Stephen Speicher

The Shawshank Redemption

Rate this movie   63 votes

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26 posts in this topic

I thought Morgan Freeman was excellent in this movie. I greatly enjoyed the movie itself also. It is interesting that Stephen King was capable of this kind of story. Originally titled, "Rita Hayworth & the Shawshank Redemption" I think. Normally he writes horror/supernatural stories I can't stand.

Also, the movie "Stand By Me" was originally a short story by him called "The Body"; very good "coming-of-age" story & movie.

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It is interesting that Stephen King was capable of this kind of story.  Originally titled, "Rita Hayworth & the Shawshank Redemption" I think.  Normally he writes horror/supernatural stories I can't stand.

Chris,

I think you'd probably be appalled if you read the original. I did, after having seen the movie, and was very disappointed. All credit for the virtues of the movie belong to Frank Darabont, who wrote the screenplay and directed the movie.

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I vote 10 on this. It is simply one of the best movies I've ever seen, with an uplifting story, a true heroic figure, and a happy ending.

This being said, it is so "heavy" that I've never felt the need to see it again. I have it on DVD but I never watched it again.

I don't understand why the term "redemption" - is that the redemption of the Shawshank jail? Or that of the main character, and if so, what does he have to get redemption for?

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Chris,

I think you'd probably be appalled if you read the original.  I did, after having seen the movie, and was very disappointed.  All credit for the virtues of the movie belong to Frank Darabont, who wrote the screenplay and directed the movie.

Really? Thanks for the heads up. I may have to read it just to see the differences for myself!

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My one sentence review is:

Masterfully plotted story of a man's carefully-planned fight for justice.

I gave this a rare 10 for me even though I found some of the movie brutal and hard to take -- but then I also feel the same way about Mickey Spillaine and some of Victor Hugo. I was raised on 1950's movie musicals and my father wouldn't take me to John Wayne westerns because they were "too violent."

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”Get busy living or get busy dying”, says the hero. And I say: Doesn’t that pretty much say it all?

However, there is one little detail in this movie that kind of disturbs me. I will tell you what it is below in a simple encrypted form:

SPOLIER: Don’t bother trying to read the text below (from left to right) if you haven’t yet seen this movie!

?|e|l|o|h| |t|i|x|e| |e|p|a|c|s|e| |s|i|h| |r|e|v|o|c| |o|t| |l|l|a|w| |e|h|t| |n|o| |p|u| |k|c|a|b| |r|e|t|s|o|p| |e|h|t| |t|e|g| |e|n|s|e|r|f|u|D| |y|d|n|A| |d|i|d| |w|o|H|.

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”Get busy living or get busy dying”, says the hero. And I say: Doesn’t that pretty much say it all?

However, there is one little detail in this movie that kind of disturbs me. I will tell you what it is below in a simple encrypted form:

SPOLIER: Don’t bother trying to read the text below (from left to right) if you haven’t yet seen this movie!

?|e|l|o|h|  |t|i|x|e|  |e|p|a|c|s|e|  |s|i|h|  |r|e|v|o|c|  |o|t|  |l|l|a|w|  |e|h|t|  |n|o|  |p|u|    |k|c|a|b|    |r|e|t|s|o|p|  |e|h|t|  |t|e|g|  |e|n|s|e|r|f|u|D|  |y|d|n|A|  |d|i|d|  |w|o|H|.

I love that line.

As for the detail/flaw you mentioned, I didn't see any problem:

|.|n|i| |l|w|a|r|c| |o|t| |r|e|d|r|o| |n|i| |y|a|w| |e|h|t| |f|o| |t|u|o| |r|e|t|s|o|p| |e|h|t| |f|o| |t|r|a|p| |m|o|t|t|o|b| |e|h|t| |d|e|t|f|i|l| |d|n|a| |s|r|e|n|r|o|c| |o|w|t| |p|o|t| |e|h|t| |t|s|u|j| |d|e|n|e|t|s|a|f| |e|v|a|h| |d|l|u|o|c| |e|H|

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I think this is one of the best films ever. And The General is right, Stephen King gets no credit for the spirit of this movie.

The brutality of the movie was fully justified as was the language. The violence in the sense of the depravity men can perform against one another, and the language as a sort of metaphysical slime that only made it worse for the hero. In the sense of conflict, it had to be as stark and malevolent as possible for him. We are let in on the fact that he was bright, educated, purposeful (and his demeanor as gentle and even reserved) man before this happened to him, and we see him struggle against a nightmare for twenty years. Take every one of his traits and he was thrust in with no choice to his utter antithesis; the depraved, the vulgar, ignorant, violent, short-range criminals.

Yet for twenty years he kept not only his sense of life which we witness in the final scene, but also his long-range thinking and planning, not to mention a profound patience.

A lot of this is implicit in the movie, in a sense you are watching a man's soul and its commitment to hold onto its self.

Yep, I like this one a lot!

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I gave this one a 10 as well, for much the same reasons as everyone else. I'm shocked that Stephen King had anything to do with this movie. I had no idea!

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My favorite scene in the movie is when Andy locks the door and plays the opera recording into the prison yard.

I had thought it was "The Flower Duet" by Delibe. But someone told me it was something else. Does anyone know for sure?

Fred Weiss

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I had thought it was "The Flower Duet" by Delibe. But someone told me it was something else. Does anyone know for sure?

That is the beautiful aria "Che soave zeffiretto" ("The gentle breeze") from Mozart's opera "The Marriage of Figaro". The recording used in the movie is by Edith Mathis as Susanna and Gundula Janowitz as the Countess with the Deutsche Opera Berlin Orchestra conducted by Karl Böhm. Böhm is by far my personal favorite Mozart conductor. I have CDs of him directing Mozart's final symphonies (35-41) that is positively amazing.

It is a powerful scene. All those hardened criminals in the yard entranced by the by the gorgeous music washing over them.

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imdb.com listing for The Shawshank Redemption

Movie suggested for rating by Soulsurfer.

An excellent movie. I liked the voice-over, as it helped tie things together. Regarding coherence, does anyone else have trouble following 'modern' movies? Sometimes I wonder if all the jumping around is an attempted substitute for depth. Kubrick came close to admitting this with 2001 A Space Odyssey. He refused to explain sequences in the beginning and end, thinking it would reduce their significance in some way. One of the reasons I like The Shawshank Redemption is that it is an honest story, presented without pretensions.

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That is the beautiful aria "Che soave zeffiretto" ("The gentle breeze") from Mozart's opera "The Marriage of Figaro".  The recording used in the movie is by Edith Mathis as Susanna and Gundula Janowitz as the Countess with the Deutsche Opera Berlin Orchestra conducted by Karl Böhm.  Böhm is by far my personal favorite Mozart conductor.  I have CDs of him directing Mozart's final symphonies (35-41) that is positively amazing.

It is a powerful scene.  All those hardened criminals in the yard entranced by the by the gorgeous music washing over them.

Thank you so much. I've been wanting to get hold of a copy of that song for the longest time.

Fred Weiss

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Thank you so much. I've been wanting to get hold of a copy of that song for the longest time.

Fred Weiss

You are quite welcome. You can find the soundtrack for the movie here at TowerRecords.

Or you get the opera itself here at TowerRecords.

Alternately, you may be able to find many individual collections of selected "highlights" from various operas that contain arias such as the piece you want. This may be the best option if you have no interest in the overall opera, but still want to hear the beautiful tunes. I personally can't stand many operas in full but very much enjoy individual pieces such as that aria & various overtures.

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Alternately, you may be able to find many individual collections of selected "highlights" from various operas that contain arias such as the piece you want.  This may be the best option if you have no interest in the overall opera, but still want to hear the beautiful tunes.  I personally can't stand many operas in full but very much enjoy individual pieces such as that aria & various overtures.

I'm that way, too. Opera in general doesn't interest me very much. More broadly I have a strong preference for the female vocal voice, especially in opera. Even in pop music my favorite singers tend to be female. So, in opera I like some arias, some of them so beautiful they are transporting, the one from Shawshank being an example.

Fred Weiss

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I'm that way, too. Opera in general doesn't interest me very much. More broadly I have a strong preference for the female vocal voice, especially in opera. Even in pop music my favorite singers tend to be female. So, in opera I like some arias, some of them so beautiful they are transporting, the one from Shawshank being an example.

Fred Weiss

Fred, may I suggest you rent Cinderella (La Cenerentala - spelling?) by Rossini. The performance I have in mind is done at La Scala, with Frederica von Stada, about 1982, playing the main part. It is quite long, but an indescribable delight. She is beautiful, and Rossini did slight changes to the story that give it a bit of moral plot. My emotions ran from touched, to tears of laughter. Rossini's music will grow on you if you give it a chance. (Consider some of the vocalizing as kung fu of the voice) :) I simply cannot imagine that performance will ever be topped.

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Fred,  may I suggest you rent Cinderella  (La Cenerentala - spelling?) by Rossini. The performance I have in mind is done at La Scala, with Frederica von Stada, about 1982, playing the main part.

Thanks for the recommendation. I'll look into it.

Fred Weiss

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That is the beautiful aria "Che soave zeffiretto" ("The gentle breeze") from Mozart's opera "The Marriage of Figaro".  The recording used in the movie is by Edith Mathis as Susanna and Gundula Janowitz as the Countess with the Deutsche Opera Berlin Orchestra conducted by Karl Böhm.  Böhm is by far my personal favorite Mozart conductor.  I have CDs of him directing Mozart's final symphonies (35-41) that is positively amazing.

It is a powerful scene.  All those hardened criminals in the yard entranced by the by the gorgeous music washing over them.

That is part of the power of that scene. But, the real power of that scene is Dufrane's (sp?) defiance (which he as an innocent has as his right) against his surroundings. He explains this later after spending two weeks in the hole when he explains how he had Mozart with him the whole time without the actual record player: "they can't take that away from you."

I wish that piece (the aria) lasted two hours, I could listen to that without end.

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I've not seen Kill Bill, but I have seen Shawshank Redemption.

I held off watching this movie for the longest time, because prison scene movies don't appeal to me. I was expecting depraved people, behaving in depraved ways. Seemed like a waste of my time. Finally, after seeing so many positive reviews from people I respect, I decided to bite the bullet and see what I'd been missing. How could a movie in this setting be so good?

Well, there were depraved people behaving in depraved ways, but it was against that back drop that the heroism of the primary character shined. He fought great injustices from start to finish. He fought long and hard, relentlessly.

Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

"Get busy living or get busy dying. That's god damned right." Without a doubt one of the best lines of any movie. Something you can put to work in your own life.

Also, what was surprising is how well the music from Mozart's Marriage of Figaro worked in this movie. Contrast really made it work, along with Red's narrative. All of the prisoners solemnly standing there in a cold, grey concrete world, transfixed by a glimpse into a beautiful dimension they may never have known. The scene was so far removed from day to day prison life it was striking. Brilliantly done.

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Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

That is part of the power of that scene. But, the real power of that scene is Dufrane's (sp?) defiance (which he as an innocent has as his right)  against his surroundings. He explains this later after spending two weeks in the hole when he explains how he had Mozart with him the whole time without the actual record player: "they can't take that away from you."

This is a good point & yes I would agree this is probably more of the "main point" of this scene/event. Especially since it is a concretization of the hero holding on to his values in spite of his brutal surroundings & the fact that he knows he will be punished severely for it. He is willing to pay the price & knows what the cost is.

So, while I can appreciate that...

Also, what was surprising is how well the music from Mozart's Marriage of Figaro worked in this movie.  Contrast really made it work, along with Red's narrative.  All of the prisoners solemnly standing there in a cold, grey concrete world, transfixed by a glimpse into a beautiful dimension they may never have known.  The scene was so far removed from day to day prison life it was striking. Brilliantly done.

Exactly! That stark contrast was amazing. I have never seen the power of truly beautiful music expressed exactly in that way before. That is why I was so focused on that aspect of the scene; even though it was, in a way, secondary to the plot.

Also, it was interesting because, Andy's personality obviously did not "fit in" with the other convicts, & they clearly recognized this in many ways. But, that one scene really made his "soul", his sense of life, practically transparent to them. The core of the contrast was that this "glimpse into a beautiful dimension" (nice phrase!) was perhaps the one radiant moment in the brutal, malevolent lives of these convicts in which they had direct contact with such overwhelmingly benevolence.

For just a few minutes, in a way, they got to "feel what it was like" to feel like Andy did all the time.

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Also, it was interesting because, Andy's personality obviously did not "fit in" with the other convicts, & they clearly recognized this in many ways.  But, that one scene really made his "soul", his sense of life, practically transparent to them. 

I'd not thought of it that way. I wonder if that was the point, to emphasize Andy's sense of life. It certainly showed his defiance, as Thoyd pointed out.

The core of the contrast was that this "glimpse into a beautiful dimension" (nice phrase!) was perhaps the one radiant moment in the brutal, malevolent lives of these convicts in which they had direct contact with such overwhelmingly benevolence.

Funny thing is that until you pointed it out, I wouldn't have thought even Andy's sense of life matched that scene. If so, that's tremendous. Not to say that I didn't think Andy had a good sense of life. I did, but that is more than just good.

For just a few minutes, in a way, they got to "feel what it was like" to feel like Andy did all the time.

What a way to feel!

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Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

Also, it was interesting because, Andy's personality obviously did not "fit in" with the other convicts, & they clearly recognized this in many ways.  But, that one scene really made his "soul", his sense of life, practically transparent to them.  The core of the contrast was that this "glimpse into a beautiful dimension" (nice phrase!) was perhaps the one radiant moment in the brutal, malevolent lives of these convicts in which they had direct contact with such overwhelmingly benevolence.

For just a few minutes, in a way, they got to "feel what it was like" to feel like Andy did all the time.

No, you're right. I was only seeing half that scene.

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Hi-new here-

This is one of my all time favorite movies also-I agree with those who said they would never have thought they would like a 'prison movie' so very much.

I have watched it about 4 times-I enjoy watching movies that mean something to me multiple times over.

re: Stephen King-never read any of his work-never wanted to-perhaps I will check out the novel(short story?) as well to see how much or little he had to do with the wonderfulness of this film.

Also thank you for the information on that aria-I have tried finding it for awhile.

Karin

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Hi-new here-

Hello & welcome!

Also thank you for the information on that aria-I have tried finding it for awhile.

You are welcome, I hope you get & enjoy it.

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