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Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance: 10 Quotes About Iconic Role

Image: Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance: 10 Quotes About Iconic Role
Jack Nicholson, 1981. (Jerzy Kosnik/wikimedia/commons)

By    |   Tuesday, 24 Mar 2015 06:16 PM

“The Shining” is widely considered to be one of the scariest films of all time thanks to Jack Nicholson’s stirring performance as main character Jack Torrance.

Here are 10 quotes about Jack Nicholson's most iconic role:

1. “Mr. Nicholson's Jack is one of his most vibrant characterizations, furiously alive in every frame and fueled by an explosive anger.”
Janet Maslin, The New York Times

In her glowing review of the film in 1980, New York Times critic further referred to Nicholson’s performance as “sadistic,” “mad,” and “devilishly funny.”

2. “I believe that Jack is one of the best actors in Hollywood, perhaps on a par with the greatest stars of the past like Spencer Tracy and Jimmy Cagney.”
Stanley Kubrick, "The Shining" director

Kubrick further added, “Jack is particularly suited for roles which require intelligence. He is an intelligent and literate man, and these are qualities almost impossible to act.”

Vote Now: Who Is Your Favorite Actor of All Time?

3. “Nicholson’s performance, even if deliberately over the top, still shouldn’t encourage as much laughter as fear.”
Derek Malcolm, The Guardian

On the flip side, this review argued that Nicholson goes too far in his portrayal. A large contingent of critics agreed with this negative perspective at the time of the film’s release.

4. “Jack Nicholson, though a fine actor, was all wrong for the part.”
Stephen King, "The Shining" author

While critics fawned about Nicholson, Stephen King yawned. Of course the film is based upon his short story, however, the celebrated author famously disliked Kubrick’s adaptation and his choice for Torrance.

5. “I’ll scare the pants right off everybody with this!”
Jack Nicholson

In an excerpt from an interview in Empire magazine from 2009, Nicholson seemed to understand he was on the precipice of turning in a historically frightful rendering.

6. “Jack Nicholson's character had to be crazy and angry all the time.”
Shelley Duvall, "The Shining" co-star

Describing just how “method” Nicholson had to get, Duvall detailed how the famous actor stayed in character for most of the nine months of shooting.

7. “He was doing some major acting.”
Danny Lloyd, "The Shining" co-star

Even at 5 years old, the young actor who played Jack’s son, Danny, could tell that Nicholson was going all out.

8. “Jack Nicholson was the only choice.”
Jan Harlan, "The Shining" executive producer

Harlan stated unequivocally that Nicholson was the only actor in consideration, much to author Stephen King’s consternation.

9. “Jack's performance here is incredibly intricate, with sudden changes of thought and mood — all grace notes.”
Stanley Kubrick

Kubrick was making specific reference to Nicholson’s interaction with Lloyd the bartender, a scene where Torrance sells his soul for a drink.

10. “The crazier Nicholson gets, the more idiotic he looks.”
Variety

Yet another dissenting opinion about Nicholson’s role from a staff review at Variety when the movie came out. It’s safe to say that modern audiences have not adopted this viewpoint.

Vote Now: Which of These Actors Stands the Test of Time?

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“The Shining” is widely considered to be one of the scariest films of all time thanks to Jack Nicholson’s stirring performance as main character Jack Torrance. Here are 10 quotes about Jack Nicholson's most iconic role.
jack nicholson, role, jack torrance, iconic
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Tuesday, 24 Mar 2015 06:16 PM
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