The Shawshank Redemption premiered on September 23rd, 1994, and is celebrating its 20th anniversary today. This isn’t my favorite movie, but it’s definitely in my top 20. If you haven’t seen it, AMC seems to be playing it every Saturday. The movie is based of off Stephen King’s short story Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption. I’ve heard a lot of writers scoff at Stephen King’s talent, but you can bet they’re at least 50% jealous. There are so few famous, successful writers with such a career legacy that it’s easier to criticize. I’ve never read King’s story, but the film is so absorbing and interesting that I have to assume it was made out of respect to his manuscript.
I think the theme of Hope (or Hope against all odds) is the most prevalent, but because there are so many themes present it’s difficult to choose. Friendship, justice, corruption, isolation, there’s so much here that it’s hard not to pick out something that appeals to you. In fact, this is one of only a few films that I really love and appreciate that doesn’t focus on romantic love or relationships. I still feel like there’s something for everyone.
I wouldn’t call Shawshank a feel-good movie, but the ending is so satisfying that I’m always cheerful as the credits roll. The acting is equally satisfying, and makes me wonder why Tim Robbins hasn’t been in more movies than he has. Several recognizable quotes also distinguish the writing…
“Lord, it’s a miracle! Man up and vanished like a fart in the wind!”
“How can you be so obtuse?”
“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
“Get busy livin’, or get busy dyin’.”