The Shawshank Redemption
The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 film about a banker who is accused of double murder in the 1940s and begins a life sentence at the fictional Shawshank prison, where he's befriended by an older inmate named Red. During his long stretch in prison, Dufresne comes to be admired by the other inmates for his upstanding moral code and his quietly indomitable spirit.
- Written and directed by: Frank Darabont, based on the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.
- The funny thing is, on the outside, I was an honest man, straight as an arrow. I had to come to prison to be a crook.
- [Scrawled in a Bible he hollowed out to make space for the rock hammer he used to tunnel through his cell wall, and placed in the Warden's safe the night before his escape] "Dear Warden; You were right. Salvation lay within. Andy"
- [in a letter] Dear Red, If you're reading this, you've gotten out. And if you've come this far, maybe you're willing to come a little further. You remember the name of the town, don't you? I could use a good man to help me get my project on wheels. I'll keep an eye out for you and the chessboard ready. Remember, Red. Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies. I will be hoping that this letter finds you, and finds you well. Your friend, Andy Dufresne.
- They say it has no memory. That's where I want to live the rest of my life. A warm place with no memory.
Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding
- The first night's the toughest, no doubt about it. They march you in naked as the day you were born, skin burning and half blind from that delousing shit they throw on you, and when they put you in that cell, when those bars slam home, that's when you know it's for real. A whole life blown away in the blink of an eye. Nothing left but all the time in the world to think about it. Most new fish come close to madness the first night. Somebody always breaks down crying. Happens every time. The only question is, who's it gonna be? It's as good a thing to bet on as any, I guess. I had my money on Andy Dufresne. I remember my first night. Seems like a long time ago.
- I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don't wanna know. Some things are best left unsaid. I'd like to think they were singing about something so beautiful it can't be expressed in words, and it makes your heart ache because of it. I tell you those voices soared, higher and farther than anybody in a grey place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made these walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free.
- In 1966, Andy Dufresne escaped from Shawshank prison. All they found of him was a muddy set of prison clothes, a bar of soap, and an old rock hammer, damn near worn down to the nub. I remember thinking it would take a man SIX hundred years to tunnel through the wall with it. Old Andy did it in less than twenty.
- Oh, Andy loved geology. I imagine it appealed to his meticulous nature. An ice age here, million years of mountain building there. Geology is the study of pressure and time. That's all it takes really, pressure, and time. That, and a big goddamn poster. Like I said, in prison, a man will do almost anything to keep his mind occupied. Turns out Andy's favorite hobby was totin' his wall out into the exercise yard, a handful at a time. I guess after Tommy was killed, Andy decided he'd been here just about long enough.
- Andy did like he was told, buffed those shoes to a high mirror shine. The guards simply didn't notice. Neither did I... I mean, seriously, how often do you really look at a mans shoes? Andy crawled to freedom through five hundred yards of shit smelling foulness I can't even imagine, or maybe I just don't want to. Five hundred yards... that's the length of five football fields, just shy of half a mile.
- Andy Dufresne, who crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side. Andy Dufresne, headed for the Pacific. Those of us who knew him best talk about him often. I swear, the stuff he pulled... Sometimes it makes me sad, though, Andy being gone. I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright and when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice, but still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone. I guess I just miss my friend.
- I find I'm so excited I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it is the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend, and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.
- These prison walls are funny. First you hate 'em, then you get used to 'em. Enough time passes, gets so you depend on them. That's institutionalized. They send you here for life, that's exactly what they take. The part that counts anyways.
Warden Samuel Norton
- This is Mr Hadley, Captain of the guards. I'm Norton the warden. You are convicted felons, that's why they sent you to me. Rule No. 1 No Blasphemy, I cannot take the lord's name in vain in my prison, the other rules you'll figure as you move along. Any questions?
- I believe in two things; discipline and the Bible. Here you'll receive both. Put your trust in the Lord. Your ass belongs to me. Welcome to Shawshank.
- (There might be an edited and dubbed version in which Norton says "the rest" rather than "your ass.")
- Lord, it's a miracle! Man up and vanished like a fart in the wind! Nothing left but some damn rocks on the windowsill. And that cupcake on the wall! Let's ask her, maybe she knows. What say there, fuzzy britches? Feel like talking? Aw, guess not. Why should she be any different? This is a conspiracy. That's what this is. One - BIG - DAMN CONSPIRACY! AND EVERYONE'S IN ON IT!!! Including her!
- I want him found! Not tomorrow, not after breakfast—NOW!!!
- Salvation lies within.
- Nothing stops. Nothing... or you will do the hardest time there is. No more protection from the guards. I'll pull you out of that one-bunk Hilton and cast you down with the Sodomites. You'll think you've been fucked by a train! And the library? Gone. Sealed off, brick-by-brick. We'll have us a little book barbecue in the yard. They'll see the flames for miles. We'll dance around it like wild Injuns! You understand me? Catching my drift? ...Or am I being obtuse?
- [in a letter to Red after being released on parole] Dear fellas, I can't believe how fast things move on the outside. I saw an automobile once when I was a kid, but now they're everywhere. The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry. The parole board got me into this halfway house called "The Brewer" and a job bagging groceries at the Foodway. It's hard work and I try to keep up, but my hands hurt most of the time. I don't think the store manager likes me very much. Sometimes after work, I go to the park and feed the birds. I keep thinking Jake might just show up and say hello, but he never does. I hope wherever he is, he's doin' okay and makin' new friends. I have trouble sleepin' at night. I have bad dreams like I'm falling. I wake up scared. Sometimes it takes me a while to remember where I am. Maybe I should get me a gun and rob the Foodway so they'd send me home. I could shoot the manager while I was at it, sort of like a bonus. I guess I'm too old for that sort of nonsense any more. I don't like it here. I'm tired of being afraid all the time. I've decided not to stay. I doubt they'll kick up any fuss. Not for an old crook like me. P.S: Tell Heywood I'm sorry I put a knife to his throat. No hard feeling, Brooks.
- You eat when we say you eat. You shit when we say you shit and you piss when we say you piss. You got that, you maggot dick motherfucker?
- Norton: [Takes the Bible from Andy's hands] I'm pleased to see you reading this. Any favorite passages?
- Andy: "Watch ye therefore; for ye know not when the Master of the House cometh."
- Norton: Mark 13:35. Always liked that one. But I prefer, "I'm the light of the world; he that follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life."
- Andy: John, chapter 8, verse 12.
[Later, as Norton exits the cell, he hands back the Bible through the bars]
- Norton: Almost forgot; I'd hate to deprive you of this. Salvation lies within.
- Andy: Yes, sir.
- Andy: I had Mr. Mozart to keep me company...[points and taps his head.] It was in here. [gestures over his heart] And in here. That's the beauty of music. They can't get that from you. Haven't you ever felt that way about music?
- Red: Well... I played a mean harmonica as a younger man. Lost interest in it, though. Didn't make too much sense in here.
- Andy: No, here's where it makes the most sense. You need it so you don't forget.
- Red: Forget?
- Andy: That there are places in the world that aren't made out of stone. That there's... there's somethin' inside that they can't get to; that they can't touch. It's yours.
- Red: What are you talkin' about?
- Andy: Hope.
- Red: Hope? Let me tell you something, my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane. It's got no use on the inside. You'd better get used to that idea.
- Andy: Like Brooks did?
- Heywood: [sorting through books] "The Count of Monte Crisco"
- Floyd: That's Cristo, you dumb shit.
- Heywood: By Alexandree... Dum-ass. Dumbass? [Red chuckles.]
- Andy: Dumbass? [Heywood shows him the book.] Dumas. You know what that's about?
- Heywood: [confused] Uuh-uh.
- Andy: You'll like it. It's about a prison break.
- Red: Well, we ought to file that under Educational too. Oughtn't we?
- Andy: My wife used to say I'm a hard man to know. Like a closed book. Complained about it all the time. She was beautiful. God, I loved her. I just didn't know how to show it, that's all. [pause] I killed her Red. I didn't pull the trigger. But I drove her away. That's why she died, because of me. The way I am.
- Red: [pause] That don't make you a murderer. A bad husband, maybe. Feel bad about it if you want to, but you didn't pull the trigger.
- Andy: No, I didn't. Somebody else did. And I wound up in here. [laughs] Bad luck, I guess.
- Red: [sighs] Yeah
- Andy: It floats around. It's got to land on somebody. It was my turn, that's all. I was in the path of the tornado. [sighs] I just didn't expect the storm would last as long as it has. [pause] You think you'll ever get out of here?
- Red: I don't think you ought to be doing this to yourself, Andy. This is just shitty pipedreams. I mean, Mexico is way the hell down there and you're in here, and that's the way it is.
- Andy: Yeah, right. That's the way it is. It's down there and I'm in here. I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy livin' or get busy dyin'.
- Rehabilitation Officer: Ellis Boyd Redding: your file says you've served 40 years of a life sentence. Do you feel you've been rehabilitated?
- Red: Rehabilitated?... Well, now, let me see. You know, I don't have any idea what that means.
- Rehabilitation Officer: Well, it means that you're ready to rejoin society, to—
- Red: I know what you think it means, sonny. To me it's just a made-up word. A politician's word, so that young fellas like yourself can wear a suit and a tie and have a job. What do you really wanna know? Am I sorry for what I did?
- Rehabilitation Officer: Well, are you?
- Red: There's not a day goes by that I don't feel regret. Not because I'm in here, or because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then: a young, stupid kid who committed that terrible crime. I want to talk to him. I want to try to talk some sense to him, tell him the way things are. But I can't. That kid's long gone and this old man is all that's left. I gotta live with that. Rehabilitated? It's just a bullshit word. So go ahead and stamp your forms, sonny, and stop wasting my time. Because to tell you the truth, I don't give a shit.
- The Shawshank Redemption quotes at the Internet Movie Database
- The Shawshank Redemption at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Shawshank Redemption at Filmsite.org
- A review by Roger Ebert
- A review from The Washington Post
- A review from PrisonFlicks.com
- A review by James Berardinelli
- The script for the film - varies slightly from the final version.