The Shawshank Redemption

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Media Essay – The Shawshank Redemption An exploration of moving image and the theories of Vladimir Propp and Tzvetan Todorov The ‘Shawshank Redemption,’ was directed by Frank Darabont and released in 1994. Recently voted best film of all time by film-makers, it was nominated for 7 Oscars, including best actor (Morgan Freeman). The story follows Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), a banker, convicted for a crime he did not commit, who in prison, slowly bonds with ‘handyman’ Red, (Morgan Freeman). Andy seems strangely settled in Shawshank considering no-one will believe his innocence (after all, everyone in Shawshank is innocent), even when he is used (by the Warden), and abused, (by the inmates), Andy doesn’t break. However, secretly Andy uses all his wits and persuasion to deceive everyone. Directed by Frank Darabont and based on the novel by Stephen King – (Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption), the two became friends in 1983 and Darabont since directed two other King novels; ‘The Green Mile,’ and ‘The Mist.’ The film explores prison life, and Darabont has experience in this; he was born in a refugee camp in France where they were held in by metal gates, and the atmosphere would have been similar to that of a prison. The director’s life spills onto the screen to tremendous effect. The stars of the film are Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman – who were originally supposed to be played by Tom Cruise and Harrison Ford. Freeman was praised for his performance and won an Oscar for ‘Best Actor.’ Robbins however received awful reviews, saying he ‘failed to commune Andy’s character with the audience.’ Co-starring Bob Gunton (Warden Norton) and William Sadler (Heywood). The film was – at the time – a ‘flop.’ Out of a 35 million dollar budget, it made only 18 million, barely half the budget. This is partly because it was a crime/drama, and the money-makers were

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