Curiouser and Curiouser, Part 8: 42 and 237




The film, it seems to me, has three numbers that are more important than all the others: 11, 42, and 237. Now, 42 is the product of multiplying 2 by 3 by 7, so I think we should that all the references to 42s are subtle references to 237, or possibly vice-versa. That said, I also think these numbers are distinct from one another. What I’ve noticed about the 42s is that they seem closely connected to impossibilities. So Summer of ’42 plays on a TV with no power cord…

…and these 6 stacks of 7up appear right through the wall and across the hall from where Ullman’s impossible window should be…

Right next to 11 steps on a staircase.

…and the 42 on Hallorann’s license plate might refer to the simple fact that a) Hallorann received a distress call from the mind of a child thousands of kilometres away, and then b) actually came to the rescue against all odds, getting a flight in the middle of the night (4:00am, since the flight is 4:20 hours, and the flight attendant says they’re landing at 8:20am), and landing just a couple hours before the radio reports that Stapleton International Airport will be closed due to the storm. Hallorann also arrives basically just in time to save Wendy from Jack, which is also extremely unlikely, to say the least.

But let’s look at some of the more overlooked 42s. Starting with my personal favourite: Jack Nicholson turned 42 while filming the movie. Here he is meeting Ringo Starr at the Superman UK premiere, which happened to occur on Dec. 13th, 1978, one year exactly to the day that Jack Torrance is supposed to be trying to kill his family, and dying in the snow.

The 42nd minute of the film starts on the very first second of Danny seeing 237 for the second time like this, and ends (42:59) as Danny is speeding up the hall past the door that magically opened behind him (room 238). The mirrorform of this sequence is the entirety of Dick driving to Durkin’s, and him telling Durkin it’ll take about 5 hours to get there.

On a similar note: 4200 seconds – 4300 seconds all takes place within Hallorann’s Miami apartment, while receiving the shine, in his bedroom that has some of the same books the Torrances had in Boulder. The 4200th second on the film features a plane not unlike the one he’s about to be on, despite the fact that he had no plans of soon being on a plane when he was watching this.

The 42nd shot of the film (if you count THE INTERVIEW placard, which I do) is Ullman telling the first half of the Grady story, including the axe murdering bit. His impossible window is right behind him while he does this.

The 42nd shot from the end is either the last shot of the ghost ball (which would be apt if the butler skeleton is meant to reflect Grady), or Jack stalking to the heart of the hedge maze if you count the final fade to black as a shot. The skeleton ball is also where we notice that Hallorann’s body has disappeared since Wendy saw it earlier.

Wendy swings the bat at Jack 39 times, hits his hand on the 40th swing, then cracks his skull of the 41st. The next time she swings anything at him is the last thing she ever does to him, which is the knife that slashes his hand, splashing his blood on the opposite side of the REDRUM door.

Also, Tony/Danny says “REDRUM” 43 times, but the 43rd is half cut off by the burst of music here. Can we say it’s 42.5? Or does the 43 signify that what Tony/Danny’s doing is not impossible?

The exact middle of the film (counting the opening, and stopping right on the first bit of visible credits) is 4242 seconds, meaning the total film is 8484 seconds.

This turns out to be an interesting number of seconds to make a film, because this means it can be divided by 1 (8484), 2 (4242), 3 (2828), 4 (2121), 6 (1414), 7 (1212), 12 (707), 14 (606), 21 (404), 28 (303), 42 (202), and 84 (101). And then you can flip that table, so that it can be divided by 101 (84), 202 (42), 303 (28), 404 (21), 606 (14), 707 (12), 1212 (7), 1414 (6), 2121 (4), 2828 (3), 4242 (2), and 8484 (1).

The only number under 10000 that looks to be more divisible (correct me if I’m wrong) by numbers under 10, is 7272, which can be divided by 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, and 9. A movie that long would have to be at least 2:01:12, and I mention that because the European cut of the film, which I haven’t seen, is apparently 119 minutes, or two minutes short of that. So if that minute count is somehow slightly wrong (on the part of IMDb), the credits of the European cut might push the length past the 7272 mark, and there might be more to that version than I’ve given it credit. But that’s a whole ‘nother can of corn, and I don’t need to be losing any more months of my life to this project.

There are 76 women and 67 men in the final photo with Jack (6×7=42), totalling 143 people. This is the same number as there are minutes in the film, 143:45 (the moment THE END leaves the screen). Also–and I can’t show this, you basically have to take my word for it, or count it yourself–there’s a heartbeat sound that plays at a few moments in the film, and these heartbeats total 346 altogether, but the section that plays over Wendy plotting escape, the first REDRUM scene, Jack killing the radio, and Hallorann coming to the rescue features 143 beats. 67 play over Wendy and Danny (in the escape plotting/REDRUM scene), and 76 play over Jack and Hallorann (in the radio killing/airplane scene). Coincidence? Maaaaaaaaaaybe.

(Also, the fade that connects the Danny/Wendy heartbeats and Jack/Hallorann heartbeats happens at exactly 1:34:00. Not a 143, true. But very close.)

But if it’s not, consider that the entire sequence running from the end of the Jack/Grady gold room tryst (the start of Wendy plotting) to the last scene of Jack typing All Work papers (comes after Hallorann’s plane ride ends) is defined by these 6x7s. If 67s and 76s represent impossibilities by extension of them making a product of 42, then is there something especially impossible about this passage? Wendy’s plotting scene is the first time that we’ve seen the Grady Twin paintings have migrated to Suite 3. Tony talking for a “gone away” Danny verges on purely impossible (in the sense that ghosts and supernatural imaginary friends don’t exist), and Hallorann’s rescue mission verges on the absurd, but there’s nothing specifically “impossible” about Jack going to rip the heart out of the radio, I don’t think. Perhaps because he’s on that mission thanks to a chat with an impossible ghost man in a bathroom that shouldn’t exist the way it does, spatially, it’s sort of by-extension impossible.

The other thought that grows out of that one: if the film is 143 minutes…is it meant to be impossible? Like, is there something absurd about the movie itself? Clearly Kubrick was on the fence about whether ghosts and psychic phenomena were real, but maybe there’s some comment being made here about the film’s, or the story’s, contents. At 67:00 (first image below) Jack is saying, “the ol’ sperm bank upstairs”, and at 76:00 he’s fleeing a naked woman in the room above where he does all his typing. I’ve written numerous times in my analysis about my suspicion that “the ol’ sperm bank upstairs” sounds like “the man upstairs”, as in a reference to a god. My dominant theory about the true dark heart of the Overlook is that it’s the Franklyn Cattermole oval nature painting in Suite 3. But this connection of these two moments to 67 and 76 might be a statement about the 237 ghost being the real god of the Overlook.

But maybe it’s just a reference to her being a god of the Overlook. In my Pillars of Hercules analysis I posit that every ghost is just a human face mask for the Overlook’s dark heart, in the same way as Geryon (one of Hercules’ nemeses) has multiple human faces, sometimes attached to a monstrous animal body. So maybe this connection of 6×7 and 7×6 to the “sperm bank” and fleeing in terror moments is a comment on how our sense of reproduction, of sperms and eggs, makes us want to shut out the thought of an “impossible” immortal being, like a god. It could be as simple as “gods are impossible”, but I don’t think Kubrick would be that simplistic.

There’s also the matter of the middle of the Golden Shining, which is where I look at how the Fibonacci sequence effects the film. In that analysis, the film is broken up into ten sections of increasing length, according to Fibonacci numbers. The midpoint between the first five and last five sections is 12:14, which 13 seconds past Danny’s first scream face vision from Tony, and 29 mirrorform seconds away from his final scream face at the end of the film. So, they’re exactly 42 mirrorform seconds apart, and the way the Golden Shining divides them turns out to have biblical significance.

And I’ll say it again: 42 is 2 x 3 x 7. As we move forward, consider what that might mean.


I wanted to do a section studying the way that the film encodes 2-3-7 patterns all over the place, which it does, but in order to understand each one, you sort of require a pre-existing sympathy or understanding for every other analysis on the site. The result is that, in order to convey the full depth of each point, I would have to re-explain a lot of information you will read elsewhere. But I’ve made my list, so I might as well share it with you as best I can.

Now, I’m doing this near the end of my work on Shining analysis, so I’m going to forego visual aids wherever possible.

Actually, before we get into the various 237s, I better expound on what I think is the major context for this number.

Certain interpretations of the Torah hold that Jacob’s ladder is meant to symbolize years. And there’s a song on the soundtrack called The Awakening/Dream of Jacob, by Krzysztof Penderecki. This song plays for 100 seconds (10:34-12:14) during Danny’s first vision from Tony (and the call to Wendy about getting the job), 238 seconds (57:12-61:10, but I guess I could be off by a second) (during the sequence starting with Danny playing cars outside 237 and ending as Wendy’s noticing him emerge from 237), and 260 seconds (71:54-76:14, or 4 minutes and 20 seconds–4:20) (during Jack’s journey through room 237, and Danny’s shine to Hallorann). The average distance between the earth and the moon is roughly 238,000 miles, though the number used to be understood as 237,000 miles (I found this during my early research, and I’ve lost the link now, so take that with a grain of salt). How we know the distance to the moon is through something called a Laser Ranging Retroreflector, or LRRR, which was first installed July 21, 1969 by the crew of Apollo 11. And when Danny first discovers room 237, he does so while making a series of lefts and rights that go left-right-right-right, or LRRR.

Since Danny rides his Apollo 11 shirt into 237, my guess is that the reason we’re hearing The Awakening/Dream of Jacob throughout these sequences is that Kubrick thought of the ascent to the moon like the mythological Jacob’s ascent to heaven. But instead of 237 being years, they’re miles. The image below shows the moment that the second Dream of Jacob is ending, and Wendy is saying “Danny! Everything’s okay! Just…go play in your room for a while. Your dad’s just got a headache.” As she’s saying this (a song called On the Nature of Sound #2 starts playing, and), she’s pointing right at room 237. So 237 seconds after Danny’s 237 adventure began, it’s like she’s telling him to go back there. And the only reason he went in was because he thought she had rolled that pink ball up to him.

We only hear On the Nature of Sound #2 a few more times but one of those times is right when Jack arrives at the centre of the maze and sees a vision of Danny’s tracks seeming to end, as if the boy lifted into flight. As if he caught a “Danny’s Ladder” up to the moon.

It’s a lot more complex than I’m letting on here, but there’s just one more thing I wanted to convey about this for now. In the Redrum Road analysis, Danny is triking past 237 the first time while Golden Slumbers is playing. That song contains the line “Once there was a way/To get back homeward”. So, in a nutshell, what this helped me realize is that, what’s really going on with room 237 and all this moon imagery is that Danny is trying to go backwards by going forwards, he’s trying to get back to Wendy (the womb) by going into certain death (the tomb). Similarly, seeing the earth from the moon is what has helped countless people realize what the earth really is: not the centre of the universe, but just one planet among many similar ones. Danny is saved by this forward-backward logic in the heart of the maze, when he traces his steps, but I think the major statement Kubrick’s making here is that by attempting to understand the universe by making (risky) leaps of science and conquest, what we’re really doing is altering the nature of our homes, our origins, our very outlook on life. Once there was a way to get back homeward…and that way still exists…but in a way it doesn’t. That’s 237.

So with that insanity in mind, let’s look at what remains.

  • In my Treachery of Images analysis, I discovered something quite complex that I’m going to try to make simple. The final 21 photos that are seen in the last few shots of the film have numeric values from 1 to 21 (as seen in the image below). These 21 photos repeat throughout the hotel, throughout the film. I call this shot of the final 21 the F21 Key. And if we don’t count the values presented in this key, then the value of F21 images that appear only in the lobby throughout the film add up to 237. Similarly, the west side of the Colorado lounge adds up to 260, but there’s a cluster of 23, which I think can be studied on its own to knock that grand total down to 237. The photos seen on the east side of the lounge, and in the games room add to 157, which in seconds would give us 2:37. These values of 237, 157, 157, 237, and 23 add to 811.
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  • Another thing about the Treachery of Images study is that there’s numerous examples of these F21 photos adding together on certain walls to give sums of 23 and 37. Sometimes, like when Danny’s emerging from room 237, there’s a 23 sum on one wall, and a 7 sum on another. Or when Hallorann’s approaching his doom, he passes a wall with the 2-value, the 3-value, and the 7-value photos in a cluster together.
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  • If we look at where the 2nd, 3rd, and 7th shots of the film cut were taken in reality, in the Montanan mountains around Going-to-the-Sun Road, we see that they make an X shape (see below) against the 1st, 4th 5th and 6th shots of the film. What my research into the meaning of the mountains’ various names revealed is that the 5th and 6th shots (as well as the 8th and 9th shots of the family driving up the second time) involve mountains not named for anyone of indigenous origin, while the 2nd, 3rd and 7th shots all do involve such mountains (the 1st and 4th shots are showing the same mountains as in the 3rd shot, with a few extras).
  • Also, the 7th shot includes the timecode 2:37 and during a moment (see below) when the names of the two screenwriters are passing by. I’ve wondered if this was a nod at Johnson’s help in coming up with all this incredible complexity.
  • Also, the 2nd shot and the 3rd shot trade hands exactly 37 seconds into the movie (0:51). The 2nd was 20 seconds long and the 3rd shot was 17 seconds long, for a total 37 (00:31-1:08).
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  • The 237th shot of the movie is Danny reacting to the bloody Grady twins (who he last saw in a vision from touching room 237), and the 237th shot from the end of the film is Dick passing the smashed Beetle while listening to KHOW’s Hal and Charlie talk about Wolf Creek being closed (the first painting inside 237 is of a dog at the edge of a river, and Hallorann is killed while standing in the middle of six paintings depicting rivers, including the one named for St. Maurice). HAL, of course, is the murdered artificial intelligence in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Charlie shares a name with Charles Grady who murdered his family.
  • The mirror moments for these are Grady talking about how he “corrected” his daughters for trying to burn down the hotel with its precious room 237 (in a scene made up of 23 shots, in fact), and Danny passing 237 for the first time. It’s mere seconds from the end of the smashed Beetle shot to where Danny gets the flash of the twins from touching the door.
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  • And just so ya know, the 474th shot of the film (237 x 2) is the third shot of Wendy going up the stairs, the first shot after Jack’s declaration of murderous violence, and the first shot on her that makes it clear she’s going all the way up the stairs toward room 237 (she could’ve kept edging backward, and gone down the other side of the Grand Stair). And keep an eye out as we move forward through this analysis for the many many embedded 237s around Wendy in that moment.
  • For instance, on the other side of the movie, Hallorann and Danny are seconds away from discussing room 237 for the first time. The kitchen conversation between Dick and Danny can be perfectly broken up into lengths of 23 seconds (Dick asking if Danny knows about the shining), 237 seconds (Dick and Danny talking openly about the shining), and 37 seconds (them talking about room 237). This moment is during the 237-second-long period.
  • The 474th shot from the end of the film is Danny triking away from the room, after the blip vision of the twins. The mirror action here is Dick lying to Durkin about the nature of his rescue mission, calling the Torrances “completely unreliable assholes”. So maybe the implication is that, had Dick been honest about his motivations, he might’ve been spared his particular doom, noble though it was.
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  • To set up this next one, I have to tell you two things. First, in my Treachery of Images analysis, I discovered that 157 is like a 237 twin, since 157 seconds makes 2:37 in clock time. So let’s consider the 157th shot.
  • But second, the door to room 238 opens mysteriously between the two shots of Danny looking at room 237. My theory is that room 238 is the room that Dick’s ghost will haunt people from thanks to his being killed on company property. The door opens in this shot because the hotel is wetting its lips for Danny to set the events in motion that will lead to Dick’s murder (and what assures Dick’s rescue mission will happen is the fact that Danny enters 237, the only other room in the film to open mysteriously on its own). Dick only has one scene where he’s passing F21 photos during his entire existence in the film–his death march–and they add up to 158.
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  • Okay, so, the 157th shot in the film is of Dick saying, “Not things that anyone can notice. But things that people who shine can see. Just like they can see things that haven’t happened yet…well…some can see things that happened a long time ago. I think a lot of things happened in this particular hotel over the years. And not all of ’em was good.” So, just as 157 is like a coded 237, the following shot, the 158th shot, is of Danny asking Dick “What about room 237?” It’s as if Danny’s plucking the notion of 237 from Dick’s head during this 157 moment, while he rhapsodizes about people being able to see the past and future. So, on a symbolic level, it’s as if Danny is asking “What about [the hotel’s desire to kill you]?” He goes on to ask in Dick is scared of [the hotel’s desire to kill him], and, dumbfounded, Dick says he isn’t scared of any such thing. But we know he is.
  • So it’s pretty funny that the backward action in this moment is Jack saying, “You had your whole fucking life to think things over. What’s a few minutes more gonna do you now?” Actually (if you haven’t read the Treachery of Images study this will be confusing, but), there’s a 15-value photo floating in Dick’s head in this moment, and it’s exactly 15 minutes to the second from the moment that Wendy has defeated Jack, to the moment that Hallorann interrupts Jack’s attack on Wendy in Suite 3. And this is the 157th shot.
  • The 158th shot from the end of the movie is the one of Wendy finding the murdered snowcat, and she holds it’s cut out heart just over Hallorann’s chest in the mirrorform for a moment. Moments away from Dick shining “eye scream” to Danny.
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  • One last thought: there’s a book called The Door, which appears in both the Torrance and Hallorann libraries. This book has a great deal to do with foreshadowing, so check out my analyses of that if you’d like to gain a deeper appreciation for Hallorann’s fate being tied to a literal door.
  • What I call the “Grand Stair” in the Colorado lounge is made up of two flights of stairs, comprised of 23 stairs and 7 stairs.
  • The maze as seen from above features a very similar design to the Grand Stair, with 7 step-like shapes leading up to a break, followed by 23 layers going to the top of the screen.
  • The fake map also features a 237. There’s 23 north-south barriers within the maze walls, and 7 east-west barriers between the outer wall and the heart of the maze.
  • The stairs leading up to the room with the blowjob bear are comprised of 23 stairs leading to Alex Colville’s Moon and Cow, and 14 stairs from there to the top for a total of 37. This was what really got me thinking that the connection between 237s and moon imagery was more than simple coincidence. Also, the 23rd stair is where you stop being able to make out the stairs, and you just have to go by the pumping of Wendy’s legs, but even if it somehow wasn’t 37, it would still be 38 or 36. So, what do you suppose is most likely?
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  • The stairs that lead from the lounge’s back hall to room 237 are 23. And during Danny’s first lesson, the most we can see is 16, meaning 7 are unseen (the full 23 are seen when Wendy’s running to wake nightmare Jack).
  • The lobby service hall (where Jack scattered the silver items after his journey through 237) features a staircase of 23 steps (in clusters of 2, 7, and 14). But also, the shelf that he’s smashing here features 3 shelves of 2 rows of 7 cups. And I might as well point out the 6 trays of 7up bottles (6 x 7 = 42, which is 2 x 3 x 7).
  • There’s 20 stairs outside Suite 3 (13 + 7), and 3 inside. I’m counting the landing up to the next floor, obviously, and as for the ones inside Suite 3, you just have to watch the scenes themselves, since we can never see the stairs themselves.
  • Jack climbs 8 (and descends 8, presumably) of the 23 stairs in the lobby’s southeast corner, in order to kill Hallorann
  • There’s a wall rug I had been calling the “mazerug” for many, many months before realizing it was 7 diamonds within, 3 half-diamonds along the top and bottom, and 2 half diamonds along the sides.

I’m not sure if this should quite count for this analysis, but as I was discussing in the section for general patterns of seeming significance, there’s a pattern between the genders and the clothing colours of the people seated at the seven seating areas Jack passes on his stroll toward Lloyd. The male-female-female pattern of the 2nd and 3rd couch, and the gold-black-black-black clothes of the people seated at the 1st and 4th chair circles, are the only two ways in which any of these seven arrangements twin one another. But it occurred to me that we could read the chair circles as 4th-7th to the red couches’ 1st-3rd. In that case, the two sets of twinning things would go 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 7th. Which is like a 42/237 mash-up. Also, if that’s the idea, this 4th chair circle and 2nd couch are onscreen at the same time for a few moments, while the 4th chair circle is never onscreen with the 3rd or 7th arrangements. Then, as if to underscore this idea, the 237 ghost herself appears in the distance at the exact moment (and right above Vivian Kubrick, as it happens), that the 2nd, 3rd and 7th arrangements are all fully visible.

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  • One thing I could never show without many, many screenshots (something I don’t have much room for anymore) is the fact that…well, do you see those giant squares on the carpet pattern of the Gold Room? And do you see how there’s a dark brown/light blue set above a dark red/light pink set? The brown/blue are 23 long by 17 wide, while the pink/red are 24 long by 18 wide. These number sets (23 x 17 and 24 x 18) would add to 823, which is like a 238 jumble, the number referring to Hallorann’s murder. I realize 238 is not 237, but there is the little matter of how there’s a stage and dance floor that obliterates the carpet in that part of the room. There’s also Lloyd’s bar. If these two areas blotted out 10 x 10 squares, then the carpet would feature 723 squares. Since we never get a clear look at how the carpet moulds around the dance floor, I don’t think it’s possible to be certain. Perhaps the point was not to be certain. I don’t know.
  • Here’s a little thing I wrote to explain any 237 connections which exist between the film and Abbey Road. Also, I forget if I mention there that, while I’ve seen many numbers thrown around for the total number of Beatles compositions, when I first started this project, when you typed “how many songs did the Beatles record” into Google, the answer was 237.
  • Also with regard to the Beatles, I realized while studying the lesson and escape keys that the second bird sticker on Danny’s door (the blackbird), correlates to the third bird painting inside room 237 (the Blackbird). Then, if you put both sets of four birds together, the Blackbird painting is the seventh bird in the two keys. So the blackbird is the 2nd, 3rd and 7th bird. If the number 237 signifies Jack’s real “work” (as I posit it does in the Treachery analysis), and that work is killing Hallorann, it’s appropriate that the 2-3-7 bird would be the blackbird. But what does that have to do with the Beatles? Well, the lesson and escape keys also have a correlation to the four figures in the Abbey Road Tour, and the Blackbird correlates to Wendy, who is the only person in that tour (Ullman, Wendy, Jack, and Watson) who Jack tries to kill. But because the Abbey Road Tour has that connection to the Abbey Road album cover, Wendy correlates to Ringo, and Ringo Starr’s real name was Richard Starkey. Blackbirds are often confused with starlings. So does that mean 2-3-7 is the “Starr” key? The Richard…Starkey?
  • But actually, all the Beatles may have a special relationship to the number. Ringo’s got the “Starr key”. The character correlating to Paul (Jack) is the only one from the tour to go into the room. If you add every one of Ullman’s (John’s) scenes together, they add to 732 seconds (don’t ask me how I know this). Finally, George Harrison appears to be in the movie (or someone who could be his twin brother), and in the mirrorform there’s this moment where the fob for 237 floats over his face as he sits at the bar.

In this section we’ll look at moments from the film that run for interesting amounts of time, whether that’s 23 seconds, 37 seconds, 237 seconds, 42 seconds, or anything that feels related to this subject (67s and 76s, for instance, or their combined sum–143). Some of these insights feel weighty enough to justify a separate section of analysis, but for now, I’ll try to keep it brief, and contained here.

238 is a number that seems to be associated with the death of Dick Hallorann, so I’ll be pointing those out.

Another major number that seems to keep popping up: 58–the number of years between Jack’s death (1979) and the year he magically transports back to (1921). Try to bear that in mind.

Also, bear in mind that many scenes crossfade into one another, in case time codes ever seem mis-recorded. Also bear in mind that I’m just going off a media player on my computer. I’m trusting that it’s reporting the right seconds, but there’s also the fact that each cut has an entire second in which to occur. So, say I’m seeing a cut at 3:45 and a cut at 3:50. If the 3:45 cut was right near the end of that second, and the 3:50 cut was right near the beginning, then it’s possible there’s as little as 4 actual seconds occurring there (3:46-3:49), even though the basic count (3:45-3:50) would suggest there were 5 or 6 seconds. I say 6 seconds because the other thing to consider is that when we talk about time in a film or song, we’re talking about whole seconds. So, between 3:45 and 3:50 you’ve got 3:45, 3:46, 3:47, 3:48, 3:49, and 3:50. Or 6 individual seconds. Most of the time a cut will happen midway through the second on both ends, and so we could reasonably assume 3:45-3:50 was closer to 5 whole seconds than 4 or 6. But there are those times when I’ve checked and found the cut falls right on the switch between time codes. As such, I’ve tried to consider these instances carefully to see when there’s actually as many seconds as there seems to be. I’ll be happy to stand corrected on any of these claims, but I think you’ll find if you ever decide to fact-check these claims, that these amounts are about 95% bang-on, and maybe 5% up for debate. In light of the superabundance (and dynamism) of examples, I think we can safely say there’s some deliberate patterns going on here.

One last thing: since writing the following research, I decided to do a scan of the entire movie, to see if there was any shot that was not in itself, or as part of a larger collection of shots, a significant length. There are, in fact four such instances (two of which are the exact same length–83 seconds–which could be like a soft 238 reference), which total 313 seconds, out of 8460. But I noticed two things by doing this: 1) there are exactly 143 of these “significant time” chunks, and 2) you can actually break the film down into 6 larger sections of time (2370, 1100, 1430, 210, 1921, and 1430) and study the film that way–which is just what we’ll do in the section following this one. So I’ve got an idea now to make a visual aid for understanding exactly how perfectly all these time chunks overlay to create this absurdly complex and ornate superstructure, but in case I never get around to it…just know that that’s what’s going on, here.

  • We covered this already, but I’ll just reiterate that the 2nd and 3rd shots are 17 and 20 seconds (not counting the crossfade), for a combined 37. And the cut between these shots occurs 37 seconds into the film proper (0:51).
  • The 6th shot of the film (Jack’s VW driving around Mt. Gould and Heaven’s Peak) goes for 23 seconds (2:11-2:34) and cuts into the 7th shot of the film (which contains the time code 2:37–which spiritually splits that 10-second shot into halves of 3 and 7 seconds).
  • The shot of Jack arriving for the interview can be broken into sections of 31 seconds (Jack arriving; 3:03-3:34), and 37 seconds (Jack and Ullman meeting; 3:34-4:11). 3:35 is the first second in the film that Trapper’s Camp can be seen (the painting symbolizing the hotel’s desire to kill Hallorann–painted in 1931, no less), so this would seem like the marker for the way this shot was meant to be divided. This also means that this shot ends at 4:11, which is exactly 237 seconds into the film proper (0:14-4:11).
  • The breakfast between Danny and Wendy (not counting crossfades) goes from 4:11-5:09, or 58 seconds. This is divided by a cut at 4:48 making a 37 (not talking about Tony) half, and a 21 (talking about Tony) half. This might be the first solid example for how one significant number (in this case 58) can be broken into two or more other significant numbers (in this case 37, which is obvious, and 21, which is the year Jack travels back to). Another example would be how 237 can be broken into 79 (the year Jack and Dick die) and 158 (which is 2:38, the number associated with Dick’s death).
  • The interview with Jack, Watson and Ullman goes from 5:09-10:34, or 325 seconds. At exactly 237 seconds in (9:06), Ullman has just finished the salient part of the Grady story, blurting out in the space of this final second “…killed his family with an axe…”, leading to the cut to Jack’s reaction. If 237 equals the “work” the hotel really wants from Jack, it’s pretty stunning this line would occur here (especially considering the Trapper’s Camp painting is still in the room). This second also features a cut to Jack’s reaction, while Ullman continues on, detailing Grady’s suicide and relocation of his family’s dismembered corpses. The remainder of this sequence is 88 seconds, which can be divided into two sections of 58 and 30. The first 58 containing all the appropriate seriousness, and the back 30 containing the men laughing at the awkwardness of it all. This 30 is 3 seconds of Ullman laughing at the crazy story, 23 seconds of Jack smirking over his superiority, and 4 seconds of crossfade. So that’s either a 3-27 or a 23-7, depending on how you’d like to lump it.
Jack breaks the tension 58 seconds after the 237 moment. As if to say, “Don’t worry. I’ll travel back in time for you guys.”
  • Also, this scene features a tonne of cool bits at the various significant numbers. At 23 seconds in Jack says “Formerly a schoolteacher”. At 37 seconds in he says, “Well, I’m lookin’ for a change”. I love that, because he does experience quite the change in room 237. At 58 seconds we’ve heard all about Jack getting the job and we cut to this shot of Jack asking his first question about the job (with the “heaven” photo beside him, no less), which is why would they ever dream of closing the place down? At 157 seconds in Ullman is saying “solitude” in the line, “That’s very good, Jack…because for some people…solitude…and isolation…can, of itself, become a problem.”
  • The time that Watson is on screen in this scene adds up to 37 seconds, and his last shot starts right on 8:32, a backwards 238, or Hallorann’s death number. So, while I think Watson is the angel to Ullman’s devil, these numbers would suggest he’s still quite concerned with the subject of Dick’s demise.
  • Danny’s vision of the bloodfall goes on for 23 seconds (11:43-12:06) and the ensuing darkness goes on for 7 (12:06-12:12 — these are whole seconds of 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12). This was Tony’s explanation for why he didn’t want to go to the hotel. 23 (bloodfall) 7 (darkness).
  • The first performance of The Awakening/Dream of Jacob goes for exactly 100 seconds (10:34-12:14), which is significant in the Fibonacci analysis, but I can’t figure out what it’s doing in this sort of context, if anything. A hundred can be broken down into a couple significant number combos (58/42, 21/79), but neither seem to otherwise apply to the editing. One total coincidence is that the company that makes Ivory dish cleaner, which appears in this scene, started manufacturing it 100 years prior in 1879.
  • At 325 seconds (12:13-17:37 — again, these are whole seconds) the interview between the doctor and Danny and Wendy is the exact same length as Jack’s interview. This sequence also features a cut right on the 237th second (16:09), and it divides Wendy trying to be vague about Tony’s origin (“I guess he started talking to Tony around the time we put him in nursery school”) from the doctor’s innocently furthering question, “Did he adjust well to school?” So this is Wendy’s 237: the shame of staying with the man who broke her son’s mind in two. Considering all the 237s that swirl around her during the lounge fight, this is an apt genesis. Also, there isn’t a cut at the 58-second mark here like there was during Jack’s interview, but right at this moment (17:07) is Wendy saying, “It’s just the sort of thing you do 100 times with a child in the park or in the streets” in the line that continues with “…but…on this particular occasion…my husband just used too much strength…” The following 23 seconds features her justification for staying with Jack, and the closing 7 features her dubious line about how Jack “hasn’t had any alcohol in, uh, 5 months”.
  • The gap in the music for this period (12:15-17:42) is exactly 327 seconds. A 237 jumble.
  • The drive to the Overlook is 84 seconds (42 x 2) (17:58-19:22). The first 42 ends right as Jack replies to Wendy’s query about the Donner party. The second 42 is Danny’s query about the cannibals. It’s also neat that this portion almost ends on 19:21, the year the Overlook cannibalizes Jack into.
  • The scene in the games room stars with a 23-second shot of Danny before he sees the twins (21:24-21:47). The whole sequence with them is another 23 (21:47-22:10).
  • The sound of Lontano playing over the games room scene goes for 58 seconds (21:23-22:21). That plays nicely with the general connection the twins have with Jack and his doom. It’s exactly 300 seconds to the next performance of Lontano, which is the next song on the soundtrack (22:21-27:21), though I’m not sure why that would be. This performance of Lontano has a very subtle fade out that lingers long on the soundtrack at a softness that’s hard to track, because you have to turn the regular volume up enormously, harming the ears. But I feel like I can still hear traces of it by 28:08. If it somehow lingers till 28:13, then it would be exactly 10 minutes to the start of the next song, Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta at 38:13.
  • It’s 37 seconds from the start of the Gold Room tour to Ullman hailing Dick Hallorann (24:00-24:37). Also, note that 24:37. That’s the first time anyone speaks to Hallorann. It’s another 23 seconds from the appearance of Danny in this scene to the fade into the next scene (24:59-25:22).
  • Actually, Hallorann’s entire existence in the first half of the film can be broken down into sequences lasting these lengths and only these lengths: 238-37-23-237-37. The first 238 goes from his first appearance in the Gold Room to the end of him showing off the kitchen (24:17-28:15). At 28:15, Ullman says “Hi! How you getting on?” effectively ending Dick’s tour. Remember, 238 is the room across from 237 that Dick’s ghost might be haunting someday. The next 37 (28:15-28:52) is Ullman taking Wendy to the boiler room, and Hallorann asking Dan about “ice cream”. The next scene of the Abbey Road Tour finale (which doesn’t include Dick) is 23 seconds (28:53-29:15). The next scene of Danny and Hallorann having their big talk is 297 seconds (29:13-34:10), or…23 + 237 + 37. The first 23 is Hallorann saying, “Do you know how I knew your name was Doc?” Big silence from Danny. “You know what I’m talking about, don’t ya?” Danny shrugs. The next 237 seconds is them talking about Tony and shining and the Overlook. The last 37 seconds starts at the moment Danny says “room 237” in the line “What about room 237?”
  • Also, Danny breaks his silence with Hallorann at exactly 30:27. He does this with the line “I’m not supposed to.” As in, talk about his shine powers. And it’s a good thing he does, for his sake, but a not so good thing for Hallorann’s.
  • This sequence also contains the time code 32:07, which is Hallorann finishing saying he “ain’t scared a nuthin’ here” and starting saying that “…some places are like people. Some shine…some don’t.” So this marks the moment that Hallorann introduces the notion of the Overlook having a shine all its own.
Hallorann at the 23 second mark, about to launch into his (237) life story.
  • Danny’s 1st lesson (him circling the lounge, starting and ending one floor down from room 237) takes 37 seconds (34:41-35:18).
  • Danny’s 2nd lesson starts with a shot lasting 23 seconds (37:59-38:22). The last shot in that sequence–the aerial shot over the labyrinth into Danny and Wendy walking the maze heart–goes for 42 seconds (39:46-40:28).
  • Danny’s third lesson starts with a 37-second shot (41:14-41:51), which ends with the cut to the first shot of the 237 door. The second shot of the door from his perspective starts at exactly 42:00, and Danny’s hand is grabbing and starting to twist the knob at 42:37. Also, everything that follows the initial 37 seconds takes 73 seconds (41:51-43:04).
  • Danny’s 4th lesson (meeting the Grady twins) breaks apart in a fascinating rhythm. Him triking behind the lobby is 17 seconds (49:17-49:34), him triking to the twins takes 6 seconds (49:34-49:40), their spook show takes 37 seconds (49:40-50:17), and the aftermath takes 58 (50:17-51:15). So, 17 and 6 make 23, which means we’ve got yet another 23-37 dynamic here. And 58 is the number of years Jack travels back in time to get to 1921. How fitting is it, then, that these 58 seconds totally mirror over Jack being seduced into his time-stuck fate?
  • Jack’s scene throwing the ball in the lounge starts with a 23-second shot (37:31-37:54), then cuts to a 7 second shot (37:55-38:02).
  • Exactly 237-238 after the A MONTH LATER placard (34:11-38:08) is Wendy saying to Danny “I’m gonna getcha! Better run fast!”
  • TUESDAY starts with a 3 second placard and a 7 second establishing shot of the hotel. (40:29-40:39). Wendy’s scene making fruit salad and hearing about the “1968 shooting”, the “missing Aspen woman” and the coming “snowstorm” is 37 seconds (40:37-41:14).
  • The second performance of Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta starts at 41:20 (just as Danny’s passing room 237 without noticing it) and goes to 43:54, which is 2:34 in whole seconds. Seems odd that he would stop short like that, especially since this version contains Danny’s entire first 237 experience. But maybe it speaks to his being blocked by the locked door, or maybe it speaks to Wendy’s ignorance of everything that’s going wrong around her, since the song ends on her kiss for Jack in the lounge. But probably what it’s about is that the F21 photos on the pillars behind Jack equal 20 and 34, which has a special meaning all its own.
  • The scene of Jack bitching out Wendy for the first time (43:05-46:00) is made up of a 76-second, another 76-second, and a 23-second scene. The first 76 goes from Jack typing to Wendy entering and trying to chat Jack up, going to the moment when she says, “Aw, c’mon, hon. Don’t be so grouchy.” The second 76 features Jack being rather grouchy. And the final 23 features Wendy’s exit shot and Jack resuming typing. Also, since I’ll be pointing out totals that are jumbles of 237 (like 732 and 273), I’ll point out that this scene is 175 seconds, a jumble of 157.
  • THURSDAY is made up of a 3 second shot (the placard), a 20 second shot (Danny and Wendy playing in the snow), and a 27 second shot (Jack staring madly). The first bit combines to make 23 (46:01-46:24), though I’m not sure if we should count phenomena like 27s. I mean, a 23 and a 27 seems compelling, but still.
  • The three performances of Lontano are 58 seconds (games room), 45ish seconds (“eye scream”) and 104 seconds (46:16-48:00; crazy stare and radio Wendy), or 207 seconds total, which is 3:27.
  • Wendy’s SATURDAY call to the rangers can be divided into 76 seconds of her not getting through (46:52-48:08) and 67 seconds of her getting through (48:09-49:16). Also, that’s a 143-second total, so that goes well with the fact that this section contains the one-third mark of the film, with the postcards that resemble the first and last shots in the film. Also, if we treat the SATURDAY placard as the start of this section, the 237th second (50:49) is Danny saying his only words in this scene, “Tony? I’m scared.”
  • The song that plays over Danny’s confrontation with the twins, De Natura Sonoris #1, plays from 49:18-51:15, or 1:57. If you recall, the F21 photos around the twins in the games room equal 157 points.
  • This is followed by an 84 second silence (51:16-52:40), which occurs atop Wendy and Danny watching Summer of ’42. And 42 x 2 is 84.
  • The scene of Danny’s confrontation with zombie Jack starts with a 37-second shot of Dan creeping in, leading to the whip-pan to Jack on the bed, staring into space (52:39-53:16). The 237th second of this whole scene (56:36) is the cut that divides the sequence of Jack demanding to know if Wendy told Danny that Jack would hurt them and Danny assuaging his fears (a shot that includes the Suite 3 bathroom–foreshadowing both the 237 bathroom and the way Jack will assault this bathroom), from the final 26 seconds, where Jack foretells that he would never do anything in a million billion years to hurt the child that he loves. Not even as far as 3 days and 7 hours from now (this is MONDAY around lunchtime, and Jack dies on Thursday around 6pm).
  • Also, the end of the zombie Jack scene is the end of the last performance of Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta. The first one ran for 139 seconds (38:13-40:32), the second for 234 as we just saw, and the last one for 264 (52:41-57:05), for a grand total of 637 seconds, or 10:37. Not quite a hard 237, but worth noting.
  • The start of WEDNESDAY is 7 seconds worth of placard and establishing shot of the hotel (57:02-57:09), followed by 23 seconds of Danny playing with his cars and watching the pink ball roll up (57:09-57:32). Also, the shot of him entering room 237 fades completely out at exactly 58:37, which is like a mash-up of Jack’s time travel number (58) and this room (37). So it’s like, by entering the room, Danny is ensuring Jack will visit the room, triggering Jack’s seduction by the hotel, and demise. Again, I don’t think Danny is “actively” murdering Jack, but the story is that Danny’s actions play a part in how Jack becomes who he becomes.
  • The sequence running from Wendy in the boiler room to her leaving the lounge with Danny (58:33-62:47) is 254 seconds. But if you take out the one shot of Jack screaming to himself alone (17 seconds), the Wendy portions are 237. So perhaps this is Wendy’s 237 too. Hearing her husband’s screams, his murderous thoughts, her son’s bruises. I should also point out that her run toward Jack starts exactly below room 237, at the start of the (23) stairs that could take her up there. Also, I know I haven’t been looking at a lot of the 157s, but at 157 seconds into this sequence (61:10) there’s a transition between the two songs of this scene (Dream of Jacob and On the Nature of Sound #2).
  • Incidentally, On the Nature of Sound #2 plays for exactly 3:00 here (61:10-64:10). Earlier, we had that 300 second gap between Lontanos. I don’t know if this is a pattern, but I’ll keep an ear out for it.
  • As for Jack’s Wendy-less Gold Room scene, it’s 377 seconds long (62:44-69:01). What’s cool about this is that 377 is the 14th number in a standard Fibonacci sequence. I forget if I’ve mentioned at this point that I believe there’s a strong connection between that sequence and this film. But in the Treachery of Images analysis, 14 is the number of room 237. So, this 377 could be a coy way of saying this scene sets up the audience’s journey into the dreaded room. If that is some spectacular coincidence, it’s still a 377.
  • But wait, there’s more! The length of time from the start of WEDNESDAY to the second that Wendy reappears in Jack’s world is 732 seconds (57:02-69:14). And from this point to the next sequence, of Hallorann in Florida, Wendy describes Danny’s tale about room 237 for exactly 37 seconds (69:14-69:51). And there’s this funny little moment in the mirrorform when, just as Jack asks which room Danny met the “crazy woman” in, the backwards action pops up this 237 fob. Oh, Kubrick. But yeah, the WEDNESDAY sequence, with all its mirrors and mirror people (Lloyd), goes 732-37.
  • And at the risk of making this sound improbable to the point of absurdity, the last part of Jack’s conversation with Lloyd/himself is 60 seconds. There’s no cut during this, but at the 37 second mark is when Jack’s rage crescendos (“…all I tried to do was pull him up!”), and then, for the remaining 23 he calms himself and tries to seem reasonable.
  • I feel like I have to point out that the 237th second of the Lloyd talk sequence is Jack saying things could be a whole lot better after downing his suicide drink. The mirror action is Jack making contact with the 237 ghost.
  • Dick’s first Miami scene is broken into chunks of 67 and 42. The 67 being his news watching, and the 42 being his shine receiving. 6 x 7 = 42. And 2 x 3 x 7 = 42. The shrieking “shine” sound plays for exactly 73 seconds (70:58-72:11)
  • Jack’s entire 237 experience is 273 seconds (71:40-76:13), the 237th second of which gives us our first view of the corpse ghost coming at him (75:37). There’s also a heartbeat on the soundtrack that starts at 71:00 and ends around 75:09 or 75:11. The reason for my uncertainty has to do with the fact that I’ve counted these beats a few times, and I keep getting 156, which is too much of a close call, too close to 157. There’s even a point at beat 84 (42 x 2) where the beats go almost subsonic (you have to damage your hearing a little just to make them out over the soundtrack here), and they come back at 98 (14 silent beats in room 237?). So I’m wondering if there’s one last silent beat we’re supposed to just trust is there beneath the soundtrack’s wailing. It would occur at 75:11, which is like 157 backwards. Although 156 minus 98 would give us 58, Jack’s time travel number. Actually, I kinda like that. Two impossible 42s, a 14, and a 58. The impossibility of time travel in room 237–that’s basically what Jack experiences here, and what discombobulates him so. I just also really like the idea of the two heartbeat tracks in the film having that connection to 237. The 157 is obvious, and 143 (the heartbeats that play over Wendy plotting escape and Jack killing the radio) plays over two scenes that feature 67 beats and 76 beats respectively. And 6×7 = 42, etc. etc.
  • Dick’s first call to the hotel gets blocked, and this scene is 37 seconds if you don’t count the crossfade with Jack escaping room 237 (76:15-76:52).
  • The scene of Jack and Wendy discussing the fact that nothing happened in room 237, followed by Jack storming to the ghost ball, is, like the room 237 sequence, also 273 seconds (76:53-81:26). And fun fact, Danny gets his first flash of REDRUM exactly 2:27 into this sequence at 79:19 (not quite perfect, but still). When Jack starts hearing the ghost ball, the song he hears is called Masquerade, and it plays for 37 seconds (80:49-81:26). This also means that the song starts on the 236th second of the this sequence (80:49), but it’s only plainly audible on the 237th (because of the way it emerges out of silence on the soundtrack).
  • Another heartbeat starts during the 237 autopsy that goes for 44 beats. Danny says REDRUM 43 times in the final REDRUM scene, and writes it once. And this scene features him seeing REDRUM for the first time (just after the 4th beat). So that’s on point. But another neat thing is that the 37th beat is Jack death-staring at Danny’s room as he storms out. Also, the chilly, icy music that plays atop the heart beats plays for 88 seconds (79:09-80:37)
  • Dick’s next two sequences of getting the forest service to aid in his cause (81:27-82:18 and 95:07-95:48) add up to 92 seconds. Add these to the other two Florida scenes of 109 and 37, and you get…238. Dick’s death number.
  • The older ghost from inside 237 appears at the ghost ball, buried in the crowd, at 82:52, and Jack and Grady enter the impossible bathroom at the start of 85:30, 157 seconds (2:37) later.
  • 58 seconds into Jack entering the ghost ball (83:16) he says, “It’s good to be back, Lloyd!” Maybe a coincidence, but I like it.


  • All of the scenes with ghosts and visions have special timing attributes, so let’s look at them in isolation. Every scene in the film directly involving Lloyd on screen (64:39-69:01 (322) and 82:58-84:36 (98)) adds to 420 seconds (or 7:00 exactly).
  • Similarly, Delbert Grady appears at 84:40 and is last seen at 91:41 (421 seconds)–and this doesn’t count the 188-second scene of Grady talking to Jack in the pantry (made up of sequences lasting 67 and 121 seconds, starting with the sound of Grady’s knock on the door at 114:41, exactly 23 minutes after his 7 minute sequence ended). Also, his first scene (421) is exactly 233 seconds longer than his second (188). If we add the 4 seconds that Charles Grady is on screen to the 421 seconds of visual Delbert Grady, the difference between visual Grady(s) and aural Grady would be 237.
  • The 237 ghost appears in 237 (behind the bathtub curtain) at 72:40 and is last seen in this sequence at 75:58 (198), then appears 414 seconds later at 82:52-83:12 (20) and then from 84:38-85:20 (42). This would seem so give her a total of 260 exactly, but (and I’m sorry, there’s no alternative but for you to check this yourself) the first ghost ball sequence features her being blocked by a bar-sitter’s torso for 2 seconds, and the second sequence features her being blocked by Jack and Grady for an additional 20-21 (very sporadic, very hard to count) seconds (22-23 total), meaning that her visual presence is only felt for 238-237 seconds.
  • And the Grady twins have their two split-second flashes, but their first sequence is 23 seconds (22:47-22:10), and their bloodier sequence is 37 (49:40-50:17).
  • Wendy’s four experiences with the hauntings at the end go for 12 seconds (BJ bear – 129:50-130:02), 6 seconds (Grady ghost – 132:51-132:57), 13 seconds (skeleton ball – 133:33-133:46), and 17 seconds (bloodfall – 134:48-135:05), for a grand total of 48 seconds, but these include 6 seconds of reaction shots of Wendy across the last three scenes. So, that’s a 42.
  • Similarly, Danny’s three bloodfall visions (11:43-12:06 (23), 79:47-79:51 (5 — in whole seconds), and 105:35-105:50 (15)) add up to 43, which is the number of times he says REDRUM, but these visions are interrupted by about a second’s worth of three different split-second visions, which could bring it to 42, if you like.
  • As for the ghost ball ghosts, these are the most detached from these other figures, but they still add to something pretty interesting: they’re only seen on screen in the ghostflesh for 173 seconds (82:37-85:30), but if we count the entire lengths of any evidence of them, Jack first hears the music they’re playing (and sees the strewn balloons) for 37 seconds, then passes through the gold room and bathroom (where the music and applause can still be heard) for 553 seconds (82:19-91:41), and then we hear their music again during the last shots of the film (97 seconds — 139:40-141:17), but we continue to hear the ghost ball music over the credits, culminating in more applause from the ghosts, followed by their chatter with one another, which only ends at 143:42 (adding an additional 145 seconds), and this all adds to 832. And that’s a backwards Hallorann’s death number, which probably implies that he did indeed get consumed into the hotel’s dark heart. Also, it’s neat then that the time codes for the ghosts being on screen both include a kind of 238 jumble: 82:37 and 85:30. We could stretch this tidbit a step further by observing that the leftover numbers here ((82:3)7 and (85:3)0) combine to make 70, the year of the Grady murders (1970), and the age of the hotel during the Torrance murder (1909-1979).

  • Just as Danny’s first REDRUM came at 2:27 into the scene of Jack disputing Danny’s 237 claims, and Grady crashes the advocaats into Jack at the exact same second of this sequence (84:45–from 82:19 in whole seconds).
  • Grady’s time on screen (84:40-91:41) is split when the action cuts from outside the Gold Room bathroom, to inside it at 85:30. But it cuts right near the second change over, so these segments are technically 49 seconds out, 372 seconds in. At 237 seconds into the bathroom segment (89:27), Jack is saying the n-word, in reference to Hallorann, his 237 target. At 157 seconds into the bathroom segment (88:06) Jack has just finished his gotcha moment, “Mr. Grady…you were the caretaker here” and the shot cuts in order to start the “I’m sorry to differ with you, sir” section. At 58 seconds in (86:57), Jack is finishing a 5-second moment of himself studying Grady’s face in the mirror, ending with him smiling in some sort of recognition. I’ve always thought of this moment as Jack imagining himself becoming Grady, with his hand’s held in the “I’m carrying a ghost axe” position. So how fitting that it would end at the 58 moment.
Jack seeing Grady, like, “I like, I like.”
  • The song It’s All Forgotten Now is the second of three 1930’s tracks that play during the ghost ball, and its natural length is 195 seconds (85:53-89:07), the song that was playing as he came in, Midnight, the Stars, and You, is longer than that, but it’s already playing when the scene starts, so it’s been cropped to play for the exact same length (82:19-85:34). The distance from the end of It’s All Forgotten Now to the end of the Grady/Jack scene is 2:34 (89:07-91:41), and the song that plays (for 2:27) in this passage is called Home, which would be another chip in the 20-34 theory’s pile.
  • The scene of Wendy plotting escape into the shot of her sitting on REDRUM Danny’s bed (91:41-92:48) is 67 seconds. And this is the sequence that features 76 more heartbeats, leading into the radiokiller Jack/Hallorann’s rescue sequence, with its 67 heartbeats. The next three shots of Tony Danny-blocking Wendy (92:48-93:30) are 42 seconds, and the next three of Wendy getting freaked about the Tony situation (93:30-94:04) are 34 seconds, which means we’ve got a 67-second half and a 76-second half to accompany our 76 beats.
  • Jack pulls out the heart of the radio at exactly 58 seconds into the radiokiller sequence (94:00-94:58), his first murderous act. This scene goes from 94:00 to 95:08, but the fades happen partway through the seconds, so I think this is closer to 67 seconds total, than to 68.
  • Hallorann’s half of the 67 beats portion starts with a 42-second section in which he makes his final distress call (remember, all his Florida segments add up to 238). And the remainder of his flight is 49 seconds, a number of no significance, but(!), from the start of Jack’s radiokillin’ to the end of Hallorann’s flight is 2:37 (94:00-96:37).
  • The Dick/Durkin sequence is strangely segmented. 42 seconds takes us from Dick’s plane landing to Durkin answering the phone (96:56-97:38). Another 58 takes us to Durkin agreeing to Dick’s insane plan (97:38-98:36). An 11-second period sees them saying goodbye. And a 42 second period sees Dick driving to Durkin’s past the smashed Beetle. So, I could see how the two bookending 42s could be expressing the absurdity of Dick’s mission, but having the talk be composed of a Time Travel Jack number, and a Jack’s photo number seems awfully Jack-centric for this most un-Jack-ly conversation. Perhaps this is in service to a greater pattern.
  • Also, not to confuse the matter, but the time between Dick getting the bad news about the Overlook radio and Dick seeing the smashed Beetle is 238 seconds (95:32-99:30). This sequence involves the short scene of Jack typing between shots of Hallorann’s rescue mission, which could potentially explain its reason for being where it is.
  • The conversation between Wendy and Tony at the Roadrunner breakfast is 107 seconds (the theme song plays for 57 seconds), with no cut, but she tells him she’ll be back in about 5 minutes, after checking on Jack. 273 seconds later (100:40-105:13) we get the first shot of Danny shining in on what’s really going on in there. And exactly 5 minutes from Wendy saying “5 minutes” (105:40) we get the split-second flash of REDRUM. So that moment is clearly one of, if not the most significant moment from those 107 seconds. If this moment is therefore meant to divide the sequence (99:31-101:17, in whole seconds) then it divides it into a 70- and 37-second scene. A Grady number (70) and an Overlook number (37). If the “5 minutes” is a lie (and it was a sort of lie), this could be the reason why it creates two such sinister numbers.
  • At over 8 minutes, the lounge fight is the longest single scene in the film, but it’s got several components. First Wendy goes looking for Jack, and the sequence building up to Wendy finding the All Work papers is 76 seconds (101:15-102:31). This is followed by two back-to-back 157-second portions (102:31-105:07 and 105:08-107:44, in whole seconds), the first of which being Wendy reading the All Work papers and Jack intruding, the second of which being Jack advancing on Wendy, Danny’s eavesdropping shines, and the majority of the lounge fight, ending at the end of the last shot of Jack raving about his “future”. This leads into a 58-second passage (107:44-108:42) which is half Wendy saying she’s confused and wants to go back to her room, and half Jack saying she had her whole life to think things over, and then promising a good brain bashing. The ascent up the stairs is 37 seconds (108:42-109:20), ending when Wendy cracks Jack’s melon. And the final three shots are 1 second, 5 seconds and 7 seconds (109:20-109:33). So that’s 76/157/157/58/37/1/5/7.
  • I also just want to point out that 157 seconds into the entire lounge sequence (103:52) is a second after the shot of creeper Jack starts, and 237 seconds into the sequence (105:12) is the moment Jack begins to advance on Wendy from the writing desk, initiating the backwards-forwards chase. It’s actually 23 seconds from that point to the start of Danny’s bloodfall vision (105:35), which happens to be 237 seconds to the end (109:33). So a second way of writing out the times for this sequence would then be 237-23-237. But a shrewd observer will note that these three sums make 497, not the 498 required to cross from 101:15 to 109:33. This, as best as I can tell, is because these 237-23-237 sums are all slightly more than that, but clearly they’re close enough to create the effect. There’s also a cut 157 seconds from the end, halfway through Jack’s raving about Wendy’s ignorance over Jack’s agreements with the hotel, and his responsibilities. And 58 seconds from the end is just as Jack’s saying “I’m just gonna bash your brains in”, forever altering the bedrock of his relationship with his wife, and cementing his commitment to the Overlook’s dark will.
  • I mentioned elsewhere how Polymorphia plays over the lounge fight and the locking up of Jack for 732 seconds (101:18-113:30), but the really cool thing there (I think), is that the reason the song is able to go on 23 seconds longer than the original recording was already is because there’s a few tricky edits that keep us from noticing that we’re re-covering our musical ground. One of the results of that is that from the point where we transition away from Wendy having clubbed Jack to the point where she runs outside to check on the dead snowcat, the song cuts to a different point in the song, and that chunk of Polymorphia (109:33-113:30) ends up being 237 seconds. It’s actually only 7 seconds into that 237 chunk that we start to see the end of the Abbey Road Tour on the other side of the film (with its 37-23 chunks, which become 23-37 when playing backwards in the mirrorform). And that leads into the Danny/Hallorann chat, with its 23-237-37 chunks. In fact, right at the moment that the 237 of Polymorphia is beginning (see below), the backwards Danny is saying, “Mr. Hallorann, are you scared of this place?” 143 seconds into the 237 portion of their talk. And remember, 143 is the length of the film: 2:23:00. But if we went into the milliseconds, we might see that this moment is exactly 143.37 seconds into that portion. Who knows…?
  • (Fun fact: when Danny is saying, “What about room 237?” in a minute, Wendy on the other side is saying, “I just wanna go back to my room!” And Jack is pushing her closer and closer to a different room. Also, there’s a break in the music 242 seconds in (right before Danny’s bloodfall shine interrupts the action–1:45:20), making the two other Polymorphia segments be 253 and 237. And the 37 seconds of Dick and Danny discussing the room comes 94 seconds into the middle 253-second chunk of Polymorphia. Which means that 122 seconds follow to the next edit/break in the music. So, it’s not perfect, but I like how the “room 237” portion of their conversation comes in the middle of the middle portion. Oh, actually, 237+94+37 = 368. And 732 – 368 = 364. So the end of the Dick/Danny talk, does almost perfectly bisect the 732. In fact, the following A MONTH LATER placard does only go for 2 seconds…)
And don’t forget that this whole sequence involves a chocolate bowl of eye scream.
  • As implied by the last section, the locking up of Jack should only take 237 seconds, which it does, but only thanks to the fact that the crossfade at the beginning of this scene starts when it does (109:31-113:27, in whole seconds). The switch in the music happens seconds into the shot of Wendy pushing out the Overlook’s snowy second entrance. The remainder of Wendy scampering through the snow takes 57 seconds (113:27-114:24).
  • The song that Polymorphia trades hands with is De Natura Sonoris #1, appearing for its second and final performance. The first performance ran for 1:57 and played atop the final appearance of the Grady twins. This final performance goes for 70 seconds (113:27-114:37) and goes from Wendy poking her nose out the door toward the dead snowcat and ends as Delbert Grady is waking Jack. Grady killed his family in 1970. The total time for this song in the film is 3:07. Polymorphia reappears when Wendy finds the snowcat, 23 seconds after the end of the 732 period, and stays on the soundtrack for another 33 seconds.
  • The first scene of Hallorann driving the snowcat is three shots comprising 54 seconds (117:50-118:44), though the second shot ends at the 42nd second. Also, another round of De Natura Sonoris #2 starts here, the last one having ended exactly 3220 seconds ago, right before Jack meets Lloyd for the first time. In fact, that performance of the track was the first time we heard the song, and it signalled the moment Wendy noticed Danny emerging from room 237 in a trance. This performance starts atop Dick’s rescue, and continues to cover Tony/Danny’s entire REDRUM sequence, for 195 seconds total, same as the length of the ghost ball songs. So, De Natura Sonoris #1 was about the Grady violence, and De Natura Sonoris #2 is about the Torrance violence, it seems. Fittingly, this song will continue playing in spurts throughout the remainder.
  • There’s a cool thing you only notice in the mirrorform, where the Julius Caesar biography behind the doctor’s head in Boulder disappears from screen exactly 2:37 from the moment that the biography of Shakespeare appears during Wendy and Danny’s escape from Jack’s axe (121:27-124:04). My feeling is that Kubrick was inspired by Shakespeare’s dramatic structure and character work in his play Julius Caesar for how he chose to structure and characterize this film.
  • The REDRUM/Jack Attack sequence is similar to the lounge fight in its timing, in that it makes the most sense to view it as a whole. The REDRUM portion goes for 143 seconds (118:45-121:08) (with the drawing-of-REDRUM shot lasting 37 seconds (120:17-120:54)), this is followed by three 42-second portions, and those are followed by a final 143-second portion (123:14-125:36, in whole seconds) (with the axing of the REDRUM door shots lasting 37 seconds (123:38-124:15).
  • The first 42-second segment (121:08-121:50) contains Jack’s destruction of the front door to Suite 3, and Wendy looking out the window. The second 42 (121:50-122:32) contains Danny’s escape, Jack crossing apartment threshold, and Wendy discovering she won’t fit. The third 42 (122:32-123:14) is Jack saying “come out, come out, wherever you are” and Wendy telling Danny the situation, and to run, ending with Danny hightailing it. So, while the first 143 nicely contains the complete REDRUMing of Suite 3, the second 143 is split between the final phase of Jack’s attack, and the first phase of Hallorann’s interruption.
  • Also, there’s a silence on the soundtrack (by which I mean there’s no music) that runs from 124:42 to 128:39, when Hallorann interrupts Jack’s assault on Suite 3, to when Jack’s axe collides with Hallorann’s chest, erupting another round of the same song, Utrenja, which is about the resurrection of Christ. This is 237 seconds. The next silence (132:11-132:34) is 23 seconds. The next, and final, silence (138:19-138:46) is 27 seconds, but it’s quite difficult to make out the fade-out/fade-in times for this one unless you turn the audio track way up. As for the songs that play during the grand finale: there’s a small handful of them that are constantly switching and overlaying with each other in ways that are meant to be impossible to notice. It was only thanks to the incredible analysis by Valerio Sbravatti that I even became aware that this was a phenomenon of the film, songs blurring and blending. As for my part, I’ve already done a rigourous study of the lengths during this passage in my Fibonacci analysis, which I don’t feel like repeating here.
  • Also, Dick’s post-Durkin’s shots go (in seconds) 54, 18, 10, 6, 20, 45, 67, 6, 6, 6. Or…238 total. These are just the exact seconds that Dick Hallorann is affecting something that is on screen. This does not include shots that started with Dick, but end without him, like the shot of Jack leaving his corpse behind. Also, I was a bit artful with the 6, 6, 6 at the end there. The first 6 represents all the shots of him taking the axe, and dying. The second is him in a heap under Jack. The last 6 is a 2 and a 4 second shot of Wendy seeing the corpse. Also, all the shots of him driving up to the hotel (18, 10, 6, 20) would equal 54–same as the first sequence of him driving.
  • Similarly, every second of screen time held by Danny from him fleeing for his hidey hole, to his three scream faces, through the entire escape from Jack sequence adds to 158. The first 42 of which is everything before the labyrinth. This is done with 23 shots. Also, I’m not counting the moments that comprise his reunion with Wendy, but even if I did, those are 50 seconds, which would raise 158 to 208, or 3:28 (a 238 jumble). So Danny’s life is thanks to Hallorann’s death.
  • Similarly, there’s thirteen shots of Wendy on screen, post-Hallorann-rescue that add to 143, but if we throw back in all the other shots connected to her four trials, it goes up to 187, and if we add in all the moments from her reunion with Danny, we get…237. Perhaps this signifies that while Danny owes Dick the debt of Dick’s sacrificed life (238), Wendy owes him the debt of having played a part in the “work” of killing Dick (237).
  • And similarly, every shot of Jack Torrance from him stalking through the kitchen to get Dick to his photo finish adds to somewhere around 420. I have to say “somewhere around”, because it’s only 420 if you grant that Jack isn’t clearly recognizable in the final photo until exactly 20 seconds before the end of this shot. And since the time code or this moment is 2:20:20, I’d guess Kubrick agreed this was so.
  • We’ve already covered the ghosts so let’s see if there’s anything else worth mentioning about the end.
  • All the shots from the first four sequences of Danny and Jack in the maze, from the first shot of Danny inside (131:13) to the first shot of Jack being confused after Danny’s escape (136:55) add to 237. The remaining shots of Jack stumbling around add to 58 (while Danny and Wendy are still escaping) and 42 (after they’ve escaped).
  • Wendy’s four ghost encounters can (awkwardly) be divided into segments of 42, 76 and 37.
  • If it’s true that Jack only becomes visible in the final photo at 140:20, then the last three shots are 20 and 37 seconds.
  • When “THE END” is onscreen, the time code is 2:23:37. And that moment is exactly 237 seconds from the start of the zoom on photo Jack (120:40-143:37).


From the start of the Warner Bros. logo to the start of the first batch of credits, the film is exactly 8484 seconds. If you read my section looking at the number 42, you know that 8484 is incredibly divisible. Possibly the most divisible number under 10000.

So, I decided to see if every shot or sequence in the film is the length of one of the film’s major numbers, and, with only four exceptions, I found that there’s 143 segments (I shit you not) that are made up of time values like the ones I’ve been pointing out in the last section: in fact 108 of these 143 segments are 7s, 11s, 23s, 37s, 42s, 58s, 67s, 76s, 143s, 157s, and 237s.

This lead me to wonder if the film could be neatly divided into massive sections that would offer some insight into what those sections signified thematically. Here’s what I discovered.

00:14-39:45 – From the first shot in the movie to the end of Jack studying the model labyrinth is 2370 seconds. What would that mean? Well, I know some people think Jack was always crazy, and there’s certainly plenty of evidence to suggest he was always doomed to become a minotaur-style figure. But for me, while he may’ve shown up to the interview primed to become what the hotel wanted him to be, he nevertheless remains sane up until the end of his final stroll through the lobby to inspect the model maze. So this temporal 237 might be symbolic of the bad mojo being leveed at Jack psychically by his circumstance. In other words, while going to room 237 is one of his worst head fucks, this initial 2370 is like a doomsday clock, ticking down to the 237-ness of everything that follows. Also, four of the film’s eight 237-second-long passages occur in this section (0:14-4:11, 5:09-9:06, 12:13-16:09, and 29:36-33:33), and one 238-second passage.

39:46-58:05 – I’m fudging the number by 2 seconds, but this passage, which starts on the aerial shot zooming down on the labyrinth from outer space, and ending on Danny stepping toward room 237 with his Apollo 11 sweater, is 1100 seconds long. This section also contains the MONDAY (a name meaning “moon day”) section in which Danny wears his “Touchdown Mickey” sweater. So there’s a lot of moon imagery going on here. But also, this section contains Jack’s entire first descent into madness. In the next section he’ll be having his murder dream, which will shake him loose a bit, but not too loose.

58:05-81:55 – This section is 1430 seconds, which means it can be broken down into sections of 670 seconds (58:05-69:15) and 760 seconds (69:15-81:55). So the “67” half involves Danny’s last shot entering 237, Jack’s nightmare, Wendy’s reaction to Danny’s bruises, and Jack’s entire first interaction with Lloyd. Right as Wendy’s screams banish Lloyd from existence, the “76” half begins. She tells Jack about room 237, Dick gets the shine, Jack experiences the room, Wendy and Jack discuss the room, leading to him discovering evidence of the ghost ball, and Dick starts making distress calls. Now, the significance of 143 is that this is the length of the film, and it’s also the number of people in the photo with Jack at the end of the movie. And 67 and 76 can be seen as 6 x 7 = 42, the number of impossibilities. And here we have Jack meeting Lloyd in the one half (67) and the 237 ghost in the other (76). We also have Danny meeting the 237 ghost in the one half (67), and shining this experience to Dick in the other (76). And Danny’s ghost ball is at the beginning of the first half, while Jack’s ghost ball is at the end of the second half. And Danny does not talk to Wendy (or anyone) in the first half, while it’s implied in the second half that he told her the story of what happened in room 237. So there’s an interesting yin-yang thing going on between these 67/76s.

81:55-85:25 – This is obviously the smallest one (I was hoping they would all be enormous), but it allows for some cool other stuff to happen. It’s 210 seconds, and it completely encapsulates the ghost ball, the last meeting with Lloyd, and the meeting of Grady, ending as the men enter the bathroom. Going by the logic of the other sections, this would be a reference to ’21, the year that Jack will get to live in forever and ever. So perhaps this is a comment on how strolling through the ghost ball itself is what cozens Jack into his doom. This section also contains the tail end of Hallorann’s distress call, in which the ranger tells him to call back in “about 20 minutes”, and in Jack’s last meeting with Lloyd, he tries to hand him a $20 that Lloyd declines.

85:25-117:26 – So, the film is actually 8463 seconds from first image to last, and I’ve been sort of rounding off these numbers to go along with the cuts between scenes, but these 3 extra seconds make it patently impossible for them all to be perfectly round numbers, and in this case, that seems to make a lot of sense. Because this section seems to be 1921 seconds. Starting as Jack and Grady enter into the impossible bathroom, and ending as Jack gives Grady his “word” that he will dutifully kill his family. This section otherwise contains Jack physically performing most of the foul deeds that set up the big finale. He has his verbally foul chat with Grady, he kills the radio and snowcat, he finishes typing some All Work papers, he stalks Wendy in the lounge, and then he taunts her about the snowcat, and then pledges himself to the hotel. As for Wendy, this sequence starts with her plotting her escape and ends with her finding out how that’s impossible…until of course Hallorann brings his along, which she’ll ride to freedom moments before we see the final 1921 in the photo. Speaking of Dick, this section contains every bit of his pre-snowcat rescue mission. The snowcat part of his mission is the first thing we see in the next sequence. Also, this sequence contains all of Tony’s dialogue at Wendy.

117:26-141:17 – And here we have another 1430 section, which can, again, be split into a 670 half and a 760 half, and what’s cool about this one is that the split happens right at the moment of Hallorann’s murder, 2:08:37. So the 67 half contains the rest of Hallorann’s rescue and death, all of Jack’s successful axe choppings, and the bulk of Tony/Danny’s REDRUMs. The 76 half contains the complete maze chase, all of Wendy’s four horsemen trials, and of course the final escape and the 1921 photo with the 143 people in it.

So that’s:

  • 2370
  • 1100
  • 1430 (670/760)
  • 210
  • 1921
  • 1430 (670/760)

What’s most interesting to me about this is the way this framework forces an emphasis on Jack’s role in the overall story. As I discuss in my Julius Caesar comparison, The Shining is similarly decentralized in terms of who our perspective character is. But here, the initial 237 does seem to speak to Jack’s pre-madness existence being impinged upon by the hotel’s will. The following 11 pairs with the vast majority of his efforts to write his masterpiece (only a 21-second shot of him typing during the “1921” phase adds to that), and 11s are intimately linked with his ultimate downfall. Both 1430 phases split one major Jack from another–in the first instance he’s split between his own pre- and post-room-237 existences, and in the second he’s split exactly between his pre- and post-murderer existences. And of course 21 and 1921 are numbers that are the most Jack-centric.

I don’t have much more to say about this, other than, you know, holy fuck. A year and a half into my analysis, and Kubrick’s genius still gives me shivers.

  • It’s probably worth pointing out here that there’s a character from Christian mythology, probably based on a real person(?), named St. Maurice who is referenced in a painting that is in the room when Hallorann gets killed. If you’re unfamiliar with Christian mythology, saints are usually people who died in a way that connects them to some great deed in the name of Christianity (a process called martyrdom). St. Maurice, who died in 287 BCE was, therefore, roughly the 27th saint of all time (I say roughly, because this list is clearly incomplete and imperfect), and probably one of the first ever black saints, and he died at 37 years old. So Hallorann dies in the shadow of a reference to a 37-year-old black saint. Also, speaking of ages, if Jack is 42 when he dies (as Jack Nicholson would’ve been), he was 37 when Danny was born. This would be doubly cute, since Nicholson was born in 1937.
  • There’s a complicated classification system called the Aarne-Thompson-Uther Index which attempts to sort every folktale in history according to certain sorting codes. Hansel and Gretel, one of only two folktales referenced overtly in the film, is known by the filing number 327, AKA The Children and the Ogre. Incidentally, the story type that 237 signifies is The Parrot Who Talked Too Much, which I find funny, since nobody talks in room 237.
  • All of Danny’s lessons involve 237 in some way. The first lesson starts and ends with Danny triking exactly one floor down from the room. The second lesson features that aerial shot of the maze, which replicates the design of the 23-7 Grand Stair. The third lesson features him encountering the room. And the fourth lesson involves him encountering what he saw when he touched the room’s doorknob: the Grady twins.
  • The day of Jack’s death, December 13th, 1979, could be written as 12/13/79, which is like 237 and 911 mashed up in möbius-strip fashion.
  • Danny plays darts in the games room. The official distance a player is meant to stand from the board is exactly 2.37 metres. I also read somewhere I can’t seem to find now that one standard size for the bullseye is 0.157 inches across.
  • I’ve done a massive study of the film according to the Fibonacci sequence, which includes many references to 237s and jumbles of those three numbers. But just in terms of the Fibonacci sequence itself, 233 and 377 are the 13th and 14th values of a standard sequence. And this might be pure coincidence, but in the Treachery of Images study, the 14-value photo seems to be symbolic of room 237 itself.
  • Also, that study of mine involves a good deal of looking at golden ratios and golden spirals, and 23 is the best number for making a golden ratio out of 37.
  • The exact centre of Redrum Road (going from the start of the music to the end of the music–so, not counting the silence at the end of the record) is 23:37.

It’s possible there’s oodles of other 237s, 157s, 732s, and so on that I haven’t noticed (researching the ones I did find were largely thanks to my work on the Fibonacci analysis, which involved creeping very slowly through the film’s temporal machinery–but several of the others were discovered just while writing this). If I find more, I’ll try to update this, but as you can see, there’s a lot we’ve got working for us already.


The last thing we’ll do is look at the time codes for 2:37, 20:37, 23:07, 70:32, 73:20, 73:02, and 7:32. Now, if you’ve familiarized yourself with much of my findings at this point, you might be inclined to wonder, “What doesn’t connect to 237 in some way?” And fair enough. But let’s just look at them just for fun.

Actually, just before we delve into that, I want to connect this to my page analyzing all the music in the film. A lot of the songs by Penderecki, and the other classical/neoclassical composers in the film have such an unusual sound to them, that the unfamiliar ear can’t hear a) that the songs frequently don’t begin at their true beginning, and b) that there’s frequently cuts within the songs, blurring different parts of the songs together in interesting ways. When I began to figure out which time codes from the songs themselves were marking the various cuts, I noticed that a lot of songs either begin at the 2:37 mark, end at that mark, or pair the mark with a significant moment in the film. The analysis that follows here won’t consider things like that, we’ll just look at the film’s basic codes. So if you’re interested in sifting through that data, head over there, and look for the section within each song’s analysis titled “TIMING”.

2:37 – As Jack drives toward Heavy Runner Mountain and as Wendy and Danny escape for the last time in Hallorann’s snowcat, we get the man and woman screenwriting credit.

It’s neat that this is the first second of Wendy and Danny appearing in the film, however obscurely. Their first official appearance is at 4:17, which is a number that appears a lot in the film’s subtext to signify a concept of true “home”, and which is 257 seconds.

7:32 – Ullman has just finished saying how the job isn’t physically demanding, but how the “tremendous sense of isolation” is (his warning starts at 7:23 in fact), and Jack says that just so happens to be exactly what he’s looking for. Meanwhile in the mirrorform, Danny is doing the backwards disco, which probably reflects Jack’s backward walk out of 237, as covered at the top of this page. So Jack was looking for a tremendous sense of isolation, and Danny is enacting the lesson of what Jack discovered when he confronted that isolation.

20:37 – While Tony/Danny writes REDRUM on a bathroom door, two women (leaving the hotel?) carry heavy luggage upstairs next to an elevator. Where are they carrying that luggage? Well, we know from context clues that they’re carrying it toward room 237. We also know that there isn’t anything else for them to be carrying it towards.

23:07 – While Jack and Wendy stand inside the REDRUM bathroom, hands in pockets, Hallorann, who had a frightening bathroom scene beamed into his noggin, races to the rescue. Jack says “It’s very, uh, homey…” Check this for my realization that 237 was something of a home metaphor.

70:32 – In the later of these two moments, the dentist drill sound of Danny’s shine has just started, while Glenn Rinker says, “The heat and humidity are supposed to climb.” In the earlier part of this second, Rinker is saying “…railroad tracks are frozen…” So there’s a hot-cold thing going on there. At 27:30 (I didn’t want to single out all the many 237 jumbles, but) Hallorann is saying “hot and cold cereals” to Wendy. This hot-cold thing could be a nod to the 237 ghost’s transformative abilities, or to Rinker’s song of ice and fire.

73:02 – These last two are perhaps a bit on the nose, given that they take place there. But the other side of this second has Jack saying, “It coulda happen to anyone.” And while we have had a shot of Jack reacting to the form behind the curtain, this is the place where we have an uncertain perspective shot, leading to this room.

73:20 – As the source of all misery and suffering reveals herself, Jack’s just about to confess, “I did hurt him once, okay?” He has this in common with the 237 ghost. Actually this reminds me of a small point I make in the analysis of Kubrick’s effect on Tarantino: QT is often blowing up the violence in his films to ridiculous, cartoonish effect, which causes our rational brain to go “okay, that’s not what real violence looks like” even when his actors are accurately selling the physical expressions of extreme agony. So we’re checking out of scanning the film for whether or not this is “reality” and checking in to the idea it’s presenting us with, which in that case is the idea of violence and its moral implications. And if he didn’t have his actors convey something of the unpleasantness of physical suffering, the truth of suffering, the cartoonishness would die in its crib. But its that combination of truth and cartoon that helps us reach a new level of considering the reality of the scenario. In this film we’re presented with a very cartoonish scenario, a naked ghost woman strangling a boy hard enough to leave pronounced bruises, but somehow the boy gets away in a slow daze, and lives to skittishly beam this experience into the head of a man four hours away by plane. That’s a ridiculous scenario, and we don’t see our own experiences in it, but when we come back from how far blown the cartoonishness pushes us, we feel the hotel’s violence on Danny in a more disturbing way than a thousand slasher movies. The same can be said for Jack’s cartoonish confession here, and most of Jack’s cartoonish disintegration. The more ridiculous he becomes, the easier it becomes for us to distance ourselves from his specific human characteristics, and to access a concept of what men like him have been doing to their families since forever.

I didn’t want to analyze all the 237 jumbles (3:27, 27:03, 27:30, 30:27, 32:07, 37:02, 37:20, 72:03, 72:30), out of not wanting to overseason the broth, but I have pointed out some of them in other analyses, so I might as well mention why some are interesting here.

3:27 — Jack arriving for the interview, passing the spot where he’ll axe Hallorann, with Maligne Lake, Jasper Park (with its Samson Peak reference) out of view, in front of him. There’s also the mazerug at the end of the hall, with it’s 7 whole diamonds, 3 half diamonds horizontally, and 2 half diamonds vertically. The stairwell to his right in this moment, also, has 23 stairs, and 7 visible photos in this moment (in fact, we only see that it has 23 stairs moments before Jack kills Hallorann).

27:03 – 27:30 — In the first moment Hallorann’s responding to Wendy’s quiz about how he knew Doc was “Doc”, which is the first time the notion of psychic ability is addressed directly by the story. And in the second moment Hallorann’s listing off the pantry’s contents, saying “hot and cold”. When Danny interrupts Hallorann’s evening 42 minutes from here to shine 237 at him, Dick’s watching a news broadcast about how Colorado and Florida are experiencing devastating blizzards and “record heat waves” respectively. Also, 27:30 features the “shine” sound on the soundtrack, which returns for the 237 scene.

30:27 — Danny saying his first line to Hallorann during the ice cream sequence, saying he’s “not supposed to [talk about his shine power]”. 32:07 — Hallorann saying some places are like people “some shine and some don’t”. 237 is a place that shines.

(Incidentally, Danny says “room 237” for the first time at 33:33. While at 22:22 Ullman says “None of the other bedrooms are heated during the winter” while introducing where they’ll be staying. That’s neat, since 237 is the only other (frosty?) bedroom anyone is ever seen going in, but also, Ullman’s comment is the first (indirect) reference to 237 in the film. There is a line at 9:11(!) when he says Grady stacked his murdered family’s remains “in one of the rooms of the west wing”, but the hotel has many types of rooms. His 22:22 comment is specifically about bedrooms. And if we take 78:17 as 77:77 (being 17 seconds past the prior minute), this moment features the second last verbal reference to 237. Wendy is saying “Somebody did that to him” about the bruises on his neck. Jack’s reply, “Once you rule out his version of what happened” (meaning Danny’s account of 237) would be the final verbal reference (which happens to occur at 4732 seconds into the film). The final direct reference to 237 is in the way that the older naked ghost (now clothed) appears in the background of the ghost ball from 82:52-85:20, or 2:28. If you count the seconds to when the scene cuts into the Gold Room bathroom, it’s 2:37. But anyway, yeah, there’s some neat connections at 22:22, 33:33, and 77:77.)

37:02-37:20 – Wendy saying her first impression of the Overlook was that it was “kinda scary” over to Jack describing his overwhelming sense of déjà vu. He’s just about to say it was like he knew what would be around every corner. This is interesting for a few reasons:

  • Wendy’s very mild shine ability is only hinted at a few times, like when she senses “Great Party!” ghost before actually seeing or hearing him, flipping around with a scream. Here, she’s admitting to finding the Overlook scary on first impression, but to Ullman, she only expresses the most profound amazement with the building’s scale and class. Who would be afraid of staying where presidents and movie stars and the jet set have stayed before? She dances in the gold room. She leaves her child unattended with a relative stranger. She gapes at the larder in wonder. So, is it a fact that, beneath her (seemingly genuine) enthusiasm was a memorable fear? If so, this could be an indication of her mild shine power. But speaking of her screaming over “Great Party!” ghost, the 37:20 mirror moment is Jack saying, “How do you like it?” in reference to the All Work papers. He gets this whole line of dialogue out, and there’s a split second before she screams and spins around. So it’s not like she’s just such a jumpy person that she sensed “Great Party” ghost like anybody would have, and reacted accordingly. She can be provoked on a basic level while in a similarly frightening scenario, and not react for a long moment, and this moment happens to be 37:20. (Also, Jack saying he knew what would be around every corner is funny for a few reasons: 1) if it’s true that he felt that way, he didn’t know Ullman’s office window is impossible, and 2) in 237 when we see his face reacting to the ghost in the bathtub, he’s mortally afraid, as if he didn’t think there could possibly be anyone else in this place, and when he sees that she’s naked, his fear turns to attraction…because he didn’t know she was naked. Meanwhile, Danny is shining Hallorann (from 2000 miles away) this very moment about her naked reality in this place, and Jack’s not even getting caught in Dan’s psychic jet stream.
  • On that note (and as mentioned frequently throughout my analysis): the Polymorphia playing in this scene plays for 732 seconds. And the entire scene will push Wendy closer and closer to 237, which she probably doesn’t realize.
  • 37:02 features the first instance in the film of Paul Peel’s After the Bath, appearing to Wendy’s right. This painting features a set of naked twins (only one of which is visible in this shot) drying by a fireplace and a large mirror. This would seem to be a mashup of the two non-worker ghosts, the 237 ghost and the Grady twins. Danny gets his last flash of the Grady twins after touching the 237 doorknob. Then, in 37:20 we’re getting our last good look at the Navajo/Zapotec mural above the lounge fireplace, with its white twins and its blue-red twins. And of course, right through the wall there is good ol’ 237.

70:23 — Glenn Rinker saying “travel in the Rockies is almost impossible.” There’s a lot about 237 that seems impossible.

72:03-72:30 — The forward action is all within 237, and features the entire pass by the Lesson Key. The backward action starts at the first sight of Wendy approaching Jack in the Gold Room, and covers her announcement about there being a crazy woman in the hotel with them, ending on Jack’s scornful “Are you out of yer fucking mind?” This is all pretty obvious, I think. But if we just look at the painting half obscured by the open door at 72:03, my leading suspicion at the moment is that this is another John Gould piece, which could mean that this is the first Gould seen in the film proper. Which, if we consider it in conjunction with the Mirko Hanák fox painting, could be a comment on the significance of these artists to this room. Identifying the possible Gould, and seeing what kind of animal it shows could deepen this significance.

In closing, while it’s true that all these time codes have an arguable 237 connection, the way in which I’m making the connections sometimes feels loose enough that you could argue almost anything connects back to the room. Still, it’s true the the 20s and 30s moments feature the tour and the Hallorann-Danny talk. And the 70s moments all feature the actual room, or the scene bleeding into that scene.


Actually, turns out I do have a little more to say about this. More recently than my latest Fibonacci analysis, I discovered the business with Wendy climbing the BJ well having to do with 237. There’s 37 stairs in the well, and Moon and Cow is at the 23rd step. So 23-37. Another way to express how room 237 is like a moon room, to borrow Jay Weidner’s phrase.

It hit me shortly after making the Moon and Cow discovery that 23 might make a golden ratio out of 37. It does. And it happens to be a reality that if you take any two random numbers (from the sequence or not) and add them together, and then keep applying a Fibonacci sequence kind of method to it, where you keep adding the last two numbers together, this will eventually lead to the golden ratio again. So it occurred to me that maybe Kubrick saw in this reality, and in the way 23 and 37 make a (near-perfect) golden ratio, that you could create a sequence of golden ratio forms that could be used by any filmmaker when trying to make their film a Fibonacci film.

So, the first thing I realized about this is that the sequence starting with 23 and 37 would give you 60, then 97, then 157. And 157 in minutes is 2:37. So the golden ratio of 23 and 37 (the golden ratio of a perfect minute) would give you a very similar time code three jumps down the line. Maybe there’s something else like that down the line; I haven’t checked. I think thought that was spectacular enough as is.

Now, if we follow this logic the other way from 23, we get 14, 9, 5, 4, 1, which is fine, but it occurred to me that instead of looking for the proper Fibonacci number going back, you could look for whatever last number makes the closest thing to a golden spiral from the current number. So the best thing for a 14 is a 9, but the best thing for a 9 is a 6, and the best thing for a 6 is a 4, best for 4 is 3, for 3 is 2, and for 2 is 1. So this special-for-filmmaking Fibonacci would be 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 14, 23, 37, 60, 97, 157, 254 and so on. Adding these numbers together, though, the sequence becomes 3, 5, 7, 10, 15, 23, 37, 60, 97, and so on. But why would you do that? Well, for the same reason as a 23-second clip and a 37-second clip make a 60-second chunk. Let’s say you make a 60-second video, and you divide this video into a 23 and a 37. According to Fibonacci, this should make the sequence feel more natural. So, the 3, 5, 7, 10, etc. system would be using chunks that are 1/2, 2/3, 3/4, 4/6, and so on to create more natural feeling moments. I’m not saying this method should be followed slavishly in all moments of everything, but if you want your editing to have a natural feel to it, you might consider setting up your time lengths this way to achieve that effect. It would be interesting to see a film that only used shot lengths that were strictly from this sequence felt good at all, or if it would just feel awkward and forced.

Anyway, food for thought!


If you’ve read the Treachery of Images section, you know that numbers, and their symbolic meanings are essential to understanding everything the film has to say. In fact, what follows will be a highly simplified version of what you can read there, with some additions/expansions to help with understanding various other theories throughout the site.

  • 1 – The most significant appearance of this number is in the appearance of the album One By One by Stomu Yamash’ta’s East Wind, the soundtrack to a racing documentary. Jack says “one by one” to Lloyd in the line, “You set ’em up, and I’ll knock ’em back, Lloyd, one buh one!” My general feeling about 1s in the film is that they represent half of 11, the shape that the Grady twins make, as well as the many, many other sets of twin pillars seen throughout the film. And while every major character uses their pointer finger to point at things throughout, Danny’s way of flexing his to express Tony’s voice.
  • 2 – Danny was 2 years old when Jack broke his arm, creating (or revealing?) Tony. So, unlike 1 and 11, which seem to speak to the twin-like nature of things, 2 seems more connected to the duality within an individual.
  • 3 –

(This is a work in progress.)

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