25 Things You Didn't Know About The Shawshank Redemption

Happy 25th to an all-timer.

The Shawshank Redemption
Columbia Pictures

This week marks 25 years since The Shawshank Redemption first hit U.S. cinemas, beginning its path towards becoming one of the most popular and acclaimed Hollywood movies of all time.

Despite initial commercial failure, Frank Darabont's prison drama picked up a second life on home video and TV, where it eventually turned considerable profits for the studio, and a quarter of a century later, it reportedly remains one of the most prized assets in Warner Bros.' media library.

The film's stature as a pop-culture monolith cannot be overstated: between its iconic dialogue, wonderful performances and deeply humanistic depiction of hope prevailing over despair, it's an all-time classic for damn fine reason.

And as with any beloved movie, there are a heap of fascinating and little-known stories about how the movie was made, from its humble origins as a passion project for Darabont, to the script setting Hollywood alight and attracting a who's who of A-list talents.

Despite its relatively modest budget and production, Shawshank wasn't an easy shoot for anyone, with Darabont and his crew scarcely avoiding disaster several times, between a brutally demanding shooting schedule and a fire that damn-near destroyed one of the movie's major sets.

And yet, the end result feels so meticulously, perfectly polished that you'd never guess it was quite such a gruelling experience for all involved...


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.