Continuity mistake: During the scene where Andy and Red meet for the first time (baseball scene) the sun is in Red's face and so, Andy shouldn't have the sun in his face. But in fact, sometimes Andy has the sun in his face and Red doesn't anymore. Either they move very quickly between scenes or (probably) the whole scene were filmed at least two times.
Visible crew/equipment: When Sgt. Hadley nearly throws Andy off the plate factory roof, the reflection of a boom mike is briefly visible in the shiny brim of Hadley's hat. Andy dropped the tar mop before approaching Hadley, and there are no other objects in this shot that could have caused the reflection.
Continuity mistake: When one of the "sisters" gets beaten up by Capt. Hadley he tries to escape from his cell and holds on to the bars on the other side of the passage. From the side his right hand grabs a diagonal bar, but seen through the bars he is holding on to a vertical bar.
Continuity mistake: In the same scene where Brooks is hanging himself, he carves his name and he is almost eye level with the spot where he is carving his name. The place where the rope is tied is lower. How come when he finishes carving his name he stretches to put the rope on? It is lower than where he was carving his name.
Continuity mistake: When Andy is playing the opera music, the whole prison stops what they're doing and stares at the speakers. When they show the infirmary, an African American man gets out of bed and looks out of the window. When the camera goes to the prison yard it pans around and goes right across the same African American man, who is now standing in the yard.
Continuity mistake: When the warden is given a bribe by his contractor/buddy, it comes in a box containing a pie and the pie is in a disposable corrugated aluminium pie tin. The warden gives the pie to Andy in a later scene and when Andy and Red eat it, it is in a metal pie pan... the non-disposable kind.
Continuity mistake: Andy is discovered missing. While the warden is walking to Andy's cell, he tells the guard to question "him", meaning the Morgan Freeman character. He points to Freeman with his left hand but when the scene changes its point of view he is pointing with his right hand.
Plot hole: When the warden comes into the cell the morning after the escape, the poster covering the hole is fastened down on all four corners - impossible to do after squeezing into that small hole. [On the DVD commentary, the director confirms that this was a movie "cheat".]
Continuity mistake: In the two different shots we have of Tim Robbins getting ready to put the book and folder into the safe for the last time (before he escapes) he collects the book and folder in two very different ways. First time he pulls the book towards the folder. Second time he brings the folder to the book.
Factual error: Towards the end of the movie when Andy is escaping, he breaks open a sewage pipe and is covered with its contents. It is physically impossible for the sewage to shoot out of the break like it did. In order for that to happen there has to be pressure. But there is none there, because the end he crawls through is empty and the end is in the open air.
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