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  • Writer's pictureEllis & Gareth

Scene Standoff: The Shawshank Redemption vs. Reservoir Dogs

Andy Dufresne falling to his knees in the rain in 'The Shawshank Redemption' vs. Mr Blonde's rendition of 'Stuck in the Middle with you' in 'Reservoir Dogs'.

If you've clicked on this wondering what's going on, then click on the link here to read the rules of the Scene Standoff:

Andy Dufresne in the rain - The Shawshank Redemption

Andy Dufresne's plan is finally complete. And this scene takes us all the way from his cell room, to the outside world where he can bathe in the pouring rain once again. And just the dulcet tones of Morgan Freeman speak overhead.

- Ellis' scene

Stuck in the Middle with you - Reservoir Dogs

Mr Blonde (Michael Madsen) is as cool as you like, as he performs one of the most evil acts seen on screen. He tortures a police officer to the Steelers Wheel song Stuck in the Middle with you and the scene concludes with a climatic moment in which Mr Blonde removes the officers ear; exquisite dancing, torturing and ear removal from Mr Blonde it must be said.

- Gareth's scene


Ellis - italics

Gareth - bold


In Shawshank there aren't any spoken words for most of it...but there's a want and desire in Andy's face which shows how much he wants to get out.

Have you ever been in the situation where you've wanted to drop on your knees and scream "YES"? Whatever the weather!

I don't think so. Why have you?

When I passed my driving test maybe.

That's a good one.

Sometimes it's the small achievements. Like when you've chucked something in the bin from a distance.

Or when a technological update finally finishes.

I would say that Michael Madsen is excruciatingly good. It's a good way. And the police officer in the chair is great too.

It's just the right level of dancing from Mr Blonde as well; it's perfect.

It's one of the greatest movie scenes of all time.

Not necessarily the most iconic, but yes definitely one of the greatest.



I will argue that this scene in Shawshank is a straight 10/10 on necessity. Without it there's no resolution or moment of triumph.

I suppose without this scene in Reservoir we wouldn't have anywhere near as much of Mr Blonde.

Yeah for some reason you just have to like him in that scene. He's so suave.

I can't say it's top marks.

But without the scene the film is definitely not as good.



I mean we've just spoken about referencing Shawshank but I have also referenced this Reservoir Dogs scene. Every time Stuck in the Middle with you comes on I do the Mr Blonde walk and dance. That's all you can reference though.

Sometimes I've pretended I'm the guy in the chair.


*laughter for a few seconds*

You only reference Reservoir Dogs if you've seen it.

I don't think the scene is iconic in a way that everyone has seen it even if you haven't seen the film, like E.T or Titanic for example.


POPULARITY (using Letterboxd for reference)

This is an interesting one...these two films are titans.

Shawshank is often referred to as the greatest film of all time. The highest any film has got in any of the Scene Standoffs is a 4.4.

Which were those?

Into the Spider-Verse and Schindler's List.

Well, Reservoir Dogs is a 4.1.

And Shawshank has joined the crew we were talking about as it's a 4.4.



On a scale of iconic are these scenes? Low end is raining cats and dogs, high end is maybe snow?

We're not here to discuss iconic weather but surely the perfect storm is the most iconic!


Have you seen the film with George Clooney? Have you seen how vertical the boat is?

I haven't.

Well it's pretty vertical let me tell you.

For Shawshank, it's an obvious answer but it's a downpour of rain. Happens a lot so pretty iconic. What about Reservoir?

I mean you could say it's a s**t storm. It's loud and has something to do with your ear. You don't get more iconic than a s**t storm.

That hasn't got anything to do with the fact that your scene goes through if you win this round does it?

No mate not at all.

SHAWSHANK - downpour of rain RESERVOIR - s**t storm



The Shawshank Redemption 2-3 Reservoir Dogs

"Well I don't know why I came here tonight" is not only the opening lyric in the song Stuck in the Middle with you but is also what Shawshank is saying after being narrowly destroyed in this Scene Standoff. It was a close fight but Quentin Tarantino and his superb choice of music has prevailed.

Tarantino films are full of iconic moments, quotes and shots. Whether it's the infamous "trunk shot" which appears in many of his films, the various Western homages in Django Unchained or The Hateful Eight or those bloody battles in Kill Bill, none of them compare in stature and style to this epic scene.

Who knows? Maybe another Tarantino scene is still yet to come...

Current Standings: G - 6 E - 9



Reservoir Dogs available now on NowTV and Sky Cinema

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