"Shawshank Redemption": Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt's Bitter Regrets

Cruise isn't the only Hollywood star who turned down "Shawshank." Brad Pitt also did not believe in the potential of the project of a little-known director. In the end, the regrets of the failed actors were bitter....

The movie "Escape from Shawshank": review, facts, actors and scandals

"The Shawshank Redemption" - A film that has long been considered a classic of 20th century cinema. This is one of those films, which despite the impressive length of more than 2 hours attracts novice moviegoers, and also never fails to hit the headlines of the world's top publications - because every year the public opens more and more new and sometimes just incredible details about it....

The most amazing thing is that when it first came out - this movie. Frank Darabont turned out to be a total failure at the box office! Its box office receipts did not even recoup the budget spent on filming, and out of 7 Oscar nominations he was not awarded a single one... And such Hollywood heartthrobs as Tom Cruise and Brad Pittand refused to participate in the project at all! So how did it become so iconic? Let's find out.

"About strong male friendship": review by FUZZ MUSIC

"The Shawshank Redemption" - is a beautiful picture in every sense of the word. The atmosphere is perfectly preserved in all scenes - something from westerns, something from horror, but in general a romantic narrative with glimpses of humorous episodes that cause a sincere smile. At times, the movie flows into frank lyrics, and the viewer begins to feel excitement and compassion for the characters... In general - the bets made on the emotional component, fully justified themselves.

Shot from the film "The Shawshank Redemption"
Shot from the film "The Shawshank Redemption"

Of course, given the picture's imposing 142-minute length, some episodes may seem tightened and even unnecessary - it's not always clear why we should focus so much attention on obviously minor scenes. But we'll say this: "Shawshank Redemption" is about Details. Every little detail has its own immediate significance, and as the storyline progresses, this becomes apparent. That's why it's hard to call this movie a "background tape for a Saturday night out". To understand the whole idea and appreciate the depth and poignancy of the story, "Escape from Shawshank" will have to be watched carefully.

As for the meaning, it always depends on the viewer: some saw corrupt ideas, others saw a story about social injustice. However, many people who have been imbued with the spiritual component of the story are sure that the highlight of the picture is strong male friendship in difficult times. I agree with this myself Tim Robbinswho played Andy Dufresne:

"It's about a form of love - but without the typical romance of such things. It's a story about a special spiritual bond between two men..."

One of the critics "categorically agreed" with the actor, stating:

"While many movies offer us indirect experiences and quick, superficial emotions, 'Shawshank' slows down and forces us to look carefully deep into the story...It's a very deep picture based on friendship and hope."

"I had to regret it," or the failed actors of "Shawshank."

There is a separate story about the actors: the cast that we see in the final result differs significantly from what was originally conceived. For example, Andy Dufresne was cast in the role of Andy Dufresne. Tom Cruise! However, the Hollywood star was not confident in the project of an inexperienced director, which at that time was Frank Darabont. And Cruise turned it down, thus giving Tim Robbins the opportunity (perhaps it was all for the best).

Shot from the film "The Shawshank Redemption"
Shot from the film "The Shawshank Redemption"

Tim's friend, Red, is played by Morgan Freeman. And this is the very case when the actor does not fit into the original concept at all! The thing is, in Stephen King's novel and, directly from the screenplay, Red - Irish white. Obviously, Freeman was neither. Nevertheless, Freeman's acting talent impressed everyone, and he was cast. In the movie itself there is a comical scene when Andy asks his buddy why his name is Red, to which he jokes: "Maybe it's because I'm Irish".

Shot from the film "The Shawshank Redemption"
Shot from the film "The Shawshank Redemption"

Curiously, Cruise isn't the only Hollywood star to turn down "Shawshank." The original choice for the role of Tommy was a young man Brad Pitt. But at some point Pitt decided that he was too good for this dubious project, and washed his hands, as they say. Well: the creators gave Gil Bellows a chance, about what never regretted - which can not be said about the "failed" actors: later Cruise and Pitt expressed some regret ...

"Men's Territory."

Those who have read the book itself know that the 1940s Hollywood icon Rita Hayworth is an important part of the storyline. So much so that the original short story that served as the foundation for the movie was actually titled "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption."! But Frank Darabont decided that "Shawshank Redemption" was strictly "male territory." So what did he do? He completely eliminated all plot episodes related to the actress, and slightly changed the name of the movie itself, so that no one would think that it is dedicated to the Hollywood beauty.

Shot from the film "The Shawshank Redemption"
Shot from the film "The Shawshank Redemption"

The best part is that some agents and actresses didn't take this into consideration, and for a long time Darabont received calls and offers from female candidates to, in fact, non-existent role! One agent even represented the supermodel: he swore that the script was the best she'd ever read, and that she'd be perfect for the role of Hayworth. Eh, it must have been a shame to upset him.....

Another reason why "Shawshank" can be characterized as male territory is the almost total absence of female characters in the frame - for a very few exceptions. But given that the action takes place in a men's prison, it doesn't seem surprising at all.

Long live television!

So: after the release of "Escape from Shawshank" at the box office, it was obvious to everyone that the picture turned out to be a grand... failure. Initially it grossed only 16 million dollars on a budget of 25 million... It was a real disaster. Then it was decided to promote the movie with the help of television - in particular the TNT channel. And it worked! Ratings of the picture grew steadily, which allowed to re-release and let it into international distribution, as a result of which its total box office grossed 73 million dollars! Although even this is not an impressive figure for a classic of the 90's...

Shot from the film "The Shawshank Redemption"
Shot from the film "The Shawshank Redemption"

Remarkably, when it came to promoting the movie, the makers barely mentioned it Stephen King! The studio wanted to attract a "more prestigious" audience and felt that the writer would be associated with such stories as "Cujo" and "Pet Cemetery". However, old King was not offended at all - we think he didn't care.


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