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Movie Discussion Guide: The Shawshank Redemption
Movie Discussion Guide, Through the Lens  |  Jun 7, 2021
Movie Discussion Guide: The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont, based on the 1982 Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. It tells the story of banker Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), who is sentenced to life in Shawshank State Penitentiary for the murders of his wife and her lover, despite his claims of innocence. Over the following two decades, he befriends a fellow prisoner, contraband smuggler Ellis "Red" Redding (Morgan Freeman), and becomes instrumental in a money-laundering operation led by the prison warden Samuel Norton (Bob Gunton). William Sadler, Clancy Brown, Gil Bellows, and James Whitmore appear in supporting roles.

Discussion Questions:

  • How does this movie deal with the theme of justice?
  • Who is redeemed in this story? How does that work out?
  • What does Andy's escape symbolize, if anything?
  • Why do some find it hard to leave this prison?
  • How is Christianity portrayed? What might this indicate about our culture's relationship with and understanding of Christianity?
  • Andy and Red's friendship is the most important relationship in the story; why is it so important? How does it change each of them?
  • Many people say this film is one of the most memorable movies for them - why might that be so?

Here's a link to a printable pdf discussion guide.