The Shawshank Redemption

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The Shawshank Redemption is the greatest movie ever made, right? That’s what IMDb tells us, via the site’s users and their voting power. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, but it’s definitely not the only movie in the world. And it wouldn’t even be what it is had there not been movies made beforehand. In fact, the very title comes from that of a Stephen King novella with a movie-informed extension: “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.” The adaptation removes the Hollywood actress’s name (apparently because people thought it was a biopic) but still prominently features her iconic face. In the 20 years since the release of Shawshank, other movies have been influenced or informed by Frank Darabont‘s Best Picture nominee. You won’t find any of those on this week’s list, though, not Dolores Clairborne with its mention of Shawshank Prison nor multiple Muppets movies with visual allusions nor Toy Story 3 with its admitted inspiration. These dozen titles are all precursors, some of them informing parts of the plot, others informing parts of the making of the movie, and others that are relevant. I don’t think I give away too much that isn’t common knowledge, but just in case you haven’t seen Shawshank, you really should get on that already.

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The Shawshank Redemption

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (via Cinema Blend) the prison from Shawshank Redemption will be open to the cinephile public for tours within the next six months. The Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society has kept the Ohio State Reformatory alive through renovations and smart events that play off the spookier nature of the building (like ghost hunts and Halloween bashes).  Over the weekend they held a 20th anniversary celebration of the movie’s filming, but if the prison is opened for tours, there’s only one thing I want to do when I go.

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The Shawshank Redemption

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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Frank Darabont Walking Dead

There’s only a 7 year gap between Frank Darabont delivering A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors and delivering The Shawshank Redemption. He wrote the script for the first and wrote and directed the second, but how ridiculously awesome is that combination? Darabont started out as a production assistant for the 1981 Linda Blair-starring Hell Night, which is as schlocky good as it gets, and has gone on to build an Oscar-nominated career based on his keen ability to adapt excellent books into excellent films. He’s probably also a great guy to grab a beer with. So here’s a bit of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) from the man who gave us the #1 film according to over 800,000 IMDB users.

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We rarely get to see movies being watched in other movies – probably because while it’s fun to watch films, it’s fairly boring to watch other people watch films. That being said – there are plenty of characters out there who would no doubt be a blast to watch movies with… Batman, for example. Anyway, when we do see a real life movie being watched in another movie it tends to be a film that most likely inspired the filmmakers either in their own upbringing or as a plot device in the film itself. Because of that one thing is certain – if you see a real movie being watched in the movie you’re watching, there’s a good chance that movie is awesome. Before anything though, I gotta shout out to Mr. Cole Abaius for coming up with the idea for this list. The man is a true demigod, and from what I hear the other half is pretty good too.

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With the entire original run of The Twilight Zone available to watch instantly, we’re partnering with Twitch Film to cover all of the show’s 156 episodes. Are you brave enough to watch them all with us? The Twilight Zone (Episode #118): “On Thursday We Leave for Home” (airdate 5/2/63) The Plot: A group of settlers who landed on a desert planet thirty years ago wait for a rescue ship they believe is due any day. Their leader promises an Earth full of bounties, but when the ship actually arrives he begins to have second thoughts about letting them go. The Goods: 113 interplanetary settlers arrived on V9-Gamma in 1991 in the hopes of creating a new home for humanity to thrive, but the dry, dusty planet with its dual suns beating down would have none of that. Instead, the group was forced to struggle to survive while they waited for a rescue ship. Now, thirty years later, a radio communication has alerted them to the imminent arrival of that very ship. The group, now numbering over 180, has come close to losing faith in a rescue. Some have grown weary of the daily grind while others have given up on life and committed suicide, but through it all Captain William Benteen has kept them in line. Well, except for the ones who killed themselves. For three decades he’s been their leader, their confessor, their disciplinarian, their shoulder to lean on, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. But when […]

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Everyday, come rain or shine or internet tubes breaking, Film School Rejects showcases a trailer from the past. Today’s trailer is from the recent past, but it’s a reminder that hope is a good thing, we don’t ever want to know what those Italian ladies were singing about, and that when they put you away for life – that’s exactly what they take. Grab a rock and a Rita Hayworth poster, and watch the wrong man go to prison. Think you know what it is? Check out the trailer after the jump.

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You’ve stumbled upon Circle of Jerks, our sporadically published, weekly feature in which we ask the questions that really matter to our writers and readers. It’s a time to take a break from our busy lives and revel in the one thing that we all share: a deep, passionate love of movies. If you have a question you’d like answered by the FSR readers and staff, send us an email at editors@filmschoolrejects.com. You guys were probably too busy watching “The Dark Knight” again to notice we had an election, but it was a pretty huge night that led my roommates and I into a discussion social change and movies. Question time: What movie actually changed your mind about a social or cultural issue? Thanks. – Ted F.

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Another week gone by and another round of $35 DVD purchases await with the Blu-ray Report. Last week was a soft one, but the Blu-ray format comes roaring back this week with a few cool releases and some others with potential.

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Empire Magazine: 500 Greatest Movies of All-Time

As if someone hasn’t done it before (or for that matter, won’t do it again soon), Empire Magazine has published their list of the 500 Greatest Films of All-Time, as voted on by their fans in what they are calling ‘the biggest movie poll of all-time.’

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