The Shawshank Redemption on PAL Laserdisc

The Dominator reviews

The Shawshank Redemption
Distributed by
Pioneer LDCE

  • Cat.no: PLFEB 34801
  • Cert: 15
  • Running time: 140 mins
  • Sides 3 (CLV)
  • Year: 1994
  • Pressing: UK, 1996
  • Chapters: 64 (21/26/17)
  • Sound: Dolby Surround
  • Widescreen: 1.85:1
  • Price: £29.99

    Director:

      Frank Darabont

    Producer:

      Niki Marvin

    Screenplay:

      Frank Darabont (Based on the short novel “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption” by Stephen King.)

    Music:

      Thomas Newman

    Cast:

      Andy Dufresne: Tim Robbins (The Player, Bob Roberts, Jacob’s Ladder)
      Red: Morgan Freeman (Outbreak, Robin Hood:Prince of Thieves, Seven)
      Warden Norton: Bob Gunton (Broken Arrow, Ace Ventura 2)
      Heywood: William Sadler (Die Hard 2, Bill And Ted’s Bogus Journey)
      Captain Hadley: Clancy Brown (Highlander, Blue Steel)
      Tommy: Gil Bellows (Love And a .45, Silver Strand)
      Brooks: James Whitmore (Asphalt Jungle, Battle Cry)

CityBanker Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) was sent to the Shawshank maximumsecurity prison in 1947 after being convicted of two brutal murders, receivinga double life sententence, and he finds out that when you’re there for life,that’s exactly what they take from you.

The film follows the fortunes and tragedies of a few of the main inmates,starting with Andy’s first day along with the other new arrivals, where theprisoners take bets to see which new “fish” will crack first under thepressure on their first night inside.

As time goes by, Andy forms an unlikely friendship with Red (Morgan Freeman,who also narrates the story), a prison “fixer” who can get anything you want,including Andy’s request for Rita Hayworth. Andy also finds himself in favourwith the Warden and the guards when he can use his banking expertise to helpcorrupt officials boost their personal wealth.


The picture on the disc is first-rate with colours standing out very well,from the bright blue sky on the outside, to the dull brown interiors givingyou a feel of the inside, and a clever shot occurs as you follow Andy’s eyestake one last look at the sky before going inside for the first time.

The Dolby Surround soundmix is effectively used mainly to set the ambience,especially when the inmates try to tease the new “fish” at the start of thefilm, and later when Andy decides to give a global broadcast to an Italianopera record across the tannoys.

A wonderful score from Thomas Newman sets the mood for each sceneit is used in.


The disc is very well chaptered with 64 in all, including the originaltheatrical trailer. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards includingBert Film and Best Actor.

In all, a disc well worth including in any collection for its fine acting,direction and story.

Review copyright © Dominic Robinson, 1996.

Check outPioneer‘s Web site.

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