Why do I want to write the 234th comment on The Shawshank Redemption? I am not sure - almost everything that could be possibly said about it has been said. But like so many other people who wrote comments, I was and am profoundly moved by this simple and eloquent depiction of hope and friendship and redemption. The only other movie I have ever seen that effects me as strongly is To Kill a Mockingbird. Both movies leave me feeling cleaner for having watched them.I didn't intend to see this movie at all: I do not like prison movies and I don't normally watch them. I work at a branch library and one day as I was checking The Shawshank Redemption out to one of our older patrons, she said to me, "Whenever I feel down or depressed, I check out this movie and watch it and it always makes me feel better." At the time, I thought that was very strange. One day there was nothing on TV except things I absolutely would not watch under any circumstance or things that I had seen too many times already. I remembered what she said, so I watched it. I have watched it many many times since then and it gets better with every showing.No action, no special effects - just men in prison uniforms talking to each other.The Shawshank Redemption and To Kill a Mockingbird are the best movies I have ever seen. I do not judge it by it's technical merits - I don't really care about that. I have read that Citizen Kane or The Godfather or this or that movie is the best movie ever made. They may have the best technique or be the most influential motion pictures ever made, but not the best. The best movies are ones that touch the soul. It takes a movie like The Shawshank Redemption to touch the soul.
The Shawshank Redemption is written and directed by Frank Darabont. It is an adaptation of the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. Starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, the film portrays the story of Andy Dufresne (Robbins), a banker who is sentenced to two life sentences at Shawshank State Prison for apparently murdering his wife and her lover. Andy finds it tough going but finds solace in the friendship he forms with fellow inmate Ellis "Red" Redding (Freeman). While things start to pick up when the warden finds Andy a prison job more befitting his talents as a banker. However, the arrival of another inmate is going to vastly change things for all of them.There was no fanfare or bunting put out for the release of the film back in 94, with a title that didn't give much inkling to anyone about what it was about, and with Columbia Pictures unsure how to market it, Shawshank Redemption barely registered at the box office. However, come Academy Award time the film received several nominations, and although it won none, it stirred up interest in the film for its home entertainment release. The rest, as they say, is history. For the film finally found an audience that saw the film propelled to almost mythical proportions as an endearing modern day classic. Something that has delighted its fans, whilst simultaneously baffling its detractors. One thing is for sure, though, is that which ever side of the Shawshank fence you sit on, the film continues to gather new fans and simply will never go away or loose that mythical status.It's possibly the simplicity of it all that sends some haters of the film into cinematic spasms. The implausible plot and an apparent sentimental edge that makes a nonsense of prison life, are but two chief complaints from those that dislike the film with a passion. Yet when characters are this richly drawn, and so movingly performed, it strikes me as churlish to do down a human drama that's dealing in hope, friendship and faith. The sentimental aspect is indeed there, but that acts as a counterpoint to the suffering, degradation and shattering of the soul involving our protagonist. Cosy prison life you say? No chance. The need for human connection is never more needed than during incarceration, surely? And given the quite terrific performances of Robbins (never better) & Freeman (sublimely making it easy), it's the easiest thing in the world to warm to Andy and Red.Those in support aren't faring too bad either. Bob Gunton is coiled spring smarm as Warden Norton, James Whitmore is heart achingly great as the "Birdman Of Shawshank," Clancy Brown is menacing as antagonist Capt. Byron Hadley, William Sadler amusing as Heywood & Mark Rolston is impressively vile as Bogs Diamond. Then there's Roger Deakins' lush cinematography as the camera gracefully glides in and out of the prison offering almost ethereal hope to our characters (yes, they are ours). The music pings in conjunction with the emotional flow of the movie too. Thomas Newman's score is mostly piano based, dovetailing neatly with Andy's state of mind, while the excellently selected soundtrack ranges from the likes of Hank Williams to the gorgeous Le Nozze di Figaro by Mozart.If you love Shawshank then it's a love that lasts a lifetime. Every viewing brings the same array of emotions - anger - revilement - happiness - sadness - inspiration and a warmth that can reduce the most hardened into misty eyed wonderment. Above all else, t
I have never seen such an amazing film since I saw The Shawshank Redemption. Shawshank encompasses friendships, hardships, hopes, and dreams. And what is so great about the movie is that it moves you, it gives you hope. Even though the circumstances between the characters and the viewers are quite different, you don't feel that far removed from what the characters are going through.It is a simple film, yet it has an everlasting message. Frank Darabont didn't need to put any kind of outlandish special effects to get us to love this film, the narration and the acting does that for him. Why this movie didn't win all seven Oscars is beyond me, but don't let that sway you to not see this film, let its ranking on the IMDb's top 250 list sway you, let your friends recommendation about the movie sway you.Set aside a little over two hours tonight and rent this movie. You will finally understand what everyone is talking about and you will understand why this is my all time favorite movie.
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.
This movie is not your ordinary Hollywood flick. It has a great and deep message. This movie has a foundation and just kept on being built on from their and that foundation is hope.Other than just the message of this movie the acting was phenomenal. Tim Robbins gave one of the greatest performances ever. He was inspiring, intelligent and most of all positive. His performance just made me smile. Robbins plays Andy Dufresne who was wrongfully convicted of murdering his wife and her lover. He is gets to life sentences but yet never gives up hope. In he becomes friends with Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding played by Morgan Freeman. Freeman who gives the finest performance of his career has unlike Robbins lost hope. He is in deep regret of the crime that he committed. His way of deflecting the pain away is by trying to not feel anything at all. With his friendship with Andy he learns that without our hopes and dreams we have nothing. Andy also becomes friends with the rest of Red's group. James Whitmore also gave a great performance as Brooks Halten who gets out of prison parole but in the words of Red he has been "institutionalized". The directing by Frank Darabont was just magnificent. He kept this movie at a great steady pace along with the writing and great cinematography. He portrayed prison life in such a horrifying way, but not in terms of the physical pain but the stress and pain that wares mentally on the inmates, some of which deserve a second chance. Whatever you do, don't listen to the people who say this movie is overrated because this is one of the most inspiring and greatest movies ever. It has everything you could possibly want.
Can Hollywood, usually creating things for entertainment purposes only, create art? To create something of this nature, a director must approach it in a most meticulous manner, due to the delicacy of the process. Such a daunting task requires an extremely capable artist with an undeniable managerial capacity and an acutely developed awareness of each element of art in their films, the most prominent; music, visuals, script, and acting. These elements, each equally important, must succeed independently, yet still form a harmonious union, because this mixture determines the fate of the artist's opus. Though already well known amongst his colleagues for his notable skills at writing and directing, Frank Darabont emerges with his feature film directorial debut, The Shawshank Redemption. Proving himself already a master of the craft, Darabont managed to create one of the most recognizable independent releases in the history of Hollywood. The Shawshank Redemption defines a genre, defies the odds, compels the emotions, and brings an era of artistically influential films back to Hollywood.The story begins with the trial of a young banker, Andy Dufrense, victimized by circumstantial evidence, resulting in a conviction for the murder of his wife and her lover. After a quick conviction, Andy finds himself serving a life sentence at Shawshank prison, with no hope of parole. He exists in this prison only in appearance, keeping his mind free from the drab walls around him. His ability to do this results in the gaining of respect from his fellow inmates, but most of all from Ellis Redding. Ellis, commonly referred to as Red, finds gainful use of his entrepreneurial spirit within the drab walls of Shawshank by dealing in contraband and commodities rare to the confines of prison. Andy's demeanor and undeniable sense of hope causes Red to take a deeper look at himself, and the world around him. Andy proves to Red and the other inmates that in the conventional walls of Shawshank prison convention will find no home in his lifestyle.By creating the film's firm foundation, the meticulously chiseled screenplay paved the way for this film's success. Frank Darabont outdoes himself with the phenomenal adaptation of Stephen King's equally noteworthy novella, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. In this novella, King demonstrates that he can break free from the genre he dominates and still create a marvelous piece of modern literature. Though the film mirrors the novella in many ways, Darabont illustrates a focused objective of improving upon the areas where the novella came up short, resulting in one of the best book to film transitions ever.While maintaining some of the poetic and moving dialogue of the novella, Darabont also proves that a film's score can generate a great deal of emotional response from its audience, as dialogue does. He employs the cunning Thomas Newman, son of the legendary Hollywood composer, Alfred Newman. Darabont shows recognition for the film's needs by employing Newman, who makes the gentle piano chords whisper softly to the viewer, as if a part of the scripted dialogue. Newman lends himself to individualism and tends to drive more towards the unique in the realm of score composition. His effort in Shawshank did not go unnoticed, as his score received an Oscar nomination in 1995. While unique and independent, Newman's score never once intrudes on your concentration or distracts from the film.With work from vast array of talented scene designe
Misery and Stand By Me were the best adaptations up until this one, now you can add Shawshank to that list.This is simply one of the best films ever made and I know I am not the first to say that and I certainly won't be the last. The standing on the IMDb is a true barometer of that. #3 as of this date and I'm sure it could be number 1. So I'll just skip all the normal praise of the film because we all know how great it is. But let me perhaps add that what I find so fascinating about Shawshank is that Stephen King wrote it.King is one of the best writers in the world. Books like IT and the Castle Rock series are some of the greatest stories ever told. But his best adaptations are always done by the best directors. The Shining was brilliantly interpreted by Kubrick and of course the aforementioned Misery and Stand By Me are both by Rob Reiner. Now Frank Darabont comes onto the scene and makes arguably the best King film ever. He seems to understand what King wants to say and he conveys that beautifully. What makes this film one of the best ever made is the message it conveys. It is one of eternal hope. Andy Dufresne, played by Tim Robbins, has been sent to prison for a crime he did not commit. But he never loses hope. He never gives up his quest to become a free man again. His years of tenacity, patience and wits keep him not only sane, but it gives his mind and a spirit a will to live. This film has a different feel to it. There has never been anything like it before and I don't know if there will again.I'm not going to say any more about this film, it has already been said, but just suffice to say that I am glad that Forrest Gump won best picture in 94. I would have been equally glad if Pulp Fiction or Shawshank would have won. It is that good of a movie and one that will be appreciated for years to come.
One of the finest films made in recent years. It's a poignant story about hope. Hope gets me. That's what makes a film like this more than a movie. It tells a lesson about life. Those are the films people talk about 50 or even 100 years from you. It's also a story for freedom. Freedom from isolation, from rule, from bigotry and hate. Freeman and Robbins are majestic in their performances. Each learns from the other. Their relationship is strong and you feel that from the first moment they make contact with one another. There is also a wonderful performance from legend James Whitmore as Brooks.He shines when it is his time to go back into the world, only to find that the world grew up so fast he never even got a chance to blink. Stephen King's story is brought to the screen with great elegance and excitement. It is an extraordinary motion that people "will" be talking about in 50 or 100 years.
I've lost count of the number of times I have seen this movie, but it is more than 20. It has to be one of the best movies ever made. It made me take notice Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins like I had never noticed any actors before.I have from a very young age been a huge fan of anything Stephen King writes and had already read the short story that this movie is based on years prior to seeing this movie.Not everything Stephen King has written that gets turned into a movie comes out well, but this is as close to perfection as it gets and has everything you could ever want in a movie.Something that is outstanding is the fact that it has no real action, no special effects and no gimmicks. 99% of the movie is just men in a prison uniforms talking. Yet it absolutely hooks you almost from the beginning and has you glued to the screen to the end.For me what really makes this film one of the best is the message of eternal hope it conveys throughout. The never ever give up hope attitude of the main character so well conveyed by Tim Robbins. The ending is just spine tingling every time I see it, no matter how many times I have seen it.Brilliant, brilliant movie and a must see for everyone.
Whenever I talk about this movie with my friends, I do not even refer to it by title, but rather as "The Movie". When I say "The Movie", my friends know exactly what I'm talking about. In fact the main reason that me and my friends don't refer to it by title is because this movie is so great, that we do not feel worthy enough to say it's name in vain! I still remember the first time I saw The Shawshank Redemption. Some friends of mine and I went to see it at one of those "Budget Theaters" over the summer of 1995. None of us really knew anything about the movie, but we had heard that it was pretty good. So, not having any real expectations, we saw it. When the final credits rolled and the lights came on in the theater, all of us just sat there with our jaws hanging down on the floor. I turned my head towards my friend Bob and said "That was the greatest movie I have ever seen in my entire life!" There's really no other way I can put it in words. Every moment of this movie captivated me and inspired me to believe in the one true thing in life...... "HOPE". This movie is sad, uplifting, inspiring, harsh, cold, funny (at the right times), jaw-dropping, and heart-warming all at the same time. I get chills every time I watch this film and this film contains the greatest ending (which takes place over the last 30 minutes or so)in movie history! How it all just "comes together" is so incredible and uplifting. I should also mention the music in this movie is nearly flawless as well, and the soundtrack is a "must buy" for any music fan. The only bad thing about this movie is the fact that I know I will never see a better movie, no matter how many I may see. I've seen many movies over the past few years, many excellent films. However, every time I walk out of the theater, I turn to my friend or family member that I saw it with and I say, "That was a great movie, but it wasn't nearly as good as 'you know what'!" There have been many movies over the past few years that thought would really move me or that I might one day call my "favorite of all time", but they've all fallen far short of "The Shawshank Redemption". So, if you have yet to see this movie, please run to the video store immediately. You're guaranteed to find it in the "employee picks" section. And if it isn't in that section, then you should tell the employees there that there is something seriously wrong with them. If you have seen this movie, go see it again. If you haven't bought your own copy yet, buy one. In fact buy two, and put one in a fire-proof safe, just in case of an emergency. :o) So, you want a 1-10 rating??? I give it a 13!!!!!!