Jack Nicholson’s finest hour? Quite possibly but it’s too close to call. Kubrick’s eye and style, down to the musical selections, symmetrical framing and at the time, innovative use of Steady Cam to create a timeless, creeping and at times frightening film.
His use of a high pitch tone, clearly designed to unsettle his audience was a stroke of manipulative genius, as was the pacing and casting of Nichlolson.
The only real problem I have with this movie is Kubrick’s style of directing his cast. The result is an emotionless and clinical set of performances and even though Duval does play both cold and emotionally distraught well, there was very little middle ground.
In 2009, Nicholson’s performance is almost comical, but not in a bad way, not at all, but his delivery of some of the classic lines are perfect but leave with tittering rather than quivering.
It may just be my sense of humour, but lines such as “I’m not gonna hurt you, I’m just going to bash your brains in” are just brilliant, let alone his three little pigs skit was excellently judged.
A true classic both as a piece of cinema and as a horror classic.