18. The water that Andy crawled into was almost as dirty as it looked
At the end of the film, Andy crawls out of a sewage pipe into a muddy puddle. The puddle looks pretty grim, and by all accounts appearances were not deceiving. A local chemist was asked to test the quality of the water, in fact, and deemed it “lethal.” Tim Robbins consequently only agreed to get into it if there was a shower on hand for his immediate use afterwards.
17. One particular scene took nine hours to shoot
Frank Darabont is known for being meticulous, but there’s a fine line between thorough and crazy. One scene, in which Andy and Red toss a baseball back and forth, took a staggering nine hours to finish. Freeman never complained, but he arrived on set the following day with his arm in a sling.
16. Stephen King never cashed the check that he received for the rights
Stephen King has a patchy history with adaptations of his films, and it seems that he didn’t have very high hopes for Shawshank. He asked Frank Darabont for just a $1,000 check for the rights and when he read the script he thought it was too “talky.” After the film’s runaway success, however, he actually posted the check back to Darabont.