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The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

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Only a select few films have been called “the most beloved of all time.” Annual TV airings earned the title for “The Wizard of Oz” (1939) and “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946), while box office receipts have made strong cases for “Gone With the Wind” (1939), “The Godfather” (1972) and “Star Wars” (1977). But in the internet age, a new generation of Millenials holds up a new contender: “The Shawshank Redemption.”

Only in today’s culture of rapid film consumption and instant web response could a film like “Shawshank” rise the ranks of reverence to do battle with the listology kings of academic glory. This is why I’m choosing to launch The Film Spectrum with “Shawshank” alongside “Citizen Kane.” In many ways, “Shawshank” has become the “Citizen Kane” of IMDb, with more than half a million viewers flocking to the site to rank the film No. 1. Continue reading

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