13 Things You May Not Have Known About 'The Shawshank Redemption.'
The movie is based on the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption which was part of King's collection of 4 novellas published in 1982, entitled Different Seasons. Two of the other short stories in the collection were made into films, "Stand By Me" in 1986 and "Apt Pupil" in 1998.
#12 It's similar to Tolstoy.
King's novella shares many plot points with a nine-page short story by Russian writer Leo Tolstoy called "God Sees the Truth, But Waits." Both the stories are about a man falsely accused of murder.
#11 Director Frank Darabont got an amazing deal on the rights to King's story.
King sold the rights of his story for $1 dollar for it to be made into a movie.
#10 They had almost different casts.
Castle Rock Entertainment, the studio that made Shawshank, was co-founded by Rob Reine, he is the director of another film which was based on King's story, "Stand By Me", and is named after the mythical Maine town that provides the setting for many of King's books. When Darabont catsed Shawshank to the studio, Reiner originally offered $2.5 million to star Tom Cruise as Andy Dufresne and Harrison Ford as Red, for the script.
#9 The script was written by Darabont in just eight weeks.
He decided to drop the "Rita Hayworth" part from the novella because actresses sent their resumes thinking that it was a Rita Hayworth biopic. During the casting, Darabont even received a call from an agent who presented a supermodel, he admitted that, the script was the best she had ever read and that she would be perfect for the part of Hayworth.
#8 It was filmed in Ohio.
Although the film is set in Maine, The Shawshank Prison in the movie was built in the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield. The structure was supposed to be torn down, but the production didn't took any action for a year. After the film was completed all the buildings in the complex were destroyed except the cell-block and main administrative building. They were preserved for historical purposes.
#7 Morgan Freeman pitched the ball for straight 9 hours.
It took 9 hours to shoot Andy and Red's first conversation with Red throwing the ball in the prison yard, Morgan Freeman continued to pitch the baseball for 9 hours without complaint. The next day, he arrived to set with his arm in a sling.
#6 The film was inspired by 'Goodfellas.'
Darabont says he was inspired by the movie 'Goodfellas' which he used to watch every Sunday. He was inspired by the movie because of its use a voice-over narration and how to show the passage of time.
#5 He's not Morgan.
The mugshot of a young Red, attached to his parole papers, was actually a photo of Morgan Freeman's son Alfonso.
#4 'Red' was changed for the film.
In the original novella, Red is a middle-aged Irishman with graying red hair. However, Frank Darabont always had Morgan Freeman in mind for the role because of his authoritative presence, demeanor and deep voice.
#3 The close-up shots of hands are actually director Frank Darabont’s.
None of the close-up shots of Andy's hands or feet are of Tim Robbins. They are the hands and feet of director Frank Darabont.
#2 The actual location of the Andy's letters.
The scene where Red finds Andy's letter near the tree isn't in Buxton, Maine. But, the real location is in Ohio's Malabar Farm State Park.
#1 The property guy was a jokester.
It was the film's property master Tom Shaw, who narrated the visual joke of Andy's rock hammer being tucked into the Bible right after the first page of the Book of Exodus.
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