Different Cuts of Kubrick's 'The Shining'. Clarification needed!

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Paul_D, Jun 11, 2004.

  1. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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    I know Kubrick is notorious for cutting and re-cutting his films even after release, but the different versions of The Shining really confuse me:

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    IMDB lists a US cut (145 minutes), European cut (114 minutes), and a fully uncut, supposedly extra gory Japanese cut (154 minutes), along with numerous TV cuts and different versions of the main three. I've seen the Euro version on TV here and have the US cut on DVD.

    My preference is definitely for the US version. The deliberate mood and pace of the film is given room to really find itself and doesn't feel overly long at almost 2 and 1/2 hours. The UK version definitely feels too brief.



    Does anyone have any opinions or preferences between the versions?

    Has anyone seen the long Japanese cut? Does it even exist?

    Did anyone see the film in the first 3 days of release before the ending was significantly reduced? (details below)






    [c][​IMG][/c]
     
  2. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    Hmm I guess I have only seen the UK cut cause I have never seen the footage described in that passage.
     
  3. Jordan_E

    Jordan_E Cinematographer

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    I saw The Shining the first day it was released here in the US and it didn't have that footage. Must have been only for the New York/LA release.
     
  4. Ken Koc

    Ken Koc Screenwriter

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    I saw the Original Cut on opening day at the Village in Westwood.
    For me the film played better after the last scene was edited.
     
  5. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

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    I have both the UK cut - which is the standard cut for Australia and NZ - and the US cut.

    Definitely prefer the US cut - it just makes more sense. I don't think we learn about Jack's alchoholism in the UK cut, we definitely don't learn about his previous abuse of Danny - all plot elements that are essential to the film.

    I wish I knew what Kubrick reasoning was for giving different cuts to different countries. It's not as if it was material that needed to be censored - the only 'scary' scene was with the skeletons in the big hall.
     
  6. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    So is the UK cut available on DVD?
     
  7. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    "I wish I knew what Kubrick reasoning was for giving different cuts to different countries."

    James Cameron spoke of this in his liner notes for his "Abyss: Special Edition" laserdisc. Different countries have different cultural standards, and so "the original cut" in one society will not be "the original cut" seen in another. One need look no farther than the two different versions of Eyes Wide Shut to see this phenomenon in action.

    As for the extended ending to the Shining (if it is indeed real), it sounds like it is unnecessry and adds nothing to the story we didn't already know. In fact, it sort of resembles the silly speech at the end of Psycho. Horror films need to hit a climax and get out, not go on for another several minutes with nothing scary happening. It would be fun to see this ending on a DVD someday, however.
     
  8. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    Well, as far as Kubrick's reputation goes, the footage is probably long destroyed.
     
  9. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

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    Unsurprisingly, the UK cut is available in r2 and r4. I don't know of any NTSC release - could anyone else point to one?



    You see, what kind of reasoning could be behind Kubrick deciding that the UK should not be allowed to see the 8am title card, but the US needed to see it. It's a mystery, and I wish I knew what Kubrick was thinking.
     
  10. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    Maybe the UK distributor/distribution arm requested a shorter version to have more showtimes. Kubrick was a maverick, but he was contractually bound on several occasions, Eyes Wide Shut's R rating being an example of one.
     
  11. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Screenwriter

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    I think the term "UK cut" is incorrect, as I thought it was referred to as the "European Cut". The European cut was released R4 NTSC in Brazil but I think it's out of print now that the remastered editions restored the film to the US cut.

    I think the extended ending played only for a few days in NY and LA before Kubrick re-cut it. Same thing with 2001.
     
  12. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

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    Interesting theory - that would make sense.
     
  13. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

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    I have both the US and international cuts on dvd, and I definitely prefer the shorter, international cut.

    Those elements are too spelled out in the US cut, IMO. We do learn about them in the international cut (Jack at the bar) though.
     
  14. Anthony Neilson

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    Given that the European cut would've been released later than the US cut, I'm fairly sure that Kubrick would've cut it down for one reason only - because he thought it played better that way.

    At the time of its release, there was no particular pressure to slot in more showings a day. Certainly no more than there would have been in the US, which tends to lead the way on such "economies".

    On many occasions Kubrick cut significant portions of his films out as they opened in major territories. It's tantalising to imagine what might have gone from EYES WIDE SHUT had he lived.
     

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