A pair of good friends have listed the movie The Shawshank Redemption (1994) in their top ten movies of all time. I am so glad that both my friends Cobra and Airport Friend recommended this movie in their top ten lists of movies because I found an entertaining movie with strong messages of hope, friendship, and perseverance in what Fandango called a “humane prison drama.”
Nominated for seven Academy Awards, The Shawshank Redemption was adapted into the Oscar-nominated screenplay by Frank Darabont. The screenplay itself is based on the Stephen King story Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, one of four “novellas” included as part of the book Different Seasons.
The central humanity of the story comes from the growing bond forged over years of incarceration at the Shawshank prison that purportedly exists in New England generally and most likely Maine specifically.
(Andy Dufresne, left, and Ellis Boyd ‘Red’ Redding)
The character Ellis Boyd ‘Red’ Redding narrates the story and plays a large role, both parts portrayed by Morgan Freeman. Red is guilty of the crime that put him behind bars, though acts of common decency through the film make him sympathetic to the movie viewer.
Andy Dufresne as played by Tim Robbins is brought to prison after falsely being convicted of the murder of his wife and her mistress. Dufresne was first imprisoned in 1947 through a false imprisonment, though the truth of this outcome is unclear for the movie viewer through much of the film.
Two of the primary antagonists pitted against Andy and Red are Warden Samuel Norton as played by Bob Gunton and Captain Hadley as played by Clancy Brown. The two authority figures proved themselves corruptible, corrupted, and from their first scene incorrigibly abusive of their bent of religion that they saw fit to proselytize upon a prison population in a false and contemptible way. Norton and Hadley were culpable for two murders, extortion, tax fraud, and other crimes within the prison.
(Ellis Boyd ‘Red’ Redding, left, Warden Samuel Norton, center, and Captain Hadley)
The Shawshank Redemption was not ranked in the Matt Lynn Digital listing of movies prior to this review. The message about common decency leading to redemption is a strongly American story. That those in the wrong were given their comeuppance extends that trope further. From these perspectives, you will complete a viewing pleased satisfied. For this reason, I recommend that you see The Shawshank Redemption soon.
Matt – Tuesday, January 02, 2018.