07 July 2014

"Best movie of all time" according to IMDb

An interesting Wall Street Journal article discusses "The Shawshank Residuals" -
"Shawshank" for years has been rated by users of imdb.com as the best movie of all time (the first two "Godfather" films are second and third)...

"Shawshank" was becoming that priceless entertainment property—a repeater. Viewers watched it again and again. Those who initially may have been turned off by the idea of a prison drama born out of a wrongful conviction were drawn in by likable characters who inhabit a world where the true horrors of prison are left largely to the imagination. The
movie's wholly satisfying conclusion—a universal fantasy—gives people hope...

In Mansfield in north-central Ohio, tourism officials five years ago established a tour to capitalize on what had become the area's biggest draw. The prison, courthouse and oak tree where Andy leaves money for Red are among 14 stops on the Shawshank Trail, which one weekend last summer drew about 6,000 people...

"Shawshank" has aired on 15 basic cable networks since 1997, including six in the most recent season, according to Warner Bros. Last year, it filled 151 hours of airtime on basic cable, tied with "Scarface" and behind only "Mrs. Doubtfire"...


  1. Original story by Stephen King and much better than the movie.

  2. I like both the novella by Stephen King ("Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption" in Different Seasons) and the adaptation of the movie. It doesn't surprise me that IMDb raters place it so highly. It's one I enjoy watching over and over too; even to catch parts of it if I'm flipping through channels. The cinematography and dialog are very good, very real. Morgan Freeman is a great actor with a fine voice in this film. I appreciate that there is no overt violence; the suggestion is enough.
    {a dedicated reader of TYWKIWDBI}

  3. There is a less known Clint Eastwood movie which is basically beat by beat Shawshank called "Escape from Alcatraz"(1978), that actually explicitly references "The Count of Monte Christo" as its inspiration. I guess wrongful imprisonment is one sub-genre of the infamous Revenge Fantasy films, as well as books which already were popular trash-lit two centuries ago. Painting it as a stroke of Hollywood's or Steven King's creative genius doesn't do it justice.

    Even watching Shawshank as a teenager, I though it to be very unrealistic. It's just a completely corny and hoaky fairy tale, we all wish were true. Along with Red who between the book and the script became an African American in a typical 90s buddy-movie fashion.

    Because the baby-faced hero as well as Morgan Freeman are so universally sympathetic, Shawshank has become the kind of lowest common denominator everyone and their grandmother can enjoy. That's the result we can expect from widespread consensus, and the kind of wide exposure and firm grip that TV had on the masses before the internet.

  4. This film was horribly marketed. I remember when it came out. The name and poster made it seem like some sort of religious flix which I had no interest in. I think I first saw it on cable, by accident. I think I caught the second half and was hooked. So I rented it and watched it all the way through. Even better that way.


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