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The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  14 October 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 9.3/10 from 1,532,799 users   Metascore: 80/100
Reviews: 3,762 user | 192 critic | 19 from

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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Top 250 Movies #1 | Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 16 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 <>

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?


Rob Reiner loved Frank Darabont's script so much that he offered $2.5 million for the rights to the script so he could direct it. Darabont seriously considered Reiner's offer but ultimately decided that it was his "chance to do something really great" by directing the movie himself. Reiner wanted Harrison Ford and Tom Cruise to play Red and Andy respectively. See more »


There is a typo in the credits of the film. The title for "Additional ADR Recordists" is misspelled as "Aditional ADR Recordists." 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 »


Spoofed in Family Guy: Cool Hand Peter (2011) See more »


Lovesick Blues
by Cliff Friend and Irving Mills
Performed by Hank Williams
Courtesy of PolyGram Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Stephen King's best adapted movie
13 July 1999 | by (Toronto, Ontario) – See all my reviews

Misery and Stand By Me were the best adaptations up until this one, now you can add Shawshank to that list.

This is simply one of the best films ever made and I know I am not the first to say that and I certainly won't be the last. The standing on the IMDb is a true barometer of that. #3 as of this date and I'm sure it could be number 1. So I'll just skip all the normal praise of the film because we all know how great it is. But let me perhaps add that what I find so fascinating about Shawshank is that Stephen King wrote it.

King is one of the best writers in the world. Books like IT and the Castle Rock series are some of the greatest stories ever told. But his best adaptations are always done by the best directors. The Shining was brilliantly interpreted by Kubrick and of course the aforementioned Misery and Stand By Me are both by Rob Reiner. Now Frank Darabont comes onto the scene and makes arguably the best King film ever. He seems to understand what King wants to say and he conveys that beautifully.

What makes this film one of the best ever made is the message it conveys. It is one of eternal hope. Andy Dufresne, played by Tim Robbins, has been sent to prison for a crime he did not commit. But he never loses hope. He never gives up his quest to become a free man again. His years of tenacity, patience and wits keep him not only sane, but it gives his mind and a spirit a will to live. This film has a different feel to it. There has never been anything like it before and I don't know if there will again.

I'm not going to say any more about this film, it has already been said, but just suffice to say that I am glad that Forrest Gump won best picture in 94. I would have been equally glad if Pulp Fiction or Shawshank would have won. It is that good of a movie and one that will be appreciated for years to come.

538 of 663 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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