What It's Like Watching 'The Shawshank Redemption' Alone vs. With Other People

It’s Sunday night at 7 p.m. and somewhere on basic cable, The Shawshank Redemption is on. Though you may have seen it at least 15 times, you keep it on because hey, it’s Shawshank. You curl in to the near four-hour commitment (commercial breaks... so many commercial breaks) even though you definitely own the DVD or could easily stream it... but no. It’s on television and therefore you watch. That’s just the rule of Shawshank. The most re-watchable film in cinematic history just turned 20 and the Shawshank cast reunited for a special screening in Beverly Hills in honor of the anniversary. Just seeing Andy and Red standing side by side brings a lump to my throat. 

At the event, Tim Robbins noted that The Shawshank Redemption was, “the best script I had ever read." In fact, Robbins was so moved by the experience, that he still to this day teaches acting classes to prison inmates. Morgan Freeman, who made Red one of the most memorable characters in modern film, always wanted to play the part from his first read of the script. At the screening Morgan added, “Nobody said what part to read for. So I read it and when I called to find out what part they wanted me to consider… I said, 'I'll do it.'"

It’s clear that it’s not just fans who have a special emotional connection to Shawshank, but everyone involved in making it still feels quite attached... and that makes you love it even more. Whether you’re all by yourself in the mood for a good cry, or with a group of friends tuning in for a never-disappointing film, here’s what it’s like to watch The Shawshank Redemption alone vs. what it’s like watching it with other people.

When The Opening Credits Roll

With People:

I'M FINE. EVERYONE IS FINE.

Alone:

I'M NOT READY FOR THIS.

When the "Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying" Scene Happens

With People:

Yes, I agree. Don't you all agree?

Alone:

Yes! I will not be held down! I AM GOING TO GET BUSY LIVING!

When You See Brooks Hanging

With people:

Just averting my eyes here...

Alone:

WHY GOD WHY!

When You See "Brooks Was Here" on the Ceiling Beam

With people:

Keep it together. JUST KEEP IT TOGETHER.

Alone:

Nope. Impossible.

When Andy escapes in the pouring rain

With people:

YES. YES. YEEEEESSSS.

Alone:

It's just so beautiful.

When Andy Takes $ 370,000 from the Warden and Blows The Whistle on His Crimes

With People:

Poetic justice! And actual justice!

Alone:

WOO HOO!

When Red tries to settle back into the "real world"

With people:

Oh man... bummer.

Alone:

I can't.

When Andy and Red reunite on the beach

With people:

Everyone, bring it in.

Alone:

Down for the count. I'll see you in a week when I've recovered. 

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