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The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  14 October 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 9.3/10 from 1,538,176 users   Metascore: 80/100
Reviews: 3,772 user | 192 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.



(short story "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption"), (screenplay)
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Title: The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

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Top Rated Movies #1 | Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
1946 D.A.
Guard Mert


Andy Dufresne is a young and successful banker whose life changes drastically when he is convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his wife and her lover. Set in the 1940s, the film shows how Andy, with the help of his friend Red, the prison entrepreneur, turns out to be a most unconventional prisoner. Written by Martin Lewison <milst1@cislabs.pitt.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free.


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and prison violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

14 October 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)


£2,344,349 (UK) (19 May 1995)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of the reasons why they didn't employ the full title of the Stephen King novella - "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption" - was because there was a perception in Hollywood that this was actually going to be a biopic of Rita Hayworth. Indeed, Frank Darabont even received solicitations of audition request from several actresses and supermodels and their agents about playing the lead. See more »


The recording of "Le nozze di Figaro" is from 1968 (recorded by Deutsche Grammophon and directed by Karl Böhm). See more »


[first lines]
District Attorney: Mr. Dufresne, describe the confrontation you had with your wife the night that she was murdered.
Andy Dufresne: It was very bitter. She said she was glad I knew, that she hated all the sneaking around. And she said that she wanted a divorce in Reno.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The man who cried and was beaten when Andy first arrived is listed and credited as "Fat Ass" -- the other inmates' nickname for him. See more »


References La Grande Illusion (1937) See more »


Duettino - Sull'aria
from opera "Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro)"
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte (uncredited)
Performed by Edith Mathis (uncredited) and Gundula Janowitz (uncredited)
Chor und Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin
Conducted by Karl Böhm
Courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon, by arraingement with PolyGram Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

This is How Movies Should Be Made
18 February 2008 | by (Queens, New York) – See all my reviews

This movie is not your ordinary Hollywood flick. It has a great and deep message. This movie has a foundation and just kept on being built on from their and that foundation is hope.

Other than just the message of this movie the acting was phenomenal. Tim Robbins gave one of the greatest performances ever. He was inspiring, intelligent and most of all positive. His performance just made me smile. Robbins plays Andy Dufresne who was wrongfully convicted of murdering his wife and her lover. He is gets to life sentences but yet never gives up hope. In he becomes friends with Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding played by Morgan Freeman. Freeman who gives the finest performance of his career has unlike Robbins lost hope. He is in deep regret of the crime that he committed. His way of deflecting the pain away is by trying to not feel anything at all. With his friendship with Andy he learns that without our hopes and dreams we have nothing. Andy also becomes friends with the rest of Red's group. James Whitmore also gave a great performance as Brooks Halten who gets out of prison parole but in the words of Red he has been "institutionalized".

The directing by Frank Darabont was just magnificent. He kept this movie at a great steady pace along with the writing and great cinematography. He portrayed prison life in such a horrifying way, but not in terms of the physical pain but the stress and pain that wares mentally on the inmates, some of which deserve a second chance.

Whatever you do, don't listen to the people who say this movie is overrated because this is one of the most inspiring and greatest movies ever. It has everything you could possibly want.

402 of 464 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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