* AcclaimedFlop: The film had a lukewarm box office reception (mainly due to its WordSaladTitle and the distinct [[SexSells lack of female cast members]]) despite receiving favorable reviews from critics.
* ActorAllusion: Morgan Freeman did time in [[ThePowerOfOne South Africa.]]
* HeyItsThatGuy:
** The mug shot shown on Red's parole paperwork is a photo of MorganFreeman's son Alfonso. Alfonso also has a cameo at the beginning of the movie, he's the inmate who says "Fresh fish! Fresh fish today! We're reeling 'em in!" as the bus carrying Andy comes in.
*** He also starred as ''Fred'' Redding in the parody short ''The [=SharkTank=] Redemption''.
** Did anybody else notice that [[Creator/ClancyBrown the Captain]] is actually [[WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants Mr. Krabs]]? He is [[SupermanTheAnimatedSeries also]] [[{{JusticeLeague}} Lex]] [[JusticeLeagueUnlimited Luthor]] and [[Film/{{Highlander}} The Kurgan]]
** And as of 2011, the Lex Luthor torch [[WesternAnimation/YoungJustice has been passed]] to Boggs!
** [[Series/TheWalkingDead Dale]] prosecuted Andy.
*** As did [[Film/TheGreenMile Harry Terwilliger]].
** [[Film/{{Aliens}} Drake]] rapes Andy.
** [[Film/BillandTed Death]] is an inmate.
* InsertCameo:
** The hands loading the gun in the beginning of the film belong to director Frank Darabont.
* PlayingAgainstType: Oddly enough, MorganFreeman as Red counts, even though it's one of Freeman's best-known roles. Though Red is a generally good-natured guy, he's a far cry from the kindly old authority figures and [[AlmightyJanitor humble mentors]] that Freeman is best known for playing. Instead, he's a cynical murderer who [[TheAtoner deeply regrets the mistakes of his past]], and ultimately has his life saved by following someone else's example.
* RealLife/MeanCharacterNiceActor: Quite a few.
** Captain Hadley is a sadistic prison officer, but his actor Creator/ClancyBrown is one of the nicest guys in both the film and TV industry. He described the filming location as "a horrible monument to inhuman treatment of men by men" and stated that he had a problem acting out some of the brutal {{No Holds Barred Beatdown}}s he had to dish out to the prisoners.
*** In the same vein, Brown received multiple offers from former corrections officers to help him develop the character, all of which he turned down because he didn't want his performance to reflect badly on real COs.
** Mark Rolston, the actor who played Boggs (a serial rapist) genuinely seemed overjoyed to be working with everyone in interviews and seems nothing like his character.
** Bob Gunton, who played Warden Norton, is by all accounts a quite laid-back and chilled out guy (and for real, not in the [[AffablyEvil evil]] or [[FauxAffablyEvil fake]] kind of way).
* RealityIsUnrealistic: This movie was criticized for portraying prison guards as using beatings to control inmates, [[http://www.correctionsone.com/treatment/articles/2017869-ACLU-suing-Corrections-Corp-of-America/ but prison guards have been known to do exactly that in real life,]] and such things would have been even ''more'' widespread during the time the film takes place in.
* ThrowItIn: Tim Robbins ad-libbed Andy Dufresne turning up the volume on the speaker in defiance of Norton telling him to turn it off.
* TropeNamers: This film named HadToComeToPrisonToBeACrook.
* VindicatedByCable: Back in 1994, it earned just over $28 million at the US box office; it has since enjoyed a remarkable life on cable television and home video. Ted Turner loved this movie so much, he made sure it was playing on at least one of his cable networks every weekend for about a decade, which helped the film earn back its budget and give it the mainstream recognition it never received while in theaters. You can still find it on {{TBS}} or a similar channel, even 15 years later.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen:
** Creator/TomHanks turned down the role of Andy Dufresne.
** As did Creator/KevinCostner, in order to make ''Film/{{Waterworld}}''. Needless to say, he regrets it.
** Creator/JohnnyDepp, TomCruise, NicolasCage, and Creator/CharlieSheen were all considered to play Andy as well.
** The role of Tommy Williams was intended for Creator/BradPitt.
** Creator/ClintEastwood, Creator/HarrisonFord, Creator/PaulNewman, and Creator/RobertRedford were all considered to play Red.
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