Heeeeere's more of Johnny: Missing 24 minutes of The Shining are restored for British release


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The Independent Culture

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.

Long shots: Directors' cuts

Apocalypse Now Redux Francis Ford Coppola recut and extended his Vietnam war opus to almost three and a half hours.

Blade Runner Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic has seen many versions, but the Final Cut, 2007, is seen as the definitive.

Once Upon a Time in America The epic gangster movie ran to four hours, and was cut to just over two. The restored version is 245 minutes.