The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

R   |    |  Drama


The Shawshank Redemption (1994) Poster

Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.

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9.3/10
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  • Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins at an event for The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
  • Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
  • Frank Darabont in The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
  • James Whitmore in The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
  • Morgan Freeman and Frank Darabont in The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
  • Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

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'The Shawshank Redemption' Without Morgan Freeman?

The Shawshank Redemption has become a classic film - it's even IMDb's top-rated movie of all time - but did you know it almost had an entirely different cast behind those legendary bars?

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21 November 2005 | EyeDunno
10
| Don't Rent Shawshank.
I'm trying to save you money; this is the last film title that you should consider borrowing. Renting Shawshank will cost you five bucks... just plunk down the $25 and own the title. You'll wind up going back to this gem time and time again. This is one of few movies that are truly timeless. And it's entertaining and moving, no matter how many times you view it.

Forget about what others (including myself) might suggest you'll discover in "The Shawshank Redemption;" when you watch it, you'll identify something very personal in your own life with a scene, a character, or a moment in this uncomplicated movie. When you need hope, you'll look for Shawshank. When you want to believe in the will of overcoming even the greatest obstacles, Shawshank will uplift you in ways that you can't find in movies today.

Some liken the film to some kind of spiritual awakening. Of course, some can go to a church or mosque to find enlightenment and Faith in humanity, but most places of worship are open only certain days or times. But when you need affirmation of the lasting bond of friendships that prevail over the most dire circumstances, Shawshank will give it to you. It makes grown men (like me) cry, still. I wonder whether Shawshank was truly meant for viewing in the privacy of the home, because it is a personal experience that really makes you look inward. Nominated for seven, this is the best film that never one a single Oscar.

How ironic that an innocent man winds up being surrounded by the corruption of the legal system. Shawshank itself is similar to the character of Andy Dufresne. Prejudging this classic film, critics couldn't get past the title. The public followed suit, initially dismissing Shawshank, which failed in the box office just like "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Citizen Kane." It could have just whithered away on the store shelves, like Andy Dufresne could have in his own cell. But the characters prevailed, because Andy -- And Shawshank -- stayed true. Now, these movies are right up there as the most popular films of all time.

Anyone who has yet to watch Shawshank may be so jaded of movies, or the film's title, or how a 2-1/2- hour movie set inside the walls of a prison can manage to tap the soul of such a wide range of people. Shawshank has not one explosion. I wonder if it even has a single special effect or digitally- enhanced frame.

But every aspect of Shawshank fit together. The acting from the top to the bit part. The musical score. The editing. The photography. The story, from opening credits to final scene. All involved, including the town of Mansfield, Ohio (where Shawshank was actually filmed) played their roles perfectly. Shawshank is a must- see, must- own title.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #72 Greatest Movie of All Time. It was the first inclusion of this film on the list.


Quotes

District Attorney: Mr. Dufresne, describe the confrontation you had with your wife the night that she was murdered.
Andy Dufresne: It was very bitter. She said she was glad I knew, that she hated all the sneaking around. And she said that she wanted a divorce in Reno.


Goofs

The recording of "Le nozze di Figaro" is from 1968 (recorded by Deutsche Grammophon and directed by Karl Böhm).


Crazy Credits

The man who cried and was beaten when Andy first arrived is listed and credited as "Fat Ass" -- the other inmates' nickname for him.


Alternate Versions

This film was produced independently by Castle Rock Entertainment, but distributed by Columbia Pictures, which placed their logo at the beginning of the film. After the first video release, Castle Rock began to use Warner Bros. as their distributor. This film was then later re-issued on video and DVD by Warner Bros., which replaced the Columbia Pictures logo with their own. (The 1999 WB DVD uses no studio logo before Castle Rock [A Turner Company], and has no Columbia line-art logo at the end, just 10 seconds of blank screen as the music finishes. The 2004 WB DVD and theatrical rerelease start with a very modern WB logo and an updated Castle Rock logo [A TimeWarner Company], and have the Columbia line-art logo in the crawl at the end followed by a quick, still, older WB logo. See also The American President.)


Soundtracks

Willie and The Hand Jive
by
Johnny Otis
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license from CEMA Special Markets

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