Thursday, November 26, 2009


Delbert Grady has to be in the final photo. This is totally overlooked by many but so important; if Grady is a real spirit haunting The Overlook he would be in the final photo as he's the highest ranking "ghost" and actually succeeded in killing his family. He even says, “I'm sorry to differ with you, sir, but you are the caretaker. You have always been the caretaker, I should know, sir. I've always been here.” If he has in fact “always been” in The Overlook than he must also be in the final photo and he, like when we see Jack, must look exactly the same. He obviously isn’t in the final photo and this has only one explanation; he hasn't "always been" there as he's a product of Jack’s imagination. A person suffering from cabin fever. Just a sick man's vision and not a real board certified, "ghost".



You can not be the reincarnation of someone who is alive at the same time you are. Stanley Kubrick puts a clue in the dialogue that proves Jack in the present day Overlook could not in any way be a reincarnation of Charles Grady (who killed his family and himself) or Delbert Grady (the putative “ghost”).

Listen to the bathroom conversation between the two, Charles Grady and Delbert Grady appear on the surface to be the exact same person, but they aren’t. Delbert Grady is lying to Jack when he tells him his name as we know from the interview his real name is Charles Grady. Delbert and Charles are two different entities. One is a real person and the other isn’t. "Remember what Mr. Hallorann said. It's just like pictures in a book, Danny. It isn't real.” Delbert Grady is a vision that looks exactly like the real Overlook caretaker Charles Grady, but they are not the same person. We know this positively from the dialogue Stanley Kubrick put in the movie. Jack says this as he talks to himself in the bathroom, “Mr. Grady. You were the caretaker here. I recognize ya. I saw your picture in the newspapers.” There’s something here that movie viewers who have never read the novel are not aware of. When Jack says, “I saw your picture in the newspapers” he's referring to the very important unexplained scrapbook that we see open on his desk throughout the movie (The scrapbook plays a big part in the novel as it’s in the basement and used by “the manager” to lure Jack. It contains articles about the hotel's less savory guests and Jack eventually decides to use it to work on a different project apart from the play he was working on, about The Overlook’s past). In the movie Jack knows exactly what all of the previous hotel guests, who aren't "all the best people", look like after he opens up the scrapbook. The book is just as important in the film but we don't realize it at first.

When he says, “I saw your picture in the newspapers” he already knows what Charles Grady looks like. You don’t know what Grady really looks like, but Jack does. Delbert Grady, “the ghostly vision”, and Charles Grady, “the caretaker”, look exactly the same and Jack is the only one who knows this for sure. He’s imagining talking to the person he idolizes, the same Charles Grady that he’s seen in the newspaper clippings who killed his family and himself in 1970. The major problem is this; there can’t be any reincarnation of these two people (“You have always been the caretaker”) because of what we're told in the interview by Mr. Ullman. The two little girls were killed in 1970. Jack and Charles Grady, when he worked at the hotel, were both alive at the same time. Grady’s lying when he says this line to Jack in the bathroom conversation “You are the caretaker, you have always been the caretaker” as they were obviously both alive at the same time in 1970, and are two entirely different people. This can’t be debated or changed no matter what your opinion is. Again, you can’t be the reincarnation of someone who is alive at the same time you are.

Stanley Kubrick even tells us in the dialogue that Delbert Grady "isn't real", and this should be no shock as he along with the rest of the party goers are all a vision we’re seeing from inside Jack’s imagination. It's all because he’s looked at their pictures in the scrapbook. Again Stanley Kubrick points us to this in the dialogue, “Remember what Mr. Hallorann said. It's just like pictures in a book, Danny. It isn't real.”



Stanley Kubrick hides this fact so incredibly well but one of the most intriguing things about this picture that I bet you never noticed until now is, it’s not there on the wall at any other time in the movie. The most enigmatic prop in movie history just appears on the wall in the last shot? Within the movie's reality there has to be a plausible reason for this and I believe it was “Shined” up there. After all “Shining” is what this story is about, not reincarnation and there’s not a shred of evidence that any supernatural power other than “Shining” is going on in this movie. Something else happened to Jack Torrance at the end of this story. We see his face but it’s not reincarnation as the definition of the word is very precise and the place we're looking at in the photo is not The Overlook hotel.

Jack's never been in hotel in 1921 and the final picture wasn’t there earlier in the movie because, in the story’s time line, what it depicts simply hasn’t happened yet. The picture was not created and does not exist until after Jack is dead. Throughout the movie he’s alive and in the last shot he’s not. It’s our vision of Jack’s future that Stanley Kubrick made to look like the past, and it happens at the very end of the story when all the cast members with this ability are gone, “Remember what Mr. Hallorann said. It's just like pictures in a book, Danny. It isn't real.”

The photo is also another example of doubling; Jack’s been frozen again for a second time, for the rest of time. “Shined” onto a wall in a hotel where he will be frozen in that photo “for ever, and ever, and ever” as long as movies are seen.



There’s one glaring problem with the July 4th picture that hardly anyone has ever realized, yet can’t be ignored. If Jack is the reincarnated caretaker from the Overlook’s past, or for that matter if he has ever been there in a previous life, than the picture had to have been taken in The Overlook. It may say “Overlook Hotel July 4th Ball 1921” but the party depicted in the picture quite simply isn’t in any room of The Overlook. We’ve seen all the big rooms in the hotel and there's absolutely no indication of another one either in the movie or the novel. Stanley Kubrick even tells us in the Michel Ciment interview that it’s not The Overlook “…. they were in a photograph taken in 1921 which we found in a picture library” and his using this was no mistake. It’s such a brilliant yet simple deception. Stanley Kubrick makes us believe the photo was taken in The Overlook by what’s written on it. But it’s an obvious lie that the audience believes without question. Anything can be written on a picture but that doesn’t make it true. Kubrick aficionados who insist Jack is Grady can jump up and down, throw tantrums, spit blood, or spin their heads like Regan from the Exorcist, but it will not change a thing. The place depicted in the picture is simply not The Overlook. Stanley Kubrick planned it this way and this picture cannot be used as proof that Jack has ever been in The Overlook before in this or any other lifetime because of what's obvious, the picture has been taken somewhere else. The “somewhere else” Stanley Kubrick may have had in mind is an interesting thing to ponder though.



The definition of reincarnation is the rebirth of a soul in a [new] body. Jack still looks the same and this can’t be changed; by the very definition of the word he hasn’t been reincarnated. A reverse reincarnation doesn’t cut it either because of the unchanged Gold Room sign - the audience is still in the same time frame. Jack's face was airbrushed onto someone else's body.

Stanley Kubrick does say the photo “suggests reincarnation” in the interview with Michel Ciment. but he cleverly doesn’t say where. The photo is obviously not The Overlook.