Directed by Frank Darabont - 1994 - USA - 142 min

The Shawshank Redemption

It is 1947 and we are in Maine, a U.S. state.

Andy Dufresne, a brilliant vice president of a Portland bank, is accused of murdering his wife and a golf champion, who was having an affair with the woman. Andy says he is innocent, but the judge sentences him to two life terms.

The man is taken to Shawshank Prison, a penitentiary run by a corrupt public figure and prison guards closely linked to him by interest and fear; the law that prevails is violence against inmates, a violence that can even go so far as unpunished murder.

Initially, Andy remains on the sidelines, suffering aggression even of a sexual nature, defending himself as best he can from an entourage he perceives as hostile. Then, gradually he begins to carve out a role for himself: he befriends Ellis Boyd Redding (Red), helps the head of the guards to resolve a personal fiscal situation, and manages to obtain small gains even to the benefit of other inmates.

Pretty soon Andy comes to the general attention for his generosity and superior cultural level; realizing this is Norton himself, the prison warden, who decides to put Andy’s financial skills at the service of his illegal activities.

As usual, I will stop here with the plot so as not to take away your enjoyment of seeing the film without knowing its story beforehand.

Now, watch the trailer: then I will point out the aspects that I think may be relevant for you.




How to watch the film

It is based on Stephen King’s original short story Rita Hayworth and the Redemption of Shawshank, the prison in which it is set.

It is a highly regarded film by critics and the public that offers countless food for thought and the opportunity to observe extremely instructive situations.

Let us look at some of them:

  • the strategic use of knowledge as a tool for managing the most complex situations, even when personal lives can be at stake;
  • the application of stratagems, foremost among them Kill with a borrowed knife;
  • different forms of listening, especially the empathic listening that can be seen in more than one conversation between Andy and Red;
  • the restructuring of the communication context, which you will be able to observe by comparing the three scenes in which Red meets with the committee to obtain mercy;
  • the underestimation of risks by Norton, the prison warden, who thinks his position shields him from any attack (how many influential people make the same mistake?).

Had enough? Good!

I am sure you will see the film more than once…


Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler, James Whitmore, Clancy Brown, Gil Bellows, Tommy Williams, …

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