When it comes to horror movies, The Shining is definitely one of the best. Now, the infamous ax used by Jack Nicholson in the film is set for auction this Wednesday (April 20th). The iconic piece of movie history is listed on Gotta Have Rock & Roll. The site specializes in selling memorabilia from movies, musicians, and sports stars to fans that are willing to part with their hard-earned cash. The opening bid for the ax starts at $50,000 and is estimated to sell for anything between $60,000 and $90,000.
Based on Stephen King’s 1977 novel of the same name, The Shining follows the Torrance family whose patriarch accepts a job as the caretaker of the Overlook Hotel during the cold winter months. So Jack (portrayed by Jack Nicholson) takes his wife and son to the secluded mountain resort. But things take an ugly turn when a sinister force begins to taunt him, while his son Danny’s (Danny Lloyd) “shining” ability allows him to see the real horrors of the hotel.
Directed by Stanley Kubrick, the Jack Nicholson starrer features several scenes that are instantly recognizable. This includes the creepy twin girls, Danny riding his big wheel in the hallway, blood flowing from the elevators, and the wintery hedge maze. But the most memorable is Jack chopping through a door with the ax in pursuit of his wife, Wendy (played by Shelley Duvall). After breaking through, he delivers the movie’s most famous line, “Here’s Johnny!” He also uses it to murder Dick Hallorann (Scatman Crothers).
The auction site says the Jack Nicholson ax prop comes in a 25 x 2.5 x 40.5 shadow box display frame, along with photos from the movie. It’s described as being in very good, screen-used condition. The prop is also accompanied by a letter of authenticity, dated June 8th, 1989 from NORANK Engineering stating that the ax prop was used in the film. All of this makes it a great deal for hardcore fans of the movie and Stephen King novels.
The Shining is considered a classic in the horror genre and was ranked the 75th greatest film of all time in the Sight & Sound directors’ poll. However, Stephen King was never a fan of Kubrick’s adaptation because he disagreed with the director’s take on the source material. Despite his unhappiness, the Jack Nicholson movie was still selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2018 by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant. In 2019, Doctor Sleep was released as a follow-up.
According to NME, Ben Stiller is reportedly in talks to take on Jack Nicholson’s role in a stage adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining novel. The play will be helmed by Ivo van Hove and will come to the London West End next year. Rehearsals are currently scheduled to start in early 2023. The stage version is said to follow King’s 1977 book more closely than Kubrick’s film, but no further details have been disclosed at this time.