Like every other shot in Stanley Kubrick’s moody take on Stephen King’s bestselling book, the opening titles of The Shining are grandiose and arresting, preparing you for the slow-moving but chilling mood of the film and giving you a gasp of fresh mountain air before the snows start to close in on the Overlook and make everything feel a lot more claustrophobic.
We follow the yellow VW Beetle owned by the Torrances as Jack (Jack Nicholson), Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and Danny (Danny Lloyd) drive through some stunning Colorado landscapes along open, winding highways running alongside gorgeous shimmering lakes, the edges of knee-trembling drops and towering, cavernous forests of fir trees.
And if you’re quick, just a few seconds before the words A Stanley Kubrick Film start rolling up the screen, you can see the shadow of the chopper on the ground that carried the camera crew. See for yourself. For a director as famously picky as Kubrick, it’s an almost unbelievable sleight.