Widely regarded as one of the best films of all time, (I highly doubt we will ever have the best film but there are many that are mentioned in the same breath) Shawshank Redemption was released 20 years ago in 1994.
It became an instant classic telling the tale of an innocent man in prison who eventually gains his freedom through a satisfying escape plan.
With a star studded cast and the narration by Morgan Freeman who is a central character, the film received wide acclaim and narrowly lost to Forrest Gump for the Oscar that year (also another best film of all time).
The story itself was actually a short novella in a book by famed author Stephen King called 'Different Season', a four story book with a different novella for each season.
At 180 odd pages in length the story itself was expanded considerably to accommodate the length of the film running time at 140 minutes. The length of the film is what makes it stand out.
The more times you watch it the more it grows on you and your appreciation for the film.
There are a few Christian themes in the film as well. The corrupt Warden Norton let's all inmates know to "put their trust in the Lord, the rest of you belongs to me!"
He also encourages each inmate to read his bible and as he says to the lead character Andy "salvation lies within".
It is only too fitting that when Andy escapes, the tool used to dig his tunnel was hid inside his bible with a note that read "you were right Warden, salvation lies within".
Twenty years on I believe you are still hard pressed to find a film like Shawshank Redemption.
It is one of the most aired films on TV (I'm sure we finally will have redemption when it isn't shown on a rainy Sunday afternoon!) and it is constantly in discussion when Top Films are shown.
We more than likely will be discussing Shawshank Redemption twenty years from now.
Christopher Archibald lives in Sydney and is a Youth Leader at New Life Christian Church in Blacktown. A voracious reader, he ploughs through many books in a calendar year, with a bookcase that is constantly being rearranged to accommodate new additions.
Christopher Archibald's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/christopher-archibald.html