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The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Trailer
2:11 | Trailer
Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.

Director:

Frank Darabont

Writers:

Stephen King (short story "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption"), Frank Darabont (screenplay)
Popularity
94 ( 39)

'The Shawshank Redemption' Without Morgan Freeman?

The Shawshank Redemption has become a classic film - it's even IMDb's top-rated movie of all time - but did you know it almost had an entirely different cast behind those legendary bars?

Who almost starred?

Top Rated Movies #1 | Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 19 wins & 32 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tim Robbins ... Andy Dufresne
Morgan Freeman ... Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding
Bob Gunton ... Warden Norton
William Sadler ... Heywood
Clancy Brown ... Captain Hadley
Gil Bellows ... Tommy
Mark Rolston ... Bogs Diamond
James Whitmore ... Brooks Hatlen
Jeffrey DeMunn ... 1946 D.A.
Larry Brandenburg ... Skeet
Neil Giuntoli ... Jigger
Brian Libby ... Floyd
David Proval ... Snooze
Joseph Ragno ... Ernie
Jude Ciccolella ... Guard Mert
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Storyline

Chronicles the experiences of a formerly successful banker as a prisoner in the gloomy jailhouse of Shawshank after being found guilty of a crime he did not commit. The film portrays the man's unique way of dealing with his new, torturous life; along the way he befriends a number of fellow prisoners, most notably a wise long-term inmate named Red. Written by J-S-Golden

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

12 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 March 1995 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

De ontsnapping See more »

Filming Locations:

St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$727,326, 20 November 1994, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$28,341,469

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$58,500,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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." See more »

Goofs

When Red and Andy meet for the first time, an extra is seen behind each of them. It is the same scene but as the lines were filmed at different times, the extra is wearing different shirts - one prisoner shirt the day that Red's lines were shot, and a different shirt behind Andy the day his lines were filmed. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Alternate Versions

Italian version is about 15 minutes shorter than the USA version and omits parts of the epilogue showing Red's everyday life after he has been released from prison. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Put The Blame On Mame
by Allan Roberts and Doris Fisher
Heard on "Gilda" soundtrack
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Some birds aren't meant to be caged.
24 July 2010 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

The Shawshank Redemption is written and directed by Frank Darabont. It is an adaptation of the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. Starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, the film portrays the story of Andy Dufresne (Robbins), a banker who is sentenced to two life sentences at Shawshank State Prison for apparently murdering his wife and her lover. Andy finds it tough going but finds solace in the friendship he forms with fellow inmate, Ellis "Red" Redding (Freeman). While things start to pick up when the warden finds Andy a prison job more befitting his talents as a banker. However, the arrival of another inmate is going to vastly change things for all of them.

There was no fanfare or bunting put out for the release of the film back in 94, with a title that didn't give much inkling to anyone about what it was about, and with Columbia Pictures unsure how to market it, Shawshank Redemption barely registered at the box office. However, come Academy Award time the film received several nominations, and although it won none, it stirred up interest in the film for its home entertainment release. The rest, as they say, is history. For the film finally found an audience that saw the film propelled to almost mythical proportions as an endearing modern day classic. Something that has delighted its fans, whilst simultaneously baffling its detractors. One thing is for sure, though, is that which ever side of the Shawshank fence you sit on, the film continues to gather new fans and simply will never go away.

It's possibly the simplicity of it all that sends some haters of the film into cinematic spasms. The implausible plot and an apparent sentimental edge that makes a nonsense of prison life, are but two chief complaints from those that dislike the film with a passion. But when characters are this richly drawn, and so movingly performed, it strikes me as churlish to do down a human drama that's dealing in hope, friendship and faith. The sentimental aspect is indeed there, but that acts as a counterpoint to the suffering, degradation and shattering of the soul involving our protagonist. Cosy prison life you say? No chance. The need for human connection is never more needed than during incarceration, surely? And given the quite terrific performances of Robbins (never better) & Freeman (sublimely making it easy), it's the easiest thing in the world to warm to Andy and Red.

Those in support aren't faring too bad either. Bob Gunton is coiled spring smarm as Warden Norton, James Whitmore is heart achingly great as the "Birdman Of Shawshank," Clancy Brown is menacing as antagonist Capt. Byron Hadley, William Sadler amusing as Heywood & Mark Rolston is impressively vile as Bogs Diamond. Then there's Roger Deakins' lush cinematography as the camera gracefully glides in and out of the prison offering almost ethereal hope to our characters (yes, they are ours). The music pings in conjunction with the emotional flow of the movie too. Thomas Newman's score is mostly piano based, dovetailing neatly with Andy's state of mind, while the excellently selected soundtrack ranges from the likes of Hank Williams to the gorgeous Le Nozze di Figaro by Mozart.

If you love Shawshank then it's a love that lasts a lifetime. Every viewing brings the same array of emotions - anger - revilement - happiness - sadness - inspiration and a warmth that can reduce the most hardened into misty eyed wonderment. Above all else, though, Shawshank offers hope - not just for characters in a movie, but for a better life and a better world for all of us. 10/10


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