Kubrick has been lauded as one of the absolute greatest in terms of directing and has even been called one of the most innovative of all time. His pictures often produced a great amount of criticism but were always though-provoking and in some cases even confrontational. He didn’t always get along with his cast but as a director this seems to be the norm most times. What he did do however is attempt to make films that were bound to remain in the subconscious and remind people of the wonder of cinema now and again. He wasn’t perfect as a director and had his flub moments, but he was one of the best and still stands as one of the most respected directors.
Here are a few things that you might not have known.
He was very protective of Danny Lloyd, who played Danny Torrance in The Shining.
Danny Lloyd was told that they were filming a drama to spare him from the type of nightmares that Kubrick’s film might have caused. At one point when Danny’s mother was carrying him Kubrick used a life-sized doll to spare Danny from the stress of the scene. It was only later on when he was 17 that Danny saw the film in its entirety and realized the truth of what he’d been involved in.
He used a special lens to keep focus on the recruits in the beginning of Full Metal Jacket.
Kubrick didn’t want anyone to be left out so he insisted on using a special lens that would keep each one of the recruits in focus and blur the background instead. This way there were no faces in the crowd so to speak, and everyone was made to feel like they had actually contributed. A few faces might have still been blurred, but this had more to do with their distance from the camera, not the lens.
R. Lee Ermey ad-libbed most of his lines in Full Metal Jacket and was kept apart from the rest of the cast.
There have been near-literal on set wars between cast members and directors when it comes to dialogue and what’s allowable. Â Ermey managed to ad-lib a good deal of his lines since he’d been in the armed forced prior to the movie and knew a great deal of what to say and how to say it. Kubrick let him have quite a bit of freedom when it came to his lines, figuring that it was better to let it sound natural.
After receiving death threats towards his family concerning the release of A Clockwork Orange, Kubrick pulled the film from theaters.
At the time the film came out there had been a rash of crimes that were far too similar to what Alex and his crew had pulled going through the UK. In response there was a public outcry insisting that the film be banned throughout the UK. Kubrick initially resisted as he wanted the film to run. But when he received death threats against his family he wisely pulled the movie.
It took 3 days and 60 doors to film the infamous “Here’s Johnny!” scene from The Shining
You can just imagine how sore Jack Nicholson must have been after having to stick his face in the door and endure that many splinters. Plus, his arms must have gotten extremely tired after swinging that ax for so long.
Stanley Kubrick was one of the greatest directors to ever sit behind a camera. Even after his passing in 1999 he’s still been considered one of the best for his contributions.