4. Morgan Freeman Pitched That Baseball for Nine Hours
When Red and Andy first meet in the prison yard, Morgan Freeman tosses a baseball around while they talk. The scene took nine hours to shoot and, for verisimilitude, Freeman threw that ball the whole time. He came to the set the next day with his arm sprained and in a sling.
3. Director Frank Darabont’s Hands Did Some Acting
Whenever you see just Andy’s hands in the movie – most notably in the early scene during the murder – you’re not seeing Tim Robbins on-screen. Frank Darabont prefers to use his own hands for what are called “insert shots.”
2. The Film Flopped in Theaters
It’s crazy to think of now, but when The Shawshank Redemption first came out it was considered a bomb, only making back $18 million of its $25 million production budget. After it was nominated for 7 Oscars, it turned into a huge hit in the home video market.
1. Frank Darabont Was a “Dollar Baby”
Stephen King has a deal with selected student filmmakers that allows them to make a non-commercial film from one of his short stories for $1. Darabont adapted “The Woman In The Room” in 1983, and by impressing King with that film he was able to do a handshake deal for Shawshank.