Video Picks Archive

June 14, 2000
This Week's Video Picks
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Reviews by Matt Heffernan <matt@filmhead.com>

This week my picks are The Green Mile (1999 - ) and The Shawshank Redemption (1994 - ).

The first film this week was the latest in a series of critical and financial successes for Tom Hanks. In The Green Mile, he plays a Death Row warden in the South whose life is changed by an inmate (Michael Clarke Duncan) with supernatural powers. Frank Darabont adapted Stephen King's serial novel into a fine film that, despite its sizable running length, tells a moving story with compelling images. The performances are a real highlight, especially Duncan's, which earned an Academy Award nomination. Darabont's screenplay was also nominated, along with the sound and the film itself, for Best Picture. It came away empty-handed in the wake of American Beauty and The Cider House Rules, but still remains a favorite for many people.
Full review from December 11, 1999

Darabont's first major feature film was also a King adaptation, but its success took longer to achieve. Based on the novella Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption from the collection Different Seasons (which also included the bases for Stand By Me and Apt Pupil), The Shawshank Redemption (a mercifully shortened title, but still too difficult to remember) stars Tim Robbins as a banker who is wrongly convicted of killing his wife. He is sent to the hauntingly gothic Shawshank Prison in Maine, where he spends his many years trying to free at least the minds of his fellow prisoners, including Red (Morgan Freeman), who has been there most of his life. It is an intense look at the harshness of the world, as seen through the microcosm of a prison. Few films have really touched me on the level that this one has, so that's why I ranked it #3 my top ten films of the 1990s. This film was also nominated for several Oscars, including Best Actor (Freeman) and Best Picture, but had to contend with the juggernaut of Forrest Gump. That's why Darabont was smart enough to get Hanks on his side the second time around.


For more information, visit the Internet Movie Database:
The Green Mile (1999)
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Here's some merchandise for sale at Amazon.com
The Green Mile (1999) -- VHS
The Green Mile (1999) -- DVD
The Green Mile, a novel by Stephen King -- Paperback
The Green Mile, a novel by Stephen King -- Audio CD
The Green Mile, a novel by Stephen King -- Audio Cassette
The Green Mile: Soundtrack -- Compact Disc
The Shawshank Redemption (1994) -- VHS
The Shawshank Redemption (1994) -- VHS Widescreen
The Shawshank Redemption (1994) -- DVD
The Shawshank Redemption: The Shooting Script, by Frank Darabont -- Paperback
Different Seasons, four novellas by Stephen King -- Hardcover
Different Seasons, four novellas by Stephen King -- Paperback
The Shawshank Redemption, a novella by Stephen King -- Audio Cassette (read by Frank Muller)
The Shawshank Redemption: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack -- Compact Disc


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