I saw the DVD lying around in a friend's house and borrowed it on a boring day. It matches the hype. Since I'd avoided the film and its hype all these years I didn't know the ending, so it had the intended effect.
The film tells the story of Andy Dufrense, who is framed for the murder of his wife and her lover, and is sent to prison. There he meets fellow Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding, and the two of them develop a close friendship over the years. The story focuses on prison life in general, and Andy's attempts to keep his hope and personality through an entire life sentence
of Despair Event Horizons
. Has some of the most heartbreaking
scenes this troper has ever seen.
The bromance gets a little too gay for my taste towards the end, but other than that it totally deserves its place at imdb #1.
The story relies heavily on the narration and dialogue, so watch it with a clear head, on a nice day when it's not too hot.