4. The Shining

This list could be all Kubrick films if it wanted to be. The Shining stands out with an equally elegant type of on set tedium as the previously mentioned Eyes Wide Shut – however this time it was mixed with much more focused abuse, specifically at the two biggest victims of the film played by Scatman Crothers and Shelley Duvall.

While Kubrick did long shoots for every actor (including spending 3 days shooting the infamous door-chopping scene with Jack Nicholson) he focused his longest and most grueling shoots on these two, and actually took yet another Guinness World Record in the process for the most takes for one shot, at a whopping 127 takes for the scene where Wendy swings the baseball bat at Jack:

Watching that clip with this knowledge, it becomes clear why Duvall comes across as desperate as she does. However some of the production crew says that this record is in fact wrong, as the most takes they shot during production was actually when Scatman’s character Hallorann explains to Danny about what Shining is, which is said to have taken 148 different takes. No matter who is right in this matter, what’s clear is that Kubrick was a crazy, crazy man.

On top of all of this Kubrick also appeared to treat Duvall in a much harsher manner than the rest of the cast, presumably to create a feeling of hopelessness in her character. The process nearly drove the actress sick with stress, as she explains during a making of documentary:

If you keep watching, you will see in the very next sequence an instance of Kubrick completely blowing off Duvall’s complaints of getting her hair caught in a window while shooting, telling the crew “Don’t sympathize with Shelley” and demanding that she does another take.


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