The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption quotes

46 total quotes (ID: 531)

Andy Dufresne
Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding
Multiple Characters
Warden Samuel Norton


Tommy: Big twitchy ****er. Kind of roomie you pray you don't get. You know what I'm sayin'? 6 to 12 for armed burglary. Said he pulled hundreds of jobs...So one night like a joke, I say to him, I say, 'Yeah, Elmo? Who'd you kill?' So he says...
Elmo Blatch: (flashback) I got me this job one time busin' tables at a country club. So I could case all these big rich pricks that come in. So I pick out this guy, go in one night and do his place. He wakes up and gives me shit. So I killed him. Him and this tasty bitch he was with. That's the best part. She's ****in' this prick, see, this golf pro, but she's married to some other guy! Some hotshot banker. And he's the one they pinned it on.


All I ask is three beers a piece for each of my co-workers...I think a man workin' outdoors feels more like a man if he can have a bottle of suds. That's only my opinion.

And that's how it came to pass, that on the second-to-last day of the job, the convict crew that tarred the plate factory roof in the spring of '49 wound up sitting in a row at ten o'clock in the morning, drinking icy cold Bohemia-style beer, courtesy of the hardest screw that ever walked a turn at Shawshank State Prison...The colossal prick even managed to sound magnanimous. We sat and drank with the sun on our shoulders and felt like free men. Hell, we could have been tarring the roof of one of our own houses. We were the Lords of all Creation. As for Andy, he spent that break hunkered in the shade, a strange little smile on his face, watching us drink his beer...You could argue he'd done it to curry favor with the guards, or maybe make a few friends among us cons. Me? I think he did it just to feel normal again, if only for a short while.

Lord! It's a miracle! Man up and vanished like a fart in the wind. Nothin' left but some damn rocks on the window sill and that cupcake on the wall. [He gestures toward the poster of Raquel Welch hanging on the cell wall.] Let's ask her. Maybe she knows. What say there, fussy-britches. Feel like talkin'? Oh, guess not. Why should she be any different? This is a conspiracy. That's what this is. It's one big damn conspiracy. And everyone's in on it. Including her!

Andy: I had Mr. Mozart to keep me company...[He points and taps his head] It was in here. [And he gestures over his heart] And in here. That's the beauty of music. They can't get that from you. Haven't you ever felt that way about music?...Here's where it makes the most sense. You need it so we don't forget...that there are places in the world that aren't made out of stone, that there's, there's somethin' inside that they can't get to, that they can't touch. It's yours.
Red: What are you talkin' about?
Andy: Hope.
Red: Hope? Let me tell you something, my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane. It's got no use on the inside. You'd better get used to that idea.
Andy: Like Brooks did?

There's a big hayfield up near Buxton...One in particular. It's got a long rock wall, a big oak tree at the north end. It's like something out of a Robert Frost poem. It's where I asked my wife to marry me. We went there for a picnic and made love under that oak and I asked and she said yes. Promise me, Red. If you ever get out, find that spot. In the base of that wall, you'll find a rock that has no earthly business in a Maine hayfield. A piece of black, volcanic glass. There's something buried under it I want you to have.

Red: I'm known to locate certain things from time to time.
Andy: I wonder if you might get me a rock-hammer.
Red: ...What is it and why?
Andy: What do you care?
Red: What if it was a toothbrush? I wouldn't ask questions. I'd just quote a price. But then, a toothbrush is a non-lethal object, isn't it?
Andy: Fair enough. A rock-hammer is about six or seven inches long. Looks like a miniature pick-axe.
Red: Pick-axe?
Andy: For rocks.
Red: Rocks. Quartz?
Andy: Quartz. Here's some mica, shale, limestone.
Red: So?
Andy: So I'm a rock-hound. At least I was, in my old life. I'd like to be again, on a limited basis.
Red: Or maybe you'd like to sink your toy into somebody's skull.
Andy: No, sir. I have no enemies here.
Red: No? Wait a while. Word gets around. The Sisters have taken quite a likin' to you, especially Bogs.
Andy: I don't suppose it would help any if I explained to them I'm not homosexual.
Red: Neither are they. You have to be human first. They don't qualify. Bull queers take by force. That's all they want or understand. If I were you, I'd grow eyes in the back of my head.
Andy: Thanks for the advice.
Red: That's free. You understand my concern.
Andy: Well, if there's any trouble, I won't use the rock-hammer. OK?
Red: Then I guess you wanna escape. Tunnel under the wall, maybe? [Andy laughs] Did I miss something here? What's funny?
Andy: You'll understand when you see the rock-hammer.

Red: Why'd you do it?
Andy: I didn't, since you ask.
Red: [chuckling] You're gonna fit right in. Everybody in (here) is innocent. Didn't you know that? (to Heywood) Hey Heywood, what you in for?
Heywood: Didn't do it. Lawyer ****ed me.
Red: Rumor has it you're a real cold fish. You think your shit smells sweeter than most. Is that right?
Andy: What do you think?
Red: I'll tell ya the truth. I haven't made up my mind.

Andy: My wife used to say I'm a hard man to know. Like a closed book. Complained about it all the time. She was beautiful. God, I loved her. I just didn't know how to show it, that's all. I killed her, Red. I didn't pull the trigger, but I drove her away and that's why she died - because of me, the way I am.
Red: That don't make you a murderer. Bad husband, maybe. Feel bad about it if you want to, but you didn't pull the trigger.
Andy: No, I didn't. Somebody else did and I wound up in here. Bad luck, I guess.

Andy: I'm done. Everything stops. Get someone else to run your scams.
Norton: Nothing stops! Nothing! Or you will do the hardest time there is. No more protection from the guards. I'll pull you out of that one-bunk Hilton and cast you down with the sodomites. You'll think you got ****ed by a train. And the library? Gone! Sealed off brick by brick! We'll have us a little book-barbecue in the yard. They'll see the flames for miles. We'll dance around it like wild Injuns. Do you understand me? Are you catching my drift? Or am I being obtuse? (to guard)Give him another month [in solitary] to think about it.

He's a phantom, an apparition, second cousin to Harvey the rabbit. I conjured him out of thin air. He doesn't exist, except on paper...Mr. Stephens has a birth certificate, driver's license, social security number...

Andy Dufresne, who crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side. Andy Dufresne, headed for the Pacific. Those of us who knew him best talk about him often. I swear the stuff he pulled. Sometimes it makes me sad, though, Andy being gone. I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright and when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice, but still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone. I guess I just miss my friend.

Reviewer: You feel you've been rehabilitated?
Red: Oh, yes sir. Absolutely, sir. Yeah, I've learned my lesson. I can honestly say that I'm a changed man. I'm no longer a danger to society. That's the God's honest truth.

Boggs: Now, I'm gonna open my fly and you're gonna swallow what I give ya to swallow. And after you swallow mine you're gonna swallow Rooster's cause ya done broke his nose and I think he oughta have something to show for it.
Andy: Anything you put in my mouth you're gonna lose.
Boggs: Naw, you don't understand. You do that and I'll put all eight inches of steel in your ear.
Andy: All right. But you should know that sudden serious brain injury causes the victim to bite down hard. In fact, I hear the bite reflex is so strong they have to pry the victims jaws open with a crowbar.
Boggs: Where do you get this shit?
Andy: I read it. You know how to read, you ignorant ****?

[about Brooks] He's just institutionalized...The man's been in here fifty years, Heywood, fifty years. This is all he knows. In here, he's an important man, he's an educated man. Outside he's nothin' - just a used-up con with arthritis in both hands. Probably couldn't get a library card if he tried...these walls are funny. First you hate 'em, then you get used to 'em. Enough time passes, it gets so you depend on 'em. That's 'institutionalized'...They send you here for life and that's exactly what they take, the part that counts anyway.