The Shining is not only arguably Stanley Kubrick's most notable film throughout his entire 48-year directorial career, but it is considered to be one of the most beloved cult classic horror films of all-time. There are many things to know about the story that Kubrick adapted from Stephen King's 1977 source material of the same title, but there are also plenty of things to know about what happened behind the scenes.
1. To make Jack Nicholson's agitation in the film more authentic, he was forced to eat only cheese sandwiches for two weeks, which he hates.
2. Throwing the tennis ball around inside of The Overlook Hotel was Jack Nicholson's idea; the script only specified that "Jack is not working."
3. Stanley Kubrick considered Robert De Niro for the role of Jack Torrance, but after watching his performance in 'Taxi Driver' (1976), he deemed him not psychotic enough for the role.
4. Stanley Kubrick also considered Robin Williams for the role of Jack Torrance, but after watching his performance on the television sitcom 'Mork & Mindy' (1978–1982), he deemed him too psychotic for the role.
5. ... He also briefly considered Harrison Ford for the role.
6. The shot of the tennis ball rolling into Danny Torrance's toys took fifty takes to get right.
7. Stanley Kubrick insisted on filming in order of the script. To do this, every soundstage at Elstree Studios was used, all of the sets were built and pre-lit during the entire shoot.
8. The color red is visible in nearly every shot of the film.
9. Stephen King doesn't understand why people find the film scary.
10. Music would often be played on-set to help get Danny Lloyd in the right mood for every scene.
11. Philip Stone, who played Delbert Grady, is the only actor to have appeared in three consecutive Stanley Kubrick films; he played Alex DeLarge's father in 'A Clockwork Orange' (1971), and then Graham in 'Barry Lyndon' (1975).
12. Jack Nicholson and Joe Turkel (Lloyd the Bartender) rehearsed the "Gold Room" scene for six weeks; Turkel said it was his favorite scene of the entire film.
13. The film was released in the United States on Scatman Crothers's (Dick Hallorann) seventieth birthday.
14. Stephen King didn't approve of Jack Nicholson being cast for the role of Jack Torrance, as he thought Jon Voight would've been more suitable.
15. Danny Torrance repeats "redrum" forty-three times before his mother wakes up, and Jack starts to break into the apartment.
16. Stanley Kubrick didn't read the script that Stephen King wrote.
17. The iconic quote "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" has different meanings in foreign language translations of the film. The German version translates to: "Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today." The Spanish version translates to: "Although one will rise early, it won't dawn sooner." The Italian version translates to: "He who wakes up early meets a golden day."
18. Jack Nicholson improvised his famous line, "Heeeeere's Johnny!"
19. Toward the end of filming, most of the set burned down after intense heat generated from the lighting started a fire.
20. Stanley Kubrick had the cast watch David Lynch's 'Eraserhead' (1977) repeatedly to get them in the right mindset.