Directed by: Frank Darabont
: Stephen King, Frank Darabont
Starring by: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton
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.
Reviewed bybkoganbingVote: 9/10
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.
Reviewed byma-cortesVote: 9/10
Superbly played film set in 1946 , a bright young New England banker is convicted of the slayings of his spouse and her lover and sentenced to life at a strict State Prison . Introspective and quite Andy (Tim Robbins) gradually befriends inmates and over the next 2 decades wins the trust of prisoners and wardens but in his heart he still yearns for freedom . There he forms a peculiar friendship with Red (Morgan Freeman), the prison fixer , he experiences the brutality of prison life with a sadistic head guard (Clancy Brown), and is also mistreated and raped ; however , he adapts himself and offers financial advice to the guards and the selfish governor (Bob Gunton) , all in a shot 19 years. As two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding peace and redemption through acts of common help , friendship and decency . But when the proof of Andy's innocence is ripped away by those who need his services ,we learn that all is not quite what it seems at this State Penitentary , provoking a few susprises in the last two reels .
This is a very good and serious prison movie with thrills , emotion , exciting scenes , colour-blind relationships , hardnut camaraderie , gang opression , and violent disavowal of any homosexual implications . Prison buffs will find a lot of incidents to relish and the great spiritual resolution takes some swallowing and unexpected surprises . Adapted from the novella ¨Rita Hayworth and Shawshank redemption¨ ; the twist here is the upright starring is exceptionally bright , as his ability with accountancy leads to his handling the finances of everyone , from the humblest guard to the prison boss . Wonderful spectacle in watching time-passer while changing the bombshell actresses of the history : Rita Hayworth , Marilyn Monroe , Raquel Welch . US prison films have been making solid fares for more than sixty years and apart from slowness of pace in the second half , this one is well up to prison standards . This Frank Darabont's theatrical debut turns out to be a throwback rendition to the kind of literate , thought-provoking prison drama Hollywood used to make , such as : I am a fugitive from a chain gang , Birdman of Alcatraz and Escape from Alcatraz .
Tim Robbins plays magnificently Andy , an inmate finding solace and eventual redemption , Tim provides his usual talent for playing ambiguous roles , as his notable skills are put to good use. Along with Robbins' best screen acting there are various Oscar-worthy supporting characters with special mention for Morgan Freeman as the good fixer who brings his ordinary grace to what could have been a thankless role , the veteran James Withmore as the crow-keeping librarian , the sympathetic newcomer inmate Gil Bellows ,William Sadler , Mark Rolston and the ruthless guardian Clancy Brown and , of course , the egoistic and nasty governor excellently played by Bob Gunton .
It contains a colorful and evocative cinematography by Roger Deakins . And an enjoyable and really feeling musical score by Thomas Newman . In his engrossing direction debut ,Darabont avoids boring by fleeing most prison movie cliches . It results to be a pleasure of discovering a first-time filmmaker with evident respect for the intelligence of his audience , giving sensitive scenes , and brave enough to let roles details accumulate without recourse the excessively maudlin and over-sentimentality. It is a true masterpiece , being marvelously acted and perfectly paced.
Reviewed bySnoopyStyleVote: 8/10
Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is a banker convicted of murdering his wife and her lover. He always professes his innocence, but is thrown into Shawshank Prison with other lifers like Red (Morgan Freeman).
Director Frank Darabont has made a prison fable out of a Stephen King short story. It is well acted by Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. Freeman is especially important as he is the narrator and the POV of the story. It's his lyrical voice that makes this fable compelling. It could have easily been a simple prison movie that rang hollow. Freeman gave the readings depth.
If there is one complaint, it is Andy's claim of innocence. It needs to be shown early on during the trial. Instead, we derived mostly from Andy's demeanor. It needs to be a big declaration at the beginning. When Tommy (Gil Bellows) tells the story, he should include one detail from the trial like the 8 bullets. That way, the audience can get an aha moment. It's a minor point, and overall this is a good prison fable.