Volkswagen in the Movies: The Shining

Volkswagen has been a part of movie and television culture as long as it has existed; as a prop, a character, and a way to get around.

This Volkswagen in the movies is brought to you by the 1980 cult classic The Shining. Starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall and a great big old scary hotel. The Shining follows a family who heads to an isolated hotel for the winter to write and the reprocussions of their psychic sons abilities. The Volkswagen that makes it’s appearance in The Shining is a 1973 yellow Beetle sedan that the family drives up the mountain to the hotel.

Some very cool behind the scenes tidbits such as, “The helicopter footage shot for the title sequence was originally intended to be used only for that sequence. For the later sequence where Jack Torrance returns to The Overlook with Wendy and Danny, Kubrick had originally planned to use a series of ground-based shots showing the yellow Volkswagen towing a small trailer with the family’s possessions. Those shots were filmed by the 2nd unit crew, but during the editing process, Kubrick decided not to use them.” can be found by clicking HERE.

The Shining 1980 VW Yellow Beetle



Interesting fact from The Line Up regarding the red Volkswagen you see late in the movie, “With their widely noted disputes about the adaptation, some think Kubrick left an “eff you” message in The Shining for Stephen King. At the beginning of the movie we see that Kubrick has changed the book’s red Volkswagon with a yellow one — a seemingly harmless change. However, at the end we finally see what happened to King’s red car, it’s crushed in an accident on the side of the road.”the-shining-red-vw-bug smashed

There was also a Shining mini series in 1997 starring Rebecca DeMornay and Steven Weber which had a red 1974/75 VW Beetle.

The Shining TV series Beetle



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