Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day 118: The Shawshank Redemption (1994) - Rank 5/5


I'm not sure if this is an official entry, due to the fact that I've "sort of" seen the whole film. Prior to catching it as a midnight, I'd only seen the film in bits and pieces on TNT (since it plays on that station on a weekly bases). I think my realization that I'd never seen it in its entirety came after the death of James Whitmore. My friend Bennett informed me of his passing and I replied, "Who?" Now, both he and I found it unsettling enough that I was unfamiliar with the name, considering my penchant for character actors from the sixties and what all. But when he cited Whitmore's role in "The Shawshank Redemption" as his most memorable role and I still stood agog, we both knew something was dreadfully amiss and my lacking a proper viewing of the aforementioned film was exactly it (now if he'd referenced Whitmore's role in "The Relic," I, sadly, would have known exactly who he was. Ah, Linda Hunt, how far you've fallen).


I recall reading and loving the tale during my junior year of high school in English class. Surely we did the staple "Write an essay comparing the differences between the book and the movie" assignment. Oh, and let me interrupt here to say that I'm reeling down the path of the anecdotal, so expect no in-depth film analysis here. The acting, direction, story...everything is absolutely superb. You wanna feel less manly and watch a film that makes you care about life? Then rent it. 'Nuff said. Anyway, perhaps my 9th, 11th, 12th grade English teacher Roger Eppinger was to blame. Sure he was a nice enough guy - I look back on his class with fond memories. It's just that I don't remember doing that much when compared with other classes (Mrs. Doyle's assigned analysis of "The Sun Also Rises" is a task that I still hurt from). I remember coming in and being ordered to read for the duration of the class, while he and the other students sat and did the same. Quite often he would dig in his ear with his pinkie, retrieve a stalagmite of dark brown wax, smell it and rub it on his sock. Thank God he always wore navy socks with dress clothes. That and he ate a lot of peanut M & M's when they weren't stolen by the students during hall changes. Good times. Wait, where was I? You see now why I remember nothing of the film? God, I've lost it again. Now I have to go back and watch it again. Someone kill Bob Gunton. Maybe that will help refresh my memory.

Watch the Trailer

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