Go to Table of Contents of the analysis (which has also a statement on purpose and manner of analysis and a disclaimer as to caveat emptor and my knowing anything authoritatively, which I do not, but I do try to not know earnestly, with some discretion, and considerable thought).

In the Torrance Boulder apartment, during the Interview section, we see Coville's "Woman with Terrier", above and behind the television. The painting depicts a woman holding a dog before a fence at an airport.

The Killing ends with a very similar scene as one in the Colville painting, and is one that isn't in the book upon which the movie is based. In the film, after the heist, Johnny heads to the airport with his girlfriend to make their escape. A woman is at the airport gate with her dog. This dog leaps from her arms and runs onto the tarmac. The service vehicle carrying Johnny's bag (which holds his loot from the heist) swerves to miss the barking dog, the bag tumbles down, and money spills out all over the tarmac. That's it for Johnny. He doesn't even try to get away, and it might seem to have to do with the loss of money but I think the paralysis that comes over him has more to do with a sudden overwhelming guilt he feels over the deaths of his accomplices, which is neither here nor there for the purpose of this post. In the book, Johnny never makes it to the plane's gate. He is instead killed at the airport by one of his accomplices who has also been shot and is near death. There is no dog scene. No bag falling off the service vehicle, no money spilling out all over the tarmac. No Johnny giving up and not trying to flee.

The actress who holds the dog in The Killing is a woman named Cecil Elliott.

If we go back to Kubrick's assignments for LOOK magazine, in 1948 he took a photo of a woman with a small dog at a celebrity art auction for the Urban League in NY. The Killing was released in 1956 and, to my eye, Cecil Elliott, the woman with the poodle in The Killing, bears an uncanny resemblance to the 1948 image of the woman with the dog. I could be wrong, but I believe that is Cecil Elliott in the 1948 photo. I would love to be able to confirm if it is the same woman or not. Even if that is not Cecil holding the small dog in the 1948 photo, the similarity with the woman holding the poodle in The Killing is striking. They've the same hairstyle, their clothing has very much the same look, and they hold their dog in a like manner.

We can see a relationship between the screengrab of Cecil Elliott at the airport in The Killing with the Alex Colville painting "Woman with Terrier".

We may also see in Colville's pose of the woman holding the terrier a resemblance to the scene in which Wendy protectively holds a mute Danny who has just escaped being strangled by--what? Based on known past history, she accuses Jack, asking him how he could have done this to Danny. Jack goes to the bar and his guilt for earlier abuses comes pouring out instead as hatred for being reminded of what he's done, he excusing that earlier abuse of Danny as accidental.

I further explore Kubrick's use of the dog in my analysis on The Killing in the final section, but as regards The Shining the dog is fundamentally related to guilt over the abuse of Danny, functioning much as the illusions in Shakespeare's The Tempest that torment individuals over past wrongs they've committed. Kubrick's first feature, Fear and Desire, explicitly referred to The Tempest, and he makes a connection to The Tempest with the dog in The Killing as it is named Sebastian, which is also the name of a character in The Tempest.

Return to Table of Contents for The Shining analysis
Link to the main Kubrick page for all the analyses