Essays Movie Shawshank Redemption

Another in our bi-weekly series in which we analyze movies currently in release. To quote the writing mantra I coined over 5 years ago: Watch movies. Moreover people who work in the movie business constantly reference existing movies when discussing stories you write; it’s a shorthand way of getting across what they mean or envision.

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Warden Samuel Norton (Bob Gunton) hears about how Andy helped Hadley and uses a surprise cell inspection to size Andy up.

The warden meets with Andy and sends him to work with aging inmate Brooks Hatlen (James Whitmore) in the prison library, where he sets up a make-shift desk to provide services to other guards (and the warden himself) with income tax returns and other financial advice.

Not long afterward, Brooks, the old librarian, threatens to kill another prisoner, Heywood, in order to avoid being paroled.

Andy is able to talk him down and Brooks is paroled. Enough time passes, you get so you depend on them.”After six years of writing letters, Andy receives $200 from the state for the library, along with a collection of old books and phonograph records.

During the first night, the chief guard, Byron Hadley (Clancy Brown), savagely beats a newly arrived inmate because of his crying and hysterics.

The inmate later dies in the infirmary because the prison doctor had left for the night. Ellis Boyd Redding (Morgan Freeman), known as Red, bet against others that Andy would be the one to break down first and loses a considerable amount of cash.He goes to a halfway house but finds it impossible to adjust to life outside the prison. When his friends suggest that he was crazy for doing so, Red tells them that Brooks had obviously become “institutionalized,” essentially conditioned to be a prisoner for the rest of his life and unable to adapt to the outside world. Though the state Senate thinks this will be enough to get Andy to halt his letter-writing campaign, he is undaunted and redoubles his efforts.When the donations of old books and records arrive at the warden’s office, Andy finds a copy of Mozart’s among the records.Red remarks that Andy may have engineered the privilege to build favor with the prison guards as much as with his fellow inmates, but Red also thinks Andy did it simply to “feel free.”While watching a movie, Andy demands “Rita Hayworth” from Red.Soon after, Andy once more encounters the Sisters and is brutally beaten, putting him in the infirmary for a month.During the job Andy overhears Hadley complaining about having to pay taxes for an upcoming inheritance.Drawing on his expertise as a banker, Andy lets Hadley know how he can shelter his money from the IRS, turning it into a one-time gift for his wife.They beat him so badly he’s left paralyzed, transferred to a prison hospital upstate, and the Sisters never bother Andy again.When Andy gets out of the infirmary, he finds a bunch of rocks and a poster of Rita Hayworth in his cell: presents from Red and his buddies.If you immerse yourself in the world of film, it’s like a Gestalt experience where you begin to grasp intuitively scene composition, story structure, character functions, dialogue and subtext, transitions and pacing, and so on.Let me add this: It’s important to see movies as they get released so that you stay on top of the business.

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