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Working Titles – The Shawshank Redemption

Working Titles takes a closer look at specific films with a denim and workwear aesthetic with the goal of examining the material’s shifting cultural image.

To this day I’ll never understand why Shawshank Redemption fell flat on its face in the box offices back in 1994. Sure, it was competing with Pulp Fiction and Forrest Gump, which are equally great films in their own right, but I just don’t understand how such a borderline-perfect film didn’t get the reception it deserved. Thankfully, it’s become a classic in retrospect and is often cited as one of the greatest modern movies.

Ironically, I myself wasn’t drawn to watching The Shawshank Redemption for the first time when deciding on a DVD to watch at a family get-together around 13 years ago. I distinctly remember comparing the DVD box to that of Goodfellas and Cast Away, and just being more drawn to the options of a disheveled Hanks and witnessing a guaranteed Joe Pesci meltdown at some point that evening. Luckily for me, everyone else voted for Shawshank.


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