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The Shawshank Redemption (DVD)

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Genre: Drama / Theatrical Release: 1994 / Director: Frank Darabont / Actors: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman ... / DVD released 21 December, 1999 at Warner Home Video / Features of the DVD: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, NTSC, Widescreen

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      15.03.2014 01:27
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      One of the films you MUST see before you die, very clever plot - a film that never loses hope.

      THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION
      Directed by Frank Darabont
      Starring Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton
      RUNNING TIME: 142 minutes

      Although this film was initially a box office disappointment, and it was shadowed at the Oscars by the more commercially successful 'Forrest Gump', it really is one of those films that you simply HAVE to see before you die. Set in the 40s, 50s and 60s, it tells the story of Andy Dufresne, stuck in a state prison for a crime he probably didn't even commit.

      This film is so clever in such subtle ways, you may not notice at all when your watching. It carries themes of hope in desperation, isolation, and presents us with a more unlikely hero in Andy Dufresne. Though it may not feel like the most thrilling of movies, it does keep the audience entranced throughout, and you must see it to understand what all the hype is about, even 20 years after its release.

      The acting is good, and the film would have been far more mediocre if anyone but Morgan Freeman had been cast as Andy's best friend, Red. Tim Robbins does try hard to play Andy, and it's a favourable performance, though at times it feels like it's his character that's connecting with the audience, not his performance.

      The film is rated 15, mostly likely for violence and emotional scenes. Though the violence is cruel and inhumane at times, I'd recommend showing this to your children if you think they can handle it, as it certainly has many good morals, and the violence isn't graphic, and is hardly shown on camera. Theirs no real bad language, and if there is, it's normally so subtle that younger people wouldn't understand.

      All in all, one of the best films I've seen in a long time as it relies on good movie-making, a clever plot and good characters, rather than exaggerated effects that many films have today.

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      07.08.2013 09:42
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      A fantastic film - people who haven't seen it are missing out,

      The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 film directed by Frank Darabont, starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. There were a few things that attracted to me to the film, the first being that it enjoys a 9.3 rating on IMDb, making it the highest rated film on the site. Also was the fact that I enjoyed The Walking Dead, which Darabont had a fairly big hand in (even though I later watched Breaking Bad, which made TWD seem average). Overall I found it very enjoyable. It's not for everyone due to the slow pace and relatively long length (142 minutes) but those who don't just watch a film for the action should certainly take a look at this.

      The Shawshank Redemption tells the story of banker Andy Dufresne (Robbins). He is made to serve two life sentences in Shawshank Penitentiary in 1947 for killing his wife and her new lover. Initially he isolates himself from the other prison inmates but after a month behind bars, begins talking to Red (Freeman), who smuggles a rock hammer into Shawshank for Andy. Soon, the two become good friends, and Andy gets to know the other inmates. He also uses his expertise in money to get on the good side of the prison guards. His relationships and status grow through the many years he's kept in prison.

      I found an excellent, touching story in the film, containing many different messages and themes, such as hope and freedom. Things start out slow and largely, carry on that until the very end. However, things never get boring. From seeing Andy's risky attempt to help a prison guard on top of a rooftop, to the scenes featuring Bob Gunton's increasingly unlikeable (but still great) Warden Sam Norton, the film stays interesting throughout. It's also very well-paced. It's not always clear how far through Andy's imprisonment we are, but being told what year it is never evokes the feeling 'how on earth did we get here?'; skips forward in time never feel jarring.

      The acting in the film was absolutely excellent. Not shockingly, Morgan Freeman is fantastic. In some ways he could be classed as the main character as he frequently narrates - and does a sterling job of it. I was more surprised, however, by the performance of Tim Robbins. The only other films I've seen him in are Anchorman and Arlington Road (in which he played a terrorist...when compared against Shawshank, that's thought-provoking) so I came in not knowing quite what to expect from him. It turns out he's great in the character, and shows how versatile he is in his roles. He doesn't display a large range of emotions but this fits with his role as Andy is bound to be uncomfortable and confused in prison. Gunton is also very good as the God-fearing but aggressive Warden. Some of his actions late in the film make him one of the characters I felt most strongly about. Other noteworthy performances include those from Clancy Brown and James Whitmore, among others. Additionally, I was pleased to see Jeffrey DeMunn, who I recognised as Dale from The Walking Dead.

      Darabont's direction was very good. From the first look at Shawshank it is made clear that it isn't the nicest of places to be. The old outfits and grimy exteriors really set the scene, and there are plenty of memorable scenes early on that are important for the tone. An early favourite part of mine is where Brown's Captain Hadley brutally beats a new inmate who's upset about being behind bars. It's not particularly enjoyable to watch, of course, but demonstrates the violence of the guards, and therefore makes further scenes involving them much more tense. As I mentioned earlier, the jumps in time are well done. There's not much I can say on special effects and make-up, simply because there's barely any of it to speak of. I don't believe there are any special effects at all (and that's good), but the make up in general is done well. As the characters age, so does their appearance and that's made clear through the make-up. Robbins's and Freeman's hair grows and greys through the course of the film, though it's the Warden who changes the most - he goes through a large appearance change. One final part of the direction I enjoyed was how Shawshank alters as the movie progresses. The workers' activities change from washing clothes to digging, and automobiles become frequently more up-to-date with the time.

      Visually, the film is excellent. There's a vast range of scenery, from the unattractive inside walls of Shawshank, to bustling cities, to green rural areas. The DVD is also great-looking. The image is clear and the colours are vivid. Though initially it looks blurry, it's hard to notice after just minutes of watching. The soundtrack is also brilliant. Composed by Thomas Newman. It's mostly piano music, and always fits the tone, driving forward the themes represented in the movie. At the most uplifting moments the music is loud and epic, but when the situation for Tim or Red is bad, the music is more downbeat. The soundtrack was nominated for an Academy Award, and it's more than deserving. The audio on the DVD is perfect. Every single word is clear - there's nothing to suggest this is an almost 20-year old film, sound-wise.

      All in all, The Shawshank Redemption is a riveting film worth many watches. It has many memorable quotes and scenes, along with several themes which are meaningful, not just tacked-on. The acting is also top-notch, and the DVD itself is great, with superb visuals and clear sound. Essential viewing.


      Thanks for reading! This review is also posted on Ciao under my name YoshiCheesePuff.

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        05.05.2013 21:20
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        Set in Shawshank Penitentiary, a story that twists and turns and has genuine emtion

        I hesistate before writing a review on Shawshank Redemption as I don't feel I have the skills to review this film in a way in which it deserves, but here goes...

        Background
        The film was released in 1994 and was directed by Frank Darabont and was based on a Stephen King Novella called "Rita Hayworth and the shawshank redemption". It hit the box office with a poor financial sucess but this quickly changed, as was the most rented film in the USA in 1995. Its TV airings having "record" numbers.

        The plot
        Set in 1947 in Shawshank prison we meet Andy (Tim Robbins), who is a banker wrongly imprisoned for the murder of his wife. This film follows Andy, as told by his friend and fellow in mate Red (Morgan Freeman). Reds storytelling captures every nuance and twist in a way that makes you settle in to listen to his tale.
        This film evokes genuine empathy for the inmates, especially Brooks (James Whitmore), who is a lifer and is released back into the now changed world after spending his whole adult life in prison. Andy has a whole host of issues to deal with, none more so than dealing with the "sisters" who have taken an unwanted interest in him. The plot twists and turns and is told with such poignancy.

        Duration
        The film is 142 minutes long.

        Cost
        Its available on DVD for £5 from Amazon with free delivery but is frequently on Terestrial Telly.

        Rating
        The acting by all involved is above excellent and is completely believeable. The setting within the prison is also extremely well done. I have watched this film so many times and still happy to keep watching it, it is my personal all time favourite film. This film therefore has to be scored 5/5.

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          30.03.2013 10:54
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          Certainly an excellent film

          RELEASED: 1994, Cert. 15

          RUNNING TIME: Approx. 142 mins

          DIRECTOR/SCREENPLAY: Frank Darabont

          PRODUCER: Niki Marvin

          MUSIC: Thomas Newman

          MAIN CAST:-

          Tim Robbins as Andy Dufresne
          Morgan Freeman as Red
          Bob Gunton as Warden Norton
          Clancy Brown as Captain Hadley
          William Sadler as Heywood
          Gil Bellows as Tommy
          Mark Rolston as Bogs
          James Whitmore as Brooks Hatlen

          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

          FILM ONLY REVIEW

          Adapted from a Stephen King story, The Shawshank Redemption begins when successful banker Andy Dufresne is given a life sentence for murdering his wife and her lover, a crime of which he continually asserts his innocence.

          After bravely suffering acts of bullying from some of the other inmates as his 'initiation', Andy and fellow prisoner Red begin to form an interesting and close friendship.

          As Andy gradually learns, with Red's help, how to co-exist with the other inmates as comfortably as possible, he finds his niche through helping to run the prison library, together with taking on the task of managing the prison boss Warden Norton's finances.

          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

          The Shawshank Redemption is one of those films which grabbed me right from the first frame. I soon, whilst watching, gathered that even though I felt sorry for a possibly innocent man being incarcerated, it actually in this instance doesn't matter whether he is guilty or not, as such is mostly irrelevant to the storyline and what happens.

          The acting from the whole cast is absolutely flawless, particularly that of Tim Robbins as the quiet, still waters run deep Andy Dufresne, who continues to assert his innocence....and, Morgan Freeman as Red, the long-serving, wise, earthy but caring, softly-spoken man who befriends Andy. I do love Morgan Freeman anyway, and he excels even his own abilities in this particular role.

          As far as the music is concerned, I was only aware of snatches of it....picking up on a few violins and a bit of piano here and there. My involvement in the film probably pushed my awareness of a musical score far into the background, but what I did pick up on was appropriate and pleasant.

          The storyline of The Shawshank Redemption is one which unfolds slowly, with some unexpected twists and turns, and whilst watching, those twists and turns are completely unpredictable. It probably helped a lot that I have never read Stephen King's story, so had no idea how the film would pan out.

          This is a film which for me, brought up a few moral issues, especially that of a corrupt regime being practiced by a deeply religious man (Warden Norton, the prison boss), who is probably more bent than most of the prisoners, indulging in cruelty and dishonesty whilst reading the Bible and praising the lord! His hypocrisy is put across so very well, and I wanted to flatten him.

          There is some violence in The Shawshank Redemption which some people may find disturbing, but although it did jar me as I abhor violence in real life of any kind, it isn't anywhere near as graphic as that shown in some horror/slasher films.

          I can't really fault this film as it is a very lavish production where great care was taken to get every little detail right, and the acting most definitely is second to none, but one tiny observance (an observance rather than a criticism) is that perhaps certain aspects of the storyline and how events fold in and out of one another, came across to me as a little bit too 'neat', and such great concentration on detail by the direction/production crew lent the film a slight air of detaching itself from reality a little too much. It is hard to explain exactly what I mean, other than to say that despite being totally involved in the film, I simultaneously was very aware that it was actors on a screen, rather than it taking me on a journey outside of myself, completely into another world. However, I don't consider such to be a significant flaw, as overall this is a stunning piece of cinema which has entered my quite lengthy personal list of best films ever made.

          I can't imagine that anybody who watches The Shawshank Redemption would be disappointed, as it is a powerful story with compelling performances from the whole cast - especially Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman - and no stone has been left unturned in the creation of portraying the harsh life suffered by long-serving prisoners during the late 1940s and into the 1950s/1960s. The twists and turns are very skilfully presented, where I found that little hints could be interpreted, expectation-wise, in many different ways, therefore culminating in a fascinating set of surprises.

          I do think I'll one day give The Shawshank Redemption a second viewing, as although I now know what happens, it is something that I'd return to simply for the storyline and sparkling performances from the whole acting cast.

          My overall recommendation is...watch it, as this is something not to be missed.

          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

          At the time of writing, The Shawshank Redemption can be purchased from Amazon as follows:-

          New: from £2.49 to £26.00
          Used: from 44p to £14.26

          Some items on Amazon are available for free delivery within the UK, but where this doesn't apply, a £1.26 charge should be added to the above figures.

          Thanks for reading!

          ~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~

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            15.08.2012 11:44
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            Just brilliant

            Shawshank Redemption is an incredibly moving film centred around the characters Andy and Red, both convicted murderers serving life sentences in Shawshank prison. The film explores a few issues; the brutality and discipline of certain prison systems, relationships between the inmates and the shocking effects on mental health of institutionalisation.

            The film spans the 19 years that Andy spends in Shawshank and follows his struggle against prison life and his attempts to improve life for his fellow inmates. An important thing to note is that though he was convicted of murdering his wife and her lover, throughout the film he restates the fact that he is innocent.

            We do not find out for certain until near the end of the film whether he is innocent or not and in the interest of not providing a spoiler, I won't describe what happens. The ending of the film surprised me in more ways than one, I wouldn't have expected the chain of events to occur as they did, and this is one of the reasons why I give this film five stars.

            The value of freedom of choice is a key theme in this film, as what Andy does for the inmates is increase the value of their time to themselves with a book (bettering the library) and gets them beers after work (by bribing the prison guards with his lawyer knowledge). He himself dreams and dreams of the Pacific Ocean which "always forgets" and a hotel he would set up on the coast of Mexico where the sea would be so blue.

            I was gripped to this lengthy film (two and a half hours long!) from the beginning and felt that it really grabbed my attention and drew me into the story, so much that by the more emotional scenes near the end of the film I felt like I was Andy, as the story was told so convincingly and paid attention to details.
            At the end of the film I was left questioning many things such as how prisons should be run and what happened to the manager of the prison to make him so evil and money hungry.

            The film educated me on life on the inside, though I don't know how "real" it actually was, though they did a convincing job of portraying life, they showed the men going about their everyday tasks. I would imagine that this would be something like a high security institution today, but not a standard prison.

            The uplifting part of this film is that the message "hope can send a man crazy", as voiced by Red after their dear old friend Brooks (the ancient librarian who has lived in the prison for 50 years on a life sentence) struggles on the outside after finishing his sentence, is changed by the end into "hope is good and necessary, a man needs hope". So throughout the despair of the hopeless situation, there is a positive note that can be taken.

            The friendship of Red and Andy is one of the central parts of the film and the story is told entirely from the point of view of Red, as he closely watches his friend and the changes that happen as a result of him.

            I would go as far as to say that this is one of the best films I have ever seen, as a result of the thoughtful nature of the film and the questions it caused me to consider, as well as the way the story is told, the way two and a half hours seemed like no time at all and the gripping nature of the storyline itself. Prisoners really do have a story to tell.

            It caused me to consider whether prisoners value free time more than anyone else, or whether the degree of institutionalisation they undergo in prison makes them a different person unable or unwilling to make their own decisions after so long formulating their behaviour to do exactly as told. I would come to the conclusion that it depends how long you have been in prison.

            I will add more to these thoughts when I have the time as I think there is so much to think about from this film.

            --Meaning of the title--

            The word redemption means to be saved from sin or evil, and Andy and Red in trying to improve prison life, find their own redemption, though as they are serving life sentences, it is impossible to redeem themselves in the eyes of the law.
            The unexpected occurrences towards the end of the film offer another interpretation of redemption!

            --Things you need to know--

            You can get this film from Blockbuster as I did or online at under a fiver! I can't recommend this film enough and would suggest that it is suitable for a wide range of audiences, though not for young children who get troubled by violence as it is packed with violent scenes.

            One of the best films I have ever seen. Five stars!

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              26.06.2011 00:12

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              banker goes to jail for a crime he did not commit.

              There is little doubt as to why The Shawshank redemption is voted the best film in the world by thousands of people from websites such as imdb.com. This is a film in which anyone of all ages can watch and relate to parts of it, taking from the story something a little bit different than someone else. The acting and performances from the cast are all pedigree and cannot be faltered in any way, as they managed to coincide together and relate to each other in ways that are superbly natural. Perhaps the best thing about this film is its storyline and the characters within, so I will tell you a basis of the storyline.

              Andy is a very successful banker and his life was going very well until he is found guilty of killing the love of his life...his wife. He is sentenced to life in prison, and his first year goes quietly and swiftly without talking to anyone in particular, just keeping himself to himself. This does not last long as he is put on work detail for tarring the roof of the prison alongside some fellow prisoners, when he hears a guard moaning about taxes. He listens long enough to realise he can give advice...but by doing so it seems he is treading in shark water. However the guard rewards them with ice cold beers, and from then on there is a relationship between andy and the prisoners and also the guards. He becomes the tax man of the prison, dealing with all financial documents of the guards to the warden...and from here the plot thickens. Relations with other inmates become more and more friendly especially the friendship between Andy and Red, whom have many business ideas.

              Overall this movie has a very dramatic plot line which anyone could follow, and the acting within is some of the best to date. It is relatable for all ages and definitely on the top movie list of all time so you should not miss this feature. Morgan freeman is unforgetable as his role as Red, the salesman within prison, and this is Tim Robbins role to shine as the lead role where he goes through what every innocent man dreads in life...that you are guilty until proven innocent.

              This is the movie which if you haven't seen then you should see, a definite buy on any kind of format. Suitable for everyone to watch.

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              21.05.2011 12:46

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              Watch it. You won't be sorry. :)

              When I first saw the original t.v. spot for Shawshank back in 1994, I thought to myself "Wow! That looks like such a borfest!" And who could blame me for thinking that? The advertising for the film was horrible, so horrible in fact that it pretty much bombed at the box office. Fast forward to sometime in 1995. I was at my friend's house and her parents had rented two movies. Obviously one was Shawshank. Remembering how boring it looked, I wanted to watch the other one. But being polite, I didn't say anything and we wound up watching Shawshank. Prepared to be bored, I was blown away by the film, and ironically don't even remember what the other movie was. I've since seen it countless times and it's definitely been my favorite movie since I fist saw it about sixteen years ago.

              Everything about this movie is virtually flawless, the best thing about it being, in my opinion, the performances of Freeman and Robbins. I've heard some people complain that Robbins' character was boring, but he was supposed to be. And as far as Freeman goes, he can be very hit or miss in my opinion, but when he hits he hits big. And here he was on top of his game, possibly giving his best performance ever.

              The only flaw I've ever found with the film is a possible historical inaccuracy - being that prisons in that time period would have most likely been segregated. But it's an insignifant, nitpicky kind of flaw and in no way affects the movie. And the greatness of Morgan Freeman's performance greatly outweighs any historical innacuracies.

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              14.04.2011 02:28
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              please watch it, you wont regret it.

              I decided that i had to watch this film after reading the Stephen king book of the same name, i loved the book and i always like to compare books to the film version, often i am left very disappointed with the film, but this film is an exception. I saw little difference between the book and the film, and if anything the film was better, more powerful. I picked this film up at the second hand shop cex, for £5, which i certainly thought was a bargain, it is a very popular film, so will not be too difficult to find, Amazon and ebay will be a good bet if your looking to pick up a bargain, but i should imagine including post and packaging you wont pick this up for much less than £5.

              Directed by frank darabont and starring Tim Robbins and Morgan freeman, this film is up there with my all time favourites. I think the reason it was not a disappointment compared to the book is that the book is very short, so nothing seemed to be missed out. This film is the story of a banker who is wrongly accused of his wife's murder, who then gets sent to prison where he makes both friends and enemies and experiences huge injustice. The is a particularly heart breaking scene to do with the effects of someone becoming institutionalised within prison, and then having to leave. This part was done so powerfully in the film that it actually brings me to tears every time, the most powerful part of the film, i found the book did not do this half as well.

              If i had not already read the book i would have been very surprised by the ending, is is not the kind of film which is predictable, and i often find with films that the ending is make or break, and for me, this is the cherry on top of a perfect cake.....i loved this film, highs and lows, shocks and surprises, i found the characters to be believable and shockingly very likeable since they are nearly all in prison for murder or a crime of equal seriousness. There is not one actor I could criticise in this film, the script, the acting and the directing are all spot on. If you have not already watched this film, i seriously recommend that you do.

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              21.02.2011 20:17
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              Has to be in everyones top ten

              Released in 1994, this has got to be one of the one of the all time greatest film ever. It regularly features in film magazines and film chart top 10, it was nominated for 7 Oscars but didn't win !!! What the hell ! actually voted best film, never to win best picture at the Oscars. Frank Darabont did a sterling job putting the Stephen King short story 'Rita Heyworth and the Shawshank Redemption' onto screen. The book by the way is nowhere near as good as the film strangely enough.

              Synopsis:
              Tim Robbins plays Andy Dufresne (pronounced du-frane) a young hot-shot banker in a strained marriage. Opening shots see him sitting in a car with a 38 calibre pistol and a bottle of bourbon, looking at the house his wife and her lover are having it away in, cut scenes back to a court room show the prosecuting lawyer (Jeffrey Demunn) using emotive language to convince the jury that Andy went into the house and shot each lover 4 times. The jury find him guilty and the savage judge sentences Andy to serve 2 life sentences back to back....if it were this country he would have got a public banning order or suchlike and ordered to pay £20 fine ! I digress, Ellis 'red' Redding (Played brilliantly by Morgan Freeman) and his chums bet on the 'New fish' coming into shawshank, Red chooses Andy describing him as 'a long drink of water with a silver spoon up his @ss'- but Andy doesn't cry out the first night and approaches red to purchase a rock hammer the next day. A friendship is struck that last nearly 20 years, and the two men become chums. Andy has to serve his time having to bide by the biblical authority of the warden (a arrogantly precocious Rob Gunton) and the fist of his very big right hand man Capt Hadley (fantastically played by Clancy Brown). As well as having to endure run in with the 'bull-queers' the sisters lead by Bogs (Mark Rolston). But Andy gets through it and via helping out guars with their W2`s and tax returns and helping Hadley keep a small fortune left to him by a dead brother, Andy gains support for a prison library. You see old cons leave like Brooks Hatlen (played by the gently James whitmore) and new cons arrive in the young cocky Tommy (Gill Bellows)...but over the time Andy has had his eye on one thing escape. And SPOLIER ALERT....has carved out a tunnel out of his room, using his hammer and hidden under posters of various iconic film actresses of the time. After tommy is killed and Andy spends two weeks in solitary, he knows the warden will never let him out, should he tell someone about his money laundering scheme, even after tommy can corroborate andys true version of events following his conviction, that actually shows he is innocent. So Andy makes a breaks for it, in what has to be one of the greatest epiphany scenes in film history.

              DVD Extra`s:
              on the widescreen version, there are interviews with the cast a crew, scene selection and movies stills.


              Direction:
              Frank Darabont did a wonderful job, the costumes and location were spot on. The screen writing (of which darabont is an experienced man) is great. Good lines delivered to time, makes them memorable and there are many in this film. Darabont also directed the green mile, and my god the two are similar in ways. What's interesting is that unlike Stephen king's other prison story, the green mile, there is no 'unnatural'/supernatural phenomenon in this film...its just about a man without allot of patience and a scheme to get even.

              Casting:
              Tim Robbins best role I think as I say the same for Clancy brown, you may remember him from Highlander as the Kurgan, but he was far better in this. Incidentally, Brown is big man 6.3-4, robbins, although not as wide is 6.5. I saw how two he was in this the others night ! Freeman seems to plays Red with ease and is annoyingly good in this, he makes it look too easy- a master. Remarkable performances from Rob Gunton as the warden and William Sadler as Heywood (last seen in Die Hard 2 and in the Green Mile- friends with Darabont no doubt). Also I liked Bogs - Mark Rolston, last seen in Aliens as the great Drake. And if your heart doesn't melt with the old gently James Whitmore- then your inhuman.

              Soundtrack:
              An impressive heart wrenching soundtrack by the great Thomas Newman the escape scene music being very remarkable.

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              12.08.2010 01:25
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              Deserves its high imdb.com rating!

              Imdb.com rates The Shawshank Redemption as the top film of all time, and this is well deserved.
              The film is adapted from a Stephen King book. As with most film adaptations, there are differences from the book, but for the most part it maintains the plot and flavour of the book.
              Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is (wrongly) sent to Shawshank prison for the murder of his unfaithful wife and her lover. There, he meets Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding (Morgan Freeman) and gradually they form a close friendship. The film follows the two inmates over the course of several decades. Andy slowly becomes an inspiration to their small group of friends, never giving up hope despite his regular beatings from a gang within the prison. This gives the film's tagline 'Fear can hold you prisoner, hope can set you free'. Andy gains the warden's trust through his knowledge of finances, helping the warden to fiddle his accounts. Via this trust, he gains funding to improve the prison library and provide education to his fellow inmates and generally improve the quality of their lives. The film builds to a dramatic finale (which I won't give away!) where many subplots come together. The final scene is touching and simple, a perfect ending.
              This film has been nominated for multiple awards, reflecting the fantastic performances put in by the entire cast, the wonderful soundtrack and skilled direction. The pace of the film is deliberately slow to reflect the time passing slowly in prison, yet it never feels laboured. The whole film is made with intelligence.
              The special edition DVD is available from amazon for £3. For once, I would also recommend listening to the director's commentary and watching all the bonus features too.
              The film is rated 15 due to some violence and swearing. Other than this age restriction, I would recommend this film to absolutely everybody. It is a funny, touching, emotional film about true friendship - it will fill you with hope!

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                06.08.2010 14:57
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                Never to be missed

                I didn't know this movie until I've read a comment from a review on the television series Prison Break that Shawshank Redemption seem to be the original concept behind this popular tv drama. I'm a big fan of Prison Break that's why I eager to see this movie too. I've read positive reviews about this movie also and noticed that it was consistently highly rated from various movie review sites such as Rotten Tomatoes, IMDB and Yahoo movies. Ratings are the first thing that will surely caught my attention when I am searching for movie to watch.

                Shawshank Redemption was released in 1994. Critics said that it didn't get much popularity that time not until it was released on video. Today, Shawshank Redemption is said to be the finest film of the 90's and the greatest prison movie ever made. And I do agree. The movie was based on the short novel "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption" by the well know novelist, Stephen King.

                PLOT OVERVIEW

                The story took place sometime in 1940s and the scene started when Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) was on his car drunk and was in front of the house of her wife's lover. Next scene was in the courtroom where Andy was pled guilty of murdering his own wife and her lover, though he never admitted the crime. He was sentenced to serve two life sentences back to back one for each of his victims. He was sent to the notorious Shawshank Prison. From the start, Andy is known to be a soft spoken, aloof, innocently looking inmate on the outside but his mind was preoccupied with mysteries yet to be revealed later in the story. He befriended veteran convict named "Red" (Morgan Freeman), who was known to be the influential man who knows how to get things. Andy first approach Red asking to bring him a rock hammer which agreed to pay 10 buck in exchange. Red noticed Andy's distinctably unusual personality and he likes him from the start. Friendship suddenly ignites between the two. His ability as a former banker by profession has made him a "useful asset" of Shawshank prison. His expertise in accounting and income taxation first came to the awareness of Captain Hadley, then to the rest of the prison guard and up to the prison warden himself, where he was assigned to hide the warden's fraud money making contracts.

                OPINION AND VIEWS

                In my opinion, the story was narrated well. The progression of the plot is certainly kept me hook with each scene up until the ending. It was a bit long film because running time was around 2 hours 19 minutes but I didn't actually notice the time until I finished watching it. Judging the way this film was presented, I must say that it was excellently done. Andy Dufresne's character was elaborated well enough that I was able to deeply sympathize with his struggles on the crime he didn't commit, yet he remain positive and patient. He take risk, he endure hardship. He thinks and plans wisely. He exactly knows what he wanted and he work hard to achieve that not minding how long it will take him but he keeps going. Most of all, he never looses hope.

                Tim Robbins did a fascinating depiction of a mystifying, innocently looking character of Andy Dufresne. His eyes, his gestures really convinced me of the character. For me his acting is very natural and well executed. Morgan Freeman was charming and brilliant in his portrayal as Red. His eyes tell how he was puzzled with Andy's schemes yet he trusts his friend with no doubt. All the other supporting cast did a well delivered performance in each role.

                OVERALL

                In conclusion, Shawshank Redemption is a genuinely touching tale of hope. I realized that in the end, Andy deserves what he has hoped for...a sense of freedom and redemption from his tragic downfall as a victim of unsound judgment. After all he did not complain, but instead, he did what he can to keep going...shaping and polishing rocks, accounting jobs for the warden and building a library! For me, this movie is a well deserved for its recognition.

                CASTS

                Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins)
                Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding (Morgan Freeman)
                Warden Norton (Bob Gunfen)
                Captain Hadly (Cancy Brown)
                Tommy (Gil Bellows)
                Brooks Hatlen (James Whitmore)
                Heywood (William Sader)

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                  22.07.2010 17:30
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                  A classic, that you will watch numerous times.

                  Definitely it is worth noting that this is one of my favourite films which I have been able to draw a little bit of inspiration in my life every time I watch it. The story tells of a wrongly convicted banker's time in the brutal shawshank prison. In it he provides an attitude and personality in contrast to the other inmates. He constantly talks about hope, about getting out of prison and his dreams. Other prisoners cannot comprehend how a man jailed for life would have so much positivity about him. He eventually escapes Shawshank to fulfill his dream of building a boat on the pacific. It is not so as much the storyline that is that much appealing in this film but the values within which make you appreciate the simple things in life. The simple things like hope, dreams, music make you ponder your own life and can help you appreciate it more. It is an emotive experience that can be watched again and again

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                    10.06.2010 11:20
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                    portrays a innocent mans time in prision

                    What can be said about shawshank redemption, it is by far my favorite film which is a feat in itself with the amount of films me and my husband seem to watch in a week. It tells the story of andy (Tim Robbins) who has been sent to prision for the murder of his wife and her lover, he proclaims his innocence throughout but what is really special about this film are also the other characters such as red and brookes, who you get to feel a real warmth and emphathy for. The storyline and great acting alone means that this film often tops best movie surveys and once watched you will understand why, the acting of tim robbins and morgan freeman are superb and the scenes of violence in this film are both shocking and compelling to watch . You will be cheering for andys freedom and doing the opposite for brookes, which any fan will understand but you will need to watch it to find out.

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                      04.06.2010 09:46
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                      See review

                      The Shawshank Redemption is a film that was taken from a short story by Stephen King. It is about a man called Andy Dufresne who is sent to prison for the murder of his wife. Once there he settles in to prison life after befriending another inmate called Ellis Boyd Redding known to everybody as Red. Red is the person inside who manages to get things for inmates from the outside. All Andy asks for is a rock hammer and a poster of Rita Hayworth. He wants the rock hammer as he has a hobby of collecting rocks and makes himself a chess set. The poster goes up on the wall of his cell.

                      Andy works his way up in the prison gaining respect from everyone including the guards especially when he helps one of them get round paying his taxes. He eventually ends up working for all the guards helping them with their own taxes and he is given the job of librarian at the prison.

                      This film is really a good story and anyone who has never seen it before doesn't know what they are missing. Tim Robbins is Andy Dufresne and Morgan Freeman plays Red. The characters are so realistic and you could really imagine that this has really happened in a prison. I enjoyed watching it so much and can watch it over and over again without getting bored with the story. It must be one of the best adaptations to film of a Stephen King story as I have read a lot of his books and usually find the films are not as good as the books but this one is just brilliant.

                      Other actors in the film are -

                      Bob Gunton as Warden Norton
                      William Sadler as Heywood
                      Clancy Brown as Captain Hadley


                      It is directed by Frank Darabont and is rated a 15 in the UK. It lasts for 142 minutes.

                      This review is also published on Shopping.com under my user-name Harveydog

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                        22.05.2010 13:44
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                        Too good to be forgotten

                        Ever since Michael Clarke Duncan played the role of convicted rapist John Coffey in The Greenmile, who couldn't sleep without having a light on, it is hard to imagine another prison film drama receiving tantamount acclaim, this motion picture is hard to top given it's illuminating sour theme, set in the Truman-Eisenhower time capsule when sentencing laws were at their most desperate and life really did mean life in the vast majority of cases. Frank Darabont , the director, delivers us with such hope and promise from out of bleak, dangerous institutions, you can't help but feel inspired and grateful for an etch of memory that will never be forgotten.

                        This is such a champion film apart from the Greenmile and Dead Man Walking, that explores the lives of inmates and prison guards, who are both having to find common ground in their opposite roles. It tells such a truthful harrowing life story of a framed innocent man Andy Dufresne, imprisoned for the killing of his adulterous wife and her lover who have both been at it for a while and although Andy had known about it, is too much of a chicken as an intellectual wise-guy who drinks himself into a stupor, his heart cannot get the muster it needs to avenge them. However, he is arrested and sentenced for two life terms inside Shawshank, one of the largest maximum security state prisons in Maine, America, that really existed for 178 years until its demolition this century.

                        Initially he is mistrusted for being reserved and Red played by Morgan Freeman is quick to think of him as a weeping willow who will soon break at the slightest sign that he might be considered a toy to play with by the more hardened inmates, desperate for entertainment and exertion of control in an impossible reality. Given that Red is one the more senior inmates, he is respected by everyone, though undoubtedly had gone through the initiation ceremonies of rape, that this film takes us through the sheer unimaginable cruelties that once existed in prison life. He is the man who can get anything contraband in return for useful items he can find purpose.

                        Andy uses his acute intellect, that as a trained banker, knows something about law and sets about offering his services to prison guards to gain favour with them and so that he can dupe them into a false sense of security that he is a trustworthy allie, he forms an allegiance with Samuel Norton (Bob Gunton), head of prison warden who he also manages to convince that he can sort his taxes, albeit under false presences, designing and fabricating a person who doesn't exist so that Andy's scams cannot be traced back to himself.

                        Andy finally makes a spectacular escape through a wall he had spent 20 years, hammering away with a tiny rock hammer. The wall is then disguised by a poster of Raquel Welsh to conceal the escape route, Norton puts his fist through it and now begins to suspect something far worse, that he has been set up for one almighty gambit he had not bargained on being left short changed!

                        The posters:

                        The first time Andy receives a poster from Red, is of Rita Hayworth, an iconic actress of the 1940s that informs the viewer that each time Andy puts up a new poster, we know what decade we have arrived, so this is a brilliant and well thoughtout innovativeness that also personalizes the film's scenes, anyone who once had a crush on Marilyn Monroe in the late fifties and early sixties, would identify and appreciate this special touch, though would leave a much younger generation having to think a little about who the icons are and from what era in time? - I was born two decades after Raquel Welsh came to recognition in 1959 but am familiar with her from some of the silver-screen films I often like to watch.

                        Steven King wrote the Shawshank Redemption film and novella of the Rita Hayworth inclusion to this movie that he originally intended to publish in various seasons, but am pleased that he didn't because it would have overwhelmed viewers who would have been thrown off course, that the movie itself covers so many other themes and got it just right with just the three icons from each decade, that covered the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s in which Andy had served his sentence.

                        Red and Andy:

                        At first, it didn't see it plausible that Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins could work together and make this such a powerful film, though ultimately their on-screen relationship worked magically well. Freeman is the prisoner in deep remorse about his crimes and is a strong silent messiah, he has been known to play roles that require tactful heroism, such as when he played Azeem the crusader in Robin Hood. His personal qualities are having an authoritative voice and calm demeanour and why Frank Darabont had chosen him for the role of Red, who narrates the story throughout the entire film. Tim Robbins on the other hand, always seems to end up in film roles that often feature adultery, though had begun directing prison-drama films such as Dead Man Walking, he is the baby-face with many tricks up his sleeve.

                        Red is in deep regret of the crime that he committed and his own way of dealing with this, is to become immune to all that goes on around him so that he can survive mentally, so is a very strong character with many pearls of wisdom, he passes onto Andy, the gift of "without our hopes and dreams we have nothing" that he soon learns the benefits of this prophetic saying, he changes the lives of others and that of his own because he is given strength to jump trough the illusory and physical barriers of institutional life.

                        Songs and sounds:

                        The part when Andy locked himself inside the Wardens chambers and played "Duettino Sull'aria" on full-speaker volume, was sensational and was an attempt to bring hope and joy to the rest of the prisoners, Norton would never have encouraged any such thing. The German song is by classical composer and operatic, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Venitian, Larenzo Da Ponte, that in 1786 saw the successful premiere of "The marriage of Figaro" in Vienna.

                        The soundtracks to this film include, "If I didn't care" performed by the Ink Spots and the film's score was composed by Thomas Newman waho was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score in 1994, which was his first Oscar nomination.

                        Conclusion:

                        The film is appropriately rated at 15 in Europe, which also applied to the UK, although am not sure if parents would agree with the rape and violence scenes as they are pretty disturbing, though mostly the language surrounding the issues are the primary focus.

                        This film moved me in a way that I hadn't anticipated and all the actors played their roles sublimely brilliant, but it is the whole moral philosophy that pulls at the heart strings, that in every moment, you rise out of the depths of despair that those prisoners had endured such a grim existence in an institutional world, few people today can imagine what this is like, even those who commit crimes and get reduced sentences in a liberal society, that back in the social inequality days, you gritted your teeth and bit the bullet.

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                        When The Shawshank Redemption was released in 1994, some critics complained that this popular prison drama was too long (142 minutes) to sustain its plot. 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 novel by Stephen King) allows the story to unfold at its necessary pace.Tim Robbins plays a banker named Andy who is sent to Shawshank Prison on a murder charge, but as he gets to know a life-term prisoner named Red (Morgan Freeman), we soon realise his claims of innocence are credible. We also realise that 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 (which movie lovers count among their all-time favourites) that signalled the arrival of a promising new filmmaker. --Jeff Shannon