Legendary director Stanley Kubrick was an odd sort of chap. He may have moved to the UK full time in the mid-1960s, but he had a funny way of showing appreciation for his adopted country. Not only did he insist that 'A Clockwork Orange' was banned here until after his death - his response to a series of tabloid news stories insisting the film was responsible for real-life violence - he also made sure that we got a shorter, weaker version of his horror masterpiece 'The Shining' than the Americans. Well, no longer - the original 144-minute cut (that's nearly 24 minutes longer than the one we're used to) will finally be getting a proper UK release this Halloween, courtesy of the BFI.
In the years since its release in 1980, 'The Shining' has steadily built up a reputation as one of the most truly unsettling and unusual horror movies ever made: original author Stephen King may have hated the film, but legions of fans have embraced it – it was even voted the second best horror movie of all time in a Time Out poll of filmmakers and experts. But we in the UK have never been able to view the film in its full, unedited glory. And there really are some great scenes in this longer version: a doctor visits young Danny to learn about his imaginary friend Tony and discover the truth about his dad's raging alcoholism; there's lots more from loveable Mr Halloran (Scatman Crothers) as he dashes to save Danny and Wendy from the hotel; and best of all there's a much-extended version of the scene where mad Jack Torrance chats to the invisible bartender. Oh, and brace yourself for one unforgettable late-in-the-film shock.
'The Shining' is playing at cinemas across the country from Oct 28 to Nov 3 this year.