Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.
Drawn-out, but never boring and always touching buddy story, the movie manages to revive some old and almost forgotten Hollywood virtues, basically an interesting story well told.
On renewed viewing: Still agree with my old assessment, a modern-day fairy tale.
Halliwell*: "A melodrama of wasted lives and male bonding with a twist ending, more enjoyable for the performances than the narrative, which veers unpredictably between toughness and sentimentality."
Maltin**1/2: "Widely praised film is well crafted but terribly overlong, and (like much of Stephen King's non-horror writing) hollow and predictable."