28 Of The Most Surprising Facts You Didn't Know About 'The Shawshank Redemption'
'The Shawshank Redemption' wasn't overly hyped up at it's release, but has since gone on to be considered one of the greatest movies ever made.
Below are 28 of the absolute coolest facts. Check them out!
1/28) Andy and Red's opening chat in the prison yard, in which Red is pitching a baseball, took nine hours to shoot. Morgan Freeman pitched that baseball for the entire nine hours without a word of complaint. He showed up for work the next day with his arm in a sling. Morgan Freeman's favorite film of his own.
2/28) For the sewage tunnel sequence, Tim Robbins initially refused to immerse himself in the muddy water at the end of the pipe after a chemist tested the water and dubbed it lethal.
3/28) Although it is never directly stated in the film, Brooks, the old librarian, is in prison for allegedly murdering his wife and daughter after a losing streak at poker.
4/28) The crow was very difficult to film with. When Andy goes to the library to begin work as Brooks' assistant and Brooks' crow, Jake, is squawking, Tim Robbins had to time his line, "Hey, Jake. Where's Brooks?" so that the crow wouldn't squawk over him, since the bird could not be trained to squawk on cue. Robbins was able to adapt to this and time his line perfectly by learning the bird's squawking patterns, for which director Frank Darabont praised him.
You can see that Robbins' improvisation is noticeable as he watches the bird carefully while approaching it, waiting for it to squawk, and doesn't begin his line until after it does so.
5/28) Although it lost money in the theatres, it became one of the highest grossing movie rentals ever.
6/28) Clancy Brown, who plays Captain Hadley in the movie, said that he received several offers from real-life corrections officers to work with him to make his portrayal of Captain Hadley more realistic.
He turned them all down because he said that Hadley was an evil character and he didn't want to misrepresent real corrections officers.
Click on the next page for even crazier facts!
7/28) In the movie, Red says "I committed murder" when asked why he's in Shawshank, but the movie doesn't further elaborate on this.
In the novella, it explains that Red is serving three life sentences for murdering his wife, his neighbor's wife and his neighbor's son. Red disconnected the brakes on his car in order to kill his wife to collect on an insurance policy; he did not plan on two other people being in the car at the time.
8/28) Tom Hanks was offered the lead role of Andy Dufresne, but had to turn it down for his Oscar-winning role in Forrest Gump. Years later, Hanks would collaborate with director Frank Darabont on another Stephen King adaptation, The Green Mile.
9/28) Frank Darabont preferred to end the film with Red searching for Andy. His ideal ending would have been Red on the bus heading for the field. Darabont wanted to end on an open, ambiguous note, but Castle Rock insisted on a reunion between the two to please audiences with a 'happy ending'.
10/28) The prison that played Shawshank, the Ohio State Reformatory, was scheduled to be demolished, but it now serves as a museum.
Some of the set pieces from the movie, like the Warden's office and the tunnel that Andy crawls out of, are still intact.
11/28) In the funniest case of foreshadowing, Red refers to Andy's aspiration to live a free life in Mexico as a 'sh*tty pipe dream'.
Later on, Andy achieves his dream by crawling through the sewer pipe of the prison: a sh*tty pipe
Wow. Keep going for more Shawshank!
12/28) The Shawshank Redemption inspired the events of a real prison escape: in 2007, two inmates of Union County Prison escaped from their prison using similar techniques to those featured in the movie. They escaped the prison successfully, but were recaptured later on.
13/28) There are only two women who speak in the entire movie: the lady who berates Brooks' service at the grocery store, and the bank clerk when Andy escapes Shawshank.
14/28) Director Frank Darabont got a lot of inspiration for the movie from watching Goodfellas, including voice-over narration and showing the passage of time.
15/28) Rob Reiner loved the script for the movie so much that he offered Darabont 2.5 million dollars for it. Reiner was going to direct it with Harrison Ford and Tom Cruise in the lead roles.
Darabont eventually turned it down, saying it was his chance to do something really great.
16/28) When the movie was first released, it didn't even earn enough at the box office to recoup the costs of production.
17/28) The America Human Society was very strict on the scenes involving Brook's crow. During the scene where he fed it a maggot, the AHA objected on the grounds that it was cruel to the maggot, and required that they use a maggot that had died from natural causes. One was found, and the scene was filmed.
Keep going, they get even better!
18/28) Several close-ups of Andy's hands were not actually Tim Robbins. In the closeup of Andy's hands loading the revolver in the opening scenes, the hands are actually those of Frank Darabont. Later in the film, while Andy carves his name into his cell wall, Darabont's hands are used again for the insert shot. These closeups were filmed during post production, notably because Darabont felt that only he could do exactly what he wanted in the closeups.
19/28) The rock wall where Red's "treasure" is buried was built specifically for the film and stood for many years. It was built by hand by the art department months before filming began. This allowed for the alfalfa grass to grow to make it look weathered.
Eventually, the wall was taken apart and sold on eBay, one rock at a time, by the farmer who owned the land it stood on. The tree at the end of the wall stood until it was slashed in two by lightning in 2011. A portion of its remains now stands, propped up, by the pond on the grounds of the Ohio State Reformatory.
20/28) When the warden flips through Andy's Bible after his escape, he finds the cut out space where Andy's digging tool was hidden starting in the book of Exodus. Exodus means 'to escape'.
21/28) Red says that Andy escaped from Shawshank in 1966, which was the same year it was decided that a defendant must be informed of their rights when arrested (the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, etc).
This is why when Captain Hadley is arrested at the end of the movie, the officer read him his rights from a piece of paper.
22/28) Unlike most movies, the voice-over narration was recorded first, and then played on set to give the rhythm of each scene.
Morgan Freeman recorded all the voice-overs in just 40 minutes, but there was a minor hiss sound which the sound crew were unable to fix, so they had to re-record it; it took three weeks the second time.
That's crazy. Keep going for even more!
23/28) Frank Darabont has decided to never release the deleted scenes from the movie, as he finds them embarrassing and doesn't want them to be seen.
24/28) It was Tim Robbins' idea to have Andy Dufresne turn up the volume of the record player in the scene where he plays the Opera over the PA.
25/28) The original title of the novella is 'Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption', but they opted to just go with 'The Shawshank Redemption' because they didn't want audiences to think it would be a Rita Hayworth biopic.
Frank Darabont even got audition requests from several actresses about playing the lead in the 'biopic'.
26/28) The mugshots of a young-looking Morgan Freeman that are attached to his parole papers are actually pictures of Morgan's younger son, Alfonso Freeman.
Alfonso also had a cameo in the movie as a con shouting, "Fresh fish! Fresh fish today! We're reeling 'em in!"
27/28) 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.
Darabont alluded to the casting choice by having Red jokingly reply to Andy's inquiry about his nickname with the line, "Maybe it's because I'm Irish."
28/28) While Mansfield locals were eager to be extras, many weren't available during the day due to their jobs or were only available for one day, which obviously would not work in a prison film. So, extras were found at a halfway house, some of them real-life ex-cons.
Sourced to IMDb.
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Purposefully inflicted pain.
One of the most famous examples I can recall is that walking on coals nonsense.
WHY ARE YOU DOING THAT?!
That and Bikram yoga. Good Lord the heat.
The things humans will put ourselves through is astounding.
The things we can actually withstand is kind of amazing though.
Redditor Ok_Security_8657 wanted to hear about the times we've had to suffer through, so they asked:
"What is the most painful thing you've ever experienced, *on purpose*?"
Let's see what stories Reddit had to contribute.
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"Novocaine doesn't work on me. For submarine service you have to have all of your wisdom teeth removed. The Navy does not use anything other than novocaine. They only pull two at a time though. I went back the second time."
"I cut my thumb pretty bad years ago while using a knife in my kitchen. And looking at the salt shaker on the counter I got the idea to literally. Pour salt on a wound. It was like an electric shock was sent through my nervous system. A short but very intense feeling of pain. Use salt water/saline instead."
"Technically it is an electric shock as salt has negative ion that if the condition is correct it would shock your nerves."
"I have a friend who got a lung biopsy WITHOUT numbing and pain meds. She was 14. She said she wanted to 'feel it' like the biopsy on her knee (which did, in fact, use drugs). She says it was the most painful experience of her life. She had 26 cancerous tumors big enough to show up when on the scan of her lungs. She is happily married, alive and well, and a total bada**."
"I cut my arm open trying to catch a falling glass once. Saw the insides. To be thorough, I cleaned the wound by alternating squirting isopropyl alcohol and hydrogen peroxide in it. A little later my surgeon friend told me soap and water would have been good enough to clean it. Welp."
"Next time use coffee grounds. I've also heard of people using chili powder but that seems like it'd be nasty."
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"IUD fitting. Thought it was all fine because I didn't have too much pain during the procedure... 12 hours later I could not move from the pain and had to get my mum to deliver pain killers to my flat at 7am next morning bc I'd gone through everything we had."
Painkillers 24/7 for somethings please.
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"Recently, I had a couple plantars warts cut out of my feet. The shots they use to numb you suuuuck. Went right into the bottom of each of my feet under the big toes. WHITE HOT AGONY. Thankfully, the pain doesn't last very long, and the operation was pretty much painless after that."
"Getting my eyes washed after being Pepper sprayed. We were given a chance to experience the proper stuff while in military. My mind went 'Hell yeah, that will be cool!' Well, got sprayed, had to walk 5 meters to a person holding a water bottle so he could rinse my eyes. Motherf**ker had warm/hot water in the bottle and he poured it to my face."
"It burned even more and I got waterboarded at the same time."
"I've heard that you can experience pain that makes you fear you will die. Maybe, but at that moment I learned that you can feel pain that makes you fear that you might not die, and you have to suffer that pain."
"The most painful experience of my life was passing a kidney stone, though whether or not it can be considered to have been experienced on purpose is debatable. I certainly contributed to its development through my choices, but that’s another story."
"On the other hand, I had an ingrown toenail removed before."
"After removing the entire side of the nail, the doctor chemically burned the exposed nail bed with a chemical called phenol. Even though my toe was entirely numb, it was the most white hot searing pain ever. It hurt so bad it took my breath away. The best part is that the toenail came back, and I’m getting it done again in two weeks."
"Decided I had to tell the woman I fell in love with that I had feelings for her. I knew before I told her that she would reject me. She was not in a mentally healthy place and didn’t want to be with ANYONE. But I wanted her to know the truth. So I took the rejection like a man and we are still friends."
"Putting my wedding ring on our bedroom dresser (knowing my marriage was over) while my wife was across town doing a police officer she had met at the shooting range. I walked out of our house and have not spoken to or seen her since. That was over 40 years ago."
Bye ByeSad Rabbit GIF by Muffin & NutsGiphy
"Putting my dog down. She passed in my arms. There's a song that I associate with her which I can't hear without tearing up, despite her exiting my life more than a decade ago."
These are some brave folks who have been through some enormous pain. We thank thank for sharing!
Do you have anything you'd like to add? Let us know in the comment section.
People Break Down Which Things Everyone Should Experience At Least Once In Their Lives
Especially in today's economy, with many of the stresses that appeared during the pandemic still hanging over our heads, it can be easy to forget to look for the joyful experiences in our days.
And some of these experiences can be truly life-altering, so much so that everyone should experience them at least once.
Redditor HappyNuisance asked:
"What's something everyone should experience at least once in their life?"
Mend a Broken Heart
"Heartbreak... it sucks and is one of the absolute worst feelings you can imagine but it helps if you experience that younger in life rather than, at say, 60 because it helps you grow as a person!"
Provide Hospice Care
"I have a weird one... When someone is in hospice and needs 24-hour care, if possible, take them into your home, learn all you can about what to do so you don't need hospice coming out whenever something comes up."
"We did this for my mother as she died of pancreatic cancer back in 2010 and my kids (ages six and nine at the time) got to see and experience a loved one's death. They saw it wasn't scary or anything to be afraid of. They learned the true meaning of compassion, love, humility, and respect."
"I consider it an honor and a privilege to have taken care of my mom while she was on her deathbed."
Reconnect with Nature
"Go camping. Spend some time in the wilderness with no electronics, no demands, and (hopefully) no stress. Just detach from the modern world for a short while and enjoy the return to nature."
Disconnect from Technology
"Being well and absolutely disconnected. No phones, no GPS. I last had that experience in the early 90s. Being somewhere with someone you trust and the two of you are the only people who know where you are and what you are doing."
Visit Another Country
"As an American, an extended stay in a foreign country. Being stationed in Europe for several years was mind-blowing. You really cannot grasp the completely sheltered, ethnocentric bubble that we Americans live in until you are able to spend some extended time outside of it."
"Also, as an American, it is difficult to grasp how truly ancient Europe is, and similarly, I noticed that non-Americans have difficulty grasping how truly enormous America is."
"Hunting, fishing, gardening, gathering, whatever it takes to supply yourself with a food source, independently, for at least a few days. It really opens your eyes to the time and labor required to feed one person, let alone billions. It also makes you acutely aware of the delicate balance we live each day with food supplies."
"Experiencing a major sporting event in person. For me, the most important memorable ones were football, both European and American. I was fortunate enough to experience the World Cup in Germany and have been to several NFL games in the U.S."
"It is incredible to be in a massive arena with 80,000 other humans, feeling the energy, feeling the ground shake. It gives you a bit of insight into what it must have been like in the Roman heydays of the Coliseum. It also helps you to grasp the enormity of a natural disaster, when you see what such a large number of people actually looks like."
"I could go on for days, lol (laughing out loud)."
Immerse Yourself in Another Culture
"Another culture. And I don’t mean as a tourist where you have all the comforts of home. To fully absorb and immerse yourself in the lives of that culture. To eat their foods, drink their drinks, and do as they do."
Go Scuba Diving
"I went night diving on my honeymoon in Bonaire and saw the ostracods (little bioluminescent shrimp) lighting up the water all around me. The most beautiful, magical thing I have ever experienced."
Remember to Do the Silly Things
"On road trips through the Midwest, I play a game called Transition. It’s where we try to find a cow 'in transition' which means the cow is either getting up or sitting down."
"Think about it. You always see cows sitting or standing. Have you ever seen a cow get up or sit down?"
"Now go and have 'fun' with that, Reddit."
"Gratitude for being alive. And I don't mean it like after a near-death experience. I'm talking about the epiphany you get doing the simplest task or after a bad day. The sudden realization of being alive and being able to feel however you're feeling at the moment is something everyone should experience and be grateful for."
See a Solar Eclipse
"Witnessing a total solar eclipse."
"Totally life-changing. Even having a full understanding of what is happening, I totally get how people over the millennia would find this to be an omen from the gods."
Feel Financial Independence
"Even if it's only for a short period of time: full financial independence while being single. You can pay your own bills, you have your own place, and you have full freedom over your free time."
"Whether it's staying in and binge-watching Netflix, or going out and sitting amongst strangers, your time is your own. No kids. No spouse or significant other. I find this is when you really get to know and understand yourself."
Gain a New Perspective on Home
"Everyone should experience the joys of traveling to a foreign land at least once in their lifetime, even if it's just to realize how much they love their own toilet."
"Imagine discovering new cultures, cuisines, and the thrill of trying to communicate with locals using just charades and a phrasebook. Trust me, it's a life-changing experience that'll give you a new appreciation for your home and a killer accent to boot."
Don't Miss Out on the Ocean
"I took a friend to see the ocean for the first time, something I had seen regularly since I was a child. He was awestruck and we just sat there watching for about an hour."
Listen to the Sound of Snow Falling
"The sound of it snowing. I laid on the ground, in the snow at night in the Alaskan wilderness, in December, it's so peaceful."
Give Thanks Instead of Regrets
"Last year I was diagnosed with kidney cancer. In the days and weeks leading up to my kidney removal, I would get up early and just sit outside on our porch swing and watch the sunrise."
"So many mornings I just sat in silence and realized how much I would miss the sounds of morning birds, the breeze, the sun touching the tops of the trees, and the rest of life waking up. I realized how much I would miss living. I couldn't imagine not experiencing life and everything it brings you in every moment if you only take a moment to appreciate it."
"I know this isn't quite the reason you meant, but it was the first time in a long time a really felt connected to everything and it has made me more thankful for those little quiet moments."
All of these beautiful sentiments are relatively straight-forward, if not simple, in principal, but their impact is powerful and can leave a person forever changed.
Imagine how fulfilling it would be to cross all of these off of your list.
Guys Divulge Which Things All Men Secretly Do
When it comes to certain behaviors, it's a gender thing.
Our different anatomy makes men specifically do things–like adjust their crotch area in public or just give up altogether and spread their legs while sitting on a subway train to make themselves comfortable.
But it's not just about moving a stuck testicle.
There are other peculiarities exclusively associated with men.
Curious to find out more about what else men typically do, Redditor Sythanytx asked:
"Guys of Reddit, what is one thing that all guys do?"
Here's some behind the scenes examples of what guys do concerning what's between their legs.
"Pretending to put our hands in our pocket when actually we're actually trying to untangle our underwear."
"The side step to unstick your junk from your thigh."
Here's what happens in the men's room.
"Give each other space at the urinals. 9 times out of 10, the only time you will see 2 guys using directly adjacent urinals is when there's no other choice. Otherwise, the rule is every other urinal, and we're pretty good at it."
Focus On The Task At Hand
"The stare blankly at the wall when peeing at a urinals."
"Looking to the side is punishable by death."
These behaviors occur before accomplishing a task.
"Pressing the trigger on your drill a couple of times as soon as you pick it up."
"What my brother calls the 'guy check.'"
"We slap our pockets to make sure we have our wallet, keys, and phone."
Maybe it's a guy thing.
Clearing The Path
"Kick rocks off of the sidewalk or down the street."
A Boulder Move
"enjoy dropping big rocks into water etc."
Hear Him Roar
"One time I was in a walking path that crosses over a lake. Two little boys were running to the shore and back up to toss in rocks. I walked down to the shore picked up a bowling size rock and threw it off the bridge for them. I was a god in their little eyes. Lol."
"I have no idea wtf is going on in most of my friends personal lives... Known them for years."
"Critically think if the next woman that talks to us is flirting with us or is trying to be a friend.... usually we fail anyways."
Here's a twist, if you will.
It's no secret men have an advantage with peeing while standing.
But here's my personal secret, and it's not something all men do.
At home, I pee sitting down. It's for a sanitary reason. I don't want to make a splash and have micro droplets accumulating on the bathroom floor, because, gross.
I wish my husband felt the same; but, I can't complain.
He always puts the seat back down for me when he's emptied out.
People Divulge Subtle Signs That Someone Grew Up Poor
It is estimated that nearly 37.9 million people in the United States currently live in poverty.
A shameful statistic, to say the least.
Challenging as it is, however, growing up poor is nothing to necessarily be ashamed of, as many influential people in this world came from humble beginnings.
Even so, many people who grew up poor and found success and financial stability in adulthood still try to hide their childhood from others. But those in the know, or who had the same experience, tend to notice the subtle, tell-tale signs of those whose childhood was anything but luxurious.
Redditor Puzzled-Painter3301 was curious to learn how people could tell if someone grew up poor, leading them to ask:
"What's a sign that someone grew up poor?"
Their Relationship With Food
"When you can’t finish a meal, pulling it apart to at least eat the meat because 'that’s the expensive part'."
"Or just force feeding yourself any meal you buy because you have to feel like you didn’t waste."
"Being hypersensitive to any light left on, door left open, opening the fridge too much, running water too long, etc, because you’re trained to minimize utilities."
"Never pouring more than 1/2 a glass of any drink when at someone else’s house (except water) because you don’t want to be seen as wasteful/gluttonous."
"Making weird snacks out of food that isn’t supposed to be a snack - ex."
"Eating dry ramen noodles like chips, Kool Aid with sugar and your finger to make your own fun dip, eating Kraft cheese slices/cold hotdogs/other things that are normally just a part of a meal."- kountryt
"Scanning the menu for the cheapest options possible when at a restaurant."
“'It’s ok the soup is really enough for me.'”- Call_the_Green_Man
"I grew up poor and my husband grew up middle class."
'Whenever we have guests, I am constantly asking people if they got ENOUGH food."
"'Is anyone still hungry? I can make something else!'"
"My husband will inquire about the quality of the food and if it is to everyone's liking."
"I think when you grow up poor, food is very much quantity over quality."- NoMaineKoonsAllowed
Resistance To Let Go
"Never replacing anything unless there’s absolutely no way to use the old thing anymore, and going to absurd lengths to keep something 'still useable'.”- boymanpal
"Odd hoarding behaviours of things you probably should have gotten rid of out of fear you won’t be able to replace them easily."
"I keep a stack of boxes broken down because there’s still this fear in the back of my mind that I’ll have to move again at a moment’s notice."
"I make a decent salary now and have lived where I am for nearly 7 years, but I still can’t part with those boxes despite the space they take up."
"Under the bed, behind the chest of drawers."
"Yeah. I still have ‘em."- Mr_Lumbergh
"Difficulty throwing things away."- OldSamVimes
"Not that wealthier people can't be sentimental.'
"But my dad, whose parents grew up in the rural South during the great depression, wants to keep every little thing of my mom's."
"He would prefer to keep her bedroom as is."
"I always wondered why he wanted to keep it like that."
"But then I realized, the only thing we have left is my mom's ashes in an urn."
"There was no funeral, no memorial, (she didn't want any and there was no one to come anyways) no tombstone."
"Nothing that feels tangible, personal, etc."
"We don't have the luxury of beautiful personal mausoleums, or headstones, or anything else in the Western death culture."
"My mom's bedroom, and all her stuff is the closest we will ever have to a memorial for my mom.'
"It's a tomb, without a body in it."- InsomWriter
Always Looking For A Sale
"Never buying clothing at full price."
"It just feels illegal."- Totally-trapped
Justifying A Purchase
"For me, I have what I call 'poverty mentality.'"
"While I can afford new shoes and clothes, they have to be falling apart for me to replace."- ciarrabobeara
Appreciation For Nice Things
"Still being marveled by an ice maker and side by side doors."- Difficult_Let_1953
"Realizing I wanted to have the house that all my kids friends came over to hang out at because that wasn't really an option for big chunks of my childhood."- sykojaz
Strictly Sticking To A Budget
"Immense financial anxiety."- natandsneks
Hiding Their Smile
"In the US I’d say poor dental history or teeth."
"Dental work is a luxury."
"Overall, I’d say many hoarders grew up poor because they are so afraid of not having something if they’ll need it so they keep everything."- Leadsingerofthebandd
Should we notice people doing these things, it is of the utmost importance not to judge.
In fact, one can only admire people with an undying appreciation for beautiful things and who never underestimate the value of one dollar.