A bit of explanation is required for this one, and I'll start here: My all-time favorite film is The Shawshank Redemption. See, I was a huge Stephen King fan through my formative adolescent years (and still am, really). One of my favorite King books was Different Seasons, which comprised four novellas (75% of which became movies). But by far my favorite was Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. So when I heard around 1993 that they were making it into a movie, I was thrilled. I consider myself one of the few who a) knew what the film was about going into it, and b) saw it in its short and lackluster initial theatrical release. Hell, I probably saw it on opening day, I was that thrilled for it. And I was also not at all disappointed. The film was remarkably faithful to the book, for the most part (for instance, they condensed several successive wardens in the book to a single character in the film--which makes sense, really--and Andy and Red didn't look like they were described in the book), and it was just so beautifully executed. I've seen it dozens of times--I'd say I watch it at least once a year, to refill my Shawshank meter--and it just doesn't get old for me. In the intervening 20 years, the film seems to have migrated from critical acclaim (but popular dismissal) to popular acclaim (but critical dismissal). It's the top-rated film on IMDb, so of course it's now de rigeur to write it off as well-made but schlocky, cliched, heavy-handed, sentimental tripe. If you feel that way, okay, I get it. But it's still my favorite. :) The motifs of justice, hope, friendship, and a bit of revenge have always spoken to me, and I figure always will.
So probably last year I realized that the old prison where it was filmed, the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, was within striking distance of Detroit, which I now visit twice a year. I considered visiting it on my fall trip last year, but it closes down for tours between September and April, so instead I made sure to schedule this trip for when it would be open, and I also figured I could maybe have time to visit a couple other filming sites in the area as a sort of Shawshank pilgrimage. So that's the background. Shall we?
( Clicky! )
Aaaand that was my adventure last week. No more travel for the foreseeable future, I'm afraid. We were thinking of a family trip in a few weeks to make up for our NYC trip being pushed back, but now I think that's off until some more disposable income arrives. So we'll see.
Thanks for looking, as always!