American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"The Shawshank Redemption" (1994)

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The Trial of Andy Dufresne: The District Attorney Cross Examines Dufresne

Audio mp3 delivered by Jeffrey DeMunn and Tim Robbins

District Attorney: Mr. Dufresne, describe the confrontation you had with your wife the night that she was murdered.

Dufresne: It was very bitter. She said she was glad I knew, that she hated all the sneaking around, and she said she wanted a divorce in Reno.

District Attorney: What was your response?

Dufresne: I told her I would not grant one.

District Attorney: "I'll see you in hell before I see you in Reno." Those were the words you used, Mr. Dufresne, according to the testimony of your neighbors.

Dufresne: If they say so. I really don't remember. I was upset.

District Attorney: What happened after you argued with your wife?

Dufresne: She packed a bag -- she packed a bag to go and stay with Mr. Quentin.

District Attorney: Glenn Quentin, a golf pro at the Snowed-In Hills Country Club, the man you had recently discovered was your wife's lover. Did you follow her?

Dufresne: Went to a few bars first. Later I drove to his house to confront him. They weren't home, so I parked in the turn-out and waited.

District Attorney: With what intention?

Dufresne: I'm not sure. I was confused, uh, drunk. I think mostly I wanted to scare them.

District Attorney: When they arrived, you went up to the house and murdered them.

Dufresne: No. I was sobering up. I got back in the car and I drove home to sleep it off. Along the way, I stopped and I threw my gun into the royal river. I feel I've been very clear on this point.

District Attorney: Well where I get hazy is where the cleaning woman shows up the following morning and finds your wife in bed with her lover riddled with 38 caliber bullets. Now, does that strike you as a fantastic coincidence, Mr. Dufresne, or it just me?

Dufresne: Yes, it does.

District Attorney: Yet you still maintain that you threw your gun into the river before the murders took place. That's very convenient.

Dufresne: It's the truth.

District Attorney: The police dragged that river for three days and nary a gun was found. So there could be no comparison made between your gun and the bullets taken from the blood-stained corpses of the victims. And that, also, is very convenient, isn't it, Mr. Dufresne.

Dufresne: Since I am innocent of this crime, sir, I find it decidedly inconvenient that the gun was never found.

Presiding Judge: [Sentencing phase] By the power vested in me by the State of Maine, I hereby order you to serve two life sentences back-to-back, one for each of your victims. So be it!

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