The Shawshank Redemption 25th Anniversary (1994) presented by TCM Movie Poster

Trivia for The Shawshank Redemption 25th Anniversary (1994) presented by TCM

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  • The Shawshank prison, in the book and in the movie, was loosely based on Thomaston prison, an aging prison located in Thomaston, Maine. It closed in 2004, due to its small size and dilapidated structure.
  • At the end of the movie, there is a dedication to Allen Greene. He was Frank Darabont's agent and also a close personal friend. He died just before the completion of the movie due to AIDS complications.
  • This movie was released in Taiwan as "1995: Fantastic" (it was released in Taiwan in 1995). Many viewers thought it would be an action movie.
  • The role of Tommy Williams was intended for Brad Pitt, who instead played the lead role in Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994) the same year.
  • Stephen King has said that his original novella was a culmination of all the memories he had from watching prison movies when he was a child.
  • The opera song that Andy Dufresne plays over the loud speakers is "Canzonetta sull'aria" from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro."
  • The exteriors were filmed at the defunct Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio. The prison was in such poor condition that renovations had to be made prior to filming. However, most of the interiors were shot on a sound stage, because they determined it would be cheaper to build duplicates of the interiors rather than renovate the interiors of the prison.
  • When Andy goes to the library to begin work as Brooks' assistant and Brooks' crow, Jake, is squawking, Tim Robbins had to time his line, "Hey, Jake. Where's Brooks?" so that the crow wouldn't squawk over him, since the bird could not be trained to squawk on cue. Robbins was able to time his line perfectly by learning the bird's squawking patterns, for which writer/director Frank Darabont praised him.
  • When Andy first gets reassigned to the prison library, the first officer who comes to him for investment help approaches him by saying, "I'm Dekins." Roger Deakins was the cinematographer for the movie. While this is the case, Frank Darabont wrote the character of Dekins into the script before he hired his crew, as the same character was in the novella, and the different spelling confirms this.
  • The Rita Hayworth movie the prisoners are watching is Gilda (1946).
  • Frank Darabont watched Goodfellas (1990) every Sunday while shooting this film, and drew inspiration from it, on using voice-over narration and showing the passage of time.
  • On the wall in Andy Dufresne's cell is a picture of Albert Einstein. Tim Robbins, who portrayed Andy Dufresne, also starred in the fictional movie about Einstein, I.Q. (1994).
  • Rob Reiner loved Frank Darabont's script so much that he offered 2.5 million dollars for the rights to the script, so he could direct it. He wanted Harrison Ford and Tom Cruise to play Red and Andy respectively. Darabont seriously considered Reiner's offer, but ultimately decided that it was his "chance to do something really great" by directing the movie himself and even took a pay cut in order to be allowed to direct.
  • The man sitting behind Gil Bellows (Tommy Williams) on the bus is Dennis Baker, a former warden of the Ohio State Reformatory, where the primary filming took place.
  • The world premiere theatrical adaptation of the film was staged at Dublin's Gaiety Theatre in May 2009, featuring Kevin Anderson (Andy), Reg E. Cathey ("Red") and Keir Dullea (Brooks). Adapted by Owen O'Neill and Dave Johns, the play was directed by Peter Sheridan.
  • Red says he has no idea what the ladies in "The Marriage of Figaro" are singing about. Actually, they are composing a letter to the husband of one of them, inviting him to an assignation with the other in order to expose his infidelity.
  • While Mansfield locals were eager to be extras, many weren't available during the day due to their jobs or were only available for one day, which obviously would not work in a prison film. So, extras were found at a halfway house, some of them real-life ex-cons.
  • The prisoners are drinking Stroh's beer on the roof.
  • In Stephen King's original story, Red was written as a white Irishman. In the movie, they left the line, "Maybe it's 'cause I'm Irish," in as a joke, even after they had cast Morgan Freeman as Red.
  • The City of Mansfield, Ohio held all-day open auditions for extras. So much interest was shown that no people were accepted after three p.m.
  • The mugshots of a young-looking Red that are attached to his parole papers are actually pictures of Morgan Freeman's younger son, Alfonso Freeman. Alfonso also had a cameo in the movie as a con shouting, "Fresh fish! Fresh fish today! We're reeling 'em in!" (bottom left). A year after "The Shawshank Redemption", he appeared as a fingerprint technician in another Morgan Freeman movie, Se7en (1995).
  • The opera song that Andy Dufresne plays over the loud speakers is "Canzonetta sull'aria" from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro." It was Tim Robbins' idea for Andy to turn up the volume of the record player in the scene.
  • Andy Dufresne's Prison ID Number is 37927.
  • Stephen King sold the rights to his novella "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption" for only one thousand dollars, out of his friendship with Frank Darabont. They had become friends when Darabont adapted a short story of King's called "The Woman in the Room" for The Woman in the Room (1983) (King has a policy stating that any aspiring filmmaker can adapt his short stories for a buck) and King was thoroughly impressed. They maintained a pen-pal relationship and didn't actually meet until Darabont optioned "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption".
  • DIRECTOR_TRADEMARK(Frank Darabont): [Heywood Floyd]: Heywood and Floyd are the names of two Shawshank inmates. Heywood Floyd is a NASA administrator in books written by Arthur C. Clarke, including 2001: A Space Odyssey, and 2010: Odyssey Two.
  • Since the filming schedule was very tight in Mansfield, Ohio, anyone who held up the production time was threatened to be fined. Tim Robbins and William Sadler showed up late once, but were never fined. Filming in Mansfield finished ahead of schedule.
  • The role of Andy Dufresne was originally offered to Tom Hanks, who couldn't accept due to scheduling conflicts with Forrest Gump (1994). Hanks did, however, work on Frank Darabont's next film, The Green Mile (1999), also an adaptation of a Stephen King novel, which takes place in a prison.
  • Frank Darabont decided not to have the deleted scenes on the DVD release of the film, because he is embarrassed by them, and doesn't want them to be seen publicly.
  • Warden Norton whistles Martin Luther's signature hymn "Eine feste Burg ist unser Gott", or "A Mighty Fortress is Our God."
  • Voted #4 on Empire magazine's 500 Greatest Movies Of All Time (September 2008).
  • Voted #1 Must See Movie of all time by listeners of Capital FM in London.
  • After the film gained popularity, Ted Turner sold the television rights to TNT, his own network, for much lower than normal for such a big film. Because it is so inexpensive to show, the film is broadcast on TNT extremely often.
  • In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #72 Greatest Movie of All Time. It was the first inclusion of this film on the list.
  • In the close-up of Andy's hands loading the revolver in the opening scenes, the hands are actually those of Frank Darabont. Later in the film, while Andy carves his name into his cell wall (seen twice in the film), Darabont's hands are used again for the insert shot. These close-ups were filmed during post-production, notably because Darabont felt that only he could do exactly what he wanted in the close-ups.
  • Clancy Brown said that he had received several offers from real-life corrections officers to work with him, in order to make his portrayal of Captain Hadley more realistic. He turned them all down because Hadley was an evil character and he didn't want to misrepresent real corrections officers.
  • The American Humane Society monitored the filming of scenes involving Brooks' crow. During the scene where he fed it a maggot, the AHS objected on the grounds that it was cruel to the maggot, and required that they use a maggot that had died from natural causes. One was found, and the scene was filmed.
  • Although a very modest hit in theaters, it became one of the highest-grossing video rentals of all time.
  • Clancy Brown, who plays Captain Hadley in this film, played another character named Captain Hadley in The Guardian (2006).
  • Frank Darabont wrote the script in eight weeks.
  • Jeff Bridges, Tom Hanks, Kevin Costner, Tom Cruise, Matthew Broderick, Nicolas Cage, Johnny Depp and Charlie Sheen were all considered for the part of Andy Dufresne. Hanks turned it down, because he was committed to Forrest Gump (1994). Costner liked the script a lot, but was then embroiled in the filming of Waterworld (1995).
  • Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, Paul Newman, and Robert Redford were considered for the part of Red. In the original novel, Red is a middle-aged white Irishman with graying red hair. However, Frank Darabont always had Morgan Freeman in mind for the role, because of his authoritative presence, demeanor, and deep voice. Red's reply, "Maybe it's because I'm Irish," to Andy's inquiry about his nickname was kept in the film as a joke.
  • James Whitmore was cast in the part of Brooks, because he was one of Frank Darabont's favorite character actors.
  • Stephen King never cashed his $1,000 cheque for rights to the film. Several years after the movie came out, King got the cheque framed, and mailed it back to Frank Darabont with a note inscribed, "In case you ever need bail money. Love, Steve."
  • The film's initial gross of eighteen million dollars could not even cover the cost of its production. It did another ten million dollars in the wake of its Oscar nominations, but the film was still deemed to be a box-office failure.
  • Initially, Frank Darabont was planning to make his directorial debut with a Child's Play (1988) type of horror movie, although he wasn't particularly enthusiastic about the prospect of doing so. Instead, he decided to adapt Stephen King's atypical short story. The resulting script soon became a hot ticket around Hollywood, attracting interest from stars like Nicolas Cage and Tom Cruise.
  • Despite the film's box-office failure, Warner Brothers shipped 320,000 rental copies to U.S. video stores, a figure a spokesman freely admitted was "out of whack" with the film's performance in theaters. The film became the most rented video of 1995, and one of the highest-grossing video rentals of all time.
  • Many critics have spotted many allegorical themes in the film, generally along the lines that Andy Dufresne is a latter-day Jesus Christ. Frank Darabont refutes all such claims, although he is delighted that so many people have read so much into his film.
  • Frank Darabont took a pay cut, in order to be allowed to shoot his own script.
  • The most rented video of 1995.
  • Among the changes that Frank Darabont made to the story from the original novella was that there were originally three wardens and that Brooks' poignant story was conveyed in one paragraph.
  • One of the reasons why the full title of the Stephen King novella, "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption," was not employed was because there was a perception in Hollywood that the film was actually going to be a biopic of Rita Hayworth. Indeed, Frank Darabont even received solicitations of audition requests from several actresses and supermodels and their agents about playing the lead.
  • Andy and Red's opening chat in the prison yard, in which Red is throwing a baseball, took nine hours to shoot. Morgan Freeman threw the baseball for the entire nine hours without a word of complaint. He showed up for work the next day with his left arm in a sling.
  • This was Morgan Freeman's first time narrating a movie. Unusually, the narration was recorded before filming began and was then played on set to dictate the rhythm of each scene. Freeman recorded the guide track in an Iowa recording studio in only forty minutes. However, there was a minor hiss to the track, which sound engineers in Los Angeles were unable to eradicate. Consequently, it had to be re-recorded in a proper studio; this time it took three weeks.
  • DIRECTOR_TRADEMARK(Frank Darabont): [old movie clips]: The inmates are seen watching Gilda (1946). In the original novella, the prisoners watched The Lost Weekend (1945). Because the rights to the latter were owned by a different studio, Darabont looked to see which old films he could show without incurring costs. He was delighted to see that one that he was able to use was Gilda, one of the greatest hits of Rita Hayworth, whose image plays a pivotal role in the story.
  • The prison is located in the flightpath of C-130 Hercules aircraft of the 179th Airlift Wing, Ohio Air National Guard, which caused all sorts of sound problems.
  • Raquel Welch, whose One Million Years B.C. (1966) poster plays a significant role in the film, is a big fan of this movie.
  • The original story appears in "Different Seasons," a collection of short books by Stephen King that also includes "Apt Pupil" (filmed as Apt Pupil (1998)), "The Body" (filmed as Stand by Me (1986)) and "The Breathing Method." The last one is the only entry which has not been adapted into a film as of 2015. The "Apt Pupil" story briefly mentions that Andy Dufresne handled the finances of Apt Pupil's main bad guy Kurt Dussander between 1945 and 1947.
  • The fictional Shawshank prison is a staple of Stephen King's writing, most of which is set in Maine. While it only appears in this story, several other books and short stories mention characters who were sentenced to serve time at Shawshank. The prison is also mentioned in another Stephen King movie, Dolores Claiborne (1995), when Dolores (played by Kathy Bates) yells at her husband that he will do time in Shawshank for touching his daughter inappropriately.
  • Morgan Freeman's favorite film of his own.
  • The character Andy Dufresne had a cameo appearance in "Apt Pupil", another Stephen King novella. Andy handled the investments for Dussander, the Nazi in hiding.
  • The original story, "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption", appears in Stephen King's book, "Different Seasons", along with three other novellas. Only one of them, "The Breathing Method", has not been turned into a movie.
  • The Hungarian title of the movie is "A rem?ny rabjai" which means "Prisoners of Hope".
  • Although it is never directly stated in the film, Brooks is in prison for allegedly murdering his wife and daughter after a losing streak at poker.
  • The Italian title for the movie is "Le ali della libert?", which means "The Wings of Freedom".
  • The Norwegian title for the movie is "Frihetens Regn", which means "The Rain of Freedom."
  • Stephen King optioned the story "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption" to Frank Darabont for one thousand dollars.
  • * The Danish title for the movie is "En Verden Udenfor," which means "A World Outside". * The Finnish title is "Rita Hayworth - Avain pakoon" ("Rita Hayworth - The Key to Escape"). * The French title is "Les Evadés" ("The Escapees"). * The French Canadian title is "À l'ombre de Shawshank" ("Into the Shadow of Shawshank"). * The German title is "Die Verurteilten" ("The Convicts"). * The Greek title is "Teleutea Exodos - Rita Hayworth" ("Last Exit - Rita Hayworth"). * The Hungarian title is "A remény rabjai" ("Prisoners of Hope"). * The Israeli title is "Homot Shel Tikva" ("Walls of Hope"). * The Italian title is "Le ali della libertà" ("The Wings of Freedom"). * The Latin-American title is "Sueños de libertad" ("Dreams of Freedom"). * The Mexican title is "Sueños de Fuga" ("Dreams of Escape"). * The Norwegian title is "Frihetens Regn" ("The Rain of Freedom"). * The Portuguese title is "Um sonho de liberdade" ("A Dream of Freedom"). * The Romanian title is "Închisoarea îngerilor" ("Angels' Prison"). * The Russian title is "Pobeg iz Shoushenka" ("An Escape from Shawshank"). * The Spanish title is "Cadena Perpetua" ("Life Imprisonment"). * The Swedish title is "Nyckeln Till Frihet" ("The Key To Freedom").
  • The Romanian title for the movie is "?nchisoarea ?ngerilor", which means "Angels' Prison."
  • The name of Andy Dufresne's wife is Linda Collins-Dufresne. In the movie, she wasn't identified at all.
  • In the movie, Red says, "I committed murder," when Andy asks him why he's in Shawshank. The novella explains it in detail; Red is serving three life sentences for murdering his wife, his neighbor's wife, and his neighbor's son. Red disconnected the brakes on his car in order to kill his wife and collect on an insurance policy; he did not plan on two other people joining his wife for her ill-fated drive.
  • The green grass outside the Shawshank prison walls represent hope.
  • The Trailways coach in the last scene is a GM PD-4104, built in 1960 and delivered to the Carolina Scenic Trailways. The late Jon Hobein, the owner of the Blue Ridge Trailways, found and restored it around 1990. It's now property of the Capital Trailways, based in Montgomery, Alabama.
  • Clancy Brown (Captain Hadley) and Mark Rolston (Boggs Diamond) have voiced Lex Luthor in Superman cartoons.
  • All the pictures in Andy's cell, except for the big posters, were handpicked by Tim Robbins.
  • Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman later won Best Actor in a Supporting Role Oscars for films directed by Clint Eastwood: Robbins in Mystic River (2003) and Freeman in Million Dollar Baby (2004).
  • Frank Darabont wrote the screenplay on speculation, in an attempt to lift himself out of a rut of writing horror sequels, like The Fly II (1989) and A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987).
  • To prepare for his role as Andy Dufresne, Tim Robbins actually spent some time in solitary confinement. He asked to be locked in solitary for a while to get a feel for it, although he knew his experience wouldn't be the same because it was voluntary.
  • One of the film's signature setpieces - when Dufresne barricades himself in the Warden's office and serenades the prison with some opera - is not in the original Stephen King novella.
  • Despite being widely considered as one of the greatest movies of all time, it didn't receive a single Oscar win, though it was nominated for seven, including Best Picture.
  • "MOTHER" is carved on the wall above the big posters. Tim Robbins played Larry "Mother" Tucker in Fraternity Vacation (1985).
  • The quote, "Get busy living or get busy dying," inspired the title of the song "Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying (Do Your Part to Save the Scene and Stop Going to Shows)" by Fall Out Boy from their 2005 album "From Under the Cork Tree".
  • The Portuguese title for the movie is "Um sonho de liberdade" which in English means "A dream of freedom".
  • The three times Red meets the parole board he is told "Sit", "Sit down", and lastly "Please sit down".
  • The movie was given 151 hours - six days, seven hours - of airtime on U.S. channels in 2013 alone.
  • Although set in Maine, the success of the movie helped boost the fortunes of Mansfield, Ashland, and Upper Sandusky, Ohio, three towns that share thirteen sites used as locations. Tourism has increased every year since "The Shawshank Redemption" had its premiere, and according to the Mansfield/Richland County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the movie brought in more than 18,000 visitors, and produced an estimated 3-million dollar boost to the local economy in 2013.
  • There's now a Shawshank Trail for tourists, and local businesses have jumped on the bandwagon. In that part of Ohio, you can pick yourself up some Reformatory "Red" Wines, Shawshank Bundt Cakes, and the local Two Cousins' Pizza sells Redemption pie.
  • Four different pinup posters adorn Andy's cell in the original novella: Jayne Mansfield, Linda Ronstadt, Hazel Court, and Rita Hayworth. In the film, just three feature: Rita Hayworth, Marilyn Monroe, and Raquel Welch.
  • Frank Darabont dropped the "Rita Hayworth" element of the novella's title, because he thought he'd receive resumés from actresses, thinking the movie was a Hayworth biopic. It didn't do any good. During casting, Darabont received a call from an agent who represented a supermodel; he swore the script was the best she had ever read, and that she'd be perfect for the (non-existent) part of Hayworth.
  • Although it is never stated in the film, Brooks is in prison for murdering his wife and lover after she denied the affair. Meanwhile, in the book, Red's life term is not because of a botched robbery-turned-fatal-shooting, but for murdering his wife by disabling her brakes, which accidentally killed a neighbor and child as well.
  • Bull Durham (1988) co-stars Kevin Costner and Tim Robbins have both co-starred with Morgan Freeman. Costner in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) and Robbins in this film.
  • Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
  • In the original novella, Red is paid for his smuggling activities, not just through cigarettes, but actual cash that prisoners (including Andy) smuggled into Shawshank by hiding bills in their rectums.
  • When Boggs returns to his cell after spending time in the hole, to find the guard in his cell, there is a book called "Calamity Range" visible on the shelf. Written in 1939 by Paul Evan Lehman, "Calamity Range" is described as a fiction publication about finding retribution and vendetta, set in the western United States.
  • The Royal River is mentioned in several of Stephen King's novels, including "The Body" where the boys cross it, only to be attacked by leeches, as well as "Salem's Lot", and "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption", as the river into which Andy throws his gun.
  • Clancy Brown also plays a prison guard in The Hurricane (1999).
  • According to Morgan Freeman, the shoot was fraught with "extreme tension" as there were constant differences between the actors, the producers, and Frank Darabont. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he said the atmosphere was "very strange" and he refused to talk about it any further.
  • The movie is based on a Stephen King novella, "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption", published as a collection of four short stories, titled Different Seasons. The book also included The Body and Apt Pupil, both were also adapted into films.
  • Red's cell number is 237. In The Shining (1980) (also based on a book by Stephen King), the dead woman resides at The Overlook Hotel in room 237 (in the book it is room 217).
  • Though Red traffics in, and is often seen with packs of cigarettes (he gives packs to Heywood, Brooks Hatlen, and Laundry Leonard), he is never seen smoking in the film.
  • Tim Robbins once credited the movie as being a uniquely non-sexual love story between two men.
  • Stephen King and Frank Darabont disagreed about who plays Floyd, in that King believed he looked like Neville Brand, and Darabont believed he looked like Lee Marvin.
  • According to Frank Darabont, Raquel Welch loves this movie.
  • Tim Robbins handpicked the photos that decorated his cell.
  • Tim Robbins asked to be locked in solitary for a while to get a feel for it. He knew his experience wouldn't be the same because it was voluntary.
  • Morgan Freeman's voice-over was already recorded, and brought to the set. When filming, they timed their lines to blend with his voice-over.
  • When Mark Rolston came in to audition, Frank Darabont said, "Oh my god, it's Drake from 'Aliens'!"
  • This was Morgan Freeman's first time narrating a movie.
  • While he was writing the screenplay, Frank Darabont was getting into opera. When he felt "trapped" in the writing process, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro" would lift his spirits.
  • Stephen King has considered this to be one of his favorite film adaptations based on his own work.
  • Jon Favreau auditioned for the role of Fat Ass. He later told Empire Magazine that this was the worst audition he ever did, and it encouraged him to try and lose weight.
  • Clancy Brown plays the role of an evil inmate with authority in Bad Boys (1983) as opposed to an evil guard with authority in this movie.
  • This movie was released the day after Friends (1994) aired its first episode.
  • Seven of the main actors have been involved in superhero stories: Tim Robbins in Green Lantern (2011); Morgan Freeman in the Dark Knight trilogy; Bob Gunton and Clancy Brown in the Netflix series Daredevil (2015); William Sadler in Iron Man 3 (2013); Clancy Brown in Thor: Ragnarok (2017); and Mark Rolston provided voice work for Young Justice (2010).
  • In the middle of the film, when the bus is bringing Tommy Williams to Shawshank, the man sitting behind him on the bus is Dennis Baker, who had been the real-life warden of the Ohio State Reformatory (where Shawshank was filmed).
  • Whenever you see just Andy's hands in the movie (most notably in the early scene during the murder) you're not seeing Tim Robbins hands. Frank Darabont prefers to use his own.
  • Although never mentioned in the film, the character of Brooks is in prison for allegedly murdering his family after a losing streak in poker.
  • Alfonso Freeman (Morgan Freeman's son) can be heard early in the film, when Andy arrives at Shawshank (he plays a prisoner who shouts, "Fresh fish! Fresh fish today! We're reeling 'em in!").
  • Zihuatanejo is a town in Mexico. But they actually filmed the final scene on a beach in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Stephen King's novella shares several plot points with a nine-page short story written by Leo Tolstoy called "God Sees the Truth, But Waits." Both are about men sent to prison for murders they didn't commit.
  • Frank Darabont wrote the script in eight weeks.
  • Goodfellas (1990) inspired the film's style. Frank Darabont says his main source of inspiration was its use of voice-over narration, and editing techniques.
  • The tree where Red finds Andy's letter isn't in Buxton, Maine. It's in Ohio's Malabar Farm State Park.
  • As of July 23, 2016, the white oak featured near the end of the movie has fallen down on Pleasant Valley Road near Malabar Farm in Ohio due to strong winds. The oak had survived a lightning strike that occurred on July 29, 2011.
  • This film is the second time that James Whitmore (who plays Brooks in this film) plays an incarcerated character who fears release. The first, was On Thursday We Leave for Home (1963).
  • The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list.
  • Sidney Poitier turned down the role of Red, as he didn't feel that playing a convict was providing a good example.
  • In the original novella, Andy's prisoner number is 81433, but in the movie, it is 37947. The latter possibly refers to July 1947 when Andy's wife went to the golf course. Also, Stephen King was born in 1947.
  • William Sadler's first of three appearances, in a Frank Darabont film, based on Stephen Kings work. He later appeared in The Green Mile (1999) and The Mist (2007).
  • Clancy Brown's second of two appearances in a movie based on Stephen King's work. He also appeared in Pet Sematary II (1992).
  • The Shawshank Redemption first received a limited release in North America on September 23, 1994 to just 33 theaters. It received a wide release to approximately 910 additional theaters on the same date that Pulp Fiction (1994) opened, on October 14, 1994. Both movies were nominated for 7 Academy awards each, both movies gained cult status in following years and both are listed within the top 10 in IMDb's top 250 movies. (As of July 2017)
  • Latin American spanish title for the movie is "Sue?os de Fuga" that means: "Jailbreak Dreams".
  • When the police come to arrest Norton, you can see the state seal of Ohio on the doorknob as it's turning.
  • Ranked #10 in Entertainment Weekly's "Top 50 Cult Films of All-Time."
  • John Horton [1946 Judge] played another judge in Thinner (1996), which is also an adaptation of a Stephen King story.
  • Exterior filming was done in what was once the Ohio State Reformatory, which also was the filming site for Robert Redford's 1980 prison drama, Brubaker.
  • Bob Gunton plays a warden in this movie. In Demolition Man (1993) while speaking to Lelina Huxley, he mentions her conversation with the warden.
  • Robert Redford's film "Brubaker" and "The Shawshank Redemption" were filmed at the same prison. Morgon Freeman's first film role was in "Brubaker".
  • The hebrew title of the film is "Homot Shel Tikva", which means "Walls Of Hope".
  • Charlie Sheen loved the script so much that he called up an executive he knew at Castle Rock and said "I'll do this film for fucking scale" (actor's minimum). Sheen even offered to film a 30-minute test reel with him playing Red to show he could do the job, but Castle Rock said no, and according to Sheen, they cast Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman in the lead roles not long afterwards.
  • Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the 400 movies nominated for the Top 100 Greatest American Movies.
  • Red's cell number in the film is cell 237. This could very well be a reference to room 237 in another Stephan King adaptation, The Shining.
  • Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman who starred in this movie went on to be in DC Comics movies. Freeman played Lucius Fox in The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005-2012) and Joe in RED (2010) and Tim Robbins in Green Lantern (2011).
  • 3 years after the release of The Shawshank Redemption, Jeffrey DeMunn (D.A. who helps convict Dufresne at the beginning of the movie) and William Sadler (Heywood) would go on to co-star in RocketMan (1997).
  • The film's seven Academy Award nominations didn't include Production Design for Terence Marsh, who won two Oscars for Art Direction in the 1960s. According to director Frank Darabont, the prison set Marsh built in an abandoned manufacturing plant looked so realistic that everyone thought it was a real prison.
  • This was DP Roger Deakins' first Oscar nomination for Best Cinematography. It would be 23 years and 12 nominations later that he finally won the coveted Statuette, for Blade Runner 2049 (2017).
  • The only film that year nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, and not in any Best Motion Picture category at the Golden Globes.
  • In April 2018, while a guest on NPR's "It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders," Tim Robbins talked about how often strangers tell him they love this movie: "I'm proud of that film, really proud of that film....I've talked to Morgan about this. It's a pretty special...it's unlike other films that people talk to you about. It's very important to people, in a deep way. And it's beyond just liking the film. It's more profound than that. I've had people tell me that it's shifted the way they think, that it brought them out of a depression, that it made them understand a deeper truth about themselves. That's a pretty cool thing to be involved in, and when people are telling you, pretty much on a daily basis, 'you're in my favorite movie of all time,' that's a pretty cool bucket list thing to check off....you know, I don't have to do that now in my life."
  • Towards the end of the movie you hear The Miranda Rights being read. The movie takes place in 1947 and The Miranda Rights had not been created yet.
  • The cell block of the prison was built on a set, using opaque plastic sheeting over the windows so that lamps could be used to simulate sunlight. During a break between takes, director Frank Darabont and then extra Michael C. Poole, now a movie director, were going to get coffee when they discovered that one of the crew had accidentally placed a lamp too close to a plastic window, catching it on fire. They saved the set from burning down.
  • Camera angles were used to make Tim Robbins appear even more tall than his 6'5'' stature, especially next to Brian Libby (Floyd) who is an inch shorter.
  • The Ohio State Reformatory was used for exterior shots for both "The Shawshank Redemption" and the Robert Redford prison movie Brubaker (1980). Morgan Freeman played a prisoner in both movies.
  • The first IMDb title to have over 2 million votes.
  • Symbolic references can be found in many areas of the movie. For example, Red's full name is Ellis Redding. Ellis is a Welsh derivative of "elus" meaning "kindly, benevolent" and Redding as a Germanic surname means "counsel, advice" (Ellis Redding = "benevolent counselor"). Andy Dufresne has the symbolism of being the savior for many inmates in the prison. Andy's name (Andrew) means "brave, strong, courageous", and his initials are A. D. (anno Domini, "the year of our lord"). Andy's main antagonist is the Warden who is symbolized as the devil (Lucifer means "bringer of light"). When asked what his favorite passage in the Bible is, he references "I am the light of the world..."
  • The last word spoken in the movie is "hope", a major theme of the film.
  • Though Shawshank Prison is supposedly in Maine, not a single character speaks with a New England accent.
  • If Andy had been incarcerated in just one cell to the left he would have had nowhere to tunnel to except the next cell, and thus would have had no amazing story to tell.
  • Although first time viewers may know how the film ends, it can still play as a dark but fun movie spotting all the clues as to the ending that the prison officers, and Red, missed, even though most of it was hidden in plain sight.
  • This film shows Morgan Freeman extensively use his Left Hand throughout the story. He is naturally left-handed, until the road traffic incident in 2008 which affected his use of left arm and hand since.
  • At the beginning of the film when Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is on trial, and testifying in his defense, he mentions to the D.A. that he threw his gun into a river, a gun which was never found according to the D.A. In reality, this was a big mistake. Forensic ballistics did exist in the 1940s. Had Andy kept his gun, a ballistics test would show that the bullets fired from the gun of Elmo Blatch (Bill Bolender), which killed Andy's wife and her lover, could not have been fired from Andy's gun. In real life, a person not committing murder would want to keep any and all firearms he/she possesses so that ballistics tests could prove that none of his/her gun(s) were the murder weapon in a homicide.
  • 5 characters in the film are over 6 feet in the film, Bob Hutton and Morgan Freeman are both 6'2, Clancy Brown is 6'3, Brian Libby is 6'4½, Tim Robbins is 6'5.

Spoilers

  • The final scene was filmed on the U.S. Virgin islands in the Caribbean, but in the film it is supposed to be the Pacific Ocean.
  • The candy tin, with money and a letter that Andy buries, features a picture of the ocean liner RMS Queen Mary. It was issued in the 1950s as part of a series by a British company called Benson's.
  • Red says that Andy broke out in 1966. This was the same year as the landmark Miranda v. Arizona case before the U.S. Supreme Court, where it was decided that a defendant must be informed of his or her rights, when being arrested. That's why at the end of the film, when they arrest Captain Hadley (Clancy Brown), the officer is reading his Miranda rights from a piece of paper.
  • There are several similarities to the Alexandre Dumas novel, "The Count of Monte Cristo" (which is also mentioned during the film). The Dumas novel involved a man falsely imprisoned for a crime, who later makes a daring escape after spending years digging a tunnel. After escaping, he acquired hidden treasure which he learned about in jail, and executed a plan of revenge against those who imprisoned him.
  • Andy and Red escape to Zihuatanejo, a Mexican paradise in the Pacific coastal state of Guerrero. In 1966, it was still a small fishing village, which matches how Andy first described it to Red, but has since grown into a large tourist city. The U.S. Virgin Islands stood in for Zihuatanejo in the film.
  • Red describes Andy's dream as "shitty pipe dreams". During his escape to live that dream, Andy crawls through a pipe filled with raw sewage.
  • The rock wall where Red's "treasure" is buried, was built specifically for the film and stood for many years. It was built by hand, by the art department several months before filming began. This allowed for the alfalfa to grow, to make it look weathered. Eventually, the wall was sold on eBay, one rock at a time, by the farmer who owned the land, on which it stood. The tree at the end of the wall, stood until it was cleaved in two by a lightning strike in 2011. A portion of its remains now stands, propped up, by the pond on the grounds of the Ohio State Reformatory.
  • In 2007, two inmates of Union County Prison escaped from there using techniques similar to those featured in this movie. Their escape led to the suicide of prison guard Rudolph Zurick. When the escapees were captured, they denied responsibility for Zurick's death.
  • The beach-set reunion at the end was shot at the studio's insistence.
  • For the sewage tunnel sequence, Tim Robbins initially refused to immerse himself in the muddy water at the end of the pipe after a chemist tested the water and dubbed it lethal.
  • The prison that played Shawshank, the Ohio State Reformatory, now serves as a museum. Because it was scheduled for demolition at the time of filming, several set pieces remain intact in the prison, including the tunnel Andy crawled through, and the Warden's office.
  • The ambulance that took Boggs away had to be pushed, as its engine had died.
  • Buxton, where Andy says he proposed to his wife, and buried the "treasure" for Red under the tree, is a real-life small town in Maine (population 7,452 as of the 2000 census), about fifteen miles west of Portland, where Andy was a banker.
  • Frank Darabont preferred to end the film with Red searching for Andy. In fact, if he had been allowed to shoot the ending as he wanted, the closing shot would have been Red on the bus heading for the field. Darabont wanted to end on an open, ambiguous note. But Castle Rock insisted on a reunion between the two to please audiences. So instead of showing us a teary reunion, the film observes it from a distance -- Darabont's response to Castle Rock's demands.
  • The headline on Norton's newspaper, after Andy's escape reads: "CORRUPTION, MURDER AT SHAWSHANK D.A. Has Ledger-Indictments Expected".
  • The 370,000 dollars Andy stole from the Warden in 1966 may not seem a huge amount for a twenty-year incarceration, but adjusted for inflation to 2014, Andy stole the equivalent of 2,703,467 dollars.
  • When the warden flips through Andy's Bible after his escape, he finds the cut out space where Andy's digging tool was hidden starting in the book of Exodus, which tells the story of Hebrew slaves escaping from Egypt. Exodus literally means "to escape or depart."
  • Body count: six (two of which are unseen).
  • There are only two women with speaking roles in the film: the customer who complains about Brooks' service at the grocery store, and the lady who attends to Andy at the bank following his escape.
  • The film is generally faithful to the Stephen King novella. Here are some of the differences: * The novella specifies that Andy smuggled five hundred dollars into the prison in his rectum; exactly how he pays Red the agreed-upon price of ten dollars for the rock hammer is never made clear in the film. * Andy orders a second rock hammer from Red in the novella, after the first wears down. This does not occur in the film. * Multiple wardens oversee the prison in the novella. They are combined into the character of Norton in the film. For example, in the novella, the warden who agrees to mail Andy's letters, and the warden who treats him so harshly at the end, are not the same person. * In addition to Red being a white Irishman, the novella also gives details of his crime that the film doesn't. * In the film, Hadley and his guards beat up Boggs as a favor to Andy for all his financial tips. In the novella, Andy uses the money he smuggled into the prison to pay thugs to do it. * Tommy's story is slightly different. He tells Andy that his old cellmate bragged that the double-murder he committed was pinned on a lawyer, rather than a banker, and Andy latches onto the idea that the two professions were commonly confused at that time. * Tommy is also not killed in the novella; after agreeing not to testify on Andy's behalf, he is sent to another prison. * The ending received perhaps the most significant changes. The narrative Red gives of the time Andy spent in prison is different. In the novella, Andy spent 26 years in prison before his ultimate escape. In the film, he spends 19, as Red narrates "...Andy did it (picked through the wall in his cell) in less than 20." * In addition, Red's narrative of the story of Andy Dufresne is a memoir Red has written in Shawshank after Andy's escape, and when he is surprisingly paroled he leaves the prison with the manuscript and concludes it with the confidence that he is going to travel to Mexico to find Andy. In the film there is no indication that Red has put his account on paper. * When Red is released from Shawshank Prison, he finds a package Andy left for him in a hay field. In the film, he simply goes directly to it; while in the novella, his hunt for the appropriate hay field is a fairly substantial piece of the plot. * The final scene of Andy sanding a boat on the beach as Red meets him again, is not present in the novella, which ends with Red on his way South to meet Andy. The matter of whether they found each other again is left ambiguous.
  • When Andy and Red are talking in the library, about how the money that the warden scams is laundered, Andy mentions "second cousin to Harvey the rabbit". This is a reference to "Harvey," a play published in 1944, about a 6'3'' invisible rabbit, who can only be seen by the main character, Elwood P. Dowd.
  • On Andy's first night at Shawshank, there is a shot of the prison from the outside. This shot is from right near the creek, through which Andy runs, when he escapes nineteen years later.
  • Bob Gunton pointed out that Tim Robbins' towering 6'5" height narrowed down the number of actors who could play Warden Norton as Gutton is 3 inches shorter at 6'2, since Andy's escape plan is dependent on stealing and wearing Norton's suit.
  • For the escape scene, the sewage, through which Tim Robbins was crawling, was a mix of sawdust, chocolate syrup, and water. Fans who visit the site, say they can still smell chocolate.
  • In French, Dufresne means "ash" or "ash tree." The ash tree in folklore and symbolism is typically representative of healing, while also a sign of death and rebirth, all of which apply to Andy, his sentence, and his eventual escape from Shawshank.
  • Stephen King's one criticism of the movie was that Andy's tunnel is too round. According to Frank Darabont, he compared it to a Wile E. Coyote's tunnel.
  • There were numerous deleted scenes from the film, mainly cut for pacing purposes, including: 1. A sequence where the convicts find Jake (Brooks's pet crow) dead in a field sometime after Brooks has left the prison, and the convicts give Jake a funeral and burial. This deletion ends up providing a subtle thematic shift; as scripted, both Brooks and Jake represent the dangers of institutionalization, but as depicted on screen, Jake ends up foreshadowing Andy's successful escape in the climax of the film. 2. Tommy's young wife visiting him, their conversations providing a more vivid illustration into why Tommy decides to turn his life around, and approaches Andy to work on getting his G.E.D. 3. After Andy's escape, an unfortunate guard is sent into his tunnel to see where it leads, and when he sees the sewage pipe broken, and smells the overwhelming odor of shit, he vomits - loudly. Red hears this happen from his own cell, and cracks up laughing. He's sent to solitary confinement for two weeks, where he continues laughing, thus learning for himself what Andy (in the aftermath of the loudspeaker incident) had meant about "easy time" in the hole. 4. Red's feelings on the 1960s after he is paroled, as well as a panic attack in the grocery store, that sends him running for a bathroom cubicle that calms him down because it reminds him of his cell - thus making his choice to find the tree and rock wall more meaningful, because it runs counter to Brooks' choice.
  • The giant oak tree, to which Red travels, is in Lucas, Ohio. It became a popular tourist destination, but unfortunately, it got struck by lightning in 2011, and eventually fell down in July 2016.
  • When Andy is making his escape, he crawls through a drainage tunnel filled with raw sewage. The sludge was actually a mixture of chocolate syrup, sawdust, and water, and two decades later, the pipes still smell like cocoa.
  • There are only two female speaking parts in the entire film. One is the customer who complains about Brooks' service at the grocery store, and the other, is the bank teller who attends to Andy at the bank following his escape.
  • Every take of Tim Robbins raising his arms outstretched in the rain after Andy breaks out of prison was out of focus except the one in the film. It was the final take.
  • If the original court case evidence was correct, the other shooter doesn't jive with them claiming that his finger prints were on the shell casings found at the scene of the crime. If they wanted to support the notion he was possibly innocent, that should not have been said.
  • When the prison warden found the Bible where Andy had hidden the rock hammer, it was in the book of Exodus. Exodus is a Greek word meaning "departure."
  • Andy's rock hammer was hidden inside his bible, with pages cut out starting in the book of Exodus.
  • The ending scene where Red finds Andy was filmed at Sandy Point National Reserve on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands and a replica of the boat Andy is working on can be found in the Salt River Marina on St. Croix
  • After ransacking Andy's cell with his Guards, the Warden almost walks away with Andy's Bible. As he hands it back to Andy he states "Salvation lies within". Little does he know that he just handed Andy back the rock hammer that will eventually lead to Andy's salvation (escape). It is assumed the Warden realizes his part in aiding Andy's escape upon finding that Bible in his safe with the rock hammer cutout within the pages.
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