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The Shining: Special Edition (2 Discs)

Released on 03 March 2008

Featuring: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall & Danny Lloyd

Format: DVD | Rating: 18 years & over

4.0 out of 5 (25 customer reviews) | Write a review

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Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) becomes the caretaker of the Overlook Hotel up in the secluded mountains of Colorado. Jack, being a family man, takes his wife and son to the hotel to keep him company throughout the long and isolated nights. During their stay strange things occur when Jack's son Danny sees gruesome images powered by a force called The Shining and Jack is heavily affected by this. Along with writer's block and the demons of the hotel haunting him Jack has a complete mental breakdown and the situation takes a sinister turn for the worse.

Please note: This is the UK theatrical cut with a run time of 115 minutes.
  • Suitable for 18 years and over. Not for sale to persons under age 18. By purchasing this product, you declare that you are 18 years of age and over.

customer Reviews

 Average rating (25 reviews)

 A cult classic that still deserves a better Special Edition

| | See all Leonhart's reviews (30)

From this 'Special Edition' of The Shining you would expect a definitive version of the cult horror classic. But sadly this is anything but. For a start, in my eyes it is not the best version of The Shining. Again, we are only given the UK Theatrical release (previously released in 2000), that is a full thirty minutes shorter than the US Theatrical release.
Apparently when the film was first released in the US in 1980, audiences were not impressed with Kubrick's now cult masterpiece. They saw it as overly long, and felt it strayed too far away from the plot of the popular Stephen King novel. Fearing the same would happen in the UK, the film was re-edited for the UK release, and although none of the pivotal key scenes were lost, an awful lot of the back story, especially for Jack Torrance's character was cut from the film. It is only since that the film has gathered such cult status among film and horror fans alike.
The fact is that I would probably never have been aware of these changes if it wasn't for the original UK TV premiere in 1989. The channel accidentally showed the US version, apparently much to Kubrick's dismay. Having recorded this onto VHS, this was the version I owned for many years. When The Shining was eventually released on DVD in 2000, I rushed out to buy the 'remastered' version of one of my favourite films, and was dismayed at how much of the film was missing. After much research I finally discovered why. But it left me feeling somewhat cheated having just paid nearly £20 for the DVD of what I regarded at the time as only half a film.
Now it looks like the same thing has happened again with this Special Edition. It is a mystery why Stanley Kubrick has never allowed the US version to be shown or sold in the UK, when other directors seem to jump on the band wagon at every given opportunity. Just look at the number of versions of Ridley Scott's Bladerunner that are now available to buy (five at my last count). Now that's a Special Edition! As Kubrick sadly died a few years ago I guess we never will know the answer.
To make matters worse with this re- release, the special features on disc 2 are anything but special. The best of these is the 35 minute Vivian Kubrick documentary made during filming. However, this was already on the original release of the DVD back in 2000. As for the other 'Special' features. These consist of one of those made for TV documentaries that talks about why the film has become so popular, and an interview with the composer about her music in the film. The interview is in actual fact about music that was not used in the film (don't really see the point), and for much of the interview she is talking about music 'not' used in A Clockwork Orange. They must have got the DVDs mixed up or something.
Frankly though this is still one of Kubrick's best films, even in (dare I say) its UK edited cut. The isolation, the terror and the eerie steady cam shots. And unlike in the book, nothing is as clear cut or explained, which deepens the mystery into Jack and the Overlook. In a way it's just as well Kubrick steered away from the Stephen King novel as anyone who has ever seen the made for TV version will probably agree. I mean what's creepier - the ghosts of murdered twins stalking young Danny Torrance or a few angry bees? Probably the best thing about this re-release is the remastered quality of the footage, now for the first time in proper anomorphic widescreen so that it fits the TV screen properly and clear as a bell.
Overall then it's still a great film, but not such a great DVD (I've seen better special features on a run of the mill romantic comedy). If you want my advice, buy the Region 1 US version through Playtrade and forget the UK cut.

 Finally! The Full-Length Version

| | See all ant1971's reviews (3)

It's been 28 years since this classic King chiller from the fascinatingly flawed perfectionist that is Stanley Kubrick was first released, but it's only ever been witnessed outside the US in it's current truncated and shortened 114 minute version. Now, in it's superiour entirety, "The Shining" is back! Complete with a whole host of delicious extras, and those extra scenes that we've only read about in books and magazines. Danny's encounter with the nurse, the complete black-out sequence and the ending that finally makes sense!
Channel 4 played this version unedited in the early 1990's by mistake and swiftly got wrapped by Kubrick and Warner Brothers. So, sit back, relax and prepare yourself for the best version ever. The best just got better ... and longer. "Herrreee's Jooohhhnnnnnnyyy!!!"

 Brilliant and better than the book...

| | See all IceColdInAshley's reviews (45)

The Shining is one of the best horror motion pictures ever, and is up there with Hitchock's masterpieces. All of the scariest moments in the film were added by Kubrick, including the infamous typewriter scene, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy", the amazing hedgemaze scene and one of the best lines in film history, "Hereeeee's Jonny!" Although the book itself is a chilling story, it wouldn't have made such a good adaptation if it wasn't for Kubrick and Nicholson's own input, he transforms the whole ending and situation of the novel which makes it best of both worlds in some respect. At a fiver, this is well worth purchasing as the second disc is a fantastic insight into a fantastic film.

 Brilliant and atmospheric

| | See all HarleenQuinzel's reviews (10)

One of my favourite films let alone my favourite horror film. The acting is faultless and Kyubrick's version is spot on. Yes, portions of the film are different from the book but look at the awful Stephen King adaptation, that was boring as hell. What works for a book doesn't always translate to the screen. Just as good as the book and PLEASE do not watch the US version, yes it's longer but it ruins the atmosphere and it actually drags. You get more back story but it doesn't add anything, the UK cut is far far superior.

 One of the greatest psychological horrors ever!

| | See all Kevin1075's reviews (754)

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A horror to be savoured time and time again!

The Stanley Kubrick adaption of Steven King's novel is indeed quite different to the source novel but in the switch to film becomes an infinitely superior piece of cinema in the hands of a film-maker so accomplished and intelligent as Kubrick. But why does such a - on the surface - simple story of a man going crazy in isolation have such resonance so many years later?

Well, it's all in themultiple possible interpretations of just what is happening to Jack. It's the kind of film that if you show it to ten different people you will get ten different opinions on the events within. It lives forever because it's one of the greatest pieces of ambigous horror made that we each can put our views on - unlike so many of todays horrors which trip over themselves to explain everything and fail to engage as a result. In 'The Shining' the dots do not all join up, the pieces do not all fit neatly together and so there is no sure final answer about what drives Jack to madness in the end.

A horror masterpiece!

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ActorsJack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, Barry Nelson & Philip Stone
DirectorStanley Kubrick
Certificate18 years and over
Year1980
ScreenWidescreen 1.85:1 Anamorphic
LanguagesEnglish - Dolby Digital (5.1)
SubtitlesEnglish ; English for the hearing impaired
Duration1 hour and 55 minutes (approx)
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.