Iconic Hotel Movies – Part II

Read on the next chapter of our series, about the hotels that played a key role in making some of the most iconic movies what they are now. Words by Natalia Apostolou | @cinema.monamour

The Shining

The Shining, a classic masterpiece, was directed by the genius Stanley Kubrick in 1980. The film is based on Stephen King’s 1977 novel, The Shining. The story is about Jack Torrance, played brilliantly by Jack Nicholson, an aspiring writer and –as he claims- a recovering alcoholic, who becomes an off-season caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado.

Jack, his wife (Shelley Duvall) and their son Danny (Danny Lloyd) move into the vast hotel and it doesn’t take long enough for things to go horribly wrong.

Stanley Kubrick maintains a slow pace in the film, creating an intense, almost haunting atmosphere, where the viewer becomes the witness of Jack’s descent into madness.

Kubrick uses magnificent interior shots, giving us the eerie, gigantic, brilliantly lit spaces of the Overlook Hotel (created in Elstree Studios, Hertfordshire), that created the feeling of an abandoned city. Stanley Kubrick had a vision of creating a hotel that acts as a kind of psychological torture chamber, trapping its victims in a labyrinth of impossible corridors and rooms.

For the exterior shots, Kubrick used Timberline Lodge, one of Oregon’s most popular tourist attractions. Considered an architectural wonder, Timberline Lodge is set high on the shoulder of one of the most iconic peaks in the Pacific Northwest. If you are looking for a unique and unforgettable high-alpine mountain experience, then Timberline Lodge is the ideal place for you.

 After all, staying in a place that the brilliant Stanley Kubrick chose as a set for one of his most iconic films is literally as good as it gets.


No other Hitchcock film had a greater impact than Psycho, a film –now considered a masterpiece of filmmaking- the director made in 1960. Alfred Hitchcock filmed in black and white, having a small budget, as he deliberately wanted ‘Psycho’ to look like a cheap exploitation film.

The master of suspense spread the terror in movie theaters and shocked his audience as he decided to kill- in an unforgettably violent shower scene- his heroine only a third of the way into the film. ‘I was directing the audience. You might say I was playing with them, like an organ.’ Alfred Hitchcock told director François Truffaut in their book-length interview. And so he was.

Psycho continues to work as a frightening and insinuating experience, the one that will not be half-forgotten as we leave the theatre, but will stay with us and even makes us double-check the bathroom before taking a hot, relaxing shower.

The famous Bates Motel from Alfred Hitchcock’s classic shocker can be found on the Universal Studios lot and it is now a main attraction on the famous tour at Universal Studios Hollywood.

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