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The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Stephen King (short story "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption"), Frank Darabont (screenplay)
Tim Robbins ...
Morgan Freeman ...
Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding
Red: [narrating] I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don't want to know. Some things are best left unsaid. I'd like to think they were singing about something so beautiful, it can't be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it. I tell you, those voices soared higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made those walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free.
Andy Dufresne: That's the beauty of music. They can't get that from you... Haven't you ever felt that way about music?
Red: I played a mean harmonica as a younger man. Lost interest in it though. Didn't make much sense in here.
Andy Dufresne: Here's where it makes the most sense. You need it so you don't forget.
Andy Dufresne: Forget that... there are places in this world that aren't made out of stone. That there's something inside... that they can't get to, that they can't touch. That's yours.
Red: What're you talking about?
Andy Dufresne: Hope.
Warden Samuel Norton: [after Andy escapes] Well?
Red: Well what?
Warden Samuel Norton: I see you two all the time, you're thick as thieves, you are. He musta said *something*.
Red: Honest, Warden, not a word.
Warden Samuel Norton: [frustrated] Lord, it's a miracle! Man up and vanished like a fart in the wind! Nothing left but some damn rocks on the windowsill. And that cupcake on the wall! Let's ask her, maybe she knows.
Warden Samuel Norton: [to poster] What say you there, fuzzy-britches? Feel like talking? Aw, guess not. Why should she be any different?
[hefting one of Andy's rocks]
Warden Samuel Norton: This is a conspiracy, that's what it is.
Warden Samuel Norton: One... big... damn conspiracy! And everyone's in on it, including *her*!
[Throws a rock at the poster, the rock goes right through it and they hear it clattering. Norton puts his arm through the torn poster and rips it away from the wall, revealing Andy's escape tunnel]
Red: [narrating] In 1966, Andy Dufresne escaped from Shawshank prison. All they found of him was a muddy set of prison clothes, a bar of soap, and an old rock hammer, damn near worn down to the nub. I remember thinking it would take a man six hundred years to tunnel through the wall with it. Old Andy did it in less than twenty. Oh, Andy loved geology. I imagine it appealed to his meticulous nature. An ice age here, million years of mountain building there. Geology is the study of pressure and time. That's all it takes really, pressure, and time. That, and a big g0ddamn poster. Like I said, in prison a man will do most anything to keep his mind occupied. Turns out Andy's favorite hobby was totin' his wall out into the exercise yard, a handful at a time. I guess after Tommy was killed, Andy decided he'd been here just about long enough. Andy did like he was told, buffed those shoes to a high mirror shine. The guards simply didn't notice. Neither did I... I mean, seriously, how often do you really look at a mans shoes? Andy crawled to freedom through five hundred yards of $hit smelling foulness I can't even imagine, or maybe I just don't want to. Five hundred yards... that's the length of five football fields, just shy of half a mile.
[Warden Norton finds the bible in his safe after Andy escapes and finds the message Andy left for him]
Andy Dufresne: Dear Warden, You were right. Salvation lies within.
[Norton flips through a couple of pages to find the outline of the rock hammer that was hidden in the Book of Exodus within the Bible, and then drops it on the floor in shock]
Red: [narrating] Not long after the warden deprived us of his company, I got a postcard in the mail. It was blank, but the postmark said Fort Hancock, Texas. Fort Hancock... right on the border. That's where Andy crossed. When I picture him heading south in his own car with the top down, it always makes me laugh. Andy Dufresne... who crawled through a river of $hit and came out clean on the other side. Andy Dufresne... headed for the Pacific.
Red: [narrating] Sometimes it makes me sad, though... Andy being gone. I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up DOES rejoice. But still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone. I guess I just miss my friend.
1967 Parole Hearings Man: Ellis Boyd Redding, your files say you've served 40 years of a life sentence. Do you feel you've been rehabilitated?
Red: Rehabilitated? Well, now let me see. You know, I don't have any idea what that means.
1967 Parole Hearings Man: Well, it means that you're ready to rejoin society...
Red: I know what *you* think it means, sonny. To me it's just a made up word. A politician's word, so young fellas like yourself can wear a suit and a tie, and have a job. What do you really want to know? Am I sorry for what I did?
1967 Parole Hearings Man: Well, are you?
Red: There's not a day goes by I don't feel regret. Not because I'm in here, or because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then: a young, stupid kid who committed that terrible crime. I want to talk to him. I want to try and talk some sense to him, tell him the way things are. But I can't. That kid's long gone and this old man is all that's left. I got to live with that. Rehabilitated? It's just a bull$hit word. So you go on and stamp your form, sonny, and stop wasting my time. Because to tell you the truth, I don't give a $hit.
Andy Dufresne: Red. If you ever get out of here, do me a favor.
Red: Sure, Andy. Anything.
Andy Dufresne: There's a big hayfield up near Buxton. You know where Buxton is?
Red: Well, there's... there's a lot of hayfields up there.
Andy Dufresne: One in particular. It's got a long rock wall with a big oak tree at the north end. It's like something out of a Robert Frost poem. It's where I asked my wife to marry me. We went there for a picnic and made love under that oak and I asked and she said yes. Promise me, Red. If you ever get out... find that spot. At the base of that wall, you'll find a rock that has no earthly business in a Maine hayfield. Piece of black, volcanic glass. There's something buried under it I want you to have.
Red: What, Andy? What's buried under there?
Andy Dufresne: [turns to walk away] You'll have to pry it up... to see.
Andy Dufresne: [in a letter to Red] Dear Red. If you're reading this, you've gotten out. And if you've come this far, maybe you're willing to come a little further. You remember the name of the town, don't you?
Andy Dufresne: I could use a good man to help me get my project on wheels. I'll keep an eye out for you and the chessboard ready. Remember, Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies. I will be hoping that this letter finds you, and finds you well. Your friend. Andy.