Fun Facts About You Probably Don't Know About The Shawshank Redemption

Publish Date
Friday, 10 June 2016, 11:16AM

Rated as the most popular movie of all-time, The Shawshank Redemption is truly beloved by everyone who watches it. You know Red and Andy, but did you know these other fun facts about the film...

  • Stephen King never cashed his check: The movie is based on a Stephen King novella called Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. The author sold the rights to his 96-page story to Frank Darabont (the film's writer/director) for just $5,651 but bizarrely he never cashed the cheque. According to the Wall Street Journal, King actually framed the cheque and sent it back to Darabont years after the movie came out, with a note that said, "In case you ever need bail money. Love, Steve".

  • Tim Robbins wasn't the first choice to play Andy Dufresne: Tom Hanks and Kevin Costner both passed on the movie (whoops). Tom Cruise was really keen, but he wasn't thrilled that Frank Darabont had never directed a feature film before and demanded that Rob Reiner (who directed Cruise in A Few Good Men and was Darabont's mentor) have greater control over the movie.
    According to the film's producer, Liz Glotzer, Rob Reiner spoke to Cruise and said, "No, if you're going to do it with [Darabont], it's his vision".
    "So then Tom Cruise didn't want to do it," said Glotzer.

  • There was a lot of tension on set between the actors and the first time director: According to Morgan Freeman (who played Red), director Frank Darabont always wanted to shoot scenes several times over, even if they were perfect.
    "The answer [I'd give him] was no," said Freeman in Vanity Fair.
    "I don't want to be chewing the scenery. Acting itself isn't difficult. But having to do something again and again for no discernible reason tends to be a bit debilitating to the energy."

  • Painful scene: Remember the scene where Andy (played by Tim Robbins) chats to Red (played by Morgan Freeman) as he throws a baseball in the prison yard? That scene actually took nine hours to shoot and Freeman spent the whole time throwing the baseball back and forth. He didn't complain but did rock up the next day with his arm in a sling. That's dedication.

  • Crappy water: The water that Andy (played by Tim Robbins) crawled through in the sewage pipe during his escape attempt was actually toxic.
    "We got a local chemist to test the quality of the water, and he said this water is absolutely lethal," said designer Terence Marsh.
    Apparently Robbins agreed to film the scene in the dangerous water as long as there was a hot shower nearby for get clean immediately afterwards.