The Shawshank Redemption is a movie that was released in 1994 and was directed by Frank Darabont. The movie gives a vivid account of a banker named Andy Dufresne who got sentenced to life imprisonment inside Shawshank prison for the murder of both his wife and her lover even though he claimed to be innocent. Within twenty years of being in the prison, he becomes good friends with a fellow prisoner named Elis Redding (a role played by Morgan Freeman). Andy soon becomes an asset to the prison Warden in a money-laundering scheme. But is Shawshank redemption a true story, we will answer this and other questions in this piece.
Is Shawshank redemption a true story?
No, it’s not a true story.
Before the director Frank Darabont got his numerous awards and role as the producer of shows like Mob City and The Walking dead, he was simply yet another broke producer. He was, however, a lover of Stephen King Books and always nursed a desire to turn one of such books into a movie. One thing with Stephen King’s novella is that they always seemed to find their way to the screens. King had a policy of giving upcoming actors the rights to his short stories for a paltry $1. And in 1983, Darabont has King a dollar to produce the movie The Woman in the Room. However, this was not enough for King as he sought to do something related to the book Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. The moment he got King’s approval, he immediately set to work.
What Is The Plot Of The Movie?
In 1947, Andy Dufresne gets convicted of killing his wife and gets convicted with two consecutive life sentences at the Mansfield state reformatory. According to the movie, after a few years of being behind bars, he hears the captain heavily complaining about the tax he was incurring on inheritance and proposes to assist him in sheltering the money without breaking the law. After been faced with an assault that nearly cost him his life (Andy’s) Hadley beats Bogs to the point where he became crippled. Andy soon gets reassigned to the library as an assistant to Brooks Hatlen. This was, however, a cover to give Andy a chance to help in the management of financial matters of other prison staff. He soon begins to write letters to the legislature requesting more funds to improve upon the library of the prison.
Brooks gets parole in 1954 after he had spent about five decades in jail and can’t seem to adjust to life out of jail and would end up hanging himself. Andy gets into trouble in one of the scenes and gets sent to solitary confinement. In 1963 when Norton begins to exploit the prisoners for cheap labor in carrying out public works while receiving bribes for this purpose. He launders this money with the fake name Randal Stephens.
The Tommy Williams Story
Tommy Williams gets incarcerated in 1965 for burglary. He soon becomes friends with Red and Andy who helps him to pass his GED examinations. About a year later, Tommy told Andy and Red that his cellmate confessed to killing Andy’s wife and her lover. Andy soon approaches Norton about this development and instead of listening to his case he sends him back to solitary confinement. Tommy was murdered by Hadley in the guise of a prison escape. Andy out of frustration threatens to discontinue the laundering but gets threatened with the destruction of the library. He would be released from solitary confinement at Shawshank prison after two months and begins talking about living in a town in Mexico.
The Jail Escape
On a roll call of the inmates, it was discovered that Andy’s cell was empty. A visibly angry Norton flings a stone at a Raquel Welch poster thus revealing a tunnel which Andy had been digging for almost twenty years. Just the night before, Andy had used this same rope to escape via the sewage pipe. Along with him, he had Norton’s shoes, suit, and ledger with evidence of the laundering.
While a manhunt going on for him, Andy impersonates Randall Stephen and makes away with all the money laundered using different banks. He then mails the ledgers and other incriminating documents to a local newspaper. Hadley is soon arrested by the police while Norton takes his own life to evade arrest.
After about 40 years of serving prison time, Red gets released on parole. He finds it quite difficult to adapt to life outside of prison. He then visits Buxton and there he finds some money and a letter from Andy Asking him to visit Zihuatanejo. He finds Andy there and they were reunited.
A Few Interesting Facts About The Shawshank Redemption
The Shawshank Redemption is a movie that came from nowhere with a banger when it was released. It certainly was not a big-budget movie but has since gone on to become a rather amazing movie with great ratings over the past few years. The events and characters portrayed in the movie as regards their stay in Ohio state reformatory is enough to stir something up in you. Both Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins gave an incredible account of themselves in the movie. Here are some wonderful facts you should know about Shawshank redemption.
Stephen King is the brain behind
Most people often expect stories by Stephen King to be filled with horror and suspense. What many do not know is that he is also the brain behind some drama pieces like Stand by Me and Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption.
Here comes Morgan
The name Morgan Freeman is certainly not a new entry into Hollywood. However, with the dozens of movies he has appeared in, he claims that this is one of his favorites. If you consider the kind of movies he has appeared in such as the Million Dollar Baby and Driving Miss Daisy, you will better comprehend the weight of that statement.
The movie also helped prove how much of a professional Morgan Freeman is. In the scene where Red and Andy chat, Red is seen pitching a baseball. This scene took about nine hours to film and all through the nine hours, Morgan Freeman did not complain about having to pitch the ball for that long. However, when he turned up for work the next day, it was with a sling holding his arm.
Also, when you get your hands on the parole papers of Red, what you won’t realize is that it is a photo of his Freeman’s son. The good thing about the whole thing is that he probably looks like how Morgan Freeman would have looked at his age.
Some behind the scene secrets
The truth is that when The Shawshank Redemption came out on screens, it only managed to perform modestly. However, as word began spreading about the movie, it began gaining traction in sales and rentals. One other interesting thing you may want to know is that the full title of the story was shortened. This was because some people in Hollywood felt it would have turned out as some sort of biopic about Rita Hayworth. Also, Clancy Brown declined offers of help from several real prison officers who wanted to assist him to get the role right. According to him, he declined the offers for help on the basis that he was trying to portray the character of someone who was evil and nasty and as such did not want to misrepresent the officers.
The dead maggot
There is a scene in the movie that features Brooks feeding his pet crow with a maggot. The American Humane Society was on ground monitoring to make sure that no harm came to the bird even though they realized that the scene was cruel to the maggot because they were going to feed the bird a live one. They instructed that the crew had to find a maggot that had died naturally and fed that to the bird instead.
Where went the Oscars
20 years on, The Shawshank Redemption has so far been Oscar-nominated seven times. The sad part, however, is that it never won any. What this goes to prove is that winning an Oscar does not guarantee that a movie is great and vice versa. People may not know it, but Brad Pitt was billed to be a part of the movie. He was supposed to play the role of Tommy Williams. However, Brad had other commitments at about the same time.
Despite not winning an Oscar, The Shawshank Redemption will go down in history as one of the best movies of all time. It may not be a real story, but it sure does represent a reality many inmates in prisons around the world face.
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