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The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

R | | Drama | 14 October 1994 (USA)
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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
85 ( 11)

'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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Photos

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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

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 October 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption 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

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. See more »

Goofs

Near the beginning during the Shawshank Prison fly-over, several later-model vehicles can be seen in the distance. 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

In previous versions, when Tommy is killed, only two shots are heard and four bullet holes are seen. In the DVD version, four are heard. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Runaway 2: Dream of the Turtle (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
(uncredited)
Written by Martin Luther
Performed by Bob Gunton
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Don't Rent Shawshank.
21 November 2005 | by EyeDunnoSee all my reviews

I'm trying to save you money; this is the last film title that you should consider borrowing. Renting Shawshank will cost you five bucks... just plunk down the $25 and own the title. You'll wind up going back to this gem time and time again. This is one of few movies that are truly timeless. And it's entertaining and moving, no matter how many times you view it.

Forget about what others (including myself) might suggest you'll discover in "The Shawshank Redemption;" when you watch it, you'll identify something very personal in your own life with a scene, a character, or a moment in this uncomplicated movie. When you need hope, you'll look for Shawshank. When you want to believe in the will of overcoming even the greatest obstacles, Shawshank will uplift you in ways that you can't find in movies today.

Some liken the film to some kind of spiritual awakening. Of course, some can go to a church or mosque to find enlightenment and Faith in humanity, but most places of worship are open only certain days or times. But when you need affirmation of the lasting bond of friendships that prevail over the most dire circumstances, Shawshank will give it to you. It makes grown men (like me) cry, still. I wonder whether Shawshank was truly meant for viewing in the privacy of the home, because it is a personal experience that really makes you look inward. Nominated for seven, this is the best film that never one a single Oscar.

How ironic that an innocent man winds up being surrounded by the corruption of the legal system. Shawshank itself is similar to the character of Andy Dufresne. Prejudging this classic film, critics couldn't get past the title. The public followed suit, initially dismissing Shawshank, which failed in the box office just like "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Citizen Kane." It could have just whithered away on the store shelves, like Andy Dufresne could have in his own cell. But the characters prevailed, because Andy -- And Shawshank -- stayed true. Now, these movies are right up there as the most popular films of all time.

Anyone who has yet to watch Shawshank may be so jaded of movies, or the film's title, or how a 2-1/2- hour movie set inside the walls of a prison can manage to tap the soul of such a wide range of people. Shawshank has not one explosion. I wonder if it even has a single special effect or digitally- enhanced frame.

But every aspect of Shawshank fit together. The acting from the top to the bit part. The musical score. The editing. The photography. The story, from opening credits to final scene. All involved, including the town of Mansfield, Ohio (where Shawshank was actually filmed) played their roles perfectly. Shawshank is a must- see, must- own title.


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