In which 1980 movie does Jack Nicholson say the line, "Here's Johnny?"

And the answer: The Shining.

Photo credit: Warner Home Video. 

Based on a novel by Stephen King, The Shining is a psychological horror film starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall, and directed by Stanley Kubrick. Nicholson's famous line of "Here's Johnny" was improvised, and taken from the American television show "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson."

Legendary director Stanley Kubrick missed no small detail when devising the horror classic The Shining. In fact, the director's vision was so distinct that he declined Stephen King's screenplay without so much as a first read. Instead, over five years of production and a full year of shooting, The Shining is now considered one of the best adaptations of a Stephen King story (even though the author himself isn't too pleased).  

Kubrick signed onto The Shining just after the failure of his previous movie, Barry Lyndon. Needing a win, it was Kubrick’s search for something commercially viable that led him to Stephen King’s The Shining. Though, that's not to say the subject material wasn't enticing – Kubrick purportedly once said that he wanted to "make the world’s scariest movie, involving a series of episodes that would play upon the nightmare fears of the audience.” Job well done, Kubrick.

Shooting The Shining was a notoriously difficult process for the actors. Perfectionist Kubrick would insist on double-digit takes of nearly every angle, and while it allowed him to bring all of the footage he could ever need to the edit bay but also created an exhausting process for the actors. In fact, the scene in which Wendy is swinging a bat at Jack is a prime example of Kubrick's pushing. The scene made it into The Guinness Book of Records because it took 127 takes, the most for a scene with spoken dialogue.

Did you know?

The iconic phrase "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" actually (intentionally) has many different translations. In German versions, the phrase translates to: “Don’t put off 'til tomorrow what you can do today.” In Spanish, it's: “Although one will rise early, it won’t dawn sooner.” In Italian: “He who wakes up early meets a golden day.” According to The Overlook Hotel, a website run by Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich, “Kubrick filmed a number of different language versions of the ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ insert shot as Wendy leafs through Jack’s work."

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