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Shawshank Redemption
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The Shawshank Redemption

4.9 82
Director: Frank Darabont

Cast: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton


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In 1946, a banker named Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is convicted of a double murder, even though he stubbornly proclaims his innocence. He's sentenced to a life term at the Shawshank State Prison in Maine, where another lifer, Ellis "Red" Redding (Morgan Freeman), picks him as the new recruit most likely to crack under the pressure. The ugly realities of prison life


In 1946, a banker named Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is convicted of a double murder, even though he stubbornly proclaims his innocence. He's sentenced to a life term at the Shawshank State Prison in Maine, where another lifer, Ellis "Red" Redding (Morgan Freeman), picks him as the new recruit most likely to crack under the pressure. The ugly realities of prison life are quickly introduced to Andy: a corrupt warden (Bob Gunton), sadistic guards led by Capt. Byron Hadley (Clancy Brown), and inmates who are little better than animals, willing to use rape or beatings to insure their dominance. But Andy does not crack: he has the hope of the truly innocent, which (together with his smarts) allow him to prevail behind bars. He uses his banking skills to win favor with the warden and the guards, doing the books for Norton's illegal business schemes and keeping an eye on the investments of most of the prison staff. In exchange, he is able to improve the prison library and bring some dignity and respect back to many of the inmates, including Red. Based on a story by Stephen King, The Shawshank Redemption was the directorial debut of screenwriter Frank Darabont.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Released in 1994 to mixed reviews, this engrossing adaptation of a Stephen King novella impressed moviegoers with its painstaking exactitude, stylish direction, and memorable performances. It went on to earn seven Academy Award nominations and become a giant hit on home video, finding a huge and appreciative audience. It begins in 1947, when bank vice president Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is convicted on circumstantial evidence for the murder of his wife and her lover. Sentenced to life imprisonment in Shawshank Prison, he endures with a quiet tenacity that wins him the respect of both hardened prisoners -- like "Red" (Morgan Freeman) -- and the duplicitous warden (Bob Gunton), who puts the new fish to work on his personal financial matters. Director Frank Darabont allows audiences to experience the tedium of prison. Life in Shawshank is not just tedious, though; it's also grueling and painful, punctuated by bursts of brutality and horror that wear down prisoners sentenced to long terms. And it unfolds, according to Darabont, in a manner in which seemingly oblique words or incidents prove later on to have special resonance. Despite the grim subject matter and two-and-a-half-hour length, The Shawshank Redemption is both engaging and ultimately uplifting. Much credit for this goes to Robbins and Freeman, each of whom displays qualities that make his character especially vivid and memorable. It's a rewarding motion picture that's guaranteed to linger in one's memory.
All Movie Guide - Dan Jardine
Adapted from a Stephen King novella, The Shawshank Redemption takes a prison drama and twists it into a fascinating existential treatise on how to approach the business of day-to-day life in the face of a desperately Sisyphian reality. As the film's signature line suggests, "Get busy livin' or get busy dyin'." Filmed on location in an Ohio prison, the film occasionally lapses into familiar formulas and well-known stereotypes of the prison-drama genre, but overcomes them due in no small part to a pair of transcendent performances by Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins. Director Frank Darabont and cinematographer Roger Deakins (a Coen brothers collaborator) recreate the drudgery and hopelessness of prison life in both the look and the details of dreary rituals of daily life. Spanning twenty years in the lives of its protagonists, Darabont's screenplay and direction allow us the luxury of getting to know these men -- hardened criminals, with little hope for the future -- through a series of quietly captivating scenes that slowly build atmosphere and tension without sacrificing characterization and thematic integrity. A critical success but a box office failure when it was first released, the film was nominated for seven Oscars, but won nary a one. Only when Shawshank was released on video and began running repeatedly on cable did it steadily garner full-fledged public reverence.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
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Special Features

Commentary by writer/director Frank Darabont; 2 Documentaries hope springs eternal: a look back at the Shawshank Redemption; Shawshank: the redeeming feature; The charlie rose show segment featuring darabont, Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman; Comic spoof The Sharktank redemption; Stills and collectibles galleries; Theatrical trailer

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tim Robbins Andy Dufresne
Morgan Freeman Ellis Boy "Red" Redding
Bob Gunton Warden Samuel Norton
William Sadler Heywood
Clancy Brown Capt. Byron Hadley
James Whitmore Brooks Hatlen
Gil Bellows Tommy Williams
Mark Rolston Bogs Diamond
Jeffrey DeMunn D.A.
Deborah Aquila Actor
Steve Eastin Actor
Larry Brandenburg Skeet
Brian Libby Floyd
David Proval Snooze
Joe Ragno Ernie
Jude Ciccolella Guard Mert
Paul McCrane Guard Trout
Gordon Greene 1947 Parole Hearings Man
Gary Lee Davis Rooster
Neil Summers Pete
Ned Bellamy Guard Youngblood
Joe Pecoraro Projectionist
Don McManus Guard Wiley
Donald Zinn Moresby Batter
Ken Magee Ned Grimes
Bill Bolender Elmo Blatch
John R. Woodward Bullhorn Tower Guard
Dion Anderson Head Bull Haig
Rohn Thomas Bugle Editor
Brian Brophy 1967 Parole Hearings Man
Neil Giuntoli Jigger
Frank Medrano Fat Ass

Technical Credits
Frank Darabont Director,Screenwriter
Deborah Aquila Casting
Willie D. Burton Sound/Sound Designer
Roger Deakins Cinematographer
Richard Francis-Bruce Editor
Liz Glotzer Executive Producer
Antoinette J. Gordon Set Decoration/Design
Kevin Haney Makeup
Michael Herbick Sound/Sound Designer
Joseph Hodges Set Decoration/Design
David Lester Executive Producer,Production Designer
Robert J. Litt Sound/Sound Designer
Terence Marsh Production Designer
Niki Marvin Producer
Elizabeth McBride Costumes/Costume Designer
Thomas Newman Score Composer
Michael Seirton Set Decoration/Design
Peter Smith Art Director
Elliot Tyson Sound/Sound Designer
Monty Westmore Makeup
Bob Williams Special Effects
John R. Woodward Asst. Director


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The Shawshank Redemption 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 82 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The movie was so great! One of the best I've ever seen. I also work there, and it is so neat how I see every thing that was in the movie. And I think of how great that movie was. What I do is, I work that at the Hollowween tours. You should come and when your not being scared, take a look around at how great of place that was, and see where one of the best movies where made. I mean I'm only 13 and I thought it was a SUPER movie. The Shawshank Redemption, was flimed at the Mansfeild Reformatory, one of the oldest '' jails'' in Ohio. Just thought you might want to know that.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recommend this movie to everyone, even people who don't like dramas. Its a story about hope. This should be on everyones favorites list. In other word, THIS WAS A GREAT MOVIE!!!!!!
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Gemswick More than 1 year ago
This is a movie that causes you to ponder on it for months - even years after you have seen it. The acting is exceptional and the situations so realistic that it stirs all the emotions, causing the viewer to experience the full range, varying from anger to joy...and even tears. It also provides many life lessons as it inspires hope. As a result one never gets tired of viewing the movie and may even gain further insights that were missed in a previous viewing. It is a must see for all teenagers and adults.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is so good. Enjoyable every time I see it. And I cry everytime I see it for the hope it brings to everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Last Saturday I saw this movie, it inspires me ''Never To Give Up Hope''. And I think ''Andy'' is more charming than ''Jack'' in ''Titanic''.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The movie opens with a shell-shocked Tim Robbins fumbling about in his car-he ends up in Shawshank Prison. His acting is not detrimental to the film but is certainly uninspired. It turns a 5 star film into a great 4 star film. On the other hand, Morgan Freemans character narrates our tour of Shawshank and brings us into the film by giving the viewer a multitude of roles to identify with. He is the ''wise old man'' and the only ''guilty'' man in the prison. The movie also has 2 of the best ''bad guy'' roles you'll ever see. It is worthy of borrowing for a view before a purchase-
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can not remember how many times I have seen this movie. I first saw it in China with some of my best friends. We enjoyed every details of the movie. It has always been an inspiration to me for the past few years.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Absolutely without question a must see movies that captures you from the beginning to an end which to this day is considered a masterpiece.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw this movie already more than 35 times... and I already order it on DVD. For everybody who did not see this masterpiece, you are missing a masterpiece directing by Darabont. All the way Zillion Stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There is not much i can say about this movie that has probably not allready been said. If you have not seen it before, don't let the opportunity pass. This movie will stick in you mind and soul forever. On that note i would like to reccomend a book that i feel the same about, it is called Endurance and it was written by Alfred Lansing. It is a true story and many other people have also written about it under the same title so if you ever do decide to read "Endurance" make sure you read the version by Alfred Lansing. I say this beacause he actually met all the people involved and they lent him their diaries for the sake of the book. But back to the movie, don't go to your death bed without seeing this film. it is also very long and emotionally draining so i would recccomend watching it when you are relaxed, have no distractions present or anything else to do.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have watched this movie an untold number of times. Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman stir the very existance of life in this movie. I get emotional every time I think about this movie. Few actors have achieved such magnitude in their careers. There is sooo much more I could say but will limit it to this......don't cheat yourself ANY longer, watch this movie. Buy this movie. Tell your friends. In my opinion, owning it on DVD is an honor. Real acting without all the special effects.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I wrote my headline in french meaning - the best movie of all my life. It's just a masterpiece or ''chef-d'oeuvre'' in french. I saw the movie the first in 1996 and I just couldn't forget it. So I ordered it online in DVD version some monthes ago from France 'cause I wanted to see and hear Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman in french - french is my mother tongue. I almost know now some of the dialogs by heart. Freeman and Robbins are just sublime. There is no better expressive word to tell about them in this movie. It's just the best of them two ever. May I say a few words in french for some of the french speaking people who aren't necessary good at english? I guess I may: Ce film est et restera l'un des plus grands chef-d'oeuvres dans l'histoire du cinéma mondial. Il vous donnera des frissons, beaucup de tristesse et vers la fin, il vous laissera heureux car la justice, la vraie, triomphe de l'injustice et des faiblesses du systeme judiciaire americain. Andy vaincra la combine incarnee par Sam Norton and le tres violent garde Hadley. On vit ce film, on le respire, on le sent dans la peau et on l'integre totalement tant il est bon. Il faut le voir pour mieux comprendre mon etat d'ame. L'auteur de ce manuscrit - Stephen King - prouve encore avec ce roman qu'il demeure le maitre inconsteste dans le genre et c'est a juste titre que Frank Darabont a choisi Morgan Freeman et Tim Robbins pour lui donner vie. Je suis a court d'inspiration pour traduire le degre de perfection de Shawshank Redemption ou ''Les evades de Shawshank'' en francais. C'est tout simplement un chef-d'oeuvre inoubliable que tout homme doue de raison devra avoir dans sa videotheque - ou DVDtheque.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is truly an awesome movie. I saw it a couple times on TV and then bought the DVD. It is very well-done and emotional. Really a masterpiece!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Morgan Freeman as Red just took this movie to a level beyond any other regular "as real as it gets" prison films. Tim Robbins as the quiet yet tough Andy Dufresne brings to life the corrupt nature of our penal system past and present as the wealthy bank vice president is ushered into the ugly realities of a maximum security prison: gang rape, sadistic guards, everday tedium, corrupt warden, vicious cell mates, and the business of life behind bars with a life sentence. Even though he was set up to go to prison, the tenaciousness of Dufresne wins over respect from the hardened convicts. I love it when the squealing guard gets his justice and the warden blows his brain into the world of hell. The System is as demeaning as the prisoners are.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Among the many 'prison flicks' to come down the pike over the past 7 or 8 decades, there are only a precious few which make us want to see them again and again...The very best of these is The Shawshank Redemption. This is the cream of the crop. The beautifully-crafted, heartbreaking story unfolds gradually and drags us in so completely that the dank, gray walls and bars inside Shawshank make us want to reach for a warm blanket.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
amazing film the director did the orginial story alot of justice this movie is amazing from begining to the very end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
So many prison or "gritty" movies are action oriented, "in your face" drama and play for shock value. The Shawshank Redemption is very very real without screaming and shouting this fact. Its presentation of the realities of prison life inspire empathy, not pity. If the two seem the same to you, watch this movie and see the difference. Pity takes away dignity, empathy allows a person to keep their dignity and their humanity while expressing troubles and pain. When one stops to think of all that happens to Andy, one should feel incredible revulsion and pity. Instead, the movie leaves one with a renewed sense of empathy with one's fellow humans and , oddly, a sense of peace.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've loved Shawshank for the longest time, Morgan Freeman is hands down my favorite actor of all time and this is my favorite movie of his and my favorite movie regardless of his presence. I'm pretty sure that Tim Robbins got snubbed for his potrayal of Andy Dufresne, who in the darkest moments shed a bit of light on the situation. I've not seen a better movie in my life and unfortunately i don't have this movie on DVD but i will be buying it soon. Morgan Freeman is my hero!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this movie, and am so glad it's finally getting the special edition version it originally deserved. I think I caught this movie when it was on HBO once, and I just fell in love with it from the first scene I caught. It was the first DVD I bought when I got my player, and whenever it's on TV, my family literally cannot watch it if something else is going on, cause we'll get sucked in. It's that good. It never gets old. And it has such a good message. So few films do any more. It makes you hope, and see that what's on the surface isn't always necessarily what you're going to get.