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Avg. Rating: 4.8
An excellent movie about one man's quest for redemption
The Shawshank Redemption definitely ranks in my top ten favorite movies of all-time. It is an excellent movie that stars Tim Robbins as Andy Dufresne, a bank manager who has been convicted of murdering his wife and sent to serve out a life sentence in Shawshank prison. He quickly meets an inmate named Red (played by Morgan Freeman) who helps him through some of the struggles of prison life. Between frequent beatings by the "Sisters" and isolation, Andy Dufresne makes it his will to survive. This movie isn't so much about prison life as it is about life in general, which is what makes it so good.
The screenplay was well-written, based upon the Stephen King novella "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption". In my opinion (some people will disagree) in this particular case, the movie is better than the book. The story is slowly laid out before the viewer and certain incidents are introduced throughout the movie that show the integrity of Andy Dufresne as well as his ingenuity (i.e. doing taxes for the prison guards). It helps if you pay attention to every little detail since they all collectively contribute to the turning point or climax.
Without a doubt, the best part of the movie is the climax, which occurs near the end. I was totally taken away by what was revealed and I hadn't even expected it. You will definitely need to watch the movie to find out what happens here -- don't let anyone ruin it for you by telling you ahead of time.
Overall, with the great story, good casting and acting, and an interesting soundtrack, the Shawshank Redemption is a classic movie that should not be missed. After I saw it on T.V. I went out and bought the movie and have watched it a number of times. Highly recommended for anyone as it tells a great story about life, struggle, and redemption.
Prison Escape Involving R.Hayworth, M. Monroe,&R. Welch!!
This 2 hour and 20 minute movie (theatrical release 1994), adapted from Stephen King's short novel "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption" can be summarized easily. It tells the story of quiet banker Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) who has been unjustly sent to Shawshank Prison to serve a double life sentence. In prison, he forms a strong friendship with long-time inmate Ellis "Red" Redding (played exquisitely by Morgan Freeman) who, though he doesn't realize it, helps Andy escape after 19 years in prison. Also, help for this escape is provided by Rita Hayworth, Marilyn Monroe, Rachel Welch, and geology!!
But there is more to this movie--much more. Even a wrongful imprisionment, a corrupt warden and a ruthless prison guard captain (played superbly by Bob Gunton and Clancy Brown respectively), and enemies within the prison (such as Bogs and his "sisters") cannot get the best of Andy. Why? His hope never dies. This is the art of this movie: it perfectly paints a picture of a man who will not give up the only thing that can't be taken away from him--hope.
This is also a magical movie since you are completely enveloped in Shawshank from the very first movie shot. You experience a prison life composed of routine, after routine, after routine. This is one reason the movie is relatively long: to get the viewer involved in this routine. Also, the long length of this movie gets across the passage of time which is crucial to this story about patience, the squeaky wheels of justice, and the growth of a long-term friendship.
All actors in their supporting roles do a fantastic job and some of these roles have been mentioned above. Also, look for James Whitmore's heart-wrenching portrayal of Brooks, a very long-term inmate.
Something else that should be mentioned is Freeman's narration as Red. His voice when he is narrating seems to add to the movie. In fact, I can't imagine the movie without his narration!
Here's other things that you'll find in this movie: contrasts, opposites, unpredictability, humor, persistence, justice and redemption, renewal, and the importance of freedom.
At the end of the movie, there is a double surprise ending. These endings answer two questions: (1) How did Andy escape? (2) How does Red benefit from Andy's escape?
Since this is an all-male prison movie, there is some violence and foul language. But these are not gratuitous and add realism to the movie.
This movie has many memorable lines. My two favorites are as follows: (1) "Get busy living or get busy dieing" (2) "Hope is a good thing--maybe the best of things."
This is one of the few movies where subsequent viewings actually enhances its impact. Why is this? Because there are so many wonderful things on-screen that are presented to the viewer.
The only minor complaint I have with the movie is that it sometimes can be unrealistic. But this can be forgiven since the story is so engrossing.
In conclusion, as mentioned Andy escapes Shawshank prison. The viewer, however, will find the she/he cannot escape watching this powerful movie!
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Whoever wrote the following review, I've got to hand it to you for almost pulling my leg. This is funny stuff, I actually thought you were serious at first. I'm sure they're many ninnies who will put their DVD copy in now and think there's something wrong. Keep it up.
Anyhoo, The Shawshank Redemption is a great piece of work. Better on DVD than in the theaters (unless you get to take that special someone to the last row. Buy it if your internet connection just happens to be down. Of course that last statement was a joke.
My third submission on this, if you are doubtful, check for yourself. I own the VHS of Shawshank. I recently purchased a DVD player and Shawshank was one of my first disks. I set both the disk and the tape up to play simultaneously, and flipped back and forth to compare the superb quality improvement of DVD. I was in for a surprise. The picture DOES NOT get wider-AS IT SHOULD-and the top and bottom of the picture of the DVD version are ERASED and replaced by the black bars. The other movie I found with this flaw is Jackie Brown. Check out the point where Bridget Fonda "services" Robert DeNiro. On the VHS widescreen version , her "buns" disappear. They are fully visable on the fullscreen version! The top and bottom have been erased on the widescreen version and the picture does not get any wider. I suspect more movies have this flaw. Now that we know what to look for, let's look!
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