Jack’s Manuscript in The Shining (film still from The Shining)

The Shining (1980)

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” must be one of the best known lines in horror cinema. Not bad, given that it’s only ever shown on screen, and not spoken.

When Kubrick’s 1980 horror classic The Shining was first distributed to cinemas, the prints varied slightly by country: the close-ups of the manuscript had been filmed several times, substituting manuscripts in different languages.

The Italians got “Il mattino ha l’oro in bocca.” (The morning has gold in its mouth)

The Germans got “Was du heute kannst besorgen, das verschiebe nicht auf morgen.” (Never put off till tomorrow what may be done today)

The Spanish got “No por mucho madrugar amanece más temprano.” (No matter how early you get up, you can’t make the sun rise any sooner).

The French got “Un Tiens vaut mieux que deux Tu l’auras.” (What you have is worth much more than what you’ll have).

All the current DVD releases seem to feature the English language manuscript, and only the English language manuscript. It’s a shame really, as it’s a moment made for the “alternate angle” feature on DVDs: press the angle key now to select the language in which Jack Torrance goes crazy…

4 Responses to “Jack’s Manuscript in The Shining”

  1. Rainer

    You say “they” filmed the close-ups of the manuscript and not Kubrick – who are you referring to? The cinemas??? This seems uncharacteristic of Kubrick and something he’d find abhorrent, as he would alternate angles for viewers to simply do whatever they wanted with his films as if they were video games. What more than a gimmick.

  2. Things in Movies

    Hello Rainer,

    It was done by the filmmakers rather than the cinemas. It was almost certainly done with Kubrick’s approval, and I imagine he’d have wanted international audiences to experience that moment as English-speakers do, by looking directly at the image, rather than having them hunt about for subtitles or some other form of translation.

    I don’t know whether Kubrick actually filmed these alternate scenes himself, or had a second unit of some kind do it, hence the unspecific pronoun, though I’ve now edited that sentence slightly.

  3. Obscillesk

    Well, consider how good a conversation that is between international viewers who have internalized their version of Jack Torrance’ manuscript.

  4. Steven420

    It’s funny how the other languages seemed to pick more “get up and go” kinda quotes

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