In Twister, there is a scene at a drive-in movie theater depicting a calm evening with people sitting in their cars watching a movie. Within minutes, a tornado rips through the drive in movie causing panic and chaos.

Before the tornado rips through the movie screen, the audience can clearly see that The Shining is the movie that is playing at the drive-in that night.

Is there some kind of explanation as to why filmmakers chose to show The Shining as the movie playing before the tornado hits? Is there some sort of hidden meaning as to why this movie was chosen by filmmakers to be showing at that particular scene in the movie?

  • The project was a co-production between Universal and Warner Bros. That is why the drive-in marquee shows Psycho (1960) a Universal release and The Shining (1980), a Warner Bros. release.....Source: imdb: imdb.com/title/tt0117998/trivia?ref_=tt_trv_trv Mar 7, 2017 at 18:54
  • @SudipBiswas Great! It would be great if you put that in an answer :) Mar 7, 2017 at 18:57

2 Answers 2


In the movie Twister 1996 these two movies (The Shining and Psycho ) were played at the drive-in so as to signify the collaboration between the Universal Studios and Warner Brothers.

The project was a co-production between Universal and Warner Bros. That is why the drive-in marquee shows Psycho (1960) a Universal release and The Shining (1980), a Warner Bros. release.

Source : IMDB Trivia section for this film

Twister was produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment, with financial backing from Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures. In return, Warner Bros. was given the North American distribution rights while Universal's joint venture distribution company UIP got the international distribution.The original concept and 10-page tornado-chaser story were presented to Amblin Entertainment in 1992 by screenwriter Jeffrey Hilton. Steven Spielberg then presented the concept to writer Michael Crichton. Crichton and his wife, Anne-Marie Martin, were paid a reported $2.5 million to write the screenplay.

As to another anticipated reason for this, apart from the obvious is:

Also during the shining movie part a very violent tornado comes, everyone goes into an underground sort of area, and the roof is ripped off, which is just like what happens in her childhood as well. And while this is happening we see the movie sign, which says, The Shining: And below it "A Night of Horrors." Which is what the characters are experiencing as well. They showed the movie instead of being torn apart in the tornado at the end, dissolving, as Jack and Wendy are talking back and forth. Which seemed ghostly again to me. Or to be meaning something.

Source: http://www.collativelearning.com/mybb_1401/Upload/showthread.php?tid=4655


Similar to the scene people are watching from "The Shining" (where Jack Nicholson is tearing through a door with an axe), the tornado is also ripping apart the movie screen at the same time. It's an artistic juxtaposition as the tornado in "Twister" and the projected moving "The Shining" are building tension towards a violent destructive act. :-)

Jack Nicholson tearing through a door with an axe

  • Okay, but the question is why that happens. Why these two scenes, why this juxtaposition?
    – Joachim
    Dec 28, 2021 at 13:01

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