[narrating] I find I'm so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it's 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.

Get busy living, or get busy dying.

Andy Dufresne

[narrating] I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don't want to know. Some things are best left unsaid. I'd like to think they were singing about something so beautiful, it can't be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it.
I tell you, those voices soared higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made those walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free.

Let me tell you something my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.

Andy Dufresne: I understand you're a man who knows how to get things.
Red: Yeah, I've been known to locate certain things from time to time.

[narrating] In 1966, Andy Dufresne escaped from Shawshank prison. All they found of him was a muddy set of prison clothes, a bar of soap, and an old rock hammer, damn near worn down to the nub. I used to think it would take six-hundred years to tunnel under the wall with it. Old Andy did it in less than twenty.

Tommy Williams: I don't read so good.
Andy Dufresne: Well.
[pause]
Andy Dufresne: You don't read so *well*. Uh, we'll get to that.

The man likes to play chess; let's get him some rocks.

These walls are kind of funny. First you hate 'em, then you get used to 'em. Enough time passes, gets so you depend on them. That's institutionalized. They send you here for life, that's exactly what they take. The part that counts, anyways.

[narrating] There is a harsh truth to face. No way I'm gonna make it on the outside. All I do anymore is think of ways to break my parole. 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.

[voiceover] Dear Fellows, I can't believe how fast things move on the outside. I saw an automobile when I was a kid, but now... they're everywhere. The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry Whilst being shown into a room. The parole board got me into this... half way house, called "The Brewer", Whilst working in Grocery Store, And a job bagging groceries in The Food Way. It's hard work, and I try to keep up, but my hands hurt most of the time. I don't think the store manager likes me very much. Sometimes after work I go to the park and feed the birds,I keep thinkin' Jake might just show up and say 'Hello'. But he never does. I hope wherever he is, he's doin' ok and makin' new friends. I have trouble sleeping at night; I have bad dreams like I'm falling. I wake up scared. Sometimes it takes me a while to remember where I am.
Maybe I should get me a gun and rob the Food Way so they'd send me home. I could shoot the manager while I was at it, sorta like a bonus. I guess I'm too old for that sorta nonsence anymore. I don't like it here, I'm tired of being afraid all the time. I've decided not to stay. I doubt they'd kick up any fuss, not for an old crook like me.

Brooks

Andy Dufresne: If they ever try to trace any of those accounts, they're gonna end up chasing a figment of my imagination.
Red: Well, I'll be damned. Did I say you were good? Shit, you're a Rembrandt!
Andy Dufresne: Yeah. The funny thing is - on the outside, I was an honest man, straight as an arrow. I had to come to prison to be a crook.

FREE Movie Newsletter

The Shawshank Redemption Quotes

Andy Dufresne: I understand you're a man who knows how to get things.
Red: Yeah, I've been known to locate certain things from time to time.

[narrating] I wish I could tell you that Andy fought the good fight, and the Sisters let him be. I wish I could tell you that - but prison is no fairy-tale world. He never said who did it, but we all knew.

Red