Review: Jack Foley
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Disc One: Commentary by director Frank
Darabont. Audio description track; Theatrical trailer. Biographies.
Disc Two: Hope Springs Eternal - A Look Back At The Shawshank
Redemption. Shawshank The Redeeming Feature; 'The Charlie Rose
Show' with Frank Darabont, Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman (2004
US broadcast); Stills gallery; Storyboards.
Disc Three: Interviews with Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton,
William Sadler, Clancy Brown; Original on location footage; Original
INCREDIBLY, The Shawshank Redemption wasn't a commercial hit
when it was first released in cinemas ten years ago.
Yet, it has gone on to become a modern classic - the type of
film which regularly earns itself a place in the top ten lists
of greatest movies of all-time, and which is frequently cited
as a modern masterpiece.
It deserves all the accolades bestowed upon it, for this timeless
tale of love, honour, friendship and triumph against overwhelming
odds is one of the most poignant, heart-lifting and downright
inspirational movies I have ever had the pleasure of seeing.
Picking up in 1946, it features Tim
Robbins as New England banker, Andy Dufresne, who is convicted
of murdering his wife and her lover, and sentenced to life at
the Shawshank State Prison.
Keeping himself to himself, and forced to fend off the unwanted
attentions of the usual prison rapists, Andy gradually makes friends
with Morgan Freeman's prison 'fixer', Red, and, over the next
two decades, wins the trust of the governor and his guards to
make a comfortable life for himself.
Yet, within his heart, he yearns to be free, consistently maintaining
his innocence, and quietly planning his escape.
First-time director, Frank Darabont's adaptation of a Stephen
King novella is a breath-taking piece of cinema, which recalls
the heyday of Hollywood with an effortless ease, and which features
two stunning lead performances from both Robbins and Freeman.
Their friendship is terrifically played, so that it will have
you laughing and crying in equal measure, as the highs and lows
of prison life take their toll.
And the climax is one of those jaw-droppers that will have you
tingling with glee - and no doubt shedding another tear to boot.
It may have taken time to find its place in cinema folkore, and
was criminally over-looked at the Oscars of its year, but the
Shawshank has rightly become a classic and deserves both its cinema
re-release and its tenth anniversary 3-disc DVD, which comes packed
It is one of the most rewarding film experiences you could ever
wish to see.