Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

In Frank Darabont's (his directorial debut film) popular melodramatic adaptation of a Stephen King novella:

  • the incredible Shawshank Prison arrival scene of wrongly-convicted, mild-mannered banker Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) - an overhead helicopter shot that left the arriving drab-gray prison bus, ascended the main tower of the prison, and peered down into the prison courtyard where ant-like prisoners scurried toward the fenced-in arrival area to gawk and jeer while the new arrivals disembarked
  • the religiously-fanatical Warden Norton's (Bob Gunton) speech to the inmates about what he believed in: Discipline and the Bible
  • Andy's first request of lifer friend Red (Morgan Freeman) - a rock hammer!
  • Red's narration about how sadistic cons cornered Andy: "I wish I could tell you Andy fought the good fight and the Sisters let him be...but prison is no fairytale world"
  • the liberating, uplifting scene of the inmates drinking cold beers on the sunny rooftop and feeling like 'free men' while the heroic Andy smiled off to the side in the shade
  • the similar scene when Andy broadcast Mozart's opera 'The Marriage of Figaro' over the prison P.A. system so that the prisoners in the yard could hear it
  • Andy's and Red's discussion - while slumped against the yard wall - about their yearnings from freedom with Andy's decision: "Get busy livin' or get busy dyin'"
  • Red's wise statement about what "institutionalized" meant during his third parole hearing -- followed by the emphatic rubber-stamped "APPROVED" on his file
  • the sad scene of Brooks Hatlen's (James Whitmore) suicide by hanging after carving "BROOKS WAS HERE" on the wooden arch above him
  • the discovery by the Warden of the escape hole in Andy's cell - covered over by a poster of Raquel Welch
  • the re-play of Andy's escape through the wall tunnel and sewage conduit and his exultant pose with his arms raised up from his half-naked body to the sky during a cleansing rainstorm - twirling, victorious and liberated after the prison break
Escape Tunnel
Andy's Liberation
Reunion on a Mexican Beach - Andy and Red
  • the sequence of Red's discovery of Andy's letter in a field and his walk back through the field with grasshoppers springing into the air all around
  • the final reunion scene on a beach in Mexico next to the Pacific Ocean

Triumphant Andy on Sunny Rooftop

Broadcast of Mozart's Opera

"Get busy livin' or get busy dyin'"

Watching Gilda in Prison

Brooks' Suicide by Hanging

Red's "Approved" Parole Papers for Release


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