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DID YOU READ

15 Things You May Not Have Known About The Shawshank Redemption

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1. It’s Based on a Novella by Stephen King

The film is based on Stephen King’s novella “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption,” which was published in a short story collection called Different Seasons. Two of the other short stories in the collection were made into films, Stand By Me in 1986 and Apt Pupil in 1998. Only one of them, “The Breathing Method,” has not been turned into a movie.


2. It’s Similar to Tolstoy

King’s novella shares several plot points with a nine-page short story by Russian writer Leo Tolstoy called “God Sees the Truth, But Waits.” Both are about men sent to prison for murders they didn’t commit.


3. Director Frank Darabont Got a Good Deal on the Rights to King’s Story

He bought the rights from King for $1.


4. It Almost Had a Much Different Cast

Castle Rock Entertainment, the studio that made Shawshank, was co-founded by Rob Reiner—director of another King adaptation, Stand By Me—and is named after the mythical Maine town that provides the setting for many of King’s books. After director Frank Darabont pitched Shawshank to the studio, Reiner originally offered $2.5 million for the script to star Tom Cruise as Andy Dufresne and Harrison Ford as Red.


5. The Original Title Was Changed to Avoid Confusion

Darabont wrote the script in eight weeks before pitching it to Castle Rock Entertainment. He decided to drop the “Rita Hayworth” part of the novella because actresses sent their resumes in for consideration thinking it was a Rita Hayworth biopic. During the casting process, Darabont even received a call from an agent who represented a supermodel; he swore the script was the best she had ever read and that she’d be perfect for the (non-existent) part of Hayworth.


6. It Was Filmed in Ohio

Although the film is set in Maine, the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio stood in for Shawshank Prison. The structure was slated to be torn down, but the production delayed the demolition for a year. After the film wrapped, all the buildings in the complex were torn down except the cellblock and main administrative building, which were preserved for historical purposes.


7. Morgan Freeman Got Really Good at Catch

The scene where Andy first approaches Red about the rock hammer as Red plays catch in the main yard took nine hours to shoot. Freeman continued to play catch for the whole nine hours without complaining and showed up the next day with his arm in a sling.


8. The Film Was Inspired by Goodfellas

Darabont says his main source of inspiration was Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas because of its use of voice-over narration and editing techniques.

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Final Countdown

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 IFC.com

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Rev Up

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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Give Back

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

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…