Warning: The following article has spoilers for the 1980 film version of The Shining, so if you haven’t watched The Shining yet, please rectify that.
The Shining is not a holiday movie in the way, say, Independence Day or any number of Christmas movies are. But one pivotal moment from the Stanley Kubrick classic takes place over this holiday weekend, and eagle-eyed fans celebrated the 100 year anniversary of the Overlook Hotel’s July 4 bash this weekend.
In the film, the big turning point into chaos comes when Nicholson’s Jack Torrance, new caretaker for The Overlook Hotel, is revealed to have “always” been the caretaker there. Death and madness follow, and the film’s final shot is of Torrance at the center of a classic photo from the hotel’s July 4 party in the year 1921.
That, of course, is 100 years from Sunday. And avid film fans came together on social media to share that fun fact and (somewhat ironically) celebrate the holiday on social media.
Don't forget when celebrating this weekend:
It's the 100th anniversary of this iconic party. pic.twitter.com/psgxjyRPQO
— Scott Westerfeld (@ScottWesterfeld) July 2, 2021
A century ago today. ⌛️
— Letterboxd (@letterboxd) July 4, 2021
100 years ago today, Jack Torrance attended the July 4th Ball at the Overlook Hotel. I guess he's always been the caretaker… pic.twitter.com/FBYnGYxifo
— HalloweenYear-Round (@HalloweenYrRnd) July 4, 2021
— Briana🪓 (@briianabink) July 4, 2021
There was even room for a recent meme to make a reappearance in honor of the big day.
I Never Shoulda Smoke That Shit Now I'm At The Overlook Hotel July 4th Ball pic.twitter.com/3YYR7xwYGj
— hot mads summer (@tangerine_zine) July 4, 2021
Longtime Kubrick fans know more about that image’s history, but when it went viral again this weekend, some people shared details many may have missed. The infamous image from the film, for example, is a real photo from 1923 that was doctored to include Jack Nicholson’s face. That image, which is housed in the Stanley Kubrick Archive in London, was found in a book about photo retouching that revealed the anonymous man whose face was replaced to get the perfect final shot.
And as some pointed out, the pose Torrance has in the photo is made to look like The Devil card from a tarot deck. Given the remarkable attention to detail that Kubrick’s films had, it’s fitting that his biggest fans took a relatively small note from one of his very best works and made it part of their holiday celebrations. Let’s just hope they had a much safer holiday weekend than anyone at the Overlook likely had a century ago.