The Shawshank Redemption is one of the most popular movies of all time. It’s consistently ranked in the top 20 movies on IMDB.

The film has even been recognized by a number of critics as being among the finest films ever made. (By the way, did you know that Tom Hanks was on the verge of playing the lead role?)

Here we tell you the best facts and curiosities.

Short Synopsis

The film begins with Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) in a car and with a gun, scene followed by his trial for the murder of his wife and her lover.

Sentenced to two life sentences, Andy Dufresne, a successful banker, who up to that point had a normal, quiet life, with a good job and married, ends up in Shawshank, a high security prison.

Once inside, Andy must deal not only with other prisoners who make his life even more difficult, but also with the rules imposed by those who run the prison and who also commit irregularities in the treatment of prisoners.

Despite all the difficulties, Andy befriends Red (Morgan Freeman), a man who is known for managing to smuggle various items into the prison. Getting to know Red and his closest group allows Andy to connect with other life stories and, from the confinement, to value the friendship that transcends those walls and that will be vital in the course of this film.

In its two hours and 22 minutes, the film tells us not only the story of a man who was unjustly condemned, but also allows us to reflect on values that today more than ever can make sense to us because of the reality in which we find ourselves.

Patience, hope and freedom that the future will be better are some of the words that I emphasize and that, in my opinion, are shown in different scenes where Andy not only serves his sentence with the other prisoners, but is also able to go to the aid of others.

“I guess it all comes down to a simple choice, dedicate ourselves to live or dedicate ourselves to die”; how much complexity in a choice that at certain moments seemed so simple.

The Shawshank Redemption shows us how we should not give up in the face of the adversities that life throws at us; that patience together with hope are such important values to be able to achieve a better life, that life is so beautiful in such simple things as listening to a music sung by Italian women, that we do not know what it says, but that inspires a freedom that the men of Shawshank did not know still existed.

The film allows us to reflect on the adversities that life throws at us, on how we can learn from them and emerge even stronger from these obstacles.

In how the most difficult moments allow us to get closer to the simplest things in life such as friends, freedom, the possibility of listening to a song we like or being able to sunbathe outdoors sharing a friendly chat.

Let’s look at the nicer side, let’s reconnect with our family and even more, with the personal time that we don’t allow ourselves because of the hectic life we lead.

How many times have we made excuses for not doing something because of lack of time? Today, we seem to be forced to make time to do things we could have avoided before. Andy discovered his dream by being locked up, why can’t we?

Sometimes spending time with oneself seems difficult, perhaps even silly, but how much we need today to value ourselves, the simple things in life, relationships with family, friends or partners, to keep looking for that freedom, those dreams.

The only thing we need is to make a decision and not lose hope that they can be fulfilled.

List of Facts and Curiosities

Is Shawshank Redemption Based on true story?

The Shawshank Redemption is a drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont, based on the 1982 Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.

The film 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, despite his claims of innocence. Morgan Freeman plays Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding, an inmate who befriends Andy.

The film received critical acclaim and was a box office success, grossing US$28 million domestically and US$28 million internationally for a worldwide total of US$56 million.

It has since been named by Time and Entertainment Weekly as one of the 100 best films of the past century and by the Writers Guild of America as one of the top 101 greatest screenplays ever written.

In 2015, it was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, being deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant”.

Is Shawshank Redemption the best movie ever?

The Shawshank Redemption is one of the most beloved films of all time. It’s hard to believe that it was made in 1994, because it seems so timeless.

The movie focuses on Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), a man wrongfully convicted of murder who is sent to prison. While in prison, he finds himself befriending a fellow inmate named Red (Morgan Freeman). Red teaches Andy how to be a better person and how to survive in prison without becoming part of the system.

The Shawshank Redemption was a critical success when it was released in 1994, but it didn’t perform well at the box office until years later when cable television started showing it over and over again for free.

Nowadays, it’s considered one of the greatest movies ever made by many critics, including Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel who gave it two thumbs up on their show At The Movies back in 1994!

Did Shawshank Redemption win any Oscars?

The Shawshank Redemption was nominated for seven Academy Awards in 1994. The film was up against other notable films like Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction, Quiz Show, and The Piano. It won two awards: Morgan Freeman won Best Actor in a Supporting Role (which he accepted by himself), and Frank Darabont won Best Adapted Screenplay.

The Shawshank Redemption was also nominated for several Golden Globes in 1995. It didn’t win any awards at those ceremonies either,

Where is the shawshank redemption tree

The Shawshank Redemption tree is located in Mansfield, Ohio. It’s a small, flowering evergreen and the only known “Shawshank Redemption” tree.

The name of the tree was chosen by state officials after a group of students from the Mansfield Senior High School voted on it. The students had read the novella and wanted to honor King’s work by giving it a permanent place in Ohio history.

The tree was planted in 2003 with help from King himself who wanted to make sure his story lived on after his death.

Other actors came close to getting the role of Red

The following actors were considered for the part of Red:

  • Clint Eastwood
  • Harrison Ford
  • Paul Newman
  • Gene Hackman
  • Robert Redford
  • Robert Duvall.

However, Frank Darabont had always wanted Morgan Freeman to play the part because of his authoritative presence and deep voice. In the film, Darabont included Red’s reply “Maybe it’s because I’m Irish,” to Andy’s inquiry about his nickname as a joke.

What is the famous line from Shawshank Redemption?

Undoubtedly, the movie has many legendary lines, however the most inspiring was the letter Andy left for Red: “Hope is a good thing, may be the best of the things. And good thing never dies.” 

Who was Allen Greene?

The movie’s credits include a dedication to Allen Greene, who was the agent of Frank Darabont and also his close friend. Greene died of AIDS complications shortly before the film was released.

What Shawshank means?

Shawshank means being stuck in a position from which you cannot escape, not by yourself, or even with the help of others.

How old was Andy Dufresne when he escaped?

Andy Dufresne arrives at Shawshank Prison when he is thirty years old and escapes when he is approximately fifty-eight.

What is the name of the song that plays in the prison?

Tim Robbins came up with the idea for Andy Dufresne to turn up the volume of the record player, which was Mozart’s “Canzonetta sull’aria” from his opera “The Marriage of Figaro.”

Other actors were close to playing Andy Dufresne

Tom Hanks turned down the role of Andy Dufresne because he was committed to Forrest Gump (1994), while Kevin Costner liked the script but then became involved with Waterworld (1995). Nicolas Cage, Johnny Depp and Charlie Sheen were all considered for the part of Andy Dufresne.

Was Andy Dufresne a real person?

Andy Dufresne is not a character in real life. However, it has just been proven that someone just like Andy Dufresne does exist. Frank Freshwaters has just been captured after spending 56 years in hiding after escaping from prison.

The reason for his conviction was after pleading guilty to second-degree murder, stemming from a car accident in 1957, for which he was sentenced to 20 years in the Ohio State Reformatory, which, interestingly, is where the movie was filmed.

This is how the famous tree looks like today!