‘The Shining’: Stanley Kubrick Got Lost in the Hedge Maze While Filming

The late Stanley Kubrick was known for his perfectionist tendencies. As a director, he would stop at nothing until he created a cinematic masterpiece. This was certainly the case for The Shining. And after 40 years since the film’s release, it is still considered one of the greatest horror films of all time.

One of the terrifying aspects of the film is the giant hedge maze. Yet believe it or not, while Kubrick was shooting the film, he got lost in it. And as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one.

'The Overlook Maze', from the film The Shining, are displayed as part of the Stanley Kubrick exhibition
‘The Overlook Maze’, from the film The Shining, are displayed as part of the Stanley Kubrick exhibition | ISABEL INFANTES/AFP via Getty Images

‘The Shining’ is in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most retakes of a single shot

Kubrick’s film got placed in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most retakes of a single shot. Shelley Duvall, who masterfully played the role of Wendy Torrance, had to retake a single shot 127 times. This was during the iconic moment in the film when she swings the baseball bat at her husband.

Duvall described the experience in an interview with comingsoon.net. She said,

“That scene was exhausting. I remember nearly running out of breath because I just couldn’t speak anymore. The tears are real in the movie! I was so tired and getting fed up with the numerous takes. I nearly walked off the set. I remember Take 99 Specifically. The guy came up with the clapper board, said Take 99, and I said to Jack, “You’ve got to be f***ing kidding me?” – I couldn’t believe it was that many takes already.

I thought I’d only done it 10 or 11 times at that point. I just tuned out. Stanley was getting annoyed with me, yelling at me, the crew was tired, we had all been on the set since 5 am shooting this ONE scene, and eventually, I did it right! It was one of the worst days of my life while shooting a movie. It looked so much easier in the script! But look at what Stanley got out of me. People love that scene!”

Stanley Kubrick got lost in the hedge maze

RELATED: ‘The Shining’: Stanley Kubrick Told the Cast and Crew Not To ‘Sympathize’ With Shelley Duvall

In the book, Stephen King uses animal hedges that come to life. Yet as cool as this concept is, it wasn’t in the cards for the film version because the special effects for it didn’t exist at the time. So instead, Kubrick decided to create a hedge maze to capture the claustrophobic feeling of The Overlook Hotel.

But funnily enough, the director didn’t think the hedge maze was complicated enough. So to test it out for himself, he went inside the maze. It turned out to be a lot more challenging than he thought it would be because Kubrick couldn’t get out! According to CinemaBlend, the crew had to come and get him when the director gave up.

Some of the crew members from ‘The Shining’ also got stuck in the maze

Kubrick wasn’t the only one to get lost. As Good Housekeeping revealed, several crew members also kept getting stuck. The scene where Jack Torrance chases Danny through the maze took a whole month to shoot because crew members kept getting lost and were unable to keep up with the actors. And instead of using actual snow, they filmed with styrofoam and salt, creating an incredibly polluted environment.