Kubrick's horror classic gets back 24 tense minutes


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The Independent Online

The Shining, once dubbed the "scariest movie ever", is set to provide more chills for British audiences with the release of a previously unseen extended version.

The British Film Institute is to release a cleaned-up version of the horror classic, directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Jack Nicholson, which is 24 minutes longer than the film available in the UK for the past three decades.

Jane Giles, the head of content at 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 1980 film, described by the celebrated director Martin Scorsese as "essentially unclassifiable, endlessly provocative and profoundly disturbing", will preview on Halloween 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 properly 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 cut background storylines and plot points such as Jack's battle with alcohol and beating his son. Among the shocks to be added back in are the appearance of skeletons seated around a table in the hotel.

Ms Giles said she first 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 provided a series of cultural touchstones, most famously the scene where Nicholson smashes through a door with an axe as his wife cowers, then utters the line: "Heeeere's Johnny."

Kubrick's film was adapted from a Stephen King novel about a writer who looks after an isolated hotel which has closed for the winter. King was unimpressed with the results.