The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Director: Frank Darabont
Cast: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Clancy Brown, Bob Gunton
Synopsis: In 1947, Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), a banker in Maine, is convicted of murdering his wife and her lover, a golf pro. He is given two life sentences and sent to the notoriously harsh Shawshank Prison. Andy always claims his innocence, but his cold and measured demeanor led many to doubt his word. During the first night, the chief guard, Byron Hadley (Clancy Brown), savagely beats a newly arrived inmate because of his crying and hysterics. The inmate later dies in the infirmary because the prison doctor had left for the night. Meanwhile Andy remained steadfast and composed. Ellis Redding (Morgan Freeman), also known as Red, bet against others that Andy would be the one to break down first and loses a considerable amount of cash. About a month later, Andy approaches Red, who runs contraband inside the walls of Shawshank. He asks if Red could find him a rock hammer, an instrument he claims is necessary for his hobby of rock collecting and sculpting. Red doesn’t think too much of Andy at first thinking that the general way about him didn’t suit Shawshank. Andy become quite friendly with Captain Hadley after he helps him with his taxes which eventually leads to an uncomfortable alliance with Warden Norton (Bob Gunton). After spending many years there dealing with the harsh reality of being in prison Andy finally has enough and plans his escape.
Trivia: Director Frank Darabont watched Goodfellas every Sunday while shooting Shawshank and drew inspiration from it on using voice-over narration and showing the passage of time. Rob Reiner loved Frank Darabont’s script so much that he offered $2.5 million for the rights to the script so he could direct it. Darabont seriously considered Reiner’s offer but ultimately decided that it was his “chance to do something really great” by directing the movie himself. Reiner wanted Harrison Ford and Tom Cruise to play Red and Andy respectively.
Why I think you should see this: I am not as well acquainted with this film as I am with most films on this list having only watched this movie twice but it was obvious about 30 minutes into my first viewing that this was something special. Morgan Freeman is just incredible as Red and Tim Robbins is amazing as Andy Dufresne. The narration of this movie set off a chain reaction of which almost any movie or documentary needing a voice over narration at least offered it to Morgan Freeman his voice is just perfect. I loved Clancy Brown as the sadistic Captain Hadley. This is one of the best movies ever and most people have seen it so check it out again for fun.