Horror movie fans, you’ll want to check this out, courtesy of Slate:
Back on May 23, 1980, when The Shining was first released, audiences saw something slightly different from what viewers obsess over today. That’s because the next weekend Stanley Kubrick did an unusual thing: He re-cut the film, removing about two minutes from the ending, even though it was already in release. Those two minutes, like so much at the film’s ghoulish hotel, are now lost to time, unlikely to ever be seen again.
However, thanks to a Shining fan site run by Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich, Shining obsessives can now get closer than they have in decades to seeing the ending themselves. The site, which is called the Overlook Hotel (Unkrich is the “caretaker”), posted the screenplay for that long lost scene just after midnight last night. Unkrich vouches that the pages are real, and the site allows you to read them for yourself.
For those who won’t be examining every last word for signs of an Indian burial ground, here’s a summary of the scene. After we leave Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) frozen in the hedge maze, we cut to a hospital where Overlook manager Stuart Ullman (Barry Nelson) is visiting a recovering Wendy Torrance (Shelley Duvall) along with her son Danny (Danny Lloyd). After some pleasantries that are oddly casual for those recovering from an axe murder, Ullman tells Wendy that investigators searching the hotel “didn’t find the slightest evidence of anything at all out of the ordinary,” and that, amid the trauma, she must have simply been hallucinating. After inviting Wendy and Danny to leave to come stay with him in Los Angeles, he begins to leave, but remembers that he forgot to give something to Danny, and throws him a yellow ball. After the shot of the portrait that usually ends the film, the screenplay has the film ending on this rather goofily ominous title:
You didn’t expect Kubrick to give us all the answers, did you? Reviews of this original ending were decidedly mixed…
[continues at Slate]