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Author Topic: ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ: The Story 8: Escape From Alcatraz vs. Shawshank Redemption  (Read 6819 times)
Matt
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« on: January 30, 2005, 11:34:50 PM »

Escape from Alcatraz, released in 1979, is based on the real-life story of inmate Frank Morris, as portrayed by Clint Eastwood, and reflects the hard, cold reality of prison life. The Shawshank Redemption (Frank Darabont, 1994) is based on a short story by Stephen King, "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption," which was copyrighted in 1982. In the film, Tim Robbins plays Andy Dufresne, who has been found guilty of killing his wife.
 
If you have seen Darabont's The Shawshank Redemption, compare that film to Siegel's Escape from Alcatraz. In what ways is the story the same? How is it different? Are the characters developed in a similar way and to the same depth? Do any of the characters change over the span of their respective films? Do you find that any of the themes are similar? What are the notable similarities and differences between the two films, and between the two main characters portrayed by Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption and Clint Eastwood in Escape from Alcatraz? Do both movies evoke the same emotional responses from you, or do you find they are different?
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gimpy
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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2005, 11:09:49 PM »

Shawshank Redemption was in my opinion better than Escape from Alcatraz. The direction of SR was better simply because it was made a few decades later, and just had much more raw emotional feeling to it. But the great thing about EFA is that the movie showed the hardknock life of living in prison and how cold the people and the environment is, that is what Shawshank didn't show is the realness of prison life.
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KC
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2005, 12:09:39 AM »

The direction of S[hawshank] R[edemption] was better simply because it was made a few decades later ...
Later is better? 
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vik
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2005, 02:30:20 AM »

also shawshank wasn't alcatraz right
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Brendan
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2005, 07:58:16 PM »

Shawshank Redemption was in my opinion better than Escape from Alcatraz. The direction of SR was better simply because it was made a few decades later, and just had much more raw emotional feeling to it. But the great thing about EFA is that the movie showed the hardknock life of living in prison and how cold the people and the environment is, that is what Shawshank didn't show is the realness of prison life.

I'd actually have to disagree with you there. To me The Shawshank Redemption showed a more realistic view of prison life. It showed the corruption of the gaurds (something Escape From Alcatraz didn't), it showed Andy being raped on a consistent basis (yes Alcatraz had the rape thing but it touched on it, Shawshank showed that these guys never back off no matter what you do and they gang up on you), Shawshank also showed what kind of a effect prison life can have on a person after spending several years or decades in jail. Look at what happened to Brooks after he was released. He killed himself because he could believe how much the world had changed. It was a scary place to him and the only thing he knew was filing books in the prison library.

To me Shawshank is a far superior film but they're also two differant films. One film is about the guys planning an escape and that's mostly what it focuses on while the other is about this one mans journey through a place darker than hell where he doesn'tt belong.
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vik
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2005, 03:30:50 AM »

the shawshank story was also a little far-fetched right

would a prison warden be taken in by someone - to do all the accounts?
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« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2005, 07:19:20 AM »

SR is more about keeping your hope high and getting by. We dont know there is an escape under way, though we might guess at it. That leaves more time in SR to delve in other matters than the escape itself, whereas in EfA we get to see how they plan it, build the equipment e.t.c.
Both movies are great, but i think SR wins (narrowly) 
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Christopher
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« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2005, 09:28:24 AM »

I'd actually have to disagree with you there. To me The Shawshank Redemption showed a more realistic view of prison life. It showed the corruption of the gaurds (something Escape From Alcatraz didn't),
I don't know if "realistic" is the word to use here when talking about corrupt guards. I wouldn't be surprised to find corrupt guards, but I would never make the assumption that a guard is corrupt, or even that there would be corrupt guards at all prisons. Not everybody in a position of power like that would take advantage of it.

I would say Shawshank has a more gritty realism than Escape from Alcatraz, but that's stating the obvious. I mentioned in another thread that the two movies have some similarities, but those similarities are all small, such as the pet mouse in both films.

The whole point of Escape from Alcatraz was to tell the true story of how a couple of guys managed to escape and never be found. You might be able to call it a docu-drama. The story written about the escape from a prison is going to be focused on the escape. The Shawshank Redemption is completely fictional. The story is being made up, so there's room to go into the grittier aspects of prison life. You have a main character who is innocent and sent to prison and goes through hell while he's there. Making it gritty makes it compelling.
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Philo Beddoe Jr
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« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2005, 01:19:24 AM »

I imagine if Clint Eastwood had known about the beauty of a Morgan Freeman *voiceover* narration he might have hired him for the film ;D.

WKC.
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« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2005, 09:45:58 AM »

nothin is more realistc than filming in alcatraz  - i love the opening sequence of the film - him on the boat etc. 

nah i think escape from alcatraz is very realistic - actually i can think of  a few people i would like to send there

after a few years i would like their reply to how realistic  ;D
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« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2006, 06:59:19 PM »

These two films do have similarities as have already been mentioned but to me the big differance is in Shawshank I never thought Tim Robbin's character Andy was planning an escape.When he first got the little rock carver I thought sure he could use that,but Morgan Freeman's voice over said that it would take 600 years to dig your way out.
Then when he started helping the guards with their tax returns and helping the young prisoner get his high school diploma you get involved in that storyline that you think this is how he's going to survive he's time in prison.It's only at the end of the film that it's shown in flashback that he had been planning an escape all along.
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« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2007, 06:08:52 PM »

Thanks to everyone for participating in this discussion. This topic is now closed, please post any additional thoughts in the General Discussion forum.
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