Kevin H: The Shawshank Warden and the Metropolitan

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28 Responses

  1. Josh the Baptist says:

    Your best yet Kevin!

  2. Steve Wright says:

    There was a time in late high school through college (my B.C. days) that I read the entire Stephen King catalog including the story used for Shawshank….the guy is as anti-Christ as any human being alive…

    That said, Shawshank is certainly a great movie with fine acting, but I have always chalked it up as typical Hollywood (and King) portrayal of Christians….there is never one redeeming thing said or done by the only guy who is equated with the faith.

    Not a big fan of the mockery at the end either (the “salvation resides within” crack)…

    That’s just my take….

  3. Michael says:

    Friends and family have tried for years to get me to sit down and watch this film.
    Now that Kevin has written this, I’ll have to do so when Trey gets home.

    So far, the bad guys only get screwed in the movies…

  4. Josh the Baptist says:

    Loved the movie, and the collection of stories. That collection included “The Body”, which became the movie, “Stand by Me”.

  5. Michael says:

    “The Warden’s backstory isn’t told and so we don’t know if he was once a sincere Christian man who becomes corrupted in his rise to power,or if he was just always jerk who only used religion to help him gain the power he wanted.”

    That’s the question about so many of these guys…and the answer is impossible to discern.

  6. Babylon's Dread says:

    Shawshank is classic …

    As for the warden? Well us old guys will never live to see the day that other groups are as consistently caricatured as believers but

    Life keeps reminding me that the caricatures are not that far from reality

    The rogues gallery is full

  7. Kevin H says:

    Thanks, Josh.

  8. Michael says:

    I watch very few movies and don’t read fiction…so I wouldn’t know if media caricatures of Christianity are an issue or not.

  9. Cash says:

    It’s always interesting to me when the police come to arrest the warden and he is sitting at his desk, there is a sign above the desk that says “the judgment of God cometh, and that right quick.” *shudder*

  10. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I have never seen this movie, and the clips never interested me.
    Now, as far as watching movies several times I think Commando with Arnold Schwarzenegger would top my list. I am sure that I have given it at least 25 viewings.

    That is definitely a movie where the good guys win and the bad guys lose — aka die 🙂

  11. Cash says:

    I guess that scene wasn’t at the end like I said but I do remember that sign being in his office somewhere…

  12. Kevin H says:


    I have no expectations of Hollywood portraying Christianity in a good light. And so I don’t really get disturbed about what they do with Christianity outside of if they were to make false claims about truths of our faith.

    I’m also not disturbed about the “mockery” at the end as I see it directed at the Warden and not a shot at Christianity. SPOILER ALERT – Michael and others who for whatever inexcusable reasons 🙂 have not yet seen this film but intend to do so yet may want to look away now – When Andy says that salvation lies within, he is referring to his own “salvation” of escaping from the prison that was only possible because he was able to hide the rock hammer in his bible. The rock hammer that allowed him to dig and tunnel through his cell wall. He is turning the warden’s own words back on him. I only see mockery of the warden here, not Christianity.

    But that’s just my take. 🙂

  13. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    As far as Christians getting the short end of the stick in media / movies that is to be expected and I welcome it.

    As Christianity is the only true religion and all others are made up fairy tales, what else woulf you expect? Why would anyone object or fight against known lies and deceit.

    However, everyone knows Jesus Christ is God and that Christianity is true – they just refuse to accept it and instead fight against it.

    So, if Stephen King is anti Christianity, it is because he knows it to be true — funny how that works.

  14. Kevin H says:

    But then again, I don’t mean to turn this post into an argument of how Hollywood portrays Christianity. The rest of you can go at it as you want. 🙂

  15. Kevin H says:


    I think you were right the first time. I think that sign is shown near the end when the Warden is at his desk. It may have also been shown earlier in the film.

  16. filbertz says:

    Shawshank is one of my favorite movies as well–I think it is an amazing portrayal of redemption–hence the title. The antithesis of redemption is the warden, who seems to deny the need for redemption despite the fact that he is the most lawless man in the penitentary. Brooks is the character who served his time, but became institutionalized–unable to function in the real world despite his good heart & rehabilitation. It is a rich story, well-told. Andy is an interesting study for those that wish to consider how a ‘righteous’ person can live among those and influence those who are unrighteous.

  17. filbertz says:

    As far as YP–I think the warden comparison is an interesting one, probably more accurate than not, based on what I’ve read.

  18. Paige says:

    Excellent and thought provoking Kevin H…. thank you. Thanks for posting your writings.

    Michael says he watches few movies and doesn’t read fiction… I’m much like that as well. I have seen and enjoyed the Shawshank Redemption a few times. Morgan Freeman is one of my favorite actors; not that I’ve seen all that many movies.

    The old saying “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” seem applicable, sadly, to not only to the Warden in this movie, but to numerous church leaders that we have considered here on the PhxP…. Perhaps it is truly a gift from God, that many or most of us here, have been sore tried and continue ‘through many dangers, toils and snares” to prevent us from succumbing to that terrible path of corruption.

  19. Kevin H says:

    Paige, the movie would not be nearly the same without Morgan Freeman’s narration!

  20. Steve Wright says:

    Oh I get the salvation pun Kevin….

    Like I said, my view is less Hollywood and more reading about 25 King books in 5 years.

  21. Kevin H says:

    I’ve never read a King book so I lack that perspective.

  22. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’ve only read the collection of stories that spawned this and Stand By me.

  23. Josh the Baptist says:

    Had to look it up to remember, but Different Season is the name of that book.

  24. Em says:

    movie under discussion has a lot to ponder…
    finally watched “A Bridge of Spies” … that is an honest movie worth repeat viewing – evil ebbs and flows, but is always with us

  25. brian says:

    What I got out of the movie and several of Steven King’s books is that God can do His best work in us through the mundane and when we are deepest in the valley. So when we get to the hilltop and see the glory we can understand just a bit better why or maybe just appreciate what we do have with a purer joy. Andy was able to put himself above the circumstance because he treasured the simple, have a far of view of a distant land and set his face like flint to reach there. I found many of the references in the movie that reflected towards God truly what I see God like. He works mainly where we are at through what is happening and often we go through the evil, not around it.

    The warden was an evil man no doubt and it is true that he is an amalgamation of many “characteristics” of a “hypocritical religious person” but you knew his time was coming. When he escapes and the flashbacks happen about all the time he was planning and when he writes the note to his friend and when they meet at the end at the beach with the chess set waiting. The smile is the best. Nice article Kevin.

  26. brian says:

    King does have a bit of a love / hate relationship with what someone might call the caricature of “fundamentalist” Christians.

  27. Em says:

    brian’s #26 reminds me that many authors have made Christian quirks and hypocrisies into interesting characters… gotta agree with Kevin’s observation up there and ask myself, is that me? 🙂 sometimes…

  28. brian says: I have never been to a media conference and to be honest, I think I would find this interesting.

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