The Shining: Jack Nicholson prepares to film terrifying axe scene in resurfaced video

‘Little pigs, little pigs, let me come in’

Jacob Stolworthy
Monday 25 May 2020 13:13
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Documentary footage shows Jack Nicholson preparing to film The Shining’s 'axe scene'

A video showing Jack Nicholson gearing up to perform the iconic “Here’s Johnny!” axe scene in The Shining has resurfaced online.

Nicholson plays Jack Torrance in Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 adaptation of the Stephen King novel, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, and his performance is considered one of the actor’s greatest.

The clip shows the actor getting into the mindset of Torrance, who has been convinced by the ghosts of the Overlook hotel to murder his wife, Wendy (Shelley Duvall), and son, Danny (Danny Lloyd)

Nicholson can be seen – axe in hand – jumping up and down, shouting “axe murderer.” He completely ignores Duvall.

Moments later, he would improvise the “Here’s Johnny!” line, a quote considered one of the most famous in cinema history. It was a reference to the intro of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

Interestingly, Kubrick originally shot the scene with a fake door, but Nicholson – who once trained as a fire marshal – chopped it down too quickly.

The axe wielded by Nicholson in the classic horror film recently sold for £170,000 at an auction in London.

Doctor Sleep, King’s sequel to The Shining, has been adapted into a new film starring Ewan McGregor as a grown up version of Danny.

Directed by House on Haunted Hill creator Mike Flanagan, it’ll be released in UK cinemas on 31 October, 2019.

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