Fun fact for the day: "Toy Story" director Lee Unkrich is a huge fan of "The Shining," so much so that he runs a fansite dedicated to the movie called The Overlook Hotel. And while it’s always pretty awesome to see filmmakers share in the same obsessions as the rest of us cinephiles, Unkrich has gone a step beyond and done some digging which seems to have yielded a holy grail of sorts around Stanley Kubrick‘s film.
But first, a quick history lesson. When "The Shining" was first released into theaters it ran 146 minutes long, but after about a week, Kubrick decided to snip the last two minutes of the movie, and projectionists were ordered to cut it and ship it back to Warner Bros. (so don’t hold you breath that it will ever be uncovered). What was in the segment? Well, it was a scene set inside a hospital after the events at Overlook, in which Mr. Ullman tells Wendy that Jack Torrance’s body was never found. He then gives Danny a tennis ball, which is of course what lured the child to the infamous Room 237 earlier in the film.
This much is known to anyone who is fan of the movie, but Unkrich got his hands on the actual script so you can now read the full scene right here, and it is pretty remarkable stuff. But additionally there’s an epilogue in there that audiences have never seen, which is also eerie, if perhaps over the top:
All of this is to say that it’s a testament to Kubrick’s puzzle-box horror movie that it continues to fascinate to this day, when even a seemingly innocuous deleted scene adds more to the conversation. And there will be more to pore over as well with Rodney Ascher‘s rather remarkable documentary "Room 237" — which explores the many, many theories about the "real" meaning of the movie — hopefully on its way to theaters this year (and fingers crossed it’s not running into any legal issues given how much it relies on using footage from the film).
So tell us — was Kubrick right to cut the hospital scene and closing coda? Does this change anything about "The Shining" for you? Weigh in below. [via Slate]