What is the best film ever made? Yes, that’s a very subjective question, or we sometimes categorize films into two, if not the best, then the favourite. And the end is still the same, everyone has their own best or favorite movie. But one of the world’s largest sources of movie information, the Internet Movie Database or IMDb, lists one movie title that has been at the top of the best movies for years. And he is The Shawshank Redemption.
It’s been 27 years since IMDb’s best film was released on the big screen. When it was first released, I don’t think anyone thought about making this the best film of their choice, let alone the best film of all time. Yes, Shawshank Redemption is an adaptation of Stephen King’s short story, “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption,”. It tells the story of a banker who is accused of murdering his wife and mistress and sentenced to life imprisonment.
The Shawshank Redemption is a film where the cast is mostly male. The main characters were played by Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, whose names were not as popular at that time. The Shawshank Redemption is Frank Darabont’s first film where it was produced by a mid-level studio, Castle Rock, which at that time was unlucky because the film had to fight head-on with Quentin Tarantino’s legendary Pulp Fiction and immediately became popular. That’s what then made The Shawshank Redemption only earned 16 million dollars from 25 million dollars in production costs. Yes, for the box office, The Shawshank Redemption is indeed sluggish.
But according to the title, namely Redemption or redemption, the film slowly but surely began to walk its way to popularity. Despite its poor performance at the box office, The Shawshank Redemption received 7 Academy Award nominations including a Best Picture nomination. Although unfortunately, the best position fell into the hands of Forrest Gump, but his position at that time was already quite large. And the real revival began soon after.
In 2019, it can be hard to imagine a film with the theme of an inmate’s life in prison would get a box-office reaction regardless of whether it was nominated for an Oscar or not. For Shawshank, the road to becoming one of the top films of all time (at least according to some netizens) has to do with 2 things: video rentals and TV viewing. Despite the weak box-office, Warner Bros. as responsible for distribution has a strategy to print 300,000 VHS copies of The Shawshank Redemption and massively distribute it to movie rentals in America, a figure that is too large for a film that proved to be a loss in theaters. But the decision paid off with The Shawshank Redemption becoming the best-selling VHS of 1995.
Two years later, the rights to the film were taken by TNT which is not surprising since TNT was then owned by Ted Turner, the same person whose company in 1993 bought Castle Rock Entertainment, the studio that produced The Shawshank Redemption. In the era before movie streaming was widespread, this was probably the most effective way to extend and extend the life of a film. And The Shawshank Redemption became the most-screened film on TNT and TBS in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
In 2013, according to a research firm, it was stated that The Shawshank Redemption had spent 150 hours of broadcast time on TNT matching Al Pacino’s Scarface achievements and right behind Mrs. Doubtfire.
Perhaps the most surprising element of The Shawshank Redemption’s continued notoriety is that it is not a film that has a huge fan base like #ReleaseTheSnyderCut fans or the maniacs Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, and Christopher Nolan where those who glorify style, character and unique and original dialogue.
However, if we go back to IMDb, the best film of all time is a pretty grim 142 minute prison drama where one of the most dramatic scenes comes when the main character quietly lets the rain wash his dirt, standing with a Christ pose. Of course, it should be noted that the IMDb Top 250 is not an actual quality arbiter and the ranking is based on user rating driven statistics.
And IMDb actually isn’t very clear about how these statistics are generated. You’ve probably seen the Joker immediately get a rating of 9.8 out of 10 on IMDb immediately after its premiere at the Venice Film Festival. However, Shawshank Redemption with a rating of 9.2 is still pretty cool at the top and the Joker’s name isn’t even found in the top 250. IMDb states that a film needs 25,000 votes to make it onto the list, and the list is based on a formula that includes rating scores received from users. usual, maybe one of them is you who hear the chatter of the cave this time. Unfortunately, we ourselves don’t know whether we are regular voters or not because IMDb keeps it a secret.
So this might be a little confusing right? How can The Shawshank Redemption beat The Dark Knight, even though it has a strong enough fan base and maybe coordinated enough to be able to raise the rating of his favorite film. Even Marvel’s biggest films such as Avengers: Endgame, which is the film with the biggest box-office revenue, can only penetrate the 76th rank.