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Stephen King's The Shining (1997)

A movie directed by Mick Garris

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True to the Source.

  • Mar 2, 2003
Stephen King's novel THE SHINING is a truly masterpiece of horrific suspense. It's the story of a haunted hotel wanting to possess the God-given gift of a young boy. However, that's the mere backdrop for what the book is truly about: the love of family, especially the relationship between fathers and sons, and the power of true friendship. STEPHEN KING'S THE SHINING displays all of that and most of the memorable scenes from the novel as well. Unlike the Stanley Kubrick version starring Jack Nicholson, this version stays pretty close to the material it is based upon and even includes the scenes with the hedge animals. Stephen King also has a guest appearance in the film as the conductor of the ghost band. I really didn't like Kubrick's version of THE SHINING, it strayed too far from the material it was based upon and even on it's own merits as a film and story it was so bizarre that it didn't make much sense. STEPHEN KING'S THE SHINING is the opposite, the story is clear and easy to follow. I also found Danny to be a much more believable child in this version than in Kubrick's. Overall, a well done television movie that keeps you in suspense and remains faithful to the material on which it is based.

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About this movie


Stephen King's The Shiningis a new adaptation from the author himself, made for television, that bears very little resemblance to the 1980 Stanley Kubrick version. That's not surprising since Kubrick threw out most of King's novel and presented his own version of the story. Here King redresses the balance in a miniseries that follows his original almost to the letter, and manages to be effectively creepy despite the budget and censorship limitations of the TV format.

Stephen Weber takes over the role of Jack Torrance, the caretaker who slowly descends into madness in the haunted Overlook Hotel. His performance is as far from Jack Nicholson as you could get, with his insanity building slowly and menacingly rather than being virtually mad from the get-go. Rebecca De Mornay is superb as Wendy Torrance, struggling to hold her fragile family together amid the spooky goings-on. Young Courtland Mead plays Danny, whose unique gifts give the story its title, as one of those infuriating TV brats who overacts left, right, and center. Fortunately, there are enough creepy moments and a number of frights to hold the whole thing together, the woman-in-the-bathtub scene being a standout shocker. Sure, there is nothing quite like Nicholson's "Here's Johnny!" moment, but this is the story King wanted to tell and it still shines brighter than most of the other recent screen adaptations of his work. --Jonathan Weir

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Director: Mick Garris
Screen Writer: Stephen King
Runtime: 143 minutes
Studio: Warner Home Video
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