Philip Stone only saw limited screen time as Delbert Grady in the 1980 horror classic The Shining but his performance remains a masterclass in sinister delivery.
His exchange with Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) in the bathroom begins with Grady playing subservient to Jack as he cleans a spilled drink from his jacket, but as Jack claims he knows who Grady really is the whole scene reverses.
Grady drops the charade and takes control of the conversation while Jack’s confident, accusatory tone is replaced with quiet obedience. It is during this portion that Stone delivers his lines with an ominous, evil edge that sends shivers down the spine.
One of the things that great movies often share in common is when the supporting actors turn in memorable, powerful performances. It adds a depth of quality that turns good films into classics. Stone plays both sides here so well that when he switches it catches the viewer off guard; Grady becomes genuinely menacing without warning. His brief appearance as Grady is as memorable and quotable as any other part of the movie.
The dialogue itself is ominous but Stone injects it with pure evil. It’s not what you say but how you say it, after all.