Scene Standoff: The Shining vs. Jaws
Jack Torrance shouts "Here's Johnny" as he crushes his axe through the bathroom door in The Shining vs. the two leads' first encounter with Bruce the animatronic shark.
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"Here's Johnny!" - The Shining
Jack Torrance is breaking into insanity. His patience has thinned and his rage has taken over. So he breaks down the bathroom door, terrifying his brilliantly terrified wife, and as he does Jack Nicholson improvises the line "Here's Johnny!" a quote itself that now has transformed into one of the most iconic movie quotes of all time.
- Ellis' scene
"You're gonna need a bigger boat" - Jaws
Richard Dreyfuss and Roy Scheider are aboard a rickety boat and they come face-to-face with a great white shark. One of the most memorable horror movie villains in cinema history, and he always will be.
- Gareth's scene
Ellis - italics
Gareth - bold
Jack Nicholson in that scene is at extreme levels of mad. There are videos of him psyching himself up, going crazy and then he goes straight into the scenes. It makes Shelley Duval's reaction even more real.
She is so good. I watched it for the first time this past Halloween. You know that scene is coming but it does not disappoint.
It really doesn't.
Whereas the Jaws scene, it's a decent performance...the shark is having a great time. But I do think the performance in The Shining scene is unbeatable.
THE SHINING - 10/10 JAWS - 5/10
I feel like I need to watch Jaws again.
Yeah me too! So we've already established the threat of the shark and met the lead characters, but this scene is the conflict. So it's necessary as a plot device.
This is the scene where you first get a proper look at him. Without it you don't fully understand the fear.
What about The Shining?
I suppose this scene in The Shining is a culmination of events, in which we see the lead character totally flip.
So it's necessary in a different way.
THE SHINING - 8/10 JAWS - 8/10
I suppose the question here is "Here's Johnny" vs. "You're gonna need a bigger boat".
If you turn up late to a party..."here's Johnny."
If you poke your head through a door..."here's Johnny".
If you've got too much stuff with you and not a big enough box to carry it..."you're gonna need a bigger boat".
If you've got 6 people but only 5 seats in your car..."you're gonna need a bigger boat".
But even if you change the word "boat" to "car" it's still a Jaws reference.
THE SHINING - 9/10 JAWS - 9/10
POPULARITY (using Letterboxd for reference)
Jaws has an average rating of 4.1.
That is high, but The Shining has 4.3.
Well they are two of the greatest films of all time.
You can't go wrong.
THE SHINING - 4.3 JAWS - 4.1
On a scale of holiday destinations, how iconic are these two scenes? So low end, you're looking at Bolton; nothing against Bolton it's just not the best holiday destination. And high end maybe Barbados?
I'm trying to think of a place that's really nice but there's a constant threat.
What about Barcelona? It's lovely but there's pick-pocketers about.
Yeah I like that.
For The Shining, I'm going to go for the Holiday Inn. You can have a lovely nights rest there but sometimes you get some right fruit loops in the room next door.
THE SHINING - Holiday Inn JAWS - Barcelona
THE FINAL STANDOFF
The Shining 3-0 Jaws
I'm sure if you've read this far you too have spoken the two words "here's Johnny" at some point. Even those who haven't watched The Shining (what are you playing at?) will know this scene, or if not the scene the quote. The two leads are equally brilliant and it feels so authentic. When rewatching the film in later years, we're just waiting for this moment...and it never disappoints.
But ultimately, the shark couldn't beat the man with the axe.
The final score doesn't show just how close this battle was. But they drew scores on both necessity and referencability. We have a feeling that this Jaws scene will be back in the form of a wildcard...we're gonna need a bigger shortlist.
Current Standings: G - 4 E - 6
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The Shining available now on NowTV and Sky Cinema