Shawshank Redemption director reflects on number one IMDb ranking: 'I find it hard to believe it's better than The Godfather'

Frank Darabont isn't sure his prison drama should sit atop the database's 'best movies of all time' ranking

Jacob Stolworthy
Wednesday 11 September 2019 10:55
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The Shawshank Redemption - Trailer

The Shawshank Redemption has long been the highest-rated film on IMDb, but its director – Frank Darabont – isn’t sure it's worthy of such a feat.

His prison drama, an adaptation of Stephen King’s novella, was released 25 years ago and, while it was acclaimed at the time, adoration for the film has grown deeper with every year.

With a 9.3 out of 10 rating on the film database, it sits above films including Pulp Fiction, 12 Angry Men and Schindler’s List.

While Darabont is overwhelmed by the honour, there’s one film he’s not sure it’s better than. Speaking to Paste Magazine, he said: “[It] is a very surreal thing for me. I look at that list and of course I see The Godfather, and Citizen Kane, and you can’t help but think ‘Is Shawshank really better than The Godfather?’ I find that a little hard to believe.”

He continued: ”But it’s the audience that is the ultimate judge of these things. It’s tremendously gratifying.”

Reflecting upon on the film’s legacy, Darabont said: “The experience of making [it] was so long ago that whenever I revisit it I’m mostly just struck by how good the acting is. I’m so grateful for that cast we had.”

Starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, the film was nominated for seven Oscars – including Best Picture – but failed to win any.

The Shawshank Redemption‘s anniversary is being celebrated with three screenings in the US and will be shown at London’s Queen of Hoxton on 17 September.

It’s also available to stream on Amazon Prime.

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