The Shawshank Redemption (1994) Poster


Stephen King sold the rights to the novella Rita Hayworth & Shawshank Redemption very cheaply out of his friendship with Frank Darabont. They had originally become friends when Darabont adapted a short story of King's called 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 Shawshank.
Jump to: Director Trademark (2) | Spoilers (27)
Andy and Red's opening chat in the prison yard, in which Red is pitching a baseball, took nine hours to shoot. Morgan Freeman pitched that baseball for the entire nine hours without a word of complaint. He showed up for work the next day with his arm in a sling.
Morgan Freeman's favorite film of his own.
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 adapt to this and time his line perfectly by learning the bird's squawking patterns, for which director Frank Darabont praised him. Robbins' improvisation is noticeable as he watches the bird carefully while approaching it, waiting for it to squawk, and doesn't begin his line until after it does so.
Director 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.
Although a very modest hit in theaters, it became one of the highest-grossing video rentals of all time.
Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, Paul Newman and Robert Redford were all considered for the part of Red. In the original novella, Red is a middle-aged 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. Darabont alluded to the casting choice by having Red jokingly reply to Andy's inquiry about his nickname with the line, "Maybe it's because I'm Irish."
The mugshots of a young-looking Morgan Freeman that are attached to his parole papers are actually pictures of Morgan'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 (1994), he appeared as a Fingerprint Technician in another Morgan Freeman movie, Se7en (1995).
Jeff Bridges, Tom Hanks, Kevin Costner, Tom Cruise, 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).
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.
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.
Tim Robbins thought of the idea of his character, Andy Dufresne, turning up the volume of the record player in the scene where he plays the Opera music over the PA.
Raquel Welch, whose One Million Years B.C. (1966) poster plays a significant role in the film, is a big fan of the finished movie.
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.
The most rented video of 1995.
In the movie, Red says, "I committed murder," when Andy asks him what he's in Shawshank for. The source novella explains 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 to collect on an insurance policy; he did not plan on two other people joining his wife for her ill-fated drive.
Clancy Brown said that he received several offers from real-life corrections officers to work with him 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.
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.
The film's initial gross of $18 million could not even cover the cost of its production. It did another $10 million in the wake of its Oscar nominations, but the film was still deemed to be a box office flop.
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.
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 American Humane Association monitored the filming of scenes involving Brooks' crow. During the scene where he fed it a maggot, the AHA 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.
Director 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.
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.
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.
Unusually, the voiceover narration was recorded before filming began and was then played on set to dictate the rhythm of each scene. The guide track was recorded in an Iowa recording studio by Morgan Freeman in only 40 minutes. Unfortunately, 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.
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.
In the closeup 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 closeups were filmed during post production, notably because Darabont felt that only he could do exactly what he wanted in the closeups.
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.
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.
Frank Darabont took a pay cut in order to be allowed to shoot his own script.
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 7 including best picture.
Frank Darabont wrote the script in eight weeks.
The character Andy Dufresne had a cameo appearance in 'Apt Pupil', another Stephen King novelette. Andy handled the investments for Dussander, the Nazi in hiding.
Despite its box office failure, Warner Brothers shipped 320,000 rental copies to US video stores, a figure a spokesman freely admitted was "out of whack" with the film's performance in the theaters.
Voted #4 on Empire magazine's 500 Greatest Movies Of All Time (September 2008).
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.
To prepare for his role as Andy Dufresne, Tim Robbins actually spent some time in solitary confinement.
The opera song that Andy Dufresne plays over the loud speakers is "Canzonetta sull'aria" from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro."
James Whitmore was cast in the part of Brooks because he was one of Frank Darabont's favorite character actors.
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. Shawshank prison is 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 (inappropriately) touching his daughter. They only mention the prison, they don't show the prison.
The exteriors were filmed at the defunct Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio. The prison was in such poor condition, 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 renovating the interiors of Mansfield.
Every picture, except for the big posters, in Andy's cell were all hand picked by actor Tim Robbins himself.
The City of Mansfield, Ohio held all day open auditions for extras. So much interest was shown that they accepted no more people after 3pm.
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.
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.
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.
Red says he has no idea what the ladies in The Marriage of Figaro are singing about. Actually, they're composing a letter to the husband of one of them inviting him to an assignation with the other in order to expose his infidelity.
The original story appears in Different Seasons, a collection of short books by Stephen King that also includes 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.
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.
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 Shawshank prison, in the book and in the movie, was loosely based on Thomaston prison, an aging prison located in Thomaston, Maine. That real life prison closed in 2004 due to its small size and dilapidated structure.
Since filming schedule was very tight in Mansfield, Ohio anyone who held up production time were threatened to be fined. Both Tim Robbins and William Sadler showed up late once but were never fined. Filming in Mansfield, Ohio finished ahead of schedule.
Voted #1 Must See Movie of all time by listeners of Capital FM in London.
This was Morgan Freeman's first time narrating a movie.
There were numerous deleted scenes from the film, mainly cut for pacing purposes, including:

. 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.

. 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 GED.

. 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 into and smells the overwhelming odour 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.

. 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's choice.
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.
Warden Norton whistles Martin Luther's signature hymn "Eine feste Burg ist unser Gott", or "A Mighty Fortress is Our God."
Although it is never stated in the film, Brooks is in prison for murdering his wife and daughter after a losing streak at poker. 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 neighbour and child, as well as her.
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.
Both Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman won Best Supporting Actor Oscars for films directed by Clint Eastwood: Robbins in Mystic River (2003) and Freeman in Million Dollar Baby (2004).
The three times Red meets the parole board he is told "Sit", "Sit down" and lastly "Please sit down".
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).
The name of Andy Dufresne's wife is Linda Collins-Dufresne. In the movie, she wasn't identified at all.
The Rita Hayworth movie the prisoners are watching is Gilda (1946).
Although set in Maine, the success of the movie helped boost the fortunes of Mansfield, Ashland and Upper Sandusky, Ohio, three towns that share 13 sites used as locations. Tourism has increased every year since Shawshank 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 boost to the local economy in 2013.
Clancy Brown, who plays Captain Hadley in this film, played another character named Captain Hadley in The Guardian (2006).
Frank Darabont wrote the screenplay on spec in an attempt to lift himself out a rut of writing horror sequels like The Fly II (1989) and A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987).
Frank Darabont dropped the "Rita Hayworth" element of the novella's title because he thought he'd receive resumes from actors 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.
The Italian title for the movie is "Le ali della libertà", which means "The Wings of Freedom."
Tim Robbins once credited the movie as being a uniquely nonsexual love story between two men.
The movie was given 151 hours - 6 days, 7 hours - of airtime on US channels in 2013 alone.
The prisoners are drinking Stroh's beer on the roof.
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.
Four different pinup posters adorn Andy's cell in the novella: Jayne Mansfield, Linda Ronstadt, Hazel Court and Rita Hayworth. In the film just three feature: Rita Hayworth, Marilyn Monroe, and Raquel Welch.
The original story, "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption", appears in Stephen King's book, 'Different Seasons', along with three other short novellas. Only one of them, 'The Breathing Method', has not been turned into a movie.
In the novella Red is paid for his smuggling activities not just through cigarettes, but actual cash that prisoners (including Andy) themselves smuggled into Shawshank by hiding bills in their rectums.
There's now a Shawshank Trail for tourists, and local businesses are right 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 (pictured).
The Romanian title for the movie is "Închisoarea îngerilor", which means "Angels' Prison."
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 $1000.
Jon Favreau auditioned for the role of Fat Butt. He later told Empire Magazine that this was the worst audition he ever did and it encouraged him to try and lose weight.
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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 about 1990. It's now a property of the Capital Trailways, based in Montgomery, Alabama.
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 himself seen smoking in the film.
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
The Hungarian title of the movie is "A Remény Rabjai" which means "The Prisoners of Hope."
'Stephen King' (I) (Qv)'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 tunnel.
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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'.
Red's cell number is 237. The same number of the room where the dead woman resides at The Overlook Hotel in The Shining.
(May 14 - June 20, 2009) The world premiere theatrical adaptation of the film was staged at Dublin's Gaiety Theatre 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.
Stephen King has considered this to be one of his favorite film adaptations based on his own work.
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The green grass outside the Shawshank prison walls represent hope.
The Royal River is mentioned in several of Maine-native Stephen King''s novels, including The Body, when 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 threw his gun.
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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.
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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 Dekins into the original script before he hired his crew, as the same character was in the novella, and the different way of spelling confirms this.
Tim Robbins handpicked the photos that decorated his cell.
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Andy Dufresne's Prison ID Number is 37927.
Both Clancy Brown (Captain Hadley) and Mark Rolston (Boggs Diamond) have voiced the character of Lex Luthor in Superman cartoons.
Morgan Freeman's voice-over was all pre-recorded and brought to the set. When filming, they timed their lines to blend with his voice-over.
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The Portuguese title for the movie is "Um sonho de liberdade" which in English means "A dream of freedom".
When Mark Rolston came in to audition, Frank Darabont said, "Oh my god, it's Drake from Aliens (1986)!"
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While he was writing the screenplay, Frank Darabont was getting into opera. When he felt "trapped" in the writing process, Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro would lift his spirits.
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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.
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The movie is based on a Stephen King novella, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption published as a collection of four short stories, entitled Different Seasons. The book also included The Body and Apt Pupil, both would also be adapted into films as Stand by Me (1986) and Apt Pupil (1998).
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"MOTHER" is carved on the wall above the big posters. Tim Robbins played Larry "Mother" Tucker in Fraternity Vacation (1985).
Clancy Brown also plays a prison guard in The Hurricane (1999).
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This movie was released the day after the "Friends" TV series aired its first episode.
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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.
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When Boggs returns to his cell after spending time in the hole to find the deputy 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 ans vendetta set in the western United States.
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Stephen King and Frank Darabont disagreed about the actor who plays Floyd in that King believed he looked like Neville Brand and Darabont believed he looked like Lee Marvin.
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According to Frank Darabont, Raquel Welch loves this movie.
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Director Trademark 

Frank Darabont: [old movie clips] The inmates are seen watching Gilda (1946). In the novella, the prisoners watched The Lost Weekend (1945). Because the rights to this 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.
Frank Darabont: [Heywood Floyd] Heywood and Floyd are the names of two Shawshank inmates. Heywood Floyd is a space explorer in books and movies written by Arthur C. Clarke, including 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and 2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984).


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Red says that Andy broke out in 1966. This was the same year as the landmark Miranda v. Arizona case before the Supreme Court, where it was decided a defendant must be informed of their rights (i.e. right to remain silent, right to an attorney, etc.), when put under police custody. That's why at the end of the film, when they arrest Captain Hadley (Clancy Brown), the officer is reading the Miranda rights from a piece of paper.
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.
Stephen King sold the film rights for his novella "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption" for $5,000. He never cashed the check. Years after The Shawshank Redemption (1994) came out, King got the check framed and mailed it back to director Frank Darabont with a note inscribed, "In case you ever need bail money. Love, Steve."
The $370,000 Andy stole from the Warden in 1966 may not seem a huge amount for 20 years incarceration but adjusted for inflation to 2014, Andy stole the equivalent of $2,703,466.67.
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 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 out of and the warden's office.
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 months before filming began. This allowed for the alfalfa grass 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 it stood on. 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.
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 US Virgin Islands stand in for Zihuatanejo in the film.
Red describes Andy's dream as a "shitty pipe dream". During his escape to live that dream, Andy crawls through the sewer pipe of the prison, literally a "shitty pipe".
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.
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."
The ambulance that took Boggs away had to be pushed as its engine had died.
The film is generally faithful to the Stephen King novella "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption." Here are some of the differences:
  • The novella specifies that Andy smuggled $100 into the prison in his rectum; exactly how he pays Red the agreed-upon price of $10 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 also 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 his cell] in less than 20." -When Red is released from Shawshank Prison, he finds a package Andy left for him in a hayfield. In the film, he simply goes directly to it; while in the novella, his hunt for the appropriate hayfield 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.
There are several similarities to the Alexandre Dumas père 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 escaping, he acquired hidden treasure which he learned about in jail, and executed a plan of revenge against those who imprisoned him.
In 2007, two inmates of Union County Prison escaped from their prison using similar techniques to those featured in the movie. Their (partially) successful escape led to the suicide of prison guard Rudolph Zurick. When the two convicts were recaptured, they denied responsibility for Zurick's death.
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 the movie Harvey (1950) a six foot three inch imaginary rabbit who can only be seen by the main character Elwood P Dowd played by James Stewart
Bob Gunton pointed out that Tim Robbins's towering 6'5 height narrowed down the number of actors who could play Warden Norton, since Andy's escape plan is dependent on stealing and wearing Norton's suit.
The Finnish title for the movie is "Rita Hayworth - Avain pakoon" which literally means "Rita Hayworth - The Key to Escape." This restores the Rita Hayworth part of the source novella's title. "Shawshank Redemption" was deemed unsuitable for Finnish translation as no Finns would have the slightest idea what a "shawshank" is, and there is no sensible way to translate the Latin word "redemption" into Finnish, a language with no Latin roots. The Hungarian title of the movie is "A Remény Rabjai" which means "The Prisoners of Hope." The Italian title for the movie is "Le ali della libertà", which means "The Wings of Freedom." The Norwegian title for the movie is "Frihetens Regn", which means "The Rain of Freedom." The Spanish title for the movie is "Cadena Perpetua", which means "Life Imprisonment." The Mexican title for the movie is "Sueños de Fuga", which means "Dreams of Escape." The Israeli title for the movie is "Homot Shel Tikva", which means "Walls of Hope." In Denmark the movie's title is "En Verden Udenfor", which translates to "A World Outside." The Romanian title for the movie is "Închisoarea îngerilor", which means "Angels' Prison." The Portuguese title for the movie is "Um sonho de liberdade" which in English means "A dream of freedom". The French Canadian title "à l'ombre de Shawshank" means "into the Shadow of Shawshank". The French title for this movie is 'Les Evadés' meaning "The Escapees" (and spoiling the movie's ending). In Greece the film named 'Teleutea Exodos - Rita Hayworth' meaning 'Last Exit - Rita Hayworth' which is kind of spoiler. The Swedish title for the movie is "Nyckeln Till Frihet", which translates to "The Key To Freedom". The German title for the movie is "Die Verurteilten", which means "The Convicts."
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 7452 as of the 2000 census) about 15 miles west of Maine's largest city of Portland, where Andy was a banker.
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.
On Andy's first night at Shawshank, there is a shot of the prison from outside. This shot is from right near the creek which Andy runs through when he escapes 19 years later.
The beach-set reunion at the end was shot at the studio's insistence.
For the escape scene, the "sewage" Tim Robbins was crawling through was a mix of sawdust, chocolate syrup and water. Some fans who visit the site say they can still smell chocolate.
The candy tin with money and a letter that Andy buries features a picture of the ocean liner The Queen Mary. It was issued in the 1950s as part of a series by a British company called Benson's.
Body count: 6 (two of which are unseen).
The headline on Norton's newspaper after Andy's escape reads: "CORRUPTION, MURDER AT SHAWSHANK D.A. Has Ledger-Indictments Expected"
The giant oak tree that Red travels to is in Lucas, Ohio. It became a popular movie tourism destination but unfortunately it became rotten in 2011 and eventually fell down in July 2016.
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