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Encyclopedia > Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 movie, directed by Frank Darabont, based on the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. The film stars Tim Robbins as Andy Dufresne and Morgan Freeman as Red.

This movie is primarily about Andy Dufresne's life in jail after being tried and convicted, despite his protestation that he was innocent of murdering his wife and her lover.

For over a year, The Shawshank Redemption has been listed as one of the top three movies on the Internet Movie Database Top 250 Movies of All Time. (This list is derived from the votes of IMDb registered users.)

In the 1994 Academy Awards the movie was nominated for seven awards (Best Picture, Best Actor (Morgan Freeman), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Original Score, and Best Sound) but failed to win a single one.

Differences from the book

On the whole, the film is a more or less faithful adaptation of the Stephen King book. For a general description of the plot, see Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. However, there are a number of differences.

  • The Indian Normaden that shares Andy's cell for a period doesn't appear at all in the film.
  • The scene where Norton inspects Andy's cell for contraband without finding the rock hammer (and they quote scripture at each other) doesn't appear in the novella.
  • In the novella, there are several wardens before Norton.
  • In the novella, Norton resigns after Andy's escape. In the film, he has siphoned off lots of money, and when Andy gets out and this becomes known, he commits suicide in his office.
  • Red never becomes assistant librarian in the novella.
  • Brooks' threats to cut the throat of another prisoner to avoid being paroled only appear in the film. In both the novella and the film, Brooksie is paroled and leaves Shawshank. His suicide soon after leaving prison only occurs in the film.
  • In the novella, Andy sells off all his assets while still on trial. Together with a friend, he sets up a false identity and transfers all assets there. In the film, Andy himself sets up the false identity so that he can create accounts to launder money for the warden; he then drains these accounts upon his escape.
  • In the novella, Williams is transferred (not killed).
  • In the novella, there are 14 cells in cellblock 5, facing each other across a corridor. In the movie Andy's cell is upstairs and there is no cell across from his.
  • In the novella, the warden rips the poster away. In the film he throws a carved rock at it first, putting a hole through it.
  • Red is an Irishman in the book but in the movie he is black, although when asked by Andy why he is called "Red" he jokingly replies "Maybe it's because I'm Irish".

A memorable scene in the film is the stilling of a courtyard full of hardened criminals, when a duet from Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, che soave zeffiretto, is played across the public address system. The recording used was Karl Böhm's 1968 production for Deutsche Grammophon (catalogue number 449 728-2) and the singers are Gundula Janowitz and Edith Mathis.

Cast and credits



External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
The Shawshank Redemption

  Results from FactBites:
The Shawshank Redemption (DVD) (789 words)
Shawshank is regarded as a feelgood classic, but only achieves this by first visiting the darkest places imaginable.
The Shawshank Redemption is perhaps the only undisputed classic of the 1990s, although it's more popular with the public than with critics, who tend to be slightly sniffy about its feelgood magic.
The Shawshank Redemption is released as a special tenth anniversary three disk box-set, and is an appropriately reverential, comprehensive package.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994) (1647 words)
In writer-director Frank Darabont's The Shawshank Redemption, Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison for the murders of his wife and her lover in the late 1940s.
Based on the novella "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption" by Stephen King, Darabont's intriguing adaptation is easily one of the finest films of the 1990s.
Shawshank happened to be playing at a local bargain cinema when the urge hit, and since I'd already viewed all of the other selections, I gave it a look, though I wasn't excited about it.
  More results at FactBites »



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