Shelley Duvall as Wendy Torrance in The Shining

Wendy Torrance Illustration Portrait

So here's Shelley Duvall as Wendy Torrance from The Shining to go along with Jack Nicholson from a couple of posts back.

I touched briefly in that post upon Stephen King's hatred of the film, but Shelley Duvall's Wendy gets a particularly raw deal from him. In an interview with Rolling Stone he calls her a "screaming dishrag" and in a separate interview with the BBC he called her, "one of the most misogynistic characters ever put on film."  And said, "... she's basically just there to scream and be stupid."

I'm a fan of Stephen King and I think he's very underrated as a writer, but personally I don't really agree with him on this one. The cinematic version of Wendy doesn't have as much agency as the character in the book, but I think Shelley Duvall really knocks it out of the park as someone who is genuinely terrified and confused by the absolute horror of the situation she finds herself in. And that's a perfectly valid reaction to all the shit that goes down in The Overlook Hotel. Also, she deserves extra credit for putting up with Kubrick. If watching an actress be absolutely tortured by a director is the kind of thing you really dig then I suggest you go watch the documentary "Making of The Shining" by Kubrick's daughter Vivian.

And then if you want to watch another documentary about The Shining, this time one that features people who think it provides proof that Stanley Kubrick faked the moon landings (he didn't) then go watch the excellent Room 237.

A brief addendum to this post - I got confused by the four day weekend yesterday and thought it was Tuesday a day early. Because I'm clearly an idiot. And as a result this post went up for an hour or two a day early before I realised.

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