This is without a doubt one of my all time favourite movies, and I cannot find any fault with its placing at the top of the list. Everything about it is sublime.
What I am most annoyed about is that I don't remember my emotions or reactions when I first saw the movie over ten years ago. I don't remember what I was thinking as Red was sitting in his cell worrying about Andy, while Andy in turn sat in his holding a length of rope. I don't remember the feelings as the whole plot unravelled in the following scenes. This is a film that is sure to be magical when you first watch it - if only I could remember!!
Having said that I have now watched it about a dozen times, and each time I get that same warm fuzzy feeling inside. This is a film about hope, and is the perfect movie for when you are feeling in need of being cheered up.
The relationship between Andy and Red is wonderful to watch develop, and Freeman in particular should have won an Oscar for it (had this film not come out in the same year as Forrest Gump and Pulp Fiction). There is nothing flashy or showy in the acting, there are no theatrics or prima-donnas it is all about the story and how normal people cope with extra-ordinary difficulties.
If you haven't seen this movie before then there is something wrong with you. Similarly if you can claim not to enjoy this then you must be dead inside. Without a doubt a Top100 film, and my picking for number 1.