I don’t know if you’ve heard of this little movie called The Shining made by some nerd named Stanley Kubrick. In it Jack Nicholson goes stir crazy and kills a door with an axe, and it’s also about the genocide of Native Americans. It may very well be the perfect movie.
But what if I told you that you’ve been watching it wrong this whole time?
No, I don’t mean watching it forwards and backwards at once, because that’s an incredibly stupid waste of time. What I mean is that there’s a cut of the film with an extra two minutes at the end, and chances are you’ve never seen it. I’ve at least never seen it before.
According to IMDB, these two minutes were cut only three days after The Shining’s release, with projectionists ordered by WB and Kubrick to remove this portion from film reels. The scene itself sounds like some pretty typical horror stuff that I’m not sure is worth splicing back into the film. It evidently shows a state trooper’s car, and then the state trooper’s legs as he or she walks around outside. Then, we see Ullman, the Overlook Hotel’s manager, come to the hospital to check on Wendy and Danny. After what’s described as “gentle conversation,” Ullman informs them that the police failed to find any evidence of the apparitions Wendy claimed to have seen (duh). Also, they can’t find Jack’s corpse. Then, the camera apparently roams the halls of the hotel for a full minute before settling and focusing on a wall of pictures where it fades into the photo we all know and love of Jack standing in Overlook Hotel in 1921.
With the exception of the bit about Jack’s body not being found, I’d say there’s not much here that we couldn’t already glean, and another minute of roaming the halls is likely unnecessary. Either way, the WB Shop does indicate that their 4K UHD release of the film will include, “Kubrick’s original 146 minute version of the film which premiered in the United States on May 23rd, 1980.” This is a neat curiosity for diehard fans of the film (like myself) and perhaps film completionists and historians. I doubt this is any kind of pure director’s cut that needs to be seen to fully appreciate the movie. In fact, if WB is going to do this, I wish they’d also release the deeply-redacted 113-minute cut that Kubrick made for Europe. I’d love to see a bite-sized The Shining, and if we’re trying to rack up director’s cuts that one counts more than this.
I do believe that if these extra two minutes meant a whole lot, we’d have seen them in other versions by now. Kubrick would have gotten them included in other releases, but as it stands it’s a neat special feature for a movie that I was sure had already been plundered of all its surprises by now.
The Shining will release on 4K Ultra HD on October 01, 2019.