When Warner Bros. Pictures approached Kubrick with the prospect of filming an adaptation of Stephen King's psychological horror opus The Shining, the director jumped at the opportunity. However, like all of the late director's films, the production ran into numerous problems, the most important of which being Kubrick's script "realization" of King's novel; both King and Warner Bros. demanded Kubrick to rewrite the script before preproduction began.
What you are about to read are excerpts from the director's first draft of The Shining. While the plot doesn't exactly follow King's story to a T, I'm sure you'll agree that it's a fitting metaphor for Kubrick's obsessive-compulsive, perfectionist work ethic.
So, without further adieu, I present excerpts from the never-before-seen first draft of Stanley Kubrick's
INT. OVERLOOK HOTEL/ULLMAN'S OFFICE – DAY (M.L.S.)
[Ullman, Jack, and Watson sit inside Ullman's office. Jack is very well groomed.]
ULLMAN: [to Jack] Did they give you any idea in Denver about what the job entails?
JACK: Only in a very general way.
ULLMAN: Well, you see, the winters can be fantastically cruel with no one in the hotel...tables get dusty, railings become tarnished. You know, that sort of thing. The basic idea is to...to cope with the very costly damage and depreciation which can occur. So, your job then, Jack, will be to make sure the place remains clean.
JACK: [smiling] Well, that sounds fine to me.
ULLMAN: Physically, it's only a somewhat demanding job. The only thing that can get a bit trying up here alone during the winter is the...the stress of keeping the place tidy. It tends to...how should I put this...draw out one's anal tendencies.
JACK: [frantically trying to pry a piece of lint off his jacket; it obviously bothers him, an action that seems to alarm Ullman] Well, that's no problem for me.
[Ullman and Bill look at each other pensively as Jack continues picking little pieces of lint off his jacket. Bill nods to Ullman, as if communicating something.]
ULLMAN: [still staring at Jack's obsessive picking] Well, before I turn you over to Bill, there is one other thing I think we should talk about. I don't want to sound melodramatic, but it is something that's...
[He pauses with near-fright as Jack rubs his elbow on a small mysterious stain on his chair. He buffs it out as though his life depended on it.]
ULLMAN: [cont...]...that's been known to give a few people second thoughts about the job.
JACK: [still buffing his chair handle; hardly paying attention] I'm intrigued.
ULLMAN: [looking pensively at Bill, who also appears uncomfortable by Jack's actions] I don't suppose they told you anything in Denver about the incident we had up here during the winter of 1970.
JACK: [now frantically spit-polishing his boots, which are already spotless] I don't believe they did.
ULLMAN: [still a little frightened/taken aback by Jack's actions] Well, my predecessor in this job [pauses as Jack continues polishing his boots]...hired a man named Charles Grady as the winter caretaker. He came up here with his wife and two little girls of about eight or ten. He had an excellent employment record...almost a too good employment record when it came to grooming/cleanliness...and, well, aside from that, seemed like a completely normal individual. But at some point during the winter, he must have suffered an obsessive-compulsive breakdown. He ran amok and...began scrubbing the entire place from top to bottom 24/hours day. It's something the hotel has been known to do to his type...The custodians call it The Shining. It's not something we even really like talking about around here, Jack. It's...just too appalling.
[Jack switches boots and continues spit-polishing them. This upsets and frightens Ullman and Watson.]
JACK: [finishing up his frantic polishing] Well, you can rest assured, Mr. Ullman, that's not going to happen with me.
[Jack confidently stands up to shake Ullman's hand. He reciprocates. When Watson stands to shake Jack's hand, Jack hesitates...]
JACK: [grimacing at Watson's hand] Did you know, Mr. Watson, that 1/3 of people don't wash their hands after using the bathroom? Well, I know I did, and I saw Mr. Ullman wash his hands just minutes ago, so that makes you the other third.
[FADE OUT as Watson and Ullman stare at each other with their mouths agape with fright.]
INT. HOTEL – ROOM 237 – BATHROOM – M.S.
[Jack, now looking slightly haggard and with a five-o-clock shadow, walks into the bathroom with some trepidation. We see a naked elderly woman lying naked in the bathtub. She begins laughing the laugh of an insane old witch.]
[Jack shakes his head as he slowly backs out of the bathroom.]
[The elderly woman, however, continues laughing. Staring and laughing at Jack, she steps out of the bathtub, picks up a sponge, drops it in a bucket situated behind the toilet, picks the sponge back up, and proceeds to scrub the bath tiles clean. Her naked, hairy posterior spreads wide as she scrubs the tiles and stares and laughs back at Jack.]
INT. OVERLOOK HOTEL – JACK'S APARTMENT – NIGHT
[Danny, Jack and Wendy's young son, holds a small can of furniture polish in his left hand. Wendy is asleep as Danny walks about the room.]
DANNY: [speaking in "Tony's Voice"]: Sour Op. Sour Op.
[He starts to write in furniture polish the word "POROUS" in reverse on the door.]
DANNY: [speaking in "Tony's Voice"]: Sour Op. Sour Op. Sour Op. Sour Op. Sour Op. Sour Op.
[As soon as he's finished writing the word, he looks at it.]
DANNY: ["Tony's Voice"]: Sour Op. Sour Op.
[He turns and walks away to Wendy asleep in bed.]
DANNY: ["Tony's Voice"] Sour Op. Sour Op. Sour Op.
[Wendy wakes and sits up with a shriek. As Danny continues spouting "Sour Op" over and over again, Wendy grabs a book on Jack's nightstand entitled Common Household Cleaning Terms. She flips though it until she finds a section labeled "Porous." We see the text she reads:]
[Wendy then looks at the word on the door and screams at the realization.]
INT. HOTEL LOUNGE – NIGHT
[Wendy walks into the Lounge. As she walks, she turns and looks about her – CAMERA TRACKS after her.]
[She looks about and then moves L-R past the table on which sits Jack's typewriter. She walks L-R behind the pillar and appears again on the other side. The CAMERA TRACKS with her.]
[Wendy stops and looks about. She then focuses on his typewriter. She approaches it slowly as if she's scared of what she might read. She finally approaches the typewriter. We see a CLOSE UP on what she sees: a sheet of paper in the typewriter with the following line written over and over and over again:]
[This scares her, causing her to sob. She then approaches a stack of papers to the left of the typewriter. She picks them up; each sheet contains nothing but repetitions of the line, "Cleanliness is next to Godliness."]
JACK: [O.S.] How do you like it?
[Wendy screams and turns around to face Jack, who now wears a surgical mask and black gloves.]
JACK: How do you like it? [pauses and squints at her hands] I hope you washed your hands because the oil on a person's hands can really smudge up a piece of typing paper.
[Wendy, obviously scared beyond words, merely stares at Jack. She grabs a bottle of Pledge dust spray from Jack's worktable. As Jack approaches, Wendy becomes defensive. She aims the Pledge spray at Jack as if she's willing to spray him if he touches her.]
WENDY: [nearly hysterical] Stay away!
JACK: [intimidatingly] Wendy...give me the Pledge. Wendy, give me the Pledge!
[Wendy backs up until she bumps into the stair banister, which shines like new.]
JACK: [upset] Wendy, Goddamn it! I just finished buffing that out!
[As he runs after her, Wendy sprays Jack in the eye with the Pledge. This obviously pains him. She runs out the front door as he collects himself.]
EXT. MAZE OF HEDGES – NIGHT (CONTINUOUS ACTION)
[Jack looks around and spots Wendy running frantically into the maze of hedges.]
JACK: [exaggerated scowl] Heeeeeere's Mr. Clean!
[He runs into the maze and picks up a large pair of sharp, dangerous gardening shears lying off to the right.]
JACK: [yelling] I'm going to find you, Wendy! You're not going to escape old Jack! [looks at the bushes in the maze and shakes his head with disgust] But first, these hedges are uneven!
[He begins trimming them with the ferocity of a madman.]