One of the haunting images in all of Stanley Kubrick’s filmography is that of the final shot of The Shining where Jack Nicholson’s Jack Torrance stares into the camera from the monochrome image of an ancient photograph. Well, for die-hard fans of Kubrick’s film, this image could now be yours, with the iconic final shot of the film now up for auction.
Adapted from the novel by Stephen King, the author was famously opposed to Kubrick’s vision, despite it being considered a great of the genre, telling Deadline, “I think The Shining is a beautiful film and it looks terrific and as I’ve said before, it’s like a big, beautiful Cadillac with no engine inside it…I kept my mouth shut at the time, but I didn’t care for it much”.
Set in the magnificent, fictional Overlook Hotel, located in the Colorado Rockies, the tale follows Jack Torrance (Nicholson) and his family who opt to look after the hotel over the winter. Dwarfed by the towering presence of the hotel, however, Jack soon becomes engulfed by an evil, violent presence, influencing his temper toward his wife and psychic son. This spirals towards a terrifying and enigmatic conclusion that sees Jack immortalised in the ethereal history of the hotel itself.
The auction lot itself, which closes on Tuesday, November 9th 2021, includes multiple variations of the photograph that were created for the production of the film for Kubrick to review. As stated by the online listing of the lot, “The differences between the images included the size, framing, margins and even some of the people photographed. This example is one of the alternative versions which did not appear in the final cut, and is testament to Kubrick’s attention to detail”.
Considering the image itself is not overtly terrifying, the iconic shot from The Shining would make a stylish piece of movie memorabilia for your home. It’s only when you look a little closer that the madness of Jack Torrance reveals itself.