Top 10 Differences Between The Shining Book and Movie



they're both classics but they're also both their own stories welcome to watchmojo.com and today we're counting down our picks for the top ten differences between the shining book and movie before we begin we publish new content every day so be sure to subscribe to our Channel and ring the bell to get notified about our latest videos for this list we're looking at what changes between Stephen King's novel and Stanley Kubrick's film adaptation also beware of spoilers number 10 book Jack's weapon of choice rock mallet the final 20 minutes or so of Stanley Kubrick's film are terrifying with audiences watching from the edge of their seats as the psychotic father chases and attempts to kill his own son with an axe and while this stays relatively true to the source material there is one major difference book jack actually uses a rock mallet instead of an axe in the novel Jack finds a rock mallet and uses it first to break Wendy's leg and back then to attack dick Halloran and finally to bash his own face in in the movie Jack uses an axe to kill Halloran with a swing to the heart a fact that will come back later on this list number 9 no hedge maze in the book but there are hedge animals and they move the scene of Jack chasing Danny in the hedge maze is one of the most iconic scenes in horror cinema and it was entirely the creation of Stanley Kubrick there is no hedge maze in the novel but there are hedge animals the topiary serve as guardians of the Overlook protecting both the exits and the entrances of the hotel and they seemingly come to life to hunt both Jack and Danny at different times perhaps knowing that it would be too expensive or that it would look too silly Kubrick decided to trim the topiary animals from his film no pun intended and replace them with an ominous maze number 8 sexy bathtub lady lives in room 217 in the book one of the most famous scenes of the movie sees jack entering room 237 and being greeted by a gorgeous nude woman upon seeing her reflection he realizes that the woman is actually grotesque bloated and decomposing and he's chased out of the room while bathtub lady is in the novel the room was changed from 217 to 237 as management of the real-life Timberline Lodge didn't want patrons to be afraid of staying in the actual room 217 oddly enough conspiracy theorists ran wild with this change because it's roughly two hundred and thirty seven thousand miles to the moon the room number change was basically a confirmation for them that Stanley Kubrick helped fake the moon landing number seven many of the movie's most iconic lines and scenes are not in the book Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is a bonafide horror classic and it's filled with many iconic lines and scenes and like the hedge maze the creepy hallway girls the blood elevator Jack's here's Johnny moment and the pages upon pages of all work and no play are mostly the creations of Stanley Kubrick sure there are variations on some of these scenes in the novel like the entity in the playground asking Danny to play with him but for the most part these celebrated and visually striking scenes cannot be found in Kings book how do you like number 6 Danny's invisible friend Tony is more involved in the book can you remember what you were doing just before you started brushing your teeth like many atmospheric elements in Stanley Kubrick's work the character of Tony remains rather enigmatic we know Danny has an imaginary friend named Tony who talks through his finger but that's about all we ever learned Oh yeah however Tony has given much greater importance and depth in the novel in King's version Tony appears as a physical being to Danny and towards the climax of the story we learned that Tony is Danny from the future using the shining to try and psychically warn his younger self about going to the Overlook and then trying to save himself Kubrick did away with this explanation preferring to keep the figure of Tony a creepy mystery number five movie Wendy is a wuss he seems absolutely fine it's a well-known fact that Stephen King is not the biggest fan of Kubrick's adaptation and the movie version of Wendy Torrance is a major contributing factor to his opinion in King's novel Wendy is a strong force and protective mother who does anything she can to protect her son from the hotel and her increasingly psychotic husband in the film she's far more submissive defending Jack's abuses when speaking to others and showing passivity towards his aggression and belligerence don't be so grouchy she also cries a lot King took offense to this portrayal of his strong character calling her quote the most misogynistic character ever put on film and you're concerned about me number four the Overlook in the book is more alive its gritty haven't I seen you somewhere before while both King and Kubrick depicted the Overlook Hotel as its own character they treated that character in completely different ways and chances are the one you prefer depends on what you want from the story King presents a traditional ghost story as his hotel is not just haunted but also alive topiary animals come to life ghosts attack and fire hoses come off walls to chase and hissa characters as the hotel actively tries to get Danny to consume his powers while the film presents many weird and eerie occurrences many of them are presented in an ambiguous manner King wants to scare you with ghosts Kubrick wants you to feel disoriented what would be number three book Jack is a more layered character as is often the case the book version of Jack is more complex than his Kubrick counterpart both characters share pasts of abuse and alcoholism and both fall prey to madness however novel Jack is a caring father and husband whereas movie jack is borderline psychotic seemingly from the start see it's okay on the television book Jack also has a harder time with alcohol with his descent into madness characterized by the same traits he'd exhibited when he was drinking ultimately Jack earns Redemption at the climax of the novel by regaining control of himself telling Danny he loves him and allowing him to escape be ready film Jack dies a monster and it's debatable what caused his downfall the hotel or himself well you can rest assured mr. omen that's not gonna happen with me number two Halloran doesn't die in the book and is really important in the sequel it's one of the most unpredictable and iconic scenes of the movie after Halloran receives a signal from Danny he moves heaven and earth to get to the Overlook Hotel including renting a snowcat and traversing miles of icy roads and blizzard conditions and then just as he enters the hotel he's immediately axed in the chest so much for the heroic rescue as mentioned before novel Halloran is brutally attacked by Jack with a rock mallet but he survives and escapes with Wendy and Danny he later becomes a comforting father figure for Danny and even appears in the novel sequel dr. sleep which kind of feels like Stephen King saying a big fu to Kubrick in his way something like number one book jack dies when the Overlook explodes while we wouldn't call the novel's ending happy it's certainly more uplifting than the film's total downer in the novel Jack regains consciousness and tells Danny he loves him before running to the basement to relieve the pressure in the boiler however he arrives too late dies in the resulting explosion and the hotel burns down in the film there's no redemption for Jack he simply freezes to death while attempting to kill Danny and the Overlook remains standing waiting for the next jack to enter its malicious grasp while Kings ending is perhaps more satisfying and complete Kubrick's is far scarier and more in keeping with the film's grim and ominous tone do you agree with our picks check out these other great clips from WatchMojo and subscribe for new videos every day you

39 thoughts on “Top 10 Differences Between The Shining Book and Movie

  1. To most of the people saying Wendy was a wuss: don’t act like you wouldn’t do the same. A lot of people would be in complete shock like she is. And when people are in shock, they can’t really move, many real life stories will prove that. She’s also a victim of an abusive marriage, so it’s hard (like 1717 Dave said). Tell me: if Wendy was a strong character, wouldn’t she leave Jack the moment he hurt Danny?

  2. I love Stephen King. I love Stanley Kubrick. Having said that, I believe King wrote a great book that Kubrick used as inspiration to make an even better movie. I battled myself for years trying to defend the original story, but I had to concede that the movie was the better adaptation. It's just so much darker and sinister. In the book Jack is the only casualty and, in my humble opinion, his self-destruction was not as complete as it was in the movie. His soul was redeemed in the end of the book, but totally consumed, quite literally, in the movie, as we see in the final shot of the film when Jack's image is displayed in the picture.

  3. With regards to Wendy in the movie, it makes sense why they made her a lot more useless than she is in the book. In the book and miniseries she's independent and headstrong, and wouldn't have tolerated movie Jack's bullshit – the guy was an absolute creep from the word go.

  4. Basic character differences: in the book Wendy Torrance is a strong, sexy, good-looking woman in that all-American way, not an emotionally frail, blubbering, hysterical idiot. Think more Reese Witherspoon, less Shelly Duval. Also Jack Torrance arrives at the Overlook inn as a truly loving and caring husband and father, whereas Nicholson is already showing contempt for his wife and kid on the drive there (more Joel Edgerton or even a young Colin Firth than Jack Nicholson).
    On the plot: all I can say is I have no idea how killer topiary animals could be translated to the screen and I'm glad Kubrick didn't even try.
    Both versions are absolute classics in their own art form.

  5. The book didn't have a lady in the tub. It had the stuttering guy that Jack got fired over.

  6. I'm one of the few people who HATE the Kubrick version of this story.
    He butchered it. Plain and simple.

  7. I think the 1980s movie greatly improved on the book. If they just copied what happened in the book, the movie would've been lamer or in other words, the movie wouldn't have been as good as it was.

  8. I feel like all of stephen king's books are more fictional than horror. Stanley kubrick's the shining is more physcological and creepier.

  9. I read the book and also watched the film. In my opinion the book is much better. Stephen King is a genius!

  10. Dont hate the 1997 version you are just stereotype with 1980 version and ofcourse the lead actor is jack. But as fans we want to base the movie to the original

  11. I prefer Kubrick’s take on this way more than King’s. Don’t get me wrong, Stephen King made some interesting books that were converted into awesome movies, however, with The Shining in 97, it just didn’t seem as scary or grotesque as the 1980 version. In order to make a horror movie good, there should be people who are actually like the character/s. Shelley Duvall, for example, was amazing because she was actually terrified of being around Jack Nicholson, whereas the newer one, the lady who was Wendy shouldn’t have been young, beautiful and have determination. And with Jack N, he’s already quite insane, so him portraying Mr. Torrance was absolutely perfect. And Danny… well, let’s just say that the two are majorly different. The 80’s version just portrays him as scared, confused and asking tons of questions, whereas Danny in the other one doesn’t seem to be all too bothered by things that are going on in the hotel

  12. I love the "here's Johnny" line. He's basically saying "Wendy, one of our best memories together was watching the fucking television" as he's wielding an axe. He also mentions the 'television' on the way there. Jack's Completely snapped by the way his family perceives him and how he perceives them because of it. Deep and dark stuff. I only wish kubrick hinted at jack accidently brakes Danny's arm, it would have added more tension and Insight into why Jack snapped, because of the way Wendy saw him.

  13. the problem with "wendy" was the director…he pushed the actress to show that weakness…

  14. Coked out pop-culture novelist with an ego vs God Almighty.

    Should be a fair fight.

  15. I remember the hedge animals was some of the scariest parts from the book because they will move when you're not looking!!

  16. My favorite part of the Kubrick version was getting Scatman Crothers to play Halloran.

  17. King didn't like "The Shining" the movie and vowed that he would never again let one of his novels be made into a movie without having more say over how it accurately portrays his stories.      Now that the sequel to The Shining, "Doctor Sleep" is coming to theaters in November 2019 I wonder if it will contain more of the back story from The Shining the movie or The Shining the book?

  18. I feel bad for Shelley Duvall. That movie put so much mental, emotional and physical strain on her!

  19. The Wendy in the movie is more human. Having suffered from her husband's alcoholism, she was most likely abused. Of course she would be scared of him in the hotel when he snaps. She was abused. That's how abused women act.

  20. C'mon, don't they do this comparison just abt every year!? Got damn! 😕

  21. I think if I’d seen the film before I read the book, I probably would have enjoyed it more. Having read the book first though I have to say the movie was really disappointing for me, especially since one of the main things I loved about the book was watching Jack’s slow descent into madness. Whereas, in the film, he’s just a psychopath from the start as they say here. King creates a character you really don’t know how to feel about, and it adds a whole other dimension to the book. Kubrick must have just wanted to scare people, so all nuance was out the window.

    Okay, I know you can only do so much in a film, but still… could have been much better I think.

  22. Hallorann's death was the only change Kubrick made that I didn't like.

  23. The kid in the playground, the firehose, the hedge animals, the suspense of the book is truly a treasure, and Kubrick did the best film adaptation possible. Love them both. Forever.

  24. I loved the book, and the movie, as two separate yet comparable entities. The book did terrify me deeply, and is always far better, but I somehow feel like the ending in the movie is the best, because of its ominous mystery. The hotel is still there, Jack is in the painting, very creepy end. Plus the sequel Doctor sleep sucked. Hard.

  25. What King dislikes about it is one thing I love about it, the cold sensibility. There is no sentimentality whatsoever.

  26. Honestly, Wendy’s character makes the movie SO much scarier and intense. It really shows how scared one can be in the situation which most watchers do, they put themselves in the characters situations just to make the movie more interesting.

  27. Is it weird that I felt bad when Jack died in the shining (first one) idk why tho

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