The Striking Similarities Between These Popular Movies

By: Lydia Iseh | Last updated: Aug 07, 2023

Usually, when two movies share several characteristics, it is assumed one would be a success in the box office, while the other flops. However, that’s not the case with The Shawshank Redemption and Goodfellas.

Let’s take a look at some of the qualities these films have in common. If you’re not already in the know, it may interest you to know that these two movies were produced at roughly the same time (the ’90s).

Two Distinct Storylines

The Shawshank Redemption and Goodfellas were two of the most prolific movies of the 1990s. Interestingly, the two flicks are crime movies, though tell two very different stories. 


Source: The Arka Tech

The Shawshank Redemption is the story of a man who was wrongly incarcerated for infractions he did not commit. Goodfellas, on the other hand, is the story of three friends who worked their way through the rungs of a mafia.

The Method of Narration

Goodfellas was released in 1990 and was produced by Martin Scorsese. On the other hand, The Shawshank Redemption didn’t hit the theatres until 1994.


Source: Frank Darabont/Wikimedia Commons

Frank Darabont, the screenplay writer and director of the latter, claimed he was heavily inspired by Scorsese’s production methods. So it is no surprise that Shawshank’s story narration technique is similar to that of Goodfellas.

Time-Lapses Like No Other Flicks

The time-lapse of a movie is the length of timeframe covered during its reel time. Beyond the narration technique of these two classic movies, they also shared the same time-lapse.


Source: Wallpaper Flare

The Shawshank Redemption and Goodfellas each told a story spanning a period of approximately 40 years.

Both Were Screen Adaptions of Books

Some movies are screenplay adaptions of books that have been previously written. Consequently, the characters and sometimes the plot are already available. However, that does not make shooting the movie a joyride for the producers. 


Source: Flickr

The Shawshank Redemption and Goodfellas are great examples of screen adaptations. The latter was an adaptation of Wiseguy by Nicolas Pileggi, and the novella, Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption, was written by Stephen King.