How Accurate Is 'Room 237'? Stanley Kubrick's Former Assistant Tells All

How Accurate Is 'Room 237'? Stanley Kubrick's Former Assistant Tells All

Mar 28, 2013


Fans of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining have been chattering about the movie's bizarre conspiracy theory connections for years. Some have been obsessed with drawing lines between the horror opus and the Holocaust, the killing of Native Americans, and more. It's all documented in the new film Room 237, which refers to the haunted suite in the movie's Overlook Hotel. Read our original review of the film here.

Kubrick seemed to be a relatively guarded man, and we've been wondering what the response to the film has been like amongst his close-knit community of trusted associates. The New York Times recently spoke to the iconic director's former personal assistant Leon Vitali. He was the man responsible for casting the role of Danny, which went to child actor Danny Lloyd, and Vitali was on set during the 13-month production that took place in London.

"I was falling about laughing most of the time. There are ideas espoused in the movie that I know to be total balderdash," Vitali told the paper. Vitali points out history professor Geoffrey Cocks' summation that Jack Nicholson's "Little pigs, little pigs, let me come in," line is a Holocaust reference (Disney’s original animated version of Three Little Pigs featured an anti-Semitic caricature). Vitali says it wasn't so. "Stanley thought the scene needed something, a few lines for Jack that would make him sound threatening and nasty." With the Three Little Pigs verse already in mind, but uncertain of the actual quote in the story, Kubrick phoned Lloyd's mother who happened to have the book with her — and the scene was completed.

The Times article cites several other examples where Vitali's view of the production differs from the film. He calls Room 237 "pure gibberish," but rest assured, it's fascinating "gibberish" that every Shining fan should check out. We are completists, after all. Room 237 has a limited release on March 29.

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