“Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
It’s a movie that you can’t turn off….because “no good thing ever dies…”
For this “Cult Movie Monday”, it’s time to revisit one of Stephen Kings best novellas – turned into one of the greatest films ever!
Behold The Beauty Of “Zihuatanejo”!
Few times in the history of film has a single film location meant so much to the audience…and if you know what “Zihuatanejo” means, then you know one of the greatest, most intense and uplifting films of all time!
Honestly, now more than ever we need a film that inspires us – sure, it’s a sometimes grueling series of challenges that Tim Robbins has to overcome, but it seriously has one of the most inspiring endings of any film ever!
There are so many great moments in this film – one of the greatest movies ever – and it is easy to forget that it began as a Stephen King novella! Time to explore the majesty of “The Shawshank Redemption!”
The Shawshank Redemption – Directed by Frank Darabont – released in 1994
Just how beloved is this movie? Well, consider this: the classic British film magazine Empire voted “The Shawshank Redemption” the best movie OF ALL TIME!
First, let’s watch the trailer:
“The Shawshank Redemption” has continued to grow in stature over the years and now routinely ends up on lists of the best films of all time. There are few movies that have a more satisfying conclusion than this one…
First, a quick recap of the plot: Tim Robbins is Andy Dufresne – a young and successful banker whose life changes drastically when he is convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his wife and her lover. Set in the 1940’s, the film shows how Andy, with the help of his friend Red, the prison entrepreneur, turns out to be a most unconventional prisoner.
Morgan Freeman’s narration helps propel the story, and also provides an additional layer of empathy and sadness to the story…like when he watches the new convicts arrive at the prison…
Red: “The first night’s the toughest, no doubt about it. They march you in naked as the day you were born, skin burning and half blind from that delousing shit they throw on you, and when they put you in that cell… and those bars slam home… that’s when you know it’s for real. A whole life blown away in the blink of an eye. Nothing left but all the time in the world to think about it.”
Morgan Freeman befriends Andy and narrates the film, including some tough sequences when Andy is set upon by the prison’s sexual predators:
Red: [narrating] “I wish I could tell you that Andy fought the good fight, and the Sisters let him be. I wish I could tell you that – but prison is no fairy-tale world. He never said who did it, but we all knew. Things went on like that for awhile – prison life consists of routine, and then more routine. Every so often, Andy would show up with fresh bruises. The Sisters kept at him – sometimes he was able to fight ’em off, sometimes not. And that’s how it went for Andy – that was his routine. I do believe those first two years were the worst for him, and I also believe that if things had gone on that way, this place would have got the best of him.”
Yet this brutal scene only serves to make the ultimate “redemption” even more uplifting…
Interestingly, in Stephen King’s original story, “Red” was written as a white Irishman. In the movie, they left the line, “Maybe it’s ’cause I’m Irish”, in as a joke, even after they had cast Morgan Freeman as “Red.”
And of course, Zihuatanejo plays a big role in the film, even when they are in prison…
Andy Dufresne: “You know what the Mexicans say about the Pacific?
Andy Dufresne: They say it has no memory. That’s where I want to live the rest of my life. A warm place with no memory.”
You don’t want to know anything going into this for the first time, but it plays better every single time I see it…it is without a doubt one of the best movies of all time…
Andy Dufresne: [in letter to Red] “Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
“Shawshank” is one of cinema’s finest moments…and a great adaptation of Author Stephen King…and here’s another one you need to see:
“Doctor Sleep” is the 2019 adaptation of King’s sequel to “The Shining”…and while the film didn’t do that well at the box office, it’s really terrific!
Ewan MacGregor plays “Danny” as a grown up, but he can’t escape “The Shining”…make sure to find the “Director’s Cut” online and watch that – the extra time gives it more texture…see the trailer and more by clicking on my story here:
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Thanks so much for reading!
“The Shawshank Redemption” is one of those films that, if you happen upon it while channel surfing, you watch it to the end. Let me know what your favorite scene is!