As films go, The Shawshank Redemption is a striking story of the power of hope. The movie is based on the Stephen King novella, "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption". The story is about a respectable young Maine banker, Andy Dufresen, who is sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his wife, which he says he did not commit. He is sent to Shawshank Prison. Shortly after his arrival, Andy asks Red, played by Morgan Freeman, a man with the ability to obtain things from the outside world, to acquire a rock hammer so that Andy can carry on his hobby of rock carving. Andy soon earns the respect and eventually, friendship of Red. Unfortunately, these same qualities also attract Shawshank's "Sisters." Red tells Andy that the "Sisters" have taken quite a liking to him, especially Bogs. Andy asks if it would help if I told them I"m not homosexual. Red soon replies by telling Andy that neither are they. You have to be human first. They don't qualify. .
When the rock hammer arrives, Red jokes that Andy might use it to dig his way out of Shawshank Prison. Andy seems to make peace with prison by using his financial skills. He offers his knowledge of tax law to others to win the protection of the guards and frees himself from the sisters' control. Eventually even Warden Norton, played by Bob Gunton, comes to trust him. (Shawshank).
Andy's journey out of the prison has both everything and nothing to do with digging a tunnel. It begins with his avowal of his innocence and concludes with his equally confession of guilt to a man who is equally honest about his own guilt. His journey out the prison is fueled by what is in shortest supply in prison and threatens to drive its inmates mad: hope. .
Turner Broadcasting System Inc.'s big bet on theatrical movies paid off, when The Shawshank Redemption posted record ratings on Turner Network Television. With its June premiere, The Shawshank Redemption became the most-watched theatrical ever.