While I’ve never really read his books, I do consider myself a fan of Stephen King, who often gets at least solid adaptations of his works made into movies. I missed The Shawshank Redemption back in the 1990’s because I was just a kid. I saw Green Mile a few years after it came out. I’m guessing this movie inspired King to make the Green Mile story (as both are set in prisons) as the book came out in 1996, as King was obviously not done with the non-horror theme set in an American prison. The only thing I knew about the movie besides King, is that Morgan Freeman was in the movie.
The story starts out with Andy Dufresne, an “honest” banker who is married. We then quickly see him in a criminal court. His wife was cheating on him with another man, and both his wife and her lover were found shot. Andy had evidence all around the scene, but he claims his innocence without much of a defense besides the “I didn’t do it!” line. The jury like most, are convinced that Andy is guilty and send him away.
While not put on death row, Andy is sent for a long stay at a rather grim prison. He is not given a warm welcome, like most, and he suffers greatly in many ways. Almost anything you could name happens to Andy, but Andy uses his intelligence to win the favor of the guards and the warden to help him out.
Andy is watched the most by Ellis Boyd ‘Red’ Redding, an inmate who’s been there for longer than he cares to remember. He is the only person there to admit his crime honestly (instead of dumbly claiming they’re innocent) which was murder. He doesn’t know why exactly, but he knows Andy is more than meets the eye.
Overall I really liked Shawshank Redemption and it’s aged pretty well for something that was about twenty-five years ago. It’s certainly (like The Green Mile) not a horror or semi-scary movie. But it does show that an author has more up his sleeve than one limited genre. Though on the subject of The Green Mile, I do prefer that movie in almost every way to Shawshank Redemption.