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9 Things You Never Knew About The Shawshank Redemption


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Frank Darabont’s 1994 drama, based on a Stephen King novel, is one of the most critically acclaimed prison movies of all time. But there was a lot of interesting stuff happening behind the scenes – here’s our guide to some of the most intriguing trivia.

9. Morgan Freeman’s Son Posed for His Mugshot

For the picture of young “Red” Redding on his mugshot, actor Morgan Freeman’s son Alfonso was tapped to portray him decades ago. Alfonso also has a brief part in the film taunting the new arrivals as they get out of the bus.

8. The Maggot Was Dead

During the scenes with Brooks’s crow, the American Humane Association was on-set to ensure no cruelty to animals took place. The bit where he feeds it a maggot had to be re-shot to use a grub that “died from natural causes.”


7. A Real Prison Warden Has a Cameo

In the middle of the film when the bus is bringing Tommy Williams to Shawshank, the man sitting behind him on the bus is Dennis Baker, who had been the real-life warden of the Ohio State Reformatory (where Shawshank was filmed).


6. The Sewer Sludge Was Chocolate

When Andy is making his escape, he crawls through a sewer tunnel filled with grotesque effluvia. The sludge was actually a mixture of chocolate syrup, sawdust and water, and even decades later the pipes still smell like cocoa.


5. Andy’s Convertible in Mexico Is 5 Years Too Early

In the film’s closing scenes in Zihuatanejo, Andy is driving a red 1969 Pontiac GTO – even though the scene was set in 1965! The filmmakers were originally set to use a ’65 Mustang, but the owner changed his mind at the last minute.
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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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