‘The Shining’: Razzie Founders Would ‘Take Back’ Shelley Duvall’s Worst Actress Nomination

The Shining is one of the most iconic psychological horror films ever made. Stanley Kubrick‘s adaptation of Stephen King’s 1977 novel continues to impact popular culture to this day. However, the movie also earned a couple of Razzie nominations. The Razzie founders most recently explained that they would “take back” Shelley Duvall’s Worst Actress nomination for The Shining.

Shelley Duvall earned a Razzie nomination for her performance as Wendy Torrance in ‘The Shining’

Razzie nominee 'The Shining' actor Shelley Duvall as Wendy Torrance screaming holding a knife
Shelley Duvall as Wendy Torrance | Warner Brothers/Getty Images

The Shining follows Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson). He’s preparing to become the winter caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado. Jack hopes to spend this time focusing on his work and breaking his frustrating writer’s block. He brings along his wife, Wendy (Duvall), and their son, Danny (Danny Lloyd). However, things don’t go as planned.

Jack’s writer’s block continues to haunt him, as he isn’t able to do his work. Meanwhile, Danny is having psychic premonitions that follow him around the hotel. Jack soon discovers that the Overlook Hotel has dark secrets that will impact his sanity and the safety of his family.

The Shining earned two Razzie nominations. Duvall got a Worst Actress nomination and Kubrick earned a nomination for Worst Director.

The Razzie founders would ‘take back’ Shelley Duvall’s Worst Actress nomination

Vulture interviewed Razzie founders John J.B. Wilson and Maureen Murphy. They discussed this year’s awards and some of the big surprise nominations. The interviewer asked Wilson and Murphy what shocking Razzie nominations from the past they hear most about. Wilson and Murphy talked about Duvall’s nomination for The Shining.

For me, it’s Shelley Duvall in The Shining,” Murphy said. “Knowing the backstory and the way that Stanley Kubrick kind of pulverized her, I would take that back.”

“About the same film, the voting membership the very first year were largely people that Maureen and I worked with at a trailer company,” Wilson said. “A group of us who had read Stephen King’s novel went to see The Shining the night it opened at the Chinese, and we didn’t care for what Kubrick had done with the novel.”

Wilson continued: “The novel was far more visually astounding, far more terrifying, far more compelling, and we couldn’t understand why you would buy a novel that had all of that visual opportunity in it and then not do the topiary thing, not do the snakes in the carpet, not do the kids’ visions.”

“If you’re going to say it’s The Shining, you have to have certain key things in there that were not,” Wilson said. “And as I understand it, Kubrick was the one who decided what they cut out from the novel. So I don’t feel that badly about Stanley Kubrick.

Murphy concluded: “Exactly. I think that guy’s [Kubrick] overrated. He did one good movie, and that was about it. And we’re willing to say, ‘Yeah, maybe that shouldn’t have been nominated.’ Everybody makes mistakes. That’s being human.”

‘The Shining’ remains iconic, despite mixed responses

The Shining is a controversial film for many reasons. Kubrick’s torturous treatment of Duvall is at the top of that list. Critics and audiences were initially mixed regarding the horror film. However, King himself frequently criticized the movie adaptation. Nevertheless, many folks now consider The Shining as one of the greatest horror films of all time.

Some audiences continue to question why The Shining didn’t earn a single Oscar nomination. Duvall’s performance still finds its way into memes on social media, further immortalizing the film with moviegoing audiences around the world. The 2019 film Doctor Sleep picks up the story based on King’s sequel adaptation.

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