The Shawshank Redemption is undeniably one of the most successful, inspirational and comprehensive movies ever made.

The film is a prison story featuring Tim Robbins as Andy Dufresne, a wrongfully convicted banker serving a life sentence for two murders he didn’t commit.

Robbins’ exceptional performance is followed by an even more mind-blowing acting achievement by Morgan Freeman, who plays Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding, the film’s narrator. The Shawshank Redemption earned Freeman an Oscar nomination for best actor in a leading role.

The film is an adaptation of Stephen King’s novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption and like most other cult movies did poorly at the box office. On the other hand, the film’s acting, directing and storytelling received outstanding reviews from film critics and was nominated for seven Oscars.

One of the major themes of the film is Andy’s integrity in a seemingly hopeless situation, especially in a prison setting where integrity is often scarce. Robbins’s role of an innocent man who finds himself protected from the guards thanks to his “business” arrangement with the warden was supposed to cement him as a cultural icon, being previously offered to Kevin Costner, Tom Hanks and Brad Pitt, but instead the film established Morgan Freeman as a force to be reckoned with in all of Hollywood.

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This 1994 drama has clearly withstood the test of time, being ranked as the no. 1 film of all time on IMDb.