The Shawshank Redemption: One of the most iconic movies of all time


Hunter Taylor, Reporter

Warning: contains spoilers.

If I had one word to say about “The Shawshank Redemption,” I would say “Fantastic.”

Throughout my late childhood and early teen years, I remember this movie mentioned on a few occasions, although I had never cared to know what it was. What really led me to watch it was my love for reading. The movie “The Shawshank Redemption” is based off of a novella from Stephen King. In the collection “Different Seasons,” the story “Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption” is one of the four stories in the book. The other three stories are “Apt Pupil”(also a movie), “The Body”(movie: “Stand By Me”), and “The Breathing Method”(no movie, but a good story).

But if I had to pick my favorite out of the four stories it would be “Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption” because of the characters, how it was told from a secondary character point of view, and the great ending that was true redemption. And when I read the book I knew instantly that I wanted to watch the movie. And with one of the actors being Morgan Freeman, I knew it wasn’t going to be a cheesy film like some other King movie adaptations.

The story is about a man named Andy Dufresne. He is convicted for the double murder of his wife and her lover. Which makes sense why they thought it was him, right? They had the evidence at the pro-golfer’s house, cigarette butts with Andy’s DNA on them left in the yard. But the thing is, Andy didn’t do it, no matter what some of the evidence showed. He is sent to Shawshank State Prison. While there he stumbles into the life of Red (Morgan Freeman). Red is known around Shawshank for being able to get things from the outside world into the prison without getting caught. Learning this Andy approaches Red in the dooryard and asks for a rock hammer. This was the beginning of their friendship. Over the next few years Andy is assaulted by the other prisoners. And during those years, while working, he offers to do finances for one of the guards. In return he gets protection from them. And when the other guards were told about his skills with money, soon other staff came to Andy for help. Soon Andy starts doing finances for the prison, helping the warden. But, everyone including Red, didn’t know what he was actually using that rock hammer for. In the end Andy escapes Shawshank and exposes the warden to the police for an illegal execution and crooked ways with money. Red lives out his sentence and is released. A few days before Andy escapes, he tells Red that when he gets out of Shawshank, there is a fake ID and money waiting for him. And if Red wants to have a life after his sentence, Andy is willing to help him. Red finds a letter from Andy, telling where he has gone, and in the envelope there is money for Red to take the trip to mexico, where him and Andy will live on the coast and be free.

One of the problems I have with movies that are based on books are the differences. If it is a minor change it doesn’t bother me. But if it is a major change that throws off the movie, and in which it messes up the story, I hate it. In this movie, the changes are barely noticeable. The cast did an amazing job. Everybody did their jobs so well that “The Shawshank Redemption” has become one of the most iconic movies of all time. Many people around the world love this movie. It made $58.3 million.

“The Shawshank Redemption” is rated R for mature audiences, but if I had to give this movie a rating, I would give it 5 out of 5 stars.