The Shining, Jack Nicholson: where does his “Here’s Johnny” come from?

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In the original version of The Shining, Jack Nicholson breaks down the bathroom door where his wife is hiding with the line ‘Here’s Johnny: What is its meaning?

Shining it is considered to be one of the best horror films of all time. The project directed by Stanley Kubrick is full of facets that make it even more prismatic. For example, in the original version of the film and in the scene where Jack Nicholson he breaks down the bathroom door where his wife is hiding, the actor utters a strange one joke totally inexplicable considering the name of the character he plays.

The Shining Ax Scene

The Shining: a scene from the film

Although Jack Nicholson plays Jack Torrance in The Shining, in fact, the actor breaks down the bathroom door where his wife Wendy is hidden saying: “Here’s Johnny”. As reported by Showbiz Cheat Sheet, Stanley Kubrick confirmed the absence of the line from the script and attributed it to a precise choice of the protagonist. Nicholson, in fact, would have decided to imitate the announcement of Johnny Carson by Ed McMahon in the television program The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Stanley Kubrick, who lived in England, had no idea what the quote meant. Indeed, Carson appreciated to the point of opening an episode with the extract in question from The Shining.

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Upon its release, the Stanley Kubrick-directed film received mixed reviews. Some praised Jack Nicholson’s performance; other critics, however, condemned the slowness of the film and its aesthetic character. Particularly tough, then, was Stephen King, who defined the film project as cold and detached. Despite this, however, in Danse Macabre the film is counted as one of the horror that has best renewed the genre.

Jack Nicholson, who plays Jack Torrance, is known for having won three Academy Awards and for having starred in films such as The Little Shop of Horrors, The Blue Hills, Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, Chinatown, Profession: Reporter, The Last Fires, Someone flew over the cuckoo’s nest, Longing for Tenderness, Batman, Mars Attacks !, Something Has Changed and About Schmidt.


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