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May 1, 2020

These Continuity Polaroids Offer a Glimpse Into an Unused Scene From ‘The Shining’

Stanley Kubrick shot countless Polaroids during the production of The Shining, both to test lighting and for tracking continuity. Director of Photography John Alcott’s camera was calibrated to match the 35mm film stock they were using, and these Polaroids gave them an accurate sense of relative light levels.

Actor Jack Nicholson relaxes between takes on the set of The Shining, joined by director Stanley Kubrick, in this production continuity Polaroid.

This image was photographed during an early lighting test on the set of Hallorann’s Florida bedroom. Kubrick can be seen lying on the bed, studying another Polaroid. Standing next to the bed is Camera Assistant Douglas Milsome. This photo also reflects an early version of the set dressing. In the finished film, a different television set was used, and it was flanked by a pair of table lamps. The mirror was ultimately replaced by the infamous Supernatural Dream poster. (Photo courtesy Zack Winestine)

Vivian Kubrick, Stanley Kubrick’s seventeen-year-old daughter, standing on the Caretaker’s Apartment set of The Shining. Vivian filmed nearly sixty hours of behind-the-scenes footage during the production, some of which ended up being used in her documentary on the making of the film. (Photo courtesy Beth Butler, who was John Alcott’s lighting assistant on The Shining)

Lighting test Polaroid from the production of The Shining. These black and white Polaroids were shot to test lighting setups and aperture settings prior to filming. In this photo, Lighting Assistant Beth Butler stands in for Shelley Duvall, for the scene where Wendy brings Jack breakfast in bed. (Photo courtesy Beth Butler)

Continuity Polaroid of Danny’s “REDRUM” writing in lipstick on the bathroom door from The Shining.

Continuity Polaroid of actors Shelley Duvall and Danny Lloyd on the set of The Shining.

Continuity Polaroid of actress Shelley Duvall on the Manager’s Office set of The Shining.

Continuity Polaroid of Jack’s typewriter, from the set of The Shining.

Continuity Polaroid of actor Scatman Crothers lying in a pool of blood, from the set of The Shining.

Continuity Polaroid of actress Shelley Duvall on the Caretaker’s Apartment Bathroom set of The Shining.

Continuity Polaroid taken on the set of The Shining, dated October 26, 1978. Handwriting indicates which knife Shelley Duvall grabs in the shot, as well as the time showing on a clock on the wall.

Continuity Polaroid of Robin Pappas (who played the nurse) and Danny Lloyd (who played Danny Torrance) in the deleted hospital scene from the original ending of The Shining.

Continuity Polaroid of Shelley Duvall in the deleted hospital scene from the original ending of The Shining.

Continuity Polaroid of Ullman inquiring at the reception desk. When the film was first released, a hospital epilogue was located between the shot of Jack frozen in the snow and the long dolly shot through the lobby that ends on the July 4, 1921 framed photo. Kubrick decided to remove the scene very shortly after the U.S. opening, dispatching assistants to excise the scene from the dozens of prints showing in Los Angeles and New York City. All known copies of the scene were reportedly destroyed, although it is rumored that one surviving copy may exist. Very little remains of the hospital epilogue beyond some continuity Polaroids, costumes, and 35mm film trims housed in the Stanley Kubrick Archive.

Continuity Polaroid of Jack Nicholson flipping through the scrapbook’s pages.

Continuity Polaroid of Jack Nicholson flipping through the scrapbook’s pages.

A book of continuity Polaroids shot by Continuity Supervisor June Randall during production of The Shining. These black-and-white photos were shot throughout filming to notate positions of props and states of costumes. The book is housed in the Stanley Kubrick Archive in London.

Polaroids shot by Continuity Supervisor June Randall during production of The Shining, including images of actors Norman Gay, Shelley Duvall, and Scatman Crothers.

Polaroid images of actress Shelley Duvall shot by Continuity Supervisor June Randall during production of The Shining.

Continuity Polaroid of actor Danny Lloyd on the Guest Room Hallway set of The Shining. (Photo courtesy Filippo Ulivieri)

Jack Nicholson in The Shining.

Jack Nicholson.

(Photos via The Overlook Hotel)

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