Found: Shawshank

Some of you might have seen “Shawshank Redemption”.  It’s gritty.  Here are a couple of very short synopses.

  • Andy Dufresne is a young and successful banker whose life changes drastically when he is convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his wife and her lover. Set in the 1940’s, the film shows how Andy, with the help of his friend Red, the prison entrepreneur, turns out to be a most unconventional prisoner.Written by Martin Lewison <milst1@cislabs.pitt.edu>

  • Andy Dufresne is sent to Shawshank Prison for the murder of his wife and her secret lover. He is very isolated and lonely at first, but realizes there is something deep inside your body that people can’t touch or get to….’HOPE’. Andy becomes friends with prison ‘fixer’ Red, and Andy epitomizes why it is crucial to have dreams. His spirit and determination lead us into a world full of imagination, one filled with courage and desire. Will Andy ever realize his dreams? Written by Andy Haque

It wasn’t an easy movie to watch.  We enjoyed the characterization of the prisoners and how they learned to make the most of their situations. But after we figured out what “Andy” (Tim Robbins) planned to do, we couldn’t stop in the middle.

The story was based on this man.

ShawshankFrank Freshwater, originally convicted of killing a pedestrian with his car in 1959, got put on probation.  He was caught behind the wheel and arrested.  He served 7 months of a 20-year sentence before he escaped.  You can read about it here.  The story behind the hit movie with numerous Oscar-worthy performances isn’t nearly as scintillating.  Frank, under the alas William C. Cox, found himself in handcuffs for being a Fugitive from Justice for 56 years.  Turns out he worked as a truck driver in different states.

So…what did he do with his freedom?  He drove trucks and changed his name.


I want to know if he married during that 50-year span.  Did he have children?  Did he travel out of the country?  Did he find a Fugitive from Justice label barred him from activities he might have enjoyed?  I wonder if he didn’t form a prison of his own making, weighed down with guilt.  In the movie, Andy escapes and helps “Red” (Morgan Freeman) make his way to Mexico and the start of a new life.

I want to ask Frank if the race to freedom was worth it. What do you think?


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