Written by 10:51 pm Facts & Trivia, Movies

16 Fascinating Trivia About the “The Shawshank Redemption”

Tim Robbins as Andy Dufresne and Morgan Freeman as Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding from The Shawshank Redemption, deep in thought. Red has his hands folded.

Short Summary of The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption” is a 1994 film based on the novella “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” by Stephen King. The movie tells the story of Andy Dufresne, a banker who is sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his wife and her lover, despite his claims of innocence.

While in prison, Andy befriends fellow inmate Ellis “Red” Redding and becomes known for his financial skills, which he uses to assist prison officials and fellow inmates. Over the years, Andy maintains his innocence and gains the respect of the other prisoners, but also experiences hardship and abuse at the hands of the corrupt prison officials.

Through his perseverance and ingenuity, Andy is eventually able to escape from prison and start a new life for himself. The film explores themes of hope, friendship, and redemption, and has become a beloved classic in American cinema.

16 Fascinating Trivia About the “The Shawshank Redemption”

  1. Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption

“The Shawshank Redemption” is a 1994 American drama film directed by Frank Darabont and based on the 1982 Stephen King novella “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.”

  1. The Movie About…

The movie stars Tim Robbins as Andy Dufresne, a banker who is sentenced to life in Shawshank State Penitentiary for the murder of his wife and her lover, and Morgan Freeman as Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding, a long-time inmate who befriends Andy.

Tim Robbins as Andy Dufresne from The Shawshank Redemption, deep in thought. Morgan Freeman as Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding, holding a baseball glove, smiles while looking at Andy.

  1. Success After Being Released on Home Video

Despite receiving critical acclaim, the film was not a box office success upon its initial release. It only became a commercial success after being released on home video.

  1. Nominated for Seven Academy Awards

The movie was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, but did not win any. It lost to “Forrest Gump.”

  1. Mozart’s “Duettino – Sull’aria”

The famous scene in which Andy plays Mozart’s “Duettino – Sull’aria” over the prison loudspeakers was inspired by a similar incident that occurred in a real prison in the 1950s.

  1. The film was shot at the Ohio

The film was shot at the Ohio State Reformatory, a decommissioned prison in Mansfield, Ohio. The prison had also been used as a filming location for other movies, including “Tango & Cash” and “Air Force One.”

"The Shawshank Redemption" takes place in this prison in Ohio in the 1940s.

  1. IMDb’s user-generated Top 250 list: Being Ranked #1

The movie has consistently ranked highly on various “best of” lists, including being ranked #1 on IMDb’s user-generated Top 250 list from 2008 to 2011.

  1. Cultural Touchstone

The Shawshank Redemption has become a cultural touchstone, with many of its quotes and scenes being widely referenced and parodied in popular culture.

  1. Original Title

The movie’s original title was “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption,” but it was changed to “The Shawshank Redemption” to avoid confusion with another movie that was released the same year, “Rita, Sue and Bob Too.”

Warden discovers hidden escape route behind Rita Hayworth poster.

  1. Budget

The film’s budget was $25 million, which was considered modest for a Hollywood production at the time.

  1. Only $5,000 to his Novella

Stephen King was reportedly paid only $5,000 for the rights to his novella, but he was so impressed with the finished film that he waived his right to receive any additional payment.

  1. Change the Character’s Ethnicity

The character of Red was originally written as a white Irishman in the novella, but Morgan Freeman’s casting prompted the filmmakers to change the character’s ethnicity.

  1. The Count of Monte Cristo

Tim Robbins’ character, Andy, is seen reading a copy of “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas. The novel shares many themes with the movie, including wrongful imprisonment and revenge.

READ MORE: The Shawshank Redemption (1994) Review: Breaking the Chains

A still from the movie "The Shawshank Redemption," depicting the character of Red reading a letter written by his friend Andy Dufresne.

  1. Ending

The movie’s ending, which shows Andy and Red reunited on a beach in Mexico, was not in the original novella. The filmmakers added it to provide a more hopeful conclusion.

  1. Tourism

The movie’s success led to a surge in tourism to the Ohio State Reformatory, which was opened to the public for tours and events.

  1. Released on LaserDisc

“The Shawshank Redemption” was the final film to be released on LaserDisc, a home video format that was popular in the 1990s before being replaced by DVD.

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Last modified: July 8, 2023