Without any doubt, Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’ is one of the best horror movies of all times and can be ultimatively and simply stated as a masterpiece. It offers a twisting camera work, a banging score by Wendy Carlos and the genius, yet maniac, acting star. Put all of this together and you receive a frightening trip, a surreal nightmare which stays even if one looks the movie quite often. To make it short: this movie is superb and made by a genius director.
Only few know that ‘Shining’ was released in America in a version which runs longer for about 20 minutes. When ‘Shining’ was ready for the export, Kubrick used the chance to change the movie a bit. The whole plot around Jack’s alcohol problems and his physical brawl with Danny was deleted as well as the takeover of Danny’s imaginary friend. Kubrick said that Europeans were more smart than Americans and would not need the additional stuff to get used to the background of the story. It is important to mention that no version was preferred by him. Both have Kubrick’s blessing and can be considered as two single director cuts. While the European version is the more intense and more compact film experience, the US version offers some really frightening scenes and a beautiful tracking-camera panning through Overlook Hotel. In the course of a restoration process of Kubrick’s catalogue for a new DVD release, the long version was, again, only released in the US and the shorter on in the other countries. This comparison is therefore between the German (European) DVD and the American DVD. The following dates were collected.
American version: 143 minutes, 45 Seconds
Export version: 114 Minutes, 43 Seconds
There are 23 Minutes und 13 Seconds
(NTSC-Zeit) missing through 18 changes
The conversation between Wendy Torrance and her son continues. She tells him in a lovely way that their vacations in the Overlook Hotel are going to be great fun and he must not be afraid. Cut back to Jack Torrance who managed to successfully apply for taking care of the, during the winter season, abandoned hotel. Mr. Ullman introduces him to his employee Bill Watson who should show Jack the hotel. Jeck tells him that he used to be a teacher and that he is now trying to become an author and that he is looking for changes in his life. The three men are talking about the hotel and about why it is closed during winter season, though the fantastic chances of skiing.
( Time difference: 1 Minute, 40 Seconds )
After the brilliantly filmed vision of Danny in the bathroom, the whole scene of the doctor examining Danny is missing. She looks into his eyes and asks him about what has happened, what he did while he was brushing his teeth, if there was anything unpleasant. Despite the astonishing vision Danny denies all questions and does not uncover anything. Later Danny mentions his imaginary friend and the doctor asks if Tony asks him to do something for him. Danny answers that he does not want to talk about Tony. The doctor grabs her stuff and gives Danny the advice to stay in bed the whole day and leaves his room together with Wendy. Both women take a seat in the living room and are talking about Danny’s frame of mind. The doctor insures her that everything would be fine and that she does not have to worry about anything. Both are talking about the moment when Danny talked to Tony for the first time and Wendy mentions Danny’s injury at his arm which was inflicted by Jack. Wendy excuses the injury as a former accident and parental measure which got out of control due to the alcoholic abuse of Jack. Since then, she emphasizes, Jack has never again touched a bottle of alcohol.
( 5 Minutes, 33 Seconds )
Mr. Ullman leads the Torrances through the Colorado Lounge, followed by Wendy’s joyful comments that this is the most beautiful hotel she has ever seen. Ullman explains that the Overlook Hotel was the central station for the jetset before this term actually existed. Four American presidents and a lot of movie stars would have spend a night in the hotel.
( 36 Seconds )
Wendy and Jack look around their future rooms while Ullman explains that they also have the chance to use any hotel room if their rooms would be too small for them. Jack is excited about the domestic room. Blind in to the hedge labyrinth where Ullman shows them the outdoor areas. He says that the labyrinth is very tricky and he would not even try to get through it without his background knowledge.
( 42 Seconds )
Instead blending in to the kitchen a scene with Ullman, who leads Wendy and Jack to the Golden Room, follows. He explains that the ballroom could contain 300 people and that all alcoholic drinks have been removed due to the winter break. Jack tells him that they do not drink. Ullman introduces them to Dick Hallorann, the chef. Danny joins them and they decide that Wendy is introduced into the kitchen by Dick while Ullman keeps on showing Jack the rest of the hotel. On their way to the kitchen Dick mentions Wendy’s strange nickname ‘Winniefred’ and asks if she is a Wendy or Freddie. She explains that she is a Wendy.
( 1 Minute, 39 Seconds )
One can see Wendy how she pushes a coffee wagon through the hotel.
( 20 Seconds )
The conversation at the bed, while Jack is having breakfest, continues. Wendy admits that she firstly thought the hotel was scary, but she likes it now. The strong contrast to Jack who firstly loves it. He says that he has the strange feeling that he was here before and that this is not only a simple deja-vu but strong and intense emotions. Wendy tries to scare him away with ghostly sounds – more a lovely joke that a serious interpretation of ghosts.
( 49 Seconds )
A take is missing in which Jack, with the back to the audience, pushes a ball onto the wall and the following fade to the outdoor area. Wendy and Danny walk out of the hotel and Wendy shows Danny the trash bin.
( 8 Seconds )
While Wendy works with the huge can opener, the TV is on and shows the actual news reports that shows the weather as well as the news about Susan Roberts, who is missing for about 10 days.
( 38 Seconds )
Jack again starts tapping the typewriter. Then one can see the title’Thursday’. The movie is cut to Wendy and Danny how they have fun in the snow.
( 16 Seconds )
Wendy and Danny are watching TV in the hall. Danny asks if he can go and get his fire engine but Wendy does not allow it because Jack went upstairs for taking a nap. Because he wants to wants to have his peace Danny should not wake him up. Danny continues begging and promises to be quiet.
( 1 Minute, 24 Seconds )
Jack looks at a bourbon glass and mumbles that having a drink would end 5 months of abstinence. Lloyd, the bartender, asks Jack how things are working and Jack responds that there are just some unimportant issues with his wife. Lloyd agrees while refilling Jack’s glass and says what bartenders often use to say: women – one can not live with them, but also not without them.
( 1 Minute, 15 Seconds )
Jack reminds Wendy on Danny’s attack in the bathroom before they went to the Overlook Hotel to make the most recent happenings more plausible.
( 12 Seconds )
Giving her thoughts a voice, Wendy moves around the room. She thinks about leaving the Overlook Hotel immediately, if necessary via the snowcat. She is also aware that Jack would stay in the hotel. Her thoughts are interrupted when she notices the words ‘Redrum’ from Danny’s room. Worried she goes into Danny’s room and finds him sitting in his bed. She tries to talk with him but he answers with Tony’s voice and says that Danny went away. Wendy hugs her son.
( 2 Minutes, 28 Seconds )
Jack removes two other relais from the radio and moves on. Fade to Hallorann, who tries to contact the family Torrance for the third time. The attempt fails again and he can be seen in a thinking position. Cut to the title ‘8 a.m.’.
( 54 Seconds )
In the plane Hallorann asks a stewardess when they are going to land in Denver. Fade to the Overlook Hotel with a long camera panning on Jack who sits with his back to the audience and continues tapping. Again a fade. Now one can see Halloranns plane which is landing, then the movie cuts to ‘Durkin’s Garage’. The owner Larry Durkin enters his shop where his phone is ringing. He takes the phone and Hallorann is on the other line. Hallorann explains that he urgently need to get to the Overlook Hotel this night to look after the Torrances. Because of the weather conditions he asks for a snowcat to get through the hotel. Durkin agrees.
( 2 Minutes. 32 Seconds )
While the TV offers sounds from a Roadrunner cartoon, Wendy explains her son that she will be going to the floor shortly to talk to daddy. Danny is still speaking with Tony’s voice and keeps on concentrating on the cartoon. Wendy sneaks out of the room but takes a baseball bat, which was standing in a corner, with her.
( 1 Minute, 47 Seconds )
Wendy is still stumbling through the house. She looks into the Golden Room where she can find some skeletons.
( 19 Seconds )