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The Shawshank Redemption
Year:
1994
Country:
USA
Genre:
Crime, Drama
IMDB rating:
9.3
Director:
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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Reviews
Emotionally Fulfilling
From the director of 1990's "Buried Alive" comes perhaps the strongest drama of 1994. "The Shawshank Redemption" is emotionally fulfilling in every way, uplifting its audience again and again. Darabont's screenplay, adapted from (and expanded upon) Stephen King's short novella "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption", is at once soul stirring, heart-rending and disarmingly funny. As director, Frank Darabont brings this poignant and oft times surprising (largely unpredictable thank goodness) script to the screen with the kind of loving care that only a writer/director can, ensuring that all the right elements are brought to the surface.

Startling performances from Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman and the entire support cast help make this picture a powerful production. As convicted double murderer Andy Du Fresne, Robbins portrays innocence and determination superbly. He's a man who not only strongly believes he has a future, but that it's a good one. Freeman is spot on as the world weary "Red", the lifer who specialises in the supply of merchandise ("whatever you want") to other inmates. He is gradually transformed, and always surprised, by Andy's optimism, geniality and brilliance. In support of these two leads are some very strong turns which provide an over all feast of superlative acting talents.

The cinematography is superb, capturing some spectacular images of the foreboding Shawshank prison, while Thomas Newman's music is awe inspiring and must be duly recognised as a truly moving composition.

"The Shawshank Redemption" is a long movie, though it would seem that to shorten it would mean to miss out on some powerful, if not crucial scenes. In this light, the editing team have done a marvellous job.

What makes this film so effective is Darabont's brilliant script and astute direction, coupled with the strong acting and great support production. Darabont achieves all his objectives, making us laugh, cry, listen and think, he both surprises and inspires us many times. We're left in the end with an uplifting and wholly satisfying movie, which is unexpectedly memorable and magnificently rewarding. A definite triumph of the human spirit.

Perhaps the conclusion could be called simplistic, but certainly not expected, and that's what makes this story so great. "The Shawshank Redemption" comes from nowhere to really hit you with its well written characters and even its carefully researched history. Wonderfully emotionally telling and thankfully intellectually sharp, its a pleasure that you must treat yourself to! Look for two brilliantly played characters in the form of the menacingly sinister Warden (Bob Gunton) and the despicable, ruthlessly violent Captain of the Guards (Clancy Brown).

Thursday, July 27, 1995 - Waverley Pinewood Cinema

"The Shawshank Redemption" was the surprise of 1994 from director Frank Darabont. Full of emotional highs both comic and poignant, it is by far the best prison film I've ever seen. Performances from Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman are truly inspired, whilst a classy support cast lend strong backing. Cinematography is at times breathtaking and Thomas Newman's score is sweeping and melodic.

For uplifting cinema that constantly comes form nowhere to move its audience you can't go past "The Shawshank Redemption."

Tuesday, April 30, 1996 - Astor Theatre
2008-02-19
Shawshank Redeems Hollywood
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 designers, costume designers, composers, cinematographers, and various other Hollywood artists, the cast of The Shawshank Redemption had a strong foundation to work with. The marvelous cast of this film will dazzle you with some of the most convincing performances you will witness in a film. While both Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman shine as Andy and Red, respectively, the true spectacle of acting lies within the plethora of amazing supporting actors who easily disappear into their roles. Most noticeable of these, the veteran film star James Whitmore, who portrays the elderly Brooks Hatlen. Brooks, a man incarcerated for an unmentioned crime for so long that he finds himself attached to the Shawshank and the daily life he has lead. Each of these actors show a true dedication to their art, and a focused purpose in their motivations, creating a convincing setting that never once caters to anything unbelievable.

With all of the aesthetic touches and attention to cinematic detail, the most beautiful part of the film lies within its thematic material, such as its focus on the human desires for the most abstract concepts, like hope and freedom. These themes, which concern things the human spirit undoubtedly yearns for, seem so intricately woven into the plot that it easily draws its audience in to its story. Though full of hardened criminals, your heart will go out to these men as they display the most basic of human emotions, and deliver some of the most quotable lines in a film to date. Like a great novel, this film manages to succeed at greater things than simply entertaining an audience. Darabont tells his story most masterfully, illustrating principles and inspiring his audience to think. He leaves us a poignant film with a powerful message of hope, and redemption, something we all seek.

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.
2002-08-27
"I Had To Go To Prison To Learn To Be A Crook"
None of the usual otherworld creatures that populate the works of Stephen King are to be found in The Shawshank Redemption. But the real world of that Maine prison has some bizarre rules of its own and there's a whole new reality within those walls.

In the tradition of Cool Hand Luke and Birdman Of Alcatraz comes Tim Robbins who was a banker on the outside, but when he caught his wife cheating on him with a golf pro from their country club, he's convicted of putting eight bullets in them, four apiece and tried and sentenced to two consecutive life terms in Shawshank prison. Like Luke and Bob Stroud he works out his own rehabilitation and rebels against the prison system.

He may be a con, but Robbins still has all his knowledge of finances and pretty soon he's made himself quite invaluable to the warden and the rest of the staff at the prison. At the same time he and the cell block scrounger Morgan Freeman develop a close personal relationship. In the end they beat the system in a most unique way.

There have been some classic prison films made ever since The Big House at the dawn of the talkies. Two I've already mentioned. My favorite prison film is Robert Redford's Brubaker, but The Shawshank Redemption comes pretty close. As does The Green Mile which was also directed by Frank Darabont.

Darabont got an Oscar nomination as did the film itself and as did Morgan Freeman for Best Actor. The Shawshank Redemption was in for a flock more Oscar nominations in 1994. A couple other good performances are that of James Whitmore the institutionalized con who is there for 50 years and paroled and just can't make it on the outside. He will break your heart as will Gil Bellows who plays a fresh, but rather likable young con who runs afoul of the warden.

Speaking of which Bob Gunton as the warden will positively chill you with his corruption. You would have to go back all the way to the James Cagney classic, The Mayor Of Hell where Dudley Digges was the warden of boys reformatory to find a warden that is as sanctimonious and as corrupt as Gunton. This is a man who gives Bibles out to each inmate hoping that the reading of the Good Book will improve the moral fiber of the convicts. At the same time he's raking in money every which way he can and a rather special punishment is meted out to him by Robbins.

The Shawshank Redemption may not have monsters and other worldly creatures that normally characterize a Stephen King story. But the world of Shawshank prison is bizarre enough for any normal person if you see this wonderfully crafted and acted film.
2011-02-17
Oh my godmother
Three words: Oh. My. God.

How am i supposed to describe this absolutely fantastic and unbelievable film in words? I don't know. But I'll give it a shot. Here goes.

This movie is just bloody excellent, brilliant, fantastic, unbelievable, not a thing wrong with it, shocking (in a good way), heck, pretty much every single good comment word you can think of.

I mean, for gods sake, its so damn good it takes your breath away! i seriously could not speak after it! it instantly took every other film i had seen under its shadow, and that's saying something, as i have seen some pretty excellent films.

There's not a single actor or actress in this movie who is crap!!! standouts are Morgan freeman, Tim Robbins, and the dude who plays brooks.

I could say 1239643609260246704272628xinfinity more things good about this movie, but unfortunately I haven't got that much space, and my fingers would get sore.

An absolute must see for everyone, and I'm positive that ill never see another movie better than this, and this will stay at #1 on my list forever.
2008-12-25
Powerful
One of my all time favorites. 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 portrail 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.
2001-07-25
really superb
i watched this movie just to pass out some good time... and you know what.. i had sore and wet eyes at the end.. i don't know why but the movie's end, couldn't stop myself..

andy's portrayal by tim robbins and red's by morgan freeman was absolutely great..

i like and love andy's philosophy that "hope is a good thing.." .. and i have tried to inculcate that in me.. i just loved the movie.. i was like.. whats this, its ended so fast.. i didn't it want to end.. i am not a con and neither i wanna be.. but it has shown even the guys out there in the prisons also can be innocent.. and to prove their innocence they can go to any lengths.. i mean that they also have got something in them.. their hearts.. the spirit shown by andy was absolutely great.. it shows that when you want to do something, do it with full heart.. i have just finished it..but i'm sure i m gonna watch this very often, and am not going to forget it for a long length of time..
2006-10-24
Very enjoyable, but let's not go overboard, folks
THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION is very enjoyable, features excellent performances, and has won a fanatical following among a lot of people. I just saw it. I liked it. But as for becoming fanatically enthusiastic about it, all I can say is, folks, let's not get carried away...

The story not only is incredibly *simple* (good man unjustly convicted for horrible crime maintains hope in horrible confinement), but is also incredibly *simplistic* (the Warden and his men are evil goons, the convicts are good). Complexity is something completely exiled from this story.

The director, Frank Durabont, offers nothing new in his aesthetic choices -- SHAWSHANK is stock Hollywood filmmaking, especially of the Spielbergian variety ala THE COLOR PURPLE and AMISTAD. The soundtrack is overpowering in its efforts to imbue the story with "heartwrenching emotion." The cinematography is fine in a sort-of standard-issue, "seen it before" way.

Which begs the question: Is there anything truly *exceptional* about THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION? Heck yeah -- Morgan Freeman proves, once again, that he is not only a wonderful actor but also one of the most endearing, powerful presences in cinema. Tim Robbins is fine, along with all of the convicts.

But overall, I didn't mistake THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION for anything particularly new, remarkable, exciting -- in other words, as anything worthy of fanatical enthusiasm. It's a fine Hollywood film that looks, smells, sounds and feels like your typical fine Hollywood film. But nothing more.
2000-07-29
Movie you can see 1000 times
I made my account on IMDb Just to Rate this movie. :-) I had heard from someone that Tim Robins has done a great job in this movie. but when i started watching this movie, i could not move my ass for 142 Min.

its not just about Tim Robins or Morgen Freeman.. its the whole storyline,dialogs and cinematography which insist you to watch this whenever you feel low in your life.

Movie has some great lines. When Andy(Tim Robins) brake the Jail, Morgon Freeman says "I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright" This movie has entertainment, Feelings, Action, Drama a little comedy. In short everything we want to see in a movie.

I have seen this movie around 100 times and sure will watch more then 10000 times before i die. 1 of the best movies i have ever seen in my life.. Wish i could see that sort of movie again in my life
2012-02-04
A movie about an innocent clever man who learns to live within prison walls.
This is Tim Robbins best performance ever. It is a compelling heart warming drama about an innocent man(Andy Dufresbe) who is sent to prison and learns to use his intelligence to make the best of prison life. He meets a mentor in Red(Morgan Freeman) and they build a friendship that is stronger than the walls that surround them. Andy steadies a relationship with the warden that keeps him in the good eyes of the prison. Andy is full of surprises and uses his resourcefulness to not only win the friendships of his fellow prisoners, but also of the prison guards. Both Andy and Red both hold on to their dream of one day enjoying their freedom. They turn their friendship and dreams of freedom into a bond that no prison could ever take away.
1998-07-30
Simply amazing. The best film of the 90's.
The Shawshank Redemption is without a doubt one of the most brilliant movies I have ever seen. Similar to The Green Mile in many respects (and better than it in almost all of them), these two movies have shown us that Stephen King is a master not only of horror but also of prose that shakes the soul and moves the heart. The plot is average, but King did great things with it in his novella that are only furthered by the direction, and the acting is so top-rate it's almost scary.

Tim Robbins plays Andy Dufrane, wrongly imprisoned for 20 years for the murder of his wife. The story focuses on Andy's relationship with "Red" Redding (Morgan Freeman, in probably his best role) and his attempts to escape from Shawshank. Bob Gunton is positively evil and frightening as Warden Norton, and there are great performances and cameos all around; the most prominent one being Gil Bellows (late as Billy of Ally McBeal) as Tommy, a fellow inmate of Andy's who suffers under the iron will of Norton.

If you haven't seen this movie, GO AND RENT IT NOW. You will not be disappointed. It is positively the best movie of the '90's, and one of my Top 3 of all time. This movie is a spectacle to move the mind, soul, and heart. 10/10
2000-09-06
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