The Shawshank Redemption
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A prominent banker unjustly convicted of murder spends many years in the Shawshank prison. He is befriended by a convict who knows the ropes and helps him to cope with the frightning realities of prison life.
When this popular prison drama was released in 1994, somecritics complained that the movie was too long (142 minutes) to sustain its story. Those complaints miss the point, because the passage of time is crucial to this story about patience, the squeaky wheels of justice, and the growth of a life-long friendship. Only when the film reaches its final, emotionally satisfying scene do you fully understand why writer-director Frank Darabont (adapting a novella by Stephen King) allows the story to unfold at its necessary pace, and the effect is dramatically rewarding. Tim Robbins plays a banker named Andy who's sent to Shawshank Prison on a murder charge, where he gets to know a life-term prisoner named Red (Morgan Freeman). Andy's calm, quiet exterior hides a great reserve of patience and fortitude, and Red comes to admire this mild-mannered man who first struck him as weak and unfit for prison life. So it is that The Shawshank Redemption builds considerable impact as a prison drama that defies the conventions of the genre (violence, brutality, riots) to illustrate its theme of faith, friendship, and survival. Nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture, Actor, and Screenplay, it's a remarkable film that signaled the arrival of a promising new filmmaker--a film that many movie lovers count among their all-time favorites. --Jeff Shannon
- Stills Gallery: Photos from director Frank Darabont's collection
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The culmination of this unusual rapport between Andy Dufresne and Red Redding ends with keeping a promise made to an old friend while never dreaming that it will come to be when it was made. The writing in a "half way" room scratched above a table just right for completing a suicide tells yet another story of the difference inspiration can make; one life ends in death because there is no hope, one life goes forward because of the bond between two - provided by only one. And the remembered phrase coming back to give him strength - "Get busy living, or get busy dying."
The visuals and audio during this finale are what make it so fine; more poignant than any dialogue. Determined to keep his promise to his friend made while in prison, (almost as a deathbed promise) Red goes to the fragrant hay fields of Buxton seeking the rock wall and what is buried beneath by Andy. As he descends from an old red farm truck that has given him a ride to the area, it as though he has entered another world, one tranquil and peaceful; gravel crunching under his feet as he walks in the hot summer sun; corn and hay fields, bird voices, dense green foliage; untroubled life and sound is everywhere; and at long last the old rock wall that holds his salvation buried there.
This exceptional and well written, directed and cast production movie is a MUST SEE for everyone who likes prison movies, are impressed with mystery, intrigue, friendships, bonds, wrongfully accused, and seeing that sometimes life give surprises, with extraordinary results based on decisions made in life. Directed by Frank Darabont. Stars: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler, Clancy Brown, Gil Bellows, Mark Rolston, James Whitmore, Alfonson Freeman (Morgan Freeman’s son) and a vast array of cast crew members.
I was definitely surprised that Stephen King wrote the screenplay for this movie, (short story "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption"). You would not think, at least I did not think this would be his type of genre, since it is not a horror/thriller genre film.
**Spoilers – Please Do Not Read, If You Have Not Viewed The Movie** The storyline surrounds around Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) who is sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison for the murders of his wife and her lover and is sentenced to a tough prison. However, only Andy knows he didn't commit the crimes. While there, he forms a friendship with Red (Morgan Freeman), experiences brutality of prison life, adapts, helps the warden, etc., all in 19 years. A very good movie, with numerous surprises, twists and turns. I have watched this movie so many times, and was surprised that it did not win an Oscar. Of course, we know, and have heard that although Shawshank Redemption was a great movie, the jury found Forrest Gump better in terms of Picture, Director, Actor and Screenplay. Lion King had the better original score. Two other movies Speed (for best Sound) and Legends of the Fall (for best cinematography) also won vs Shawshank Redemption that year.
I purchased the Single Disk Edition which shows perfectly, I would probably miss the Director’s Commentary, Extended /Deleted Scenes, Bonus Tracks, and other incentives with a dual layered version, or a Special Edition Version of this DVD. My concern is how the DVD Single Edition would play in my DVD Player, which is good, since it can play more than one format. The price is reasonable. The Seller described the DVD accurately, and delivery was timely. I would recommend this DVD Movie to others, whether you have seen this movie previously, or it may be your first time viewing this movie. Thanks Amazon for a great price, and Seller for great customer service.