Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"The Shawshank Redemption"

I will admit that I may have been the only person among my circle of acquaintance to have never seen "The Shawshank Redemption".  Not to get Freudian on you, but I blame my mother for this.  She had a lifelong aversion to "prison movies" (in fact, she didn't like any movies where the people in it weren't "clean" or "dressed up"), and I suspect that her oft-stated preferences in this regard may have subliminally contributed to me never seeing this movie.

Be that as it may, at the pressure of many people, especially a Loyal Reader in Hatboro, PA (aka, Big Poppy, aka the Official Broadway Correspondent to The Grandstander), I finally slipped this movie into the DVD player and watched it yesterday.  And what can I say, I was the one missing out by waiting 19 years to finally see this movie.  It was really, really good.  A great story about the Human Spirit.  I will no doubt watch it again in years to come.

This movie was nominated for seven Oscars, including Picture, Director, Screenplay, and Actor (Morgan Freeman), but was shut out on Oscar night.    It lost out to "Forrest Gump" for Best Picture and Freeman lost out to Tom Hanks for Best Actor.  Freeman was terrific, but so was Hanks, although "Forrest Gump" was not as good a movie as this one, and neither was as good as "Quiz Show" which was also nominated for Best Picture that year.

As often happens when you watch an old movie, you see an actor in a minor role who was to go on to bigger things.  There were two such actors in this movie.  Gill Bellows, who played Tommy, went on to appear in several TV shows, including the current series, "Vegas".  The other was David Proval who played one Andy Dufresne's fellow cons.  Proval went on to play Richie Aprile in "The Sopranos".  Fun stuff. 

Thanks to all of you who finally made me watch this movie.

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