Watch 'The Shining' Deleted Original Ending and Read Kubrick's Script Treatment
Just when it appears there couldn't be more material about The Shining on the internet, here comes the original treatment and script for a scene Kubrick deleted after the film's release.
The Shining is one of the most talked about movies of all time, and certainly, 1980's only release to be the subject of so much tortured exegetical speculation (with second and third place going, respectively, to The Empire Strikes Back and The Blues Brothers). But even 36 years after its release, the film's every scrap of ephemera still manages to obsess a certain segment of the populace (e.g. yours truly).
If you fall into that category, check out this video that depicts a deleted scene from the film, one that was shot and actually made it into the release prints, only to be recalled after the film made it into theaters. And below, read the original treatment for the film and see what didn't make the cut.
After The Shining premiered in Los Angeles and New York, Kubrick decided to delete this scene, which takes place in between the shot of Jack, frozen in the hedge maze, and the infamous final track toward the July 4 ball photo.
In his 2006 essay on the film, the late, great Roger Ebert wrote, "Kubrick is telling a story with ghosts (the two girls, the former caretaker, and a bartender), but it isn't a 'ghost story,' because the ghosts may not be present in any sense at all except as visions experienced by Jack or Danny." Later, Ebert remarked of the deleted scene, "Kubrick was wise to remove that epilogue. It pulled one rug too many out from under the story. At some level, it is necessary for us to believe the three members of the Torrance family are actually residents in the hotel during that winter, whatever happens or whatever they think happens."
You can read the full script of the deleted ending here.
"Kubrick was wise to remove that epilogue. It pulled one rug too many out from under the story." Roger Ebert
Now, Birth. Movies. Death is reporting on the original treatment that would end up as Diane Johnson and Stanley Kubrick's screenplay. It's striking for several reasons. First off, the opening titles of the film are justly famous for the haunting, remote, and icy beauty of the helicopter shots that track Jack's Volkswagen Beetle up the road to the Overlook. In the film, the viewer is afforded an omniscient (or perhaps more malevolent presence) view for the entirety of the credit sequence:
In the treatment, however, this view is interrupted by a cut into the car, where we meet Jack, crudely "studying" Spanish by talking back to his taped language lesson.
BMD also notes some other differences between the film and the treatment: "...a flashback scene where an enraged Jack breaks the arm of one of his former students [is] lifted directly from King's novel, while others (like the moment where the hotel possesses Halloran, turning him evil) are brand-new to any version of The Shining."
An evil Halloran is something I'm loath to imagine. There's also a potentially horrifying moment where Danny finds a bloody pair of children's shoes buried in the Overlook's sandbox, a sandbox which fails to make any appearance in the film.
This material makes for a fascinating read which, along with the deleted scene, should provide an edifying afternoon for any aficionado of the film, as well as provide an object lesson for any filmmaker: in many cases, less really is more.