The Shawshank Redemption

Stephen King Books, Shawshank Redemption, Stephen King Store
"Let me tell you something my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane."

The Shawshank Redemption is a 1984 film written and directed by Frank Drabont and based upon the Steven King Novella, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, which was first published in Stephen Kings’ 1982 collection, Different Seasons.

The film of Steven King's Shawshank Redemption, stars Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman and it was nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture in 1994.



Unlike most of Stephen Kings’ novels, Shawshank Redemption, comes nowhere close to being a horror story and we suspect the many people who have watched the film would not even have been aware that it was originally written by Stephen King. There are no ghosts, demons, vampires or werewolves anywhere in sight; instead it is an inspiring tale of the perseverance of a man, Andy Dufresne, played by Tim Robbins, and his 19 year internment in Shawshank State Prison for a murder, which he strongly denies.


As the plot unfolds, Banker, Dufresne, who is obviously new to prison life, forges an unlikely friendship with long term inmate and prison ‘fixer’, Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding, who is played by Morgan Freeman. Initially, Dufresne has to endure the horrors of prison life, including frequent sexual assaults by a gang known as the Sisters, but eventually, his experience as a banker, comes to his rescue, as he begins to give tax advice to the prison guards who, in return, provide him with protection.


Throughout his time in prison, Dufresne retains his dignity and appears aloof from the other prisoners, his only pastime seeming to be only the carving of chess pieces from rocks, with a tiny ‘rock hammer’ that Red has procured for him and his apparent love of beautiful film stars of the period including Rita Hayworth of the title of the original novella, whose poster he has on his cell wall. His financial expertise also comes to the attention of the prison Warden, Samuel Norton, played by Bob Gunton, who recruits him to help with the prisons finances and launder money for him.

Shawshank Redemption received only a lukewarm reception at the box office, but received many nominations for awards and was highly praised by critics and Shawshank Redemption has since become something of a classic. Despite its prison setting, the film is an uplifting tale of friendship and, ultimately, right over wrong. If you were a Stephen King fan and you saw the film before you knew that King was the author, you would quickly recognise the signs of the master as you watched Shawshank Redemption. The characterisation, the battle between good and evil and just the way that the story unfolds gives that away.

If you like stories that make you want to cheer at the end and leave with a warm, glowing feeling, then Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King will not disappoint and it is a film that both those that are not yet Stephen King fans will love as much as the ardent followers of the author.

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