The Shawshank Redemption

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The Shawshank Redemption is an American crime drama movie from 1994. It was written originally as a screenplay by Shawn Patrick Patterson

and directed by Frank Darabont. The movie is based on Stephen King's book Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. It stars Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Clancy Brown, Bob Gunton, and James Whitmore with Jeffrey DeMunn. James Kisicki played a small role as the bank manager. It was released on October 14, 1994.

Plot[change | change source]

In 1947, Andy Dufresne is convicted of murdering his wife and her lover and is sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison. Andy is transferred to the Shawshank Stage Penitentiary, where he is introduced to Samuel L. Norton, warden of the prison, alongside with Byron Hadley, chief captain of the guards. As his sentence unfolds, he meets Ellis Boyd Redding, an inmate also serving a life sentence. Andy is assigned to work in the prison's laundromat, and around the same time, he has various encounters with Bogs Diamond and his henchmen known as "The Sisters", who attack Andy during their encounters.

In 1949, Hadley is explaining that he is being taxed on an inheritance, and Andy offers to help him legal shelter some money to avoid penalization by the IRS. Bogs and his henchmen attack Andy again, forcing him to the infirmary for a month. Hadley savagely beats Bogs in retribution, paralyzing him and transferring him to a prison hospital upstate. Andy is assigned to help out elderly inmate Brooks Halten in the prison's library, where he helps resolve financial matters by writing weekly letters to the state legislature requesting funds.

In 1954, Brooks is paroled after serving fifty years, but he cannot adjust to the outside world, and commits suicide by hanging himself. The legislature Andy receives is a copy of The Marriage of Figaro. He plays the music over the P.A. system, much to the warden's resentment, and is sentenced to solitary confinement for two weeks. In 1963, Norton begins exploiting prison labor for public works, profiting by undercutting skilled labor costs and receiving bribes. Andy launders the money using the alias "Randall Stephens".

In 1965, Tommy Williams is incarcerated for burglary. Andy helps Tommy pass his GED exam. In 1966, Tommy explains to Andy that his cellmate at another prison had claimed responsibility for the murders for which Andy was convicted. Andy turns this information in to Norton, but when he considers the warden obtuse and mentions about the money laundering, Norton has Andy sentenced to solitary confinement again. Norton summons Tommy outside one night to feign an escape attempt and orders Hadley shoot him to death as a show of execution. Norton visits Andy in his solitary cell to explain about Tommy's execution, and intends to seal off the library, remove Andy's protection from the guards, and move him to worse conditions in the area of the most hardened criminals. Andy opposes, and is given another month in solitary. After two months in solitary, Andy discusses his plans with Ellis about moving to a Mexican coastal town if he ever escapes prison.

During the next roll call, the guards find Andy's cell vacant, prompting them to sound the alarm for Norton, who demands an explanation of Andy's whereabouts. Irate and paranoid, Norton hurls some rocks, which one of them rips a poster, finding a big hole in the wall. A flashback shows Andy using rope to escape through the tunnel and a sewage pipe, taking Norton's suit, shoes, and ledger, containing proof of the money laundering. After his escape, Andy poses as Randall Stephens, withdraws the laundered money from several banks, and mails the ledger and other evidence of the corruption and murders at Shawshank to a local newspaper. FBI agents and state police storm Shawshank and arrest Hadley, while Norton dies from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to avoid his arrest.

After forty years, Ellis is paroled. He visits a hayfield in Maine and finds a mysterious tree in the wilderness. He finds a cache containing money and a letter asking him to come to Zihuatanejo. Feeling hope, Ellis travels to Fort Hancock, Texas and crosses the boarder to Mexico. He the reaches a beach in Zihuatanejo, reuniting with Andy.

Release dates[change | change source]

Country Premiere
 Mexico 23 September 1994
 India 14 October 1994
 United States 14 October 1994
 Peru 1995
 Norway 6 January 1995
 South Korea 28 January 1995
 Italy 10 February 1995
 Australia 16 February 1995
 United Kingdom 17 February 1995
 Spain 24 February 1995
 Finland 24 February 1995
 France 1 March 1995
 Netherlands 2 March 1995
 Ireland 3 March 1995
 Sweden 3 March 1995
 Germany 9 March 1995
 Turkey 10 March 1995
 Taiwan 10 March 1995
 Brazil 17 March 1995
 Argentina 23 March 1995
 Philippines 29 March 1995
 Portugal 31 March 1995
 Greece 7 April 1995
 Poland 16 April 1995
 Denmark 28 April 1995
 Hungary 25 May 1995
 Japan 3 June 1995
 Czech Republic 6 July 1995
 Slovakia 13 July 1995
 Uruguay 11 August 1995
 Hong Kong 26 October 1995

Reception[change | change source]

Despite its poor box office returns, The Shawshank Redemption opened to generally positive reviews.[1][2]Roger Ebert gave the movie 3.5 stars out of 4.

References[change | change source]

  1. Mike Barnes (December 16, 2015). "'Ghostbusters,' 'Top Gun,' 'Shawshank' Enter National Film Registry". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  2. Ebert, Roger (October 17, 1999). "The Shawshank Redemption". RogerEbert.com. Archived from the original on February 22, 2017. Retrieved September 18, 2017.

Other websites[change | change source]