Stanley Kubrick’s Gothic Labyrinth

The Shining was forced upon Stanley Kubrick by circumstances. Warner Brothers had lost too much money underwriting his previous film, Barry Lyndon. Based on a nineteenth-century comedy by William Thackeray, it was perceived as highbrow and general audiences kept away. Kubrick needed a movie with popular appeal. Having browsed through several novels sent by the film company, he was taken with a ghost story by the young writer Stephen King. Kubrick had avoided horror films to date, refusing offers of The Exorcist and its sequel. This time he was attracted to the plot construction, so he took on The Shining.…

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