Shawshank Redemption

Shawshank Redemption


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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.

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