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The Shawshank Redemption
Crime, Drama
IMDB rating:
Frank Darabont
Tim Robbins as Andy Dufresne
Morgan Freeman as Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding
Bob Gunton as Warden Norton
William Sadler as Heywood
Clancy Brown as Captain Hadley
Gil Bellows as Tommy
Mark Rolston as Bogs Diamond
James Whitmore as Brooks Hatlen
Jeffrey DeMunn as 1946 D.A.
Neil Giuntoli as Jigger
Brian Libby as Floyd
David Proval as Snooze
Joseph Ragno as Ernie
Jude Ciccolella as Guard Mert
Joe Ragno as Ernie
Storyline: Chronicles the experiences of a formerly successful banker as a prisoner in the gloomy jailhouse of Shawshank after being found guilty of a crime he did not commit. The film portrays the man's unique way of dealing with his new, torturous life; along the way he befriends a number of fellow prisoners, most notably a wise long-term inmate named Red.
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Great story, wondrously told and acted
At the heart of this extraordinary movie is a brilliant and indelible performance by Morgan Freeman as Red, the man who knows how to get things, the "only" guilty man at Shawshank prison. He was nominated by the Academy for Best Actor in 1995 but didn't win. (Tom Hanks won for Forrest Gump.) What Freeman does so beautifully is to slightly underplay the part so that the eternal boredom and cynicism of the lifer comes through, and yet we can see how very much alive with the warmth of life the man is despite his confinement. Someday Morgan Freeman is going to win an Academy Award and it will be in belated recognition for this performance, which I think was a little too subtle for some Academy members to fully appreciate at the time.

But Freeman is not alone. Tim Robbins plays the hero of the story, banker Andy Dufresne, who has been falsely convicted of murdering his wife and her lover. Robbins has a unique quality as an actor in that he lends ever so slightly a bemused irony to the characters he plays. It is as though part of him is amused at what he is doing. I believe this is the best performance of his career, but it might be compared with his work in The Player (1992), another excellent movie, and in Mystic River (2003) for which he won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor.

It is said that every good story needs a villain, and in the Bible-quoting, Bible-thumping, massively hypocritical, sadistic Warden Samuel Norton, played perfectly by Bob Gunton, we have a doozy. I want to tell you that Norton is so evil that fundamentalist Christians actually hate this movie because of how precisely his vile character is revealed. They also hate the movie because of its depiction of violent, predatory homosexual behavior (which is the reason the movie is rated R). On the wall of his office (hiding his safe with its ill-gotten contents and duplicitous accounts) is a framed plaque of the words "His judgment cometh and that right soon." The irony of these words as they apply to the men in the prison and ultimately to the warden himself is just perfect. You will take delight, I promise.

Here is some other information about the movie that may interest you. As most people know, it was adapted from a novella by Stephen King entitled "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption." Rita Hayworth figures in the story because Red procures a poster of her for Andy that he pins up on the wall of his cell. The poster is a still from the film Gilda (1946) starring her and Glenn Ford. We see a clip from the black and white film as the prisoners watch, cheering and hollering when Rita Hayworth appears. If you haven't seen her, check out that old movie. She really is gorgeous and a forerunner of Marilyn Monroe, who next appears on Andy's wall in a still from The Seven Year Itch (1955). It's the famous shot of her in which her skirt is blown up to reveal her shapely legs. Following her on Andy's wall (and, by the way, these pinups figure prominently in the plot) is Rachel Welsh from One Million Years B.C. (1966). In a simple and effective device these pinups show us graphically how long Andy and Red have been pining away.

Frank Darabont's direction is full of similar devices that clearly and naturally tell the story. There is Brooks (James Whitmore) who gets out after fifty years but is so institutionalized that he can't cope with life on the outside and hangs himself. Playing off of this is Red's periodic appearance before the parole board where his parole is summarily REJECTED. Watch how this plays out at the end.

The cinematography by Roger Deakins is excellent. The editing superb: there's not a single dead spot in the whole movie. The difference between the good guys (Red, Andy, Brooks, etc.) and the bad guys (the warden, the guards, the "sisters," etc.) is perhaps too starkly drawn, and perhaps Andy is a bit too heroic and determined beyond what might be realistic, and perhaps the "redemption" is a bit too miraculous in how beautifully it works out. But never mind. We love it.

All in all this is a great story vividly told that will leave you with a true sense of redemption in your soul. It is not a chick flick, and that is an understatement. It is a male bonding movie about friendship and the strength of character, about going up against what is wrong and unfair and coming out on top through pure true grit and a little luck.

Bottom line: one of the best ever made, currently rated #2 (behind The Godfather) at the IMDb. Don't miss it.

(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!)
Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) bides his time during twenty years' imprisonment for the murder of his wife in this adaptation of a Stephen King story. And being Stephen King, the setting is once again Maine, though you'll find 'Shawshank State Prison' in Ohio. It's the forbiddingly Gothic Mansfield Reformatory, 100 Reformatory Road, Mansfield, on US Route 30, about 80 miles southwest of Cleveland.

Built between 1886 and 1910, the reformatory remained in operation until 1990 and was scheduled for demolition when the film was made. In fact, much of the prison yard has now gone to make room for the adjacent Richland Correctional Institution, but the striking Administration Building lives on as a tourist attraction. Find it just north of downtown Mansfield, off South Olivesburg Road.
What More Can I Say?
There are only a handful of films that have shaken me to my core and continued to resonate with me for very long after their first viewing. I can happily say that "The Shawshank Redemption" has stuck to me since I finished watching it for the first time, and instantly rocketed up my Top 10 Films list.

Most great films have one or two obvious flaws that can be easily picked out - not so in "Shawshank", at least not to me. The hefty run time doesn't put me off because the story and characters are just so well rounded and so easy to return to time and time again.

"Shawshank" is one of those films that I would love to experience for the first time all over again. The thrill of emotions and the highs and lows I felt that first time are incomparable to much else.

In my opinion, "Forrest Gump" was not as deserving of the Best Picture Oscar as this. The timeless feel of a story of friendship in a hopeless place will likely continue to capture generations of people for years to come.
The Greatest Movie of all Time
Could a movie be any more perfect? This movie is just absolutely stunning in so many ways. Acting perfect, storyline perfect, soundtrack perfect, emotional drama perfect, everything about this movie is perfect.

When this movie first came out it did not reach the expectations that many people expected it to. But as the years went one it was nominated for seven Academy Awards and as it was available for rent everywhere more people started appreciating it and it's popularity grew. Eventually after many years in the top 5 of IMDb's top 250 movies of all time list, it hit number 1 with over one million votes.

The story is about a well educated vice president of a large bank being wrongly accused of murdering his wife and her lover and is sentenced to spend life at a large prison in new England called Shawshank prison. As the years go on in his new home he makes friends, enemys and a dramatic twist at the end which became one of the most legendary scenes in movie history.

I love this movie. The acting is just so passionate and their performances increases the drama and horror of life in prison. The soundtrack is one of the main reason behind the emotional drama this movie. Many scenes in this movie almost left me in tears mainly because of the soundtrack in the background which increases the emotion.

The cast of this movie include Academy Awards winners Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins. And also William Sadler, Bob Gunton and many other who made this movie what it is.

Overall it is defiantly the Greatest movie ever made with passionate acting, great storyline and plenty of emotional drama about how hope overcomes fear in a beautifully crafted film about the strength of the human spirit.
Great films come only once in a blue moon
Wow! what a film this baby is and yes this film is one of the most brilliant films ever written by man and i for one was literally stoked from the start, so as a future film maker, i hope to one day make a film like this because if i do i will definitely die a happier man. the film was just awesome in every sense and i really loved the plot, it had some great cliff hangers and great and classic scenes where the main character became himself more and you just fell in love with him so on that basis i would class this film as one of the all time greats and if you haven't seen it yet, go out and buy it because you won't be disappointed at all, believe you me.
The best story ever told on film
I believe that this film is the best story ever told on film, and I'm about to tell you why.

Tim Robbins plays Andy Dufresne, a city banker, wrongfully convicted of murdering his wife and her lover. He is sent to Shawshank Prison in 1947 and receives a double life sentence for the crime. Andy forms an unlikely friendship with "Red" (Morgan Freeman), the man who knows how to get things. Andy faces many trials in prison, but forms an alliance with the wardens because he is able to use his banking experience to help the corrupt officials amass personal fortunes. The story unfolds....

I was so impressed with how every single subplot was given a great deal of respect and attention from the director. The acting was world-class. I have never seen Tim Robbins act as well since, Morgan Freeman maybe (e.g. Seven). The twists were unexpected, an although this film had a familiar feel, it wasn't even slightly pretentious or cliched, it was original. The cinematography was grand and expressive. It gave a real impression of the sheer magnitude of this daunting prison.

But the one thing which makes THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION stand above all other films, is the attention given to the story. The film depends on the story and the way in which it unravels. It's a powerful, poignant, thought-provoking, challenging film like no other. If Andy were to comment on this film, I think he might say: "Get busy watching, or get busy dying." Take his advice.

Thoroughly recommended.
One of my all time favorites.
This film is really an amazing movie timeless.

One of my all time favorites.

About the long-can write something in a movie.

Masters said everything I needed There is not yet aware of the movie and I watched it for people to watch I would like to invite.

Than You.

Shawshank Redemption is a very moving story about hope and the power of friendship. The cast is first rate with everyone giving a great performance. Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman carry the movie, but Bob Gunton and Clancy Brown are perfect as the Warden Norton and prison guard captain Hadley respectively. And James Whitmore's portrayal of an elderly inmate Brooks is moving. The screenplay gives almost every actor at least one or more memorable lines through out the film. As well as a very surprising "twist" near the end that almost knocked me out of my chair. If you have not seen this movie rent it or better yet buy it. As I bet you'll want to see this one more than once.
prison escape
This film manages to redeem Hollywood in the eyes of people who feared it long lost in a dark sea of clichés and predictability. Darabont shows us that artists still work in the Hollywood studios and production facilities. These artists show their capability to produce art; real art that inspires you to look at the deeper aspects of life and the world around you. The Shawshank Redemption delivers much-needed breath of fresh air for anyone who realizes the capability of film. It proves that masters of the craft still live on this earth, and still bless us with timeless masterpieces that we will never forget.These artists show their capability to produce art; real art that inspires you to look at the deeper aspects of life and the world around you...
To be seen once every 6 months, for complete revitalisation of Mind and Soul
Like a beautifully crafted French wine, this movie keeps getting better and better with every passing year. Every time I have viewed it over the past decade (and it must be at least more than 20 times by now), I have found newer shades, subtler indications, and deeper meanings. And it has amazed me like very few have.

* No overacting * Humour in the drab hopeless environs of Shawshank * Method in the madness of running the scams from inside * The complete secrecy maintained for 20 years (not even Red knew!) * The best that a highly-educated intellectual could do inside such a prison * What a great actor the Warden turned out to be - totally despicable! * What a bunch of speakable quotes.. what a bunch! * Totally recommended for any young person - students especially * HOPE TRULY IS THE BEST OF THINGS - a message that shines through
I still can't quite get the enormous reputation of this film. I saw it again last night and instead of clearing up the mystery, the mystery got thicker. It is enjoyable film with very good performances by Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, James Whitmore etc, but...the most highly rated film ever? I don't get it. The voice over alone seems to belong to a so so film. I love Morgan Freeman's voice but he's telling us what we're seeing. So, the sterling reputation damages the enjoyment of the film because one is expecting something that never, really, arrives. The most interesting aspect is Tim Robbins's psychological journey. Credible or incredible doesn't quite matter, I did go with him without asking too many questions. Morgan Freeman's humanity is contagious and inspiring, whether credible or not because I bought it. So, a masterpiece? No. Good, even very good? Yes.
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