Shawshank Redemption

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The Opening Scenes

In the first scene Andy Du Fresne is on trial for the murder of his wife and her lover. He is then sentenced to serve two life sentences back to back at Shawshank Prison.

In the second scene Red is being interviewed as he is requesting parole. We learn he has served 20 years of a life sentence. He is denied. It is understood from the characters attitude that rejection from the parole office is quite frequent.

The movie is seen from Red’s perspective, and throughout the movie Red narrates the story. We learn that Red is “the guy that can get things”. He believes there must be a “con” like him in every prison. Red has served 20 years in prison.

All the cons gather around the main gate as the prison bus pulls up with all the “new fish”. Red and his mate make bets to see who will be the first to crack. Red bets on Andy. They bet with smokes.

Andy is introduced to Shawshank prison by the Warden. “I believe in the bible and discipline, here you’ll get both”. Says the warden. They are then sprayed with water and powder then marched to their cells naked.

They nature of the prison is extremely unpleasant and quite scary. The food is disgusting but it’s all they get so they just eat it. The prison is corrupt and run by guards who believe they are above the law, committing assaults and murders. The warden is just as crocked as the cons although a firm believer in god.

For the first month Andy doesn’t say more then a couple of words to anybody. The first person Andy talked to was Red. He asked him for a favour, to get him a rock hammer. Joking around Red said I guess you want to escape, maybe tunnel under the wall. Andy laughs and says no, you’ll understand once you see the rock hammer.

Red believes that Andy had a quiet way about him, a walk and a talk that just wasn’t normal around there, he strolled, like a man in the park without a care, or worry in the world, like he had on a coat that could shield him from that place. It was fair to say that Red liked Andy from the start.


In the first few years Andy endures the worst of prison life including beating and rapping’s. Andy never said who did it but they all new, it was a gang called the Sisters, they only ever got him when he was alone. Every so often Andy would show up with fresh bruises. Sometimes he was able to fight them off sometimes not. That was how it went for Andy, that was his routine. Red believed that if things had gone on that way, that place would have got the best of him. The last time the Sisters got him they didn’t rape him but they did beat him within an inch of his life. Andy spent a month in the infirmary. Bogs, the leader of the gang, spent a week in the hole. Once Bogs got back to his cell two guards were there waiting for him. Bogs new what they were going to do and tried to run away but couldn’t. Two things never happened again after that, the Sisters never laid another hand on Andy and Bogs never walked again. He was transferred to a minimum-security prison and lived out his days drinking his food through a straw. The guards did this outer respect for Andy after what he had done on the rooftop of the licence plate factory.

The Rooftop Scene

In the spring of 1949 the roof of the licence plate factory needed resurfacing. A dozen volunteers were needed for a weeks work. More then one hundred men volunteered for the job, Red and some fellows he knew were among the names called, including Andy. Red had actually bribed the guards. only cost them a pack of smokes per man and Red made his usual 20%.

Turns out the head guard’s brother died, left him $35000, the guard’s not happy because he knows the government is going to take a large tax cut out of it. Andy listens to what they’re saying, which he shouldn’t be, then confronts the guard. The first thing Andy says to the guard is “do you trust you’re wife?” the guard is not happy with what Andy has just said and attempts to throw him off the...
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