Heeeeere's more of Johnny: Missing 24 minutes of The Shining are restored for British release
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Friday 24 August 2012
The Shining, once dubbed the "scariest movie ever", is set to provide more chills for British audiences with the release of an extended version never seen before in this country.
The British Film Institute is to release a cleaned-up version of the classic 1980 horror film directed by Stanley Kubrick, and starring Jack Nicholson as alcoholic writer Jack Torrance, which is 24 minutes longer than the film available in the UK for the past three decades.
Jane Giles, from the BFI, said: "We adore and rate Kubrick as a director. And we've been thinking about looking at his work in different ways for a long time."
The film, which director Martin Scorsese called "essentially unclassifiable, endlessly provocative and profoundly disturbing", will preview on Halloween, October 31, before opening nationwide several days later with a running time of 144 minutes.
Ms Giles said: "When we realised the US version of The Shining hadn't been released in the UK we thought it would be a very interesting thing to do."
Kubrick cut the film for Europe after the longer version was poorly received by critics. However, he gave his blessing to both versions. The European version removes background storyline as well as plotlines such as Jack's battle with alcohol problems and beating his son. Among the shocks to be added back in are the appearance of skeletons seated round a table in the hotel.
Ms Giles said she saw the film at 16. "It was the first time I'd seen a film like this. I thought it was amazingly sophisticated and intellectual. It presented something really quite mysterious."
The film has a series of cultural touchstones, most famously the scene where Nicholson smashed through a door with an axe as his wife cowers and utters the line: "Heeeere's Johnny."
Ms Giles pointed to other moments in the film including the sea of blood from the lift, Nicholson typing "All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy" over and over, and the ghostly twins.
"They are seminal moments in film. Great, extraordinary, compelling moments," she said. "Some films have such incredibly powerful imagery that it resonates throughout decades."
Kubrick's film was adapted from Stephen King's bestselling novel about a writer who takes over the running of a spooky hotel which has closed for the winter. The author was unimpressed with the results at the time.
There was talk this year that Warner Brothers were considering a prequel.
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