May 15th, 1980, marked the release of today’s theme – the classic horror film “The Shining,” directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall. The film, which tells the story of a writer who becomes the caretaker of an isolated hotel and descends into madness, has become a cultural phenomenon and is widely regarded as one of the greatest horror films ever made.
Here are some lesser-known facts about the film:
- Kubrick was famously meticulous in his directing style and required Nicholson to do numerous takes for each scene, sometimes up to 100. This caused tension on set between Nicholson and Duvall, who reportedly became physically ill from the stress of the production.
- The iconic “Here’s Johnny!” scene was ad-libbed by Nicholson, who improvised the line based on Ed McMahon’s introduction of Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show.”
- The set for the Overlook Hotel was so expansive that it took up nearly all the available studio space at Elstree Studios in England, where the film was shot. The snow used in the film was made from salt and crushed Styrofoam.
- The eerie music used in the film was composed by Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind, who utilized a Moog synthesizer to create a haunting and atmospheric score.
- The infamous final shot of the film, which shows a photograph of Jack Torrance at the Overlook Hotel in 1921, has led to countless theories and interpretations. Some fans believe that the photograph is evidence that Torrance has been trapped in a time loop or that he is a reincarnation of a previous caretaker.
In music, on May 15th, 1965, the American rock band, The Byrds released their classic single “Mr. Tambourine Man,” a hit that introduced Bob Dylan’s songwriting to a broader audience. Moreover, on May 15, 1972, the American musician, Neil Young, released his fourth studio album, “Harvest,” which featured hit songs such as “Heart of Gold” and “Old Man” and became one of his most successful and acclaimed works.
In literature, May 15th, 1906, marked the release of the classic novel “The Jungle” by the American author, Upton Sinclair. The novel, which exposed the harsh conditions and exploitation of workers in the meatpacking industry, led to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act in 1906 and is considered a significant work of American literature.