Room 237

Room 237: In King’s novel, the haunted room is numbered 217. In the movie, it’s 237. Why? “Because the average distance from the Earth to the Moon is 237,000 miles.” It’s actually 238,857 miles, but close enough, right? Weidner proposes that the haunted room represents the filming of the faked moon landing itself. “It’s just like pictures in a book, Danny. It isn’t real.”

The Twins: You probably remember the creepy twins from the film, the slain children of the previous Overlook caretaker. In King’s novel, however, there was only one slain child. Weidner insists that Kubrick’s alteration is a nod to NASA’s previous Gemini (Get it? twins!) program. Given the genuinely creepy nature of this scene, you might not have noticed that Danny is in fact wearing an “Apollo 11” sweater. It’s easy to get caught up on that last little factoid. View it here.

The Bears: The film features a large number of stuffed bears and, in one disturbing scene, Danny witnesses a man cavorting in a hotel room with a stranger in a horrifying bear suit. (Sheer nightmare juice!) Follow the conspiracy argument and all these bears, naturally, represent the looming Soviet threat.

The Typewriter: In one scene, the film reveals that Jack has been typing “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” over and over again. In one of Weidner’s more, um, far-fetched moments, he proposes that “all” should actually be read “A11” for Apollo 11.

The Dead Guy: In King’s novel, Danny sends a psychic distress signal to the hotel’s elderly black chef Dick Haloran — and Haloran lives to escape the Overlook with the child and his mother. In the movie, however, the Overlook uses Jack to kill Haloran pretty much the second he arrives on the scene to save everyone. The reason for this alteration? Weidner insists that Kubrick wanted to tell the world that he had naively tried to tip someone off about his role in the moon landing hoax — and his doing so resulted in their murder. Worried for his own life and that of his wife, Kubrick had to reveal the secret both widely and clandestinely to protect himself…”

Faked Moon Landings and Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’


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