I know that The Shining had a very poor critical and commercial reception at first, but I think nobody can argue that Kubrick’s directing was anything short of masterful. Why was he nominated for a Razzie?!

  • The idea to reward the worst is a tongue-in-cheek joke hard to get right and harder to maintain. In the long run, it will definitely end up punishing boldness or creativity as well. Kubrick's movies often found mixed or poor receptions and only later on praised, IIRC. Anyway, what do you expect an answer to this question be? It looks a bit opinionated to me I'm afraid.
    – M.A.R.
    Apr 12, 2020 at 10:35
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    @M.A.R.: Well, there may be an official rationale accompanying the nomination and of course some source on the nomination itself. The official Razzie site does not appear to feature an archive of nominations and laureates, so it’s not trivial.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Apr 12, 2020 at 10:49

1 Answer 1


This was the first edition, and judging by its history as presented on the Wikipedia page it seems to have been rather improvisational:

American publicist John J. B. Wilson traditionally held potluck parties at his home in Hollywood on the night of the Academy Awards. In 1981, after the 53rd Academy Awards had completed for the evening, Wilson invited friends to give random award presentations in his living room. Wilson decided to hold the event, after seeing a 99-cent double feature of Can't Stop the Music and Xanadu. He gave attendees ballots to vote on the worst.


Approximately three dozen people came to the 1st Golden Raspberry Awards.

Considering that there were ten nominations and only three dozen or so attendees who voted on them -- and it is not clear to me whether the nominations were thought up by the host alone or compiled via lists submitted by the attendees -- it is pointless looking for a rationale behind Kubrick's nomination. Perhaps someone had a grudge? Perhaps it was a joke?

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    The Shining was initially reviewed poorly. A lot of the negative attention it received referenced the movie's sharp detraction from the original fiction it was supposed to be based upon for a reason; this included Stephen King, the author of the original novel. As time progressed, well respected reviewers like Roger Ebert came to acknowledge it as a horror masterpiece and Stephen King never really got a film adaptation of one of his stories produced faithful to the original content.
    – user18935
    Apr 12, 2020 at 11:39

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