There are a number of legendary movies I have yet to watch, and until two days ago, Shawshank Redemption was one of them. I had meant to watch it for a while, seeing as it topped IMDb's Top 250 movie list, and my dad finally gave me that opportunity.
I loved the movie from the start, and I've made it a habit to look up interesting trivia facts whenever I find a movie this enjoyable. So without further ado, here are my ten favorite fun facts about Shawshank Redemption.
A Close Casting Call
In Shawshank Redemption, Gil Bellow's plays the rock n' roll newbie named Tommy. However, the part was originally meant for Brad Pitt. Pitt instead played in Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles.
A Cheap Purchase
Frank Darabont, the film's director, purchased the rights to Shawshank Redemption from Steven King for only $5,000.
King never cashed in the check, however. Instead, he sent it back to Frank, framed with a note that read, "In case you ever need bail money. Love, Steve."
Maggots Have Feelings, Too
In the scene where Brooks feeds the maggot to his bird Jake, they had to feed Jake a dead maggot. The American Humane Association objected to the use of a live maggot, saying that it would be cruel to feed it to a bird.
The scene where Morgan Freeman's character Red was throwing a baseball took a grand total of 9 hours to film. Morgan Freeman actually threw the ball all nine hours without complaining. He came in the next day with his arm in a sling.
Though Morgan Freeman ended up as the character Red, Harrison Ford, Paul Newman, and Clint Eastwood were all considered for the role. Freeman was chosen because of his voice and his overall essence of authority.
The original novella that inspired the film was titled "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption," by Steven King. The title was shortened after people thought that the movie would be a biography of Rita Hayworth. Some agents actually requested auditions to play Rita Hayworth, who they thought was the lead.
A Film of Many Titles
When the film was released internationally, the title changed from country to country. When translated to english, the title is "Dreams of Escape" in Mexico, "Life Imprisonment" in Spain, and "The Wings of Freedom" in Italy.
It's More Than You Think
In Shawshank Redemption, it's stated that Andy walked away with $370,000 of the Warden's money. Initially, that doesn't seem as dramatic, until you adjust the money for inflation. Today, it would be equivilant to over 2 million dollars!
My Name's Andy, Andy Gump
Several actors were considered for the role of Andy Dufresne, including Tom Hanks, Johnny Depp, Nicholas Cage, and Tom Cruise. Tom Hanks was actually offered the role, but his schedule was busy with Forrest Gump, which came out the same year.
When the character of Red goes in for parole hearings, the figure in the mugshots is not actually Morgan Freeman. The figure is actually Morgan's son, Alfonso Freeman. Alfonso also made an appearance in the beginning of the film, yelling "Fresh fish! Fresh fish!"