American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"The Shawshank Redemption" (1994)


Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding Addresses the Parole Board for the Final Time

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Contains profanity

  Parole Board Interviewer: Please, sit down. Ellis Boyd Redding, your files say you've served 40 years of a life sentence. You feel you've been rehabilitated?



Redding: Rehabilitated?

Well, now, let me see.

You know, I don't have

any idea what that means.


Parole Board Interviewer: Uh, well, it means you're ready to rejoin society --


Redding: -- I know what you think it means, sonny. To me, it's just a made up word, a politician's word, so that young fellas like yourself can wear a suit and a tie and have a job. What do you really wanna know? Am I sorry for what I did?


Parole Board Interviewer: Well, are you?


Redding: There's not a day goes by I don't feel regret. Not because I'm in here, or because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then, a young, stupid kid who committed that terrible crime. I wanna talk to him. I wanna try to talk some sense to him -- tell him the way things are. But I can't. That kid's long gone and this old man is all that's left. I gotta live with that.
Rehabilitated? It's just a bullshit word.

So you go on and stamp your form, sonny,

and stop wasting my time. Because to tell

you the truth, I don't give a shit.


Parole Board Interviewer: [Stamp: APPROVED]



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HTML transcription by Michael E. Eidenmuller.