The Shawshank Redemption

Corrected entry: Near the end of the movie, in the shot where the marked patrol cars are racing towards the prison to arrest the warden, you hear them using electronic sirens. Those sirens were not in law enforcement use until the late sixties. (01:57:00)

Correction: Andy has a poster of Raquel Welch in 1 Million BC on his cell wall, placing this scene in 1966 at the earliest. The end of the movie therefore has to be later so the patrol cars would have had the electronic sirens.

Corrected entry: Andy's cell is between two other cells. If he were to tunnel through the wall it would lead to another cell. Not a sewage pipe.

Correction: Andy's cell is at the end of the tier. There is no cell to the right, just the wall he tunnels through.

Corrected entry: 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. (01:06:05)

Correction: Given Red's comments about the warden having his hand in a lot of pies it is entirely possible that this is just another bribe by the same person.


Correction: The implication in the film is that the warden is receiving many bribes. He most likely received many pies with money in the box.

Corrected entry: Andy's cell wall is unrealistically thick. Andy is seen crawling flat through the tunnel, indicating the wall is thicker than Andy is tall, making it least two meters thick. Prison walls are thick, but not that thick. (01:57:45)

Uri Raz

Correction: Andy's cell is on the end, right next to where the kind of things you'd want to keep prisoners out of with extra thick walls are; furthermore, since the movie was filmed in an abandoned actual prison, the wall is that much more likely to be real.


Corrected entry: Andy arrives in Shawshank in 1949, which is stated in the beginning. He escapes in 1966, making it 17 years. But when he collects the money, Red says that he took the money as service pay for 19 years of work, a two year difference.


Corrected entry: Surely the poster hiding the tunnel would not have stayed flat on the wall of Andy's cell due to air flowing through the tunnel. Would it not bubble and be noticeable?

Correction: Do you mean before, or after he escaped. If you mean before, he could have covered the other end with something, to prevent this. If it was after, do we know if air was always blowing through there, maybe it would have eventually, but not during the brief time everyone was in the cell.


Corrected entry: Andy's escape is made by tunneling, yet his cell is on the second story of the prison and there are others cells to the right of his. Therefore, by tunneling into the wall, the only thing that would happen is that he would end up in the next guy's cell.

Correction: Andy's cell is the last on the row. There are only cells to one side (left as you're facing it from outside). Andy tunnels through the solid wall opposite the row of cells (right as you're facing it from outside).

Damian Torres

Corrected entry: At the end of the film, when he is off to find Andy, Red expresses the belief that the authorities won't care all that much about him breaking the conditions of his parole. He could not be more wrong. In the US in the Sixties he would be considered an escaped prisoner if he broke his parole, and considering he was inside for murder he would be regarded as dangerous. This is not a trivial matter and his breaking parole would be taken very, very seriously indeed. Crossing a State line would be a federal offence, bringing the FBI into play, and the US border patrol would be alerted. In short, every law enforcement agency in the country is going to be on the lookout for him, and when he tries to cross the border into Mexico he'll be arrested on multiple charges. Welcome back to Shawshank, Red.

Correction: What Red means, is not that they won't be looking for him, but that they will put in less of an effort in tracking him down than, say, a twenty-five year old serial killer. He is after all an old man who has done his time for one single offense, and had expressed sincere regret for it. The FBI would know of him, sure, but he would not rank high on their priority list. As for crossing the Mexican border, well, hundreds of people cross it undetected every day (in the opposite direction). It is not exactly air-tight. Especially in that era, before computers or similar, processing paperwork and the like would certainly allow him a window to be long gone before his absence was noticed, or certainly before that absence could be communicated to anyone likely to be in a position to stop him.


Correction: Making a second error doesn't mean the first is invalid. Red had no chance of getting to Mexico. Given the circumstances of his breaking parole, the fact that he was in prison for murder and his crossing a number of state lines he would be arrested long before he even got to the border. The original posting is correct.

This is simply untrue. There are numerous documented cases of wanted criminals crossing the country and making it into Mexico or Canada with relative ease. Red wasn't a wanted criminal, he was a parolee, and in the 1960s it would have been just a matter of a little luck for him to make it to Mexico.

Correction: Since we see him reunited with Andy at the end of the film, he obviously wasn't arrested at the Mexican border.

Jukka Nurmi

Corrected entry: At the end of the film, Red gets out of a truck. He had apparently hitch hiked to find "the brick wall with the huge oak at the end." When he leaves the truck, he is not carrying his tan briefcase. When he meets Andy, he is.

Correction: A good deal of time elapses between the two scenes. Red simply picked up his suitcase wherever it was before setting out to find Andy.

Corrected entry: When the police read Byron Hadley his Miranda rights, they are reading a very specific edited version. This version did not surface until 1968, Hadley was arrested in 1966, the year the Miranda case was taken to court. It is implausible that any such Miranda reading would have been widely circulated at the time of the arrest.

Correction: So basically what you are saying is no-one in the history of the world would have thought of those words before the Miranda case? This case was made famous because Ernesto Arturo Miranda wasn't read his rights before his arrest. So surely some form of those words existed before if his 'rights were not read to him'. And as you have pointed out, they read a different (edited) form of the Miranda rights we know today.


Corrected entry: Andy Dufresne was the vice-president of a large Portland bank before his high profile murder conviction. After escape, he visited nearly a dozen banks in the Portland area. Banking is a close-knit industry know for honest people working long careers. It is unbelievable that even after 20 years, Andy could avoid being recognized as Andy in local Portland area banks. He removed an average of almost 30 thousand per bank (in 1966 dollars)- a fortune. To receive cashiers checks in that amount, he would have to deal with senior bank officials. Even though the Portland area is a fairly loose term, the banks must have been close, as he visited them before word of the escape became public knowledge. In the 1960's, Portland had a population of about 75 thousand, indicating that Warden Norton had money in almost every available bank in the area. It is inconceivable that Andy could have avoided detection of his true identity under these circumstances, even with false identification. He would have been recognized by an employee in one of the dozen banks.

Correction: Entirely speculative. It's been twenty years, Andy has aged significantly and is believed to be serving a life sentence behind bars - as you yourself observe, his visits all occur before word of his escape gets out. Even with, as you say, banking typically being a long career, most senior officials at the time of Andy's original offence will likely have retired, with their places filled by people who would be less familiar with him. And finally, he possesses impeccable paperwork identifying him as Randall Stevens, who is a rich and therefore likely a powerful individual. It's entirely possible that some employees that he encountered that day might find him familiar, even vaguely connect that familiarity to Dufresne, but there's a long way between "familiarity" and "suspicion", and nobody would be so stupid to risk offending a powerful individual by suggesting that he might be a convicted murderer. Once word of his escape got out, of course, likely a number of people were kicking themselves, but, at the time, there's no reason for any of them to suspect that he wasn't exactly who his paperwork said he was.

Tailkinker Premium member

Corrected entry: When Andy finally leaves Shawshank and leaves through the tunnel emerging after crawling through near half a mile of horrible slimy stuff he does not have the case with him containing the exchanged documents he switched when the warden opened the safe and when he switched bibles in the office. But we see him later after the escape in a town handing over documents which confirm his new identity.


Correction: Andy's dragging a plastic bag filled with his stuff behind him, using a rope tied to his leg, so that it doesn't get in his way. It can be seen throughout his escape, as he climbs down from the tunnel leading from his cell, coming out of the sewer pipe immediately behind him, and is visible floating behind him as he runs through the river.

Tailkinker Premium member

Corrected entry: Spoiler: After Andy escapes the prison and the aftermath of the escape is shown, William Sadler seems to tell his inmates the story of how Andy bought the guards' trust on the roof. He's telling it as if it is told to someone who wasn't there - yet he's telling it to his friends, who were at the scene. It doesn't sound like he's reminding them of the event, but like he's telling the story to someone who wasn't there, like a story. This makes no sense at all, since his friends would know for sure what has happened, and only need to be reminded.

Correction: The film takes place over a period of around twenty years. The story occurred pretty early on in Andy's term and certainly its not entirely clear how long after Andy escaped that the story was retold. It would make perfect sense that retelling the story to even the people there would fit as many details might have been forgotten over such a period of time. Even as he is telling the story he is trying to recall exactly what the guard was saying to him when he grabbed Andy by the shirt.

Lummie Premium member

Corrected entry: When they are doing income tax returns, Red makes reference to the April 15 deadline, which back then was March 15th.

Correction: I can't tell exactly what year that Red makes this reference from the movie. Which is important because the tax code changed the deadline from March 15 to April 15 in 1954. Andy entered the prison in 1947 and escaped in 1966. Not knowing exactly when it occurred, it is entirely plausible, since Andy was doing income taxes until he escaped, that Red's statement would be true.

Zwn Annwn

Corrected entry: When Andy is escaping and breaks a hole in the sewer pipe, the sewage and water erupt out of the pipe. After that, the top inside part of the pipe should have been wet. But when he uses his flashlight to look inside, that section of the pipe is dry.

Corrected entry: When Andy crawls through the pipe he has the warden's clothes in a bag attached to his feet. When he emerges from the other end of the pipe, wades through the stream and pulls his clothes off there is no sign of the bag.

Correction: The bag is there when he comes out of the pipe and it is being dragged behind him the entire time in this scene.

Lummie Premium member

Corrected entry: It's hard to believe that Andy wouldn't have been caught in the act while tunneling through the wall. Even if he was able to time the prison guards' nightly head count inspections to avoid detection, any convict in one of the cells on the opposite tier would have been able to see directly into Andy's cell. It stretches the imagination to think that Andy wouldn't have been seen by an "enemy" convict on the opposite tier.

Correction: Throughout the scenes at night, the cells are very dark. As it took him over 20 years to make the tunnel, I dont think its hard to assume that another convict would see him as they never reported him in that space of time. In some of the night scenes when some of the shots are taken from the cells its pitch black in the other cells so most would never see him anyway. With the guards, he didn't have the head check that night. Andy was working late and was buzzed in later on.

Lummie Premium member

Corrected entry: Andy asks a bank clerk to put an envelope into their outgoing mail. This envelope contains all information about the criminal goings-on at Shawshank and is addressed to a newspaper. When Norton sees the headline in the paper, which could be, at best, two days later, he opens the safe to find the hole in the bible where the rock hammer was hidden. It's unimaginable that he would have waited for so long after Andy's escape to check the contents of the safe. (01:55:35)


Correction: The warden certainly did check the safe as soon as Andy escaped but only to confirm that the contents were still there. It was only once he saw the headline that he really looked inside the book.


Corrected entry: When Red goes to the Mexican border the bus is totally empty on the right side, while on the left side (the hot, sunny side) there's a passenger behind every window. (02:09:45)


Correction: A slightly unusual choice but hardly a movie mistake. It's not a mistake for people to want to sit in the sun and it's safe to assume the position of the sun with respect to the bus would change during the journey so maybe they were on the shady side at the start.


Corrected entry: When Andy escapes during a thunderstorm every lightning strike, be it heard close or distant, is accompanied by its thunder exactly at the very moment it strikes. (01:53:00)


Correction: I've watched this scene again and it's clear that the thunder storm is right overhead so that the thunder and lightening are coincident. There may be an impression that it's sometimes close and sometimes distant simply because it's not always the same volume which is normal.


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. (01:52:20)

More mistakes in The Shawshank Redemption

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 bullshit 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 shit.

More quotes from The Shawshank Redemption
The Shawshank Redemption trivia picture

Trivia: When the Warden opens the Bible to where Andy hid his rock hammer, he opens it to the book of Exodus, which chronicles the Israelites' escape from Egypt.

More trivia for The Shawshank Redemption

Question: Did the Warden know about the "Randall Stevens" character? At first it would seem that he didn't, since Andy used the identity to clean out the bank accounts and escape to Mexico. On the other hand, how could the Warden make deposits and withdrawals (before Andy's escape) from his bank accounts without noticing?

Matty Blast

Chosen answer: He probably only knows the name. He doesn't want to know anymore, so he can pin the blame on Andy should anything go wrong. He no doubt hasn't even considered that Andy might have ID so he can access the accounts after his escape.

Grumpy Scot

More questions & answers from The Shawshank Redemption

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.