The Shawshank Redemption
|The Shawshank Redemption|
|Directed by||Frank Darabont|
|Produced by||Nicki Marvin|
|Written by|| Stephen King(creator)|
|Narrated by||Morgan Freeman (as the character Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding)|
|Starring|| Tim Robbins|
|Music by||Thomas Newman|
|Editing by||Richard Francis-Bruce|
|Distributed by||Castle Rock Entertainment|
|Release date(s)||September 23, 1994|
|Running time||142 min.|
The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 film about an innocent man named Andy Dufresne (played by Tim Robbins), who gets sentenced to a life-time in jail for murder. (The film was rated "R" by the MPAA for language and prison violence.)
The film opens with flashbacks of a drunken man named Andy Dufresne sitting alone in his car with a gun. Later, in court he is sentenced to jail for killing his separated wife and her lover. He protests his innocence but is sentenced to Shawshank penitentiary, where he is spotted by Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding, a long-time inmate who is consistently refused parole.
Andy is introduced to the stern Evangelical Warden Norton and the cruel Captain, Hadley. He and several others are marched naked into prison and one pitiful prisoner weeps so much he is beaten to death by Hadley. Andy gets to meet the inmates, such as the librarian, Brooks, the crass Heywood and the homosexual rapist Bogs. Andy makes friends with Red and asks for a rock-hammer so that he can work on rocks while in prison. Although he resists, he is raped by Bogs and is forced to enter into a dismal routine.
The turning point is when Andy and several inmates are invited to work on a roof outside the prison. During this job, Andy helps Hadley with financial affairs. His favor helps him against Bogs, who Hadley beats so badly that he needs to be moved permanently to a hospital. Andy gains favor with both the prisoners who get him rocks and posters and also with the Warden. He works in both the library and with Norton's financial business. The old librarian, Brooks, is set free from Shawshank, but cannot cope with life outside jail and decides to commit suicide. Red says it's because he was institutionalized in such a way he could not have anything to live for outside the prison.
Andy continues to thrive, helping some of Norton's shadier dealings and helping a young man named Tommy to get an education. Tommy mentions that he once met the man who really murdered Andy's wife and her lover. Norton, who does not want to lose Andy's services, has Hadley take Tommy out back and kill him. Andy talks to Red and decides "it all comes down to a simple choice: either get busy living or get busy dying." He tells Red if he gets out of prison to go to a field and find a distinctive rock for a message. He finishes his days work and then goes into his cell with a rope.
In the morning, Andy has mysteriously escaped in a tunnel through the wall. Via flashback, we are revealed that Andy used his rock hammer to make a hole in the wall that he covered with several posters over the years. When Tommy was shot, he decided to make his escape. He took with him incriminating evidence on Norton and sent it to the authorities.
Norton discovers Andy's tunnel when a rock thrown at the poster, which Norton had felt was indecent, clatters through and echoes down a tunnel. As Andy makes his escape to begin his new life, he turns vital information over to the authorities about Norton's underhanded business practices. As police converge upon the prison, Hadley his arrested and Norton commits suicide.
After several years, Red is released from jail and put on parole. Just like Brooks, he finds he cannot adjust to life outside jail. He makes one last trip to the field Andy told him about and finds a letter from Andy telling him he should find him near the Pacific Ocean. Red makes the journey and finally reaches Andy next to the Pacific in Zihantanejo.
Tim Robbins - Andy Dufresne
Morgan Freeman - Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding
Bob Gunton - Warden Norton
William Sadler - Heywood
Clancy Brown - Captain Hadley
Gil Bellows - Tommy
Mark Rolston - Bogs Diamond
James Whitmore - Brooks Hatlen