Legendary actor and musician Scatman Crothers had the distinct honour of being a part of Stanley Kubrick’s horror movie The Shining, where he played Dick Halloran. After the experience of that production, the actor broke down in tears when he worked with Clint Eastwood, who had a very different way of doing things.
Crothers performed in various TV series before appearing in the classic ‘80s movie The Shining, but the process of bringing that ghost movie to life was not an easy one by any means. Stanley Kubrick may have been the greatest filmmaker of all time, but his methods were certainly questionable, with his attention to detail, meaning actors sometimes had to do 100 takes of a shot before the director was happy.
Clint Eastwood is the complete opposite, however, often preferring to move on after just one take to ensure his productions run efficiently. The sheer whiplash of going from Kubrick’s demanding shoot to Eastwood’s breezy set, was enough to reduce Crothers to tears – happy tears, we should add.
Apparently, for the scene where Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) kills Dick Halloran with an axe, Kubrick initially wanted to do up to 100 takes. It was only when Nicholson protested for the sake of Crothers’ health that Kubrick agreed to limit the scene to 40 takes.
Further into the shoot for The Shining, Kubrick again demanded Crothers complete take after take after take, before the actor broke down crying and asked his director, “What do you want, Mr Kubrick?”
Crothers’ next role was in the Western movie Bronco Billy, directed by Clint Eastwood. When Eastwood confirmed he was happy with Crothers’ first take in his first scene, the actor again broke down in tears, but this time he was just very happy.
It’s worth noting that Crothers actually loved working with Kubrick. In a video posted to Reddit, Crothers recounts his experience on The Shining, and as he wells up, he explained: “It was beautiful. If you see tears, they will be tears of joy, because I thank the Lord that I was able to work with such beautiful people. I’ll never forget this.”