The Shining & The Shining (Made for TV)
Stephen King is a master of horror, he takes the everyday, twists it and makes it scary. The Shining in its two versions, tells the tale from two different perspectives. In Kubrick’s original, the focus is on the Hotel being evil and makes jack kill his family. In the made for TV version it is the cabin fever which makes Jack kill his family. I thought the made for TV one was superior simply because it more followed Stephen King’s novel.
It is my thought that Jack Nicholson was perfect to play Jack Torrence in the Kubrick’s verson. His upturned eyebrows give him a devil like quality. Truthfully, Nicholsons Jack Torrence is set up to be a total asshole, from his barely disguised annoyed words, the way he treats his wife and child. You know this man is trouble. His portrayal of a man’s descent into madness was delicious.
Shelly Duval, is just the weak willed type of woman I see marrying a man like Jack Torrence. Perhaps, Danny was conceived out of wedlock and they were forced to be married and Jack is not thrilled to be married to her or have this child. I think Wendy would have done much better had she been able to keep her wits about her.
Danny, Jack and Wendy’s son, seems almost Autistic in personality. He doesn’t have many lines and has an almost blank look on his face most of the time. I suppose if I had an abusive father and a weak mother such as Wendy I might not talk either.
In fact, it is a known fact that Stephen king was very dissatisfied with Kubrick’s version which in later years prompted a remake by him in a made for TV miniseries.
In the made for TV version it is the cabin fever which makes Jack kill his family. I thought the made for TV one was superior simply because it more followed the book and Stephen King wrote the teleplay and returned many of the themes and occurances that were left out of Kubrick’s version. The miniseries is filmed at the actual hotel, The Stanley, which inspired Stephen King to write the Shining.
Stephen Webber plays a recovering alcoholic who must wrestle with demons within and without when he and his family move into the Overlook hotel to be caretakers for the winter. Rebecca De Morney plays Wendy. She was great and much more like I thought Wendy should have been.
The violence in this version of The Shining was much more realistic to me. Stephen Webber really manhandles Rebecca De Morney. It was shocking to me for TV.
I really only saw this mini series one time but I really did think it was superior and had more fidelity to the book than Kubricks version.
“Redrum, Redrum, REDRUM!”