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Word Count: 858
After two major feature films the most immediate linking theme in the work of Frank Darabont besides Oscar mania and a dependence on Stephen King is an obsession with tall people In The Shawshank Redemption Darabont cast the gargantuan Tim Robbins as the poor fool locked up in prison in the 30s In the more recent The Green Mile also based on a King text he casts character actor Michael Duncan as the behemoth with a heart of gold and makes him seem much taller than he actually is Visually the two films look much different Shawshank has a grittier more realistic style Green Mile especially in its interiors has the spare focused dynamic quality of the old EC comics On the other hand Darabont is credited with writing both films himself establishing the foundation for credentials as an auteur despite what seems to be a relatively low output and a reliance on the pre-digested texts of others But in fact Darabont has been active in the movies since 1981 and almost 20 years is a long time in a cruel industry that does not forgive failure or even temporary absences One must admire him at least for surviving One way that Darabont has seemed to surive is by picking his friends well Durabont has enjoyed the support of a series of mentors He was an early associate of Chuck Russell and like many other current successful directors cut some of his cinematic baby teeth on an Elm Street movie He briefly came under the Speilberg umbrella by writing some of the Indiana Jones shows and later working on Saving Private Ryan But his most imporant mentor has been Stephen King Darabont has directed no less than three King pieces including a short that was broadcast on PBS in 1983 and which also focused on someone incarceratedin this case a dying woman Darabonts main theme
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