It’s been 34 years since Stanley Kubrick’s film adaption of ‘The Shining’ has been released and even though it is thought of as one of Stephen King‘s best works, the famed author still hates how he feel his novel was butchered. While quite a few of King’s novel to film adaptations have been wretched to view, ‘The Shining’ has long been thought of as one of the better movies. That is, unless you ask King himself. He has long made it no secret that he loathes the film and once again has gone on a rant about his hatred for it.
The book is hot, and the movie is cold; the book ends in fire, and the movie in ice. In the book, there’s an actual arc where you see this guy, Jack Torrance, trying to be good, and little by little he moves over to this place where he’s crazy. And as far as I was concerned, when I saw the movie, Jack was crazy from the first scene. I had to keep my mouth shut at the time. It was a screening, and Nicholson was there. But I’m thinking to myself the minute he’s on the screen, ‘Oh, I know this guy. I’ve seen him in five motorcycle movies, where Jack Nicholson played the same part.’ And it’s so misogynistic. I mean, Wendy Torrance is just presented as this sort of screaming dishrag. But that’s just me, that’s the way I am.
This isn’t the first time King has brought up the misogynistic viewpoint of the film either. A year ago when being interviewed by the BBC he said:
“Shelley Duvall as Wendy is really one of the most misogynistic characters ever put on film, she’s basically just there to scream and be stupid and that’s not the woman that I wrote about.”
King was also asked if he could appreciate the movie on its own but apparently his hang up on Wendy’s character has made that impossible for him to do. He does admit that he when it comes to film adaptations of his novels, he doesn’t judge the film on how well it translated on screen, but whether the movie itself is a good one:
“No. I never saw it that way at all. And I never see any of the movies that way. The movies have never been a big deal to me. The movies are the movies. They just make them. If they’re good, that’s terrific. If they’re not, they’re not. But I see them as a lesser medium than fiction, than literature, and a more ephemeral medium.”
Of course even with films not being as good as the novels in his eyes he does feel that Rob Reiner’s take on ‘Stand By Me’ is the best film adaptation of any of his works and even moved him to tears saying, “I thought it was true to the book, and because it had the emotional gradient of the story. It was moving.” I’ll completely agree that ‘Stand By Me’ was an outstanding movie and even holds up today. ‘The Shining’? I think the general concensus holds against King’s view and while I don’t think of it in my top 5 King movies, I wouldn’t put it even close to the bottom of the lot.
What are your thoughts on ‘The Shining’? Did you feel that it was a good film on it’s own or did it butcher his take on the characters so badly that you hold no enjoyment for it and want it thrown out in the cold like this guy?
Source: Cinema Blend