**/**** Image B+ Sound A- Extras A
starring Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler
screenplay by Frank Darabont, based on the novella Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King
directed by Frank Darabont
by Walter Chaw SPOILER WARNING IN EFFECT. There's a moment in the middle of writer-director Frank Darabont's commentary track for the tenth-anniversary DVD and now Blu-ray release of The Shawshank Redemption in which he marvels at how swiftly and completely that Christian fundamentalists embraced the film (thus allying it with other modern klatch classics like Christmas with the Kranks, The Passion of the Christ, and George W. Bush). He feared, he says, that because the demonic warden Norton (Bob Gunton) is the film's only overtly Christian character, the herd would flock to decry it. Apart from his shocking disingenuousness (if there's a more blatant Christ parable than The Shawshank Redemption, I don't know what it is), Darabont obviously doesn't understand that for the reborn mind, the longer the climb, the better the proselytizing--hence the desertion, the nepotism, and the DUIs actually augmenting Dubya's holiness instead of casting suspicion on it.