As I discussed recently in a very random tribute, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is one of my absolute favorite movies of all-time (Category: All; Sub-Category: Horror). Seeing it as a child naturally left a lingering affect on me, in that I still have to watch it with at least one light on and my back to the wall. That it still f*cks with my head 33 years later is a true testament to what an awesome film that Kubrick directed and wrote (with Diane Johnson). But what I did not know until this very day – some fan, right? – is that when The Shining was released in 1980, it had a completely different ending.
Apparently Kubrick re-cut the film two weeks after it was released to remove an original ending that tried to pull off the “Bitch, you crazy” angle with Wendy Torrance. In the original ending, Wendy and Danny are in a hospital, where the Overlook’s manager claims that he checked out the entire hotel and couldn’t find anything wrong. No tidal waves of blood, no butchered child bodies, no rotting old lady trying to get her freak on, nada.
It also included a more revealing title shot on black, which we now know thanks to a discovery by Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich, who runs his own Shining tribute site.
Slate shared some contrasting takes on Kubrick’s decision to cut the ending after the film had already been released, but I like Roger Ebert’s take on this change…