The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption quotes

46 total quotes (ID: 531)

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


[in a letter] Dear Red, If you're reading this, you've gotten out. And if you've come this far, maybe you're willing to come a little further. You remember the name of the town, don't you? I could use a good man to help me get my project on wheels. I'll keep an eye out for you and the chessboard ready. Remember, Red. Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things and no good thing ever dies. I will be hoping that this letter finds you, and finds you well. Your friend, Andy.


D.A.: Mr. Dufresne, describe the confrontation you had with your wife the night that she was murdered.
Andy: It was very bitter. She said she was glad I knew, that she hated all the sneaking around. She said she wanted a divorce in Reno...I told her I would not grant one.
D.A.: 'I'll see you in Hell before I see you in Reno.' Those were the words you used, Mr. Dufresne, according to the testimony of your neighbors.

D.A.: We have the accused at the scene of the crime. We have footprints, tire tracks. We have bullets strewn on the ground which bear his fingerprints. A broken bourbon bottle, likewise with fingerprints. And most of all, we have a beautiful young woman and her lover lying dead in each other's arms. They had sinned. But was their crime so great as to merit a death sentence?...A revolver holds six bullets, not eight. I submit that this was not a hot-blooded crime of passion. That, at least, could be understood if not condoned. No - this was revenge of a much more brutal and cold blooded nature. Consider this. Four bullets per victim. Not six shots fired but eight. That means that he fired the gun empty and then stopped to reload so that he could shoot each of them again. An extra bullet per lover, right in the head.

Andy crawled to freedom through five hundred yards of shit-smelling foulness I can't even imagine. Or maybe I just don't want to. Five hundred yards. That's the length of five football fields, just shy of half a mile.

It's a little place on the Pacific Ocean. You know what the Mexicans say about the Pacific? They say it has no memory. That's where I want to live the rest of my life. A warm place with no memory. Open up a little hotel right on the beach. Buy some worthless old boat and fix it up new. Take my guests out charter fishing...You know, in a place like that, I could use a man that knows how to get things.

Mr. Hadley, do you trust your wife? [Hadley threatens to throw Andy off the roof] Because if you do trust her, there's no reason you can't keep that thirty-five thousand...If you want to keep all that money, give it to your wife. The IRS allows a one-time only gift to your spouse for up to sixty thousand dollars...tax-free...you do need someone to set up the tax-free gift for you, and it'll cost you, a lawyer for example...I suppose I could set it up for you. That would save you some money. You get the forms, I'll prepare them for you, nearly free of charge.

There must be a con like me in every prison in America. I'm the guy who can get it for you. Cigarettes, a bag of reefer if that's your thing, a bottle of brandy to celebrate your kid's high school graduation, damn near anything within reason. Yes sir, I'm a regular Sears and Roebuck.

Rehabilitated? Well now, let me see. You know, I don't have any idea what that means...I know what you think it means. To me, it's just a made-up word, a politician's word so that young fellas like yourself can wear a suit and a tie and have a job. What do you really want to know? Am I sorry for what I did?...There's not a day goes by I don't feel regret. And 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. This old man is all that's left. I gotta live with that. 'Rehabilitated?' That's just a bullshit word. So you go on and stamp your forms, sonny, and stop wasting my time. Because to tell you the truth, I don't give a shit.

All I do anymore is think of ways to break my parole so maybe they'd send me back. Terrible thing to live in fear. Brooks Hatlen knew it. Knew it all too well. All I want is to be back where things make sense. Where I won't have to be afraid all the time. Only one thing stops me. A promise I made to Andy.

Andy came to Shawshank Prison in early 1947 for murdering his wife and the fella she was bangin'. On the outside, he'd been vice-president of a large Portland bank. Good work for a man as young as he was.

I must admit, I didn't think much of Andy first time I laid eyes on him. Looked like a stiff breeze would blow him over. That was my first impression of the man.

The first night's the toughest, no doubt about it. They march you in naked as the day you were born, skin burning and half blind from that delousing shit they throw on you, and when they put you in that cell, when those bars slam home, that's when you know it's for real. Old life blown away in the blink of an eye. Nothing left but all the time in the world to think about it. Most new fish come close to madness the first night. Somebody always breaks down crying. Happens every time. The only question is, who's it gonna be? It's as good a thing to bet on as any, I guess. I had my money on Andy Dufresne. I remember my first night. Seems like a long time ago.

I find I'm so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it is the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend, and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.

I believe in two things - discipline and the Bible. Here you'll receive both. Put your trust in the Lord. Your ass belongs to me. Welcome to Shawshank.

Brooks: Dear Fellas: I can't believe how fast things move on the outside. I saw an automobile once when I was a kid but now they're everywhere. The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry.