shining’s legacy is all the memes we’ve gotten since.
my dad sending me the shining memes during these trying times > pic.twitter.com/YJqqrT66nN
— Lisa (@lisajennison) March 19, 2020
— Minderz (@minderz95) December 9, 2020
The pandemic memes hit the hardest.
How it started How it’s going pic.twitter.com/rkh55qVQoQ
— Samuel J. May (@sjmay92) October 14, 2020
— LeftOfDial (@theobald_ben) October 15, 2020
So as you celebrate The Shining’s 41st birthday, make sure to take some time to relax because we all know what “all work and no play” can do to a person.
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