Jack Torrance
Jack Torrance.jpg
Jack Torrance
Continuity: The Shining
Notability: Main character
Gender: Male
Location: Stovington, Vermont
Boulder, Colorado
Known relatives: Wendy Torrance [1]
Danny Torrance [2]
Sandy Reynolds [3]
Lucy Stone [4]
Abra Stone [5]
Died: 1976 [6]
December, 1978 [7]
1996 [8]
1st appearance: The Shining (novel)
Actor: Jack Nicholson
Steven Weber

Jack Torrance is one of the main characters from The Shining multimedia franchise as first envisioned by author Stephen King in his 1977 novel The Shining. The character was adapted in the 1980 feature film version of The Shining by director Stanley Kubrick, where he was portrayed by actor Jack Nicholson. A version of the character that is more faithful to the source material was presented in the 1997 TV miniseries iteration of The Shining, directed by Mick Garris. This version of the character was portrayed by actor Steven Weber.

Overview[edit | edit source]

Jack Torrance was an alcoholic teacher and writer. He was the husband of Wendy Torrance and the father of six-year-old Danny Torrance. After losing his job, Jack was able to gain employment as the new caretaker of the Overlook Hotel near Sidewinder, Colorado. He was to manage the upkeep of the hotel during the winter months when the place was closed down and the staff was away. Before handing over the keys, hotel manager Stuart Ullman warned Jack about the dangers of isolation and cabin fever, and even told him about a previous tragedy wherein a former caretaker, Delbert Grady, murdered his wife and daughters with an axe before taking his own life. Jack reassured him that "that is not going to happen to me".

Almost immediately however, Jack began to succumb to the dark, malevolent forces inside the hotel. Like his son, Jack possessed some degree of extrasensory perception and was able to see the various ghosts that still inhabited the hotel, such as the mysterious seductress in Room 237, Lloyd the bartender and even Delbert Grady himself. Grady encouraged Jack to do away with his wife and son, warning him that they were bringing in outside help, which could endanger the hotel.

Jack's mind quickly deteriorated into madness and he began stalking Wendy and Danny throughout the hotel with an axe. Wendy tried to ward him off with a baseball bat, and ultimately succeeded in knocking him out. She put him in a deep freezer, but Jack escaped and chased after her. She tried to lock herself inside of a bathroom, but Jack broke through, forcing Wendy to escape out the window. Jack followed his wife and child out into the snow. Catching sight of Danny, he pursued him into a topiary maze. Danny managed to get away, but Jack got lost in the maze. Eventually exhaustion and injury caused him to collapse and he froze to death.

Notes & Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The American Film Institute rated the character the 25th greatest film villain of all time.
  • In 2008, Jack Torrance was selected by Empire Magazine as one of The 100 Greatest Movie Characters.
  • Premiere Magazine also ranked Torrance on their list of The 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
  • It has been suggested by the Kubrick film that Jack Torrance may be the reincarnation of a guest or staff member from the Overlook Hotel from the 1920s. A photograph seen at the end of the movie shows Jack Torrance prominently displayed with a date that reads July 4th, 1921. This notion is implied earlier in the film when Delbert Grady states that Jack has "always" been the caretaker.

See also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wife, alive. Overlook survivor.
  2. Son, alive. Overlook survivor.
  3. Mother of illegitimate child by way of an extramarital affair.
  4. Daughter via Sandy Reynolds.
  5. Granddaughter via Lucy Stone. Also has the Shining.
  6. This database assumes that the events of the story take place in the present, which would be 1976 when the story was written, prior to its initial publication in 1977.
  7. The end of the film takes place in the month of December, shortly after Christmas. The movie was filmed from May, 1978 to April, 1979, suggesting that the events of the film itself took place in 1978. The events from the novel took place in the year 1977, which is when the book was released.
  8. This database assumes that the events of the miniseries takes place in the winter of 1996, prior to the initial broadcast of the film.

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