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Is Shawshank a ripoff of Alcatraz?


Comparing these two movies pokes the hornet's nest.

The Shawshank Redemption, considered to be one of the greatest movies of all time by many, was released 1994.

Escape from Alcatraz, while not nearly as well known but still darned good, was released 1979.

Like a lot of people, I saw Shawshank first and Alcatraz later. There are many who say Shawshank rips off Alcatraz big time.

Does it?

I'll describe some differences first.

Shawshank is about the characters and has loads of dialogue, including tons of narration. Alcatraz is more about the story, dialogue is kept to a minimum, and it has no narration whatsoever.

Shawshank is a fictional story. Alcatraz is based on events that actually happened.

The story of Shawshank spans over a long period of time. Alcatraz's story has a much shorter timeline.

And where the similarities are concerned, oh yeah, there are plenty.

Published 2024 Apr 21

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