“Get busy livin’ or get busy dying,” goes one of the many memorable lines in one of American cinema’s contemporary classics “The Shawshank Redemption.” And that’s not an overstatement. From a movie that barely registered when it was released (it was a very busy month in October 1994 with “Pulp Fiction” leading the pack), Frank Darabont‘s adaptation of Stephen King‘s short story has since become a staple on cable, and simply one of the most beloved movies of the last couple of decades (it currently sits atop the IMDb Top 250). But did the critics like it at the time? Well, two of the most important ones did.
We’ve dug up with the “Siskel & Ebert” review of “The Shawshank Redemption,” and it’s glowing, effusive stuff. Both have nothing but positive things to say, with Siskel calling it one of the best pictures of the year. If you want an extra treat, watch the video right after for some rare deleted scenes. The ten-minute “Shawshank: The Lost Tapes” aired in 1995, and at the 2:11 and 7:32 marks you can see a couple sequences that have not appeared on DVD or Blu-ray releases of the film. Better yet, it’s presented with context from the director and cast, so it’s well worth a watch. Check it all out below and maybe fire up ‘Shawshank’ again for old times’ sake.