One of the Best Movies I’ve Seen
There aren’t very many movies that stand the test of time as much as The Shawshank Redemption. It remains one of my top ten all time favorite movies. The surprising part is that I didn’t want to see it when I first heard of it.
Who wants to see a movie about prison? That has never been a topic of particular interest. Was I ever wrong. It was such a wonderful movie I even recommended it to my parents. They wondered why they would want to watch a prison movie, but they loved it too.
If you let that stop you before, please don’t let it stop you now. This should be a required movie in any collection. Based on a short book by Stephen King. What an amazing screenplay adaptation. This movie should have won many Oscars! Surprisingly, while nominated for seven awards, it didn’t win any.
The Academy Award nominations were for:
- best picture
- best actor, for Morgan Freeman
- best adapted screenplay
- best cinematography
- best original score
- best editing
- best sound mixing
It did win two golden globe awards, one for best screenplay, one best actor for Morgan Freeman.
Tim Robbins plays Andy Dufresne and Morgan Freeman is Red. Both are the perfectly cast for the parts. Mr. Freeman’s narration throughout the movie draws you in completely, making you feel at home with him. He’s always easy to listen to, softening the prison aspect somehow, while keeping you involved. He has such a wonderful voice.
The movie was released in 1994, and runs two hours and twenty-three minutes.
The story itself is about a man who is jailed (wrongly) for killing his wife and her lover. An educated, quiet, gentle man, a banker before his conviction, who many inmates don’t think will last the week. He becomes friends with Red, “a man who can get things,” and their friendship becomes an important part of the story.
The movie includes the struggles, the corruption, the harshness and violence of prison, yet through it Andy maintains his dignity and his gentle persona, influencing Red and other inmates. When he eventually becomes the assistant to the warden, doing taxes for guard within the prison and around the state, he learn much about the warden’s graft. I won’t say more. If you haven’t seen it, you will need to find out the rest by watching the movie. I hope you do.
You leave the theater smiling (really? A prison movie?) wishing you could spend more time with the two of them. You will feel like you know Andy and Red, and I bet you will like them as much as I do. All these years later, it still makes me smile. Looks like I have to pull out the movie again for another viewing.
It’s really one you shouldn’t miss.
Read the Short Story by Stephen King
A collection of four stories are included here. The short book that started it all, called “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption,” is one of them. Stephen King wrote it. The screenwriter did an excellent job bringing it to life. Many readers felt the movie followed the book quite well.
The Green Mile
Another remarkable movie, based on another short story by Stephen King. Tom Hanks and the late Michael Clarke Duncan star in this wonderful movie. Duncan plays a giant of a man convicted of raping and killing two children. But he’s a gentle, kind soul, who’s touch can heal. So why is he on death row? It’s a dramatic, touching story that was very well done.
Watch The Trailers
Even if you have seen the movie, chances are you will enjoy watching the trailers here. They aren’t long at all, but take you back if you have seen it.
If you haven’t yet seen it, this will give you a good idea of the impact it has.
It’s a movie that brings out and deepens your emotions. It’s a pleasure to feel the friend Andy has with Red, to drink a beer after a day working outside, to listen to opera. While it has a few rough scenes, tastefully handled actually, most of the story is about the fitting in, the coping, and the amazing attitude Andy has. Andy Dufresne brings a touch of class and dignity to the prison. You can’t help but be touched by it.
The voice of Morgan Freeman narrating makes it that much better.