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The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  14 October 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 9.3/10 from 1,562,407 users   Metascore: 80/100
Reviews: 3,822 user | 193 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.



(short story "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption"), (screenplay)
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Top Rated Movies #1 | Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
1946 D.A.
Guard Mert


Andy Dufresne is a young and successful banker whose life changes drastically when he is convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his wife and her lover. Set in the 1940s, the film shows how Andy, with the help of his friend Red, the prison entrepreneur, turns out to be a most unconventional prisoner. Written by Martin Lewison <milst1@cislabs.pitt.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free.


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and prison violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

14 October 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)


£2,344,349 (UK) (19 May 1995)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although it is never stated in the film, Brooks is in prison for murdering his wife and daughter after a losing streak at poker. Meanwhile, in the book, Red's life term is not because of a botched robbery-turned-fatal-shooting, but for murdering his wife by disabling her brakes, which accidentally killed a neighbour and child, as well as her. See more »


In the original scene where Andy is switching the books and shoes he hands the warden the deposit slips and says, "three deposits". When Red is retelling the story and the scene is repeated Andy says, "three deposits today." See more »


[first lines]
District Attorney: Mr. Dufresne, describe the confrontation you had with your wife the night that she was murdered.
Andy Dufresne: It was very bitter. She said she was glad I knew, that she hated all the sneaking around. And she said that she wanted a divorce in Reno.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The man who cried and was beaten when Andy first arrived is listed and credited as "Fat Ass" -- the other inmates' nickname for him. See more »


Referenced in The Majestic (2001) See more »


Willie and The Hand Jive
by Johnny Otis
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license from CEMA Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Tied for the best movie I have ever seen
26 November 2003 | by (Texas) – See all my reviews

Why do I want to write the 234th comment on The Shawshank Redemption? I am not sure - almost everything that could be possibly said about it has been said. But like so many other people who wrote comments, I was and am profoundly moved by this simple and eloquent depiction of hope and friendship and redemption.

The only other movie I have ever seen that effects me as strongly is To Kill a Mockingbird. Both movies leave me feeling cleaner for having watched them.

I didn't intend to see this movie at all: I do not like prison movies and I don't normally watch them. I work at a branch library and one day as I was checking The Shawshank Redemption out to one of our older patrons, she said to me, "Whenever I feel down or depressed, I check out this movie and watch it and it always makes me feel better." At the time, I thought that was very strange. One day there was nothing on TV except things I absolutely would not watch under any circumstance or things that I had seen too many times already. I remembered what she said, so I watched it. I have watched it many many times since then and it gets better with every showing.

No action, no special effects - just men in prison uniforms talking to each other.

The Shawshank Redemption and To Kill a Mockingbird are the best movies I have ever seen. I do not judge it by it's technical merits - I don't really care about that. I have read that Citizen Kane or The Godfather or this or that movie is the best movie ever made. They may have the best technique or be the most influential motion pictures ever made, but not the best. The best movies are ones that touch the soul. It takes a movie like The Shawshank Redemption to touch the soul.

2,019 of 2,334 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Overrated... maximumcomedy
Rip off of Escape from Alcatraz neoclue
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Is shawshank in your top 10 ryleysawsome
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