The Shawshank Redemption Quotes: Timeless (Total Quotes: 61)

The Shawshank Redemption quotes are some of the most moving and inspiring quotes you are likely to find. If you really want to grasp this films true genius then you must sample these amazing Shawshank Redemption quotes. The screenplay gives almost every actor at least one or more memorable lines throughout the film.

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Directed by: Frank Darabont
Written by:
Frank Darabont (screenplay)
Stephen King (short story "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption")
Tim Robbins - Andy Dufresne
Morgan Freeman - Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding
Bob Gunton - Warden Norton
William Sadler - Heywood
Clancy Brown - Captain Hadley
Gil Bellows - Tommy
Mark Rolston - Bogs Diamond James Whitmore - Brooks Hatlen

[first lines]
District Attorney: 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. And she said that she wanted a divorce in Reno.

District Attorney: And that also is very convenient, isn't it, Mr. Dufresne?
Andy: Since I am innocent of this crime, sir, I find it decidedly inconvenient that the gun was never found.

[1947 Parole Hearings]
Man #2: We see by your file you've served twenty years of a life sentence.
Man #3: You feel you've been rehabilitated?
Red: Yes, sir. Absolutely. I've learned my lesson. I can honestly say I'm a changed man. I'm no longer a danger to society. That's the God's honest truth. No doubt about it.

Red: [narrating] There's a con like me in every prison in America, I guess. I'm the guy who can get it for you. Cigarettes, a bag of reefer if you're partial, a bottle of brandy to celebrate your kid's high school graduation. Damn near anything, within reason.

[Red places his bet on Andy]
Red: That tall drink of water with the silver spoon up his ass.

Con: When do we eat?
Captain Hadely: You eat when we say you eat! You piss when we say you piss! You shit when we say you shit! You sleep when we say you sleep! You maggot-dick, motherfucker!

Warden Norton: 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.

Red: [narrating] 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... and those bars slam home... that's when you know it's for real. A whole life blown away in the blink of an eye. Nothing left but all the time in the world to think about it.

Fat Ass: You don't understand! I'm not supposed to be here!
Inmates: Me neither! They run this place like a fucking prison!

Fat Ass: I don't belong here! I want to go home! I want my mother!
Another Prisoner: I had your mother, she wasn't that great!

Captain Hadley: Get this tub of shit down to the infirmary. If I hear so much as a mouse fart in here the rest of the night I swear by God and sonny Jesus you will all visit the infirmary. Every last motherfucker in here.

Red: [narrating] His first night in the joint, Andy Dufresne cost me two packs of cigarettes. He never made a sound.

[Boggs sizes Andy up]
Boggs: Hey, anybody come at you yet? Anybody get to you yet?
[Andy looks at him in puzzlement]
Boggs: Hey, we all need friends in here. I could be a friend to you.
[Andy walks away]
Boggs: Hey...hard to get. I like that...

Red: [narrating] I could see why some of the boys took him for snobby. He had a quiet way about him, a walk and a talk that just wasn't normal around here. He strolled, like a man in a park without a care or a worry in the world, like he had on an invisible coat that would shield him from this place. Yeah, I think it would be fair to say...I liked Andy from the start.

Andy: Hello. I'm Andy Dufresne.
Red: The wife-killin' banker.
Shawshank Redemption QuotesAndy: How do you know that?
Red: I keep my ear to the ground. Why'd you do it?
Andy: I didn't, since you ask.
Red: Hell, you're gonna fit right in, then. Everyone's innocent in here, don't you know that? Heywood! What are you in for, boy?
Heywood: Didn't do it! Lawyer fucked me!
Andy: What else have you heard?
Red: People say you're a cold fish. They say you think your shit smells sweeter than ordinary. That true?
Andy: What do you think?
Red: Ain't made up my mind yet.

Red: Well, if it was a toothbrush I wouldn't ask questions, I'd just quote a price, but then a toothbrush is a non-lethal object, isn't it?
Andy: Fair enough. A rock-hammer is about eight or nine inches long. Looks like a miniature pickaxe, with a small sharp pick on one end, and a blunt hammerhead on the other. It's for rocks.
Red: Rocks.

Andy: I have no enemies here.
Red: Yeah? Wait a while. Word gets around. The Sisters have taken quite a likin' to you. Especially Boggs.
Andy: I don't suppose it would help if I told them that I'm not homosexual.
Red: Neither are they. You have to be human first. They don't qualify.

Red: [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. Things went on like that for awhile - prison life consists of routine, and then more routine. Every so often, Andy would show up with fresh bruises. The Sisters kept at him - sometimes he was able to fight 'em off, sometimes not. And that's how it went for Andy, that was his routine. I do believe those first two years were the worst for him, and I also believe that if things had gone on that way, this place would have got the best of him.

Red: [narrating] But then, in the spring of 1949, the powers that be decided that...
Warden Samuel Norton: The roof of the license-plate factory needs resurfacing. I need a dozen volunteers for a week's work. As you know, special detail carries with it special privledges.
Red: [narrating] It was outdoor detail, and May is one damn fine month to be working outdoors.

Andy: Mr. Hadley. Do you trust your wife?
Captain Hadley: You're gonna look real funny sucking my dick with no teeth.
Shawshank Redemption Quotes

Red: [narrating] You could argue he'd done it to curry favor with the guards. Or, maybe make a few friends among us cons. Me, I think he did it just to feel normal again, if only for a short while.

Red: [narrating] We sat and drank with the sun on our shoulders and felt like free men. Hell, we could have been tarring the roof of one of our own houses. We were the lords of all creation. As for Andy, he spent that break hunkered in the shade, a strange little smile on his face, watching us drink his beer. Shawshank Redemption Quotes

[watching Rita Hayworth in Gilda]
Red: This is the part I really like, when she does that shit with her hair.

Andy: Rita Hayworth. Can you get her?
Red: Take a few weeks.
Andy: Weeks?
Red: Well yeah, Andy. I don't have her stuffed down the front of my pants right now, I'm sorry to say, but I'll get her. Relax!

Boggs: Now, I'm gonna open my fly and you're gonna swallow what I give ya to swallow. And after you swallow mine you're gonna swallow Rooster's cause ya done broke his nose and I think he oughta have something to show for it.
Andy: Anything you put in my mouth you're gonna lose.
Boggs: Naw, you don't understand. You do that and I'll put all eight inches of steel in your ear.
Andy: All right. But you should know that sudden serious brain injury causes the victim to bite down hard. In fact, I hear the bite reflex is so strong they have to pry the victims jaws open with a crowbar.
Boggs: Where do you get this shit?
Andy: I read it. You know how to read, you ignorant fuck?

Red: [narrating] Two things never happened again after that. The Sisters never laid a finger on Andy again...and Boggs never walked again. They transferred him to a minimum security hospital upstate. To my knowledge, he lived out the rest of his days drinking his food through a straw.

[Playing checkers]
Red: King me.
Andy: Chess. Now there's a game of kings.
Red: What?
Andy: Civilized. Strategic...
Red: ...and a total fuckin' mystery. I hate it.
Shawshank Redemption Quotes

Andy: What about you? What are you in here for?
Red: Murder, same as you.
Andy: Innocent?
[shakes his head]
Red: Only guilty man in Shawshank.

Warden Norton: I almost forgot.
[He reaches through the bars and returns the Bible to Andy.]
Warden Norton: I'd hate to deprive you of this. Salvation lies within.

Andy: I've been reassigned to you.
Brooks: I know, they told me. Ain't that a kick in the ass? Come on in, I'll give you the dime tour.

Brooks: Easy peasy Japanesey.

[after Brooks held a knife to Heywood's throat]
Andy: I just don't understand what happened in there.
Heywood: Old man's crazy as a rat in a tin shithouse, is what.
Red: Oh Heywood, that's enough out of you!
Ernie: I heard he had you shittin' in your pants!
Heywood: Fuck you!
Red: Would you knock it off? Brooks ain't no bug. He's just... just institutionalized.
Heywood: Institutionalized, my ass.
Red: The man's been in here fifty years, Heywood. Fifty years! This is all he knows. In here, he's an important man. He's an educated man. Outside, he's nothin'! Just a used up con with arthritis in both hands. couldn't even get a library card if he applied. You see what I'm saying?
Floyd: Red, I do believe you're talking out of your ass.
Red: Believe what you want. These walls are funny. First you hate 'em, then you get used to 'em. Enough time passes, you get so you depend on them. That's institutionalized.
Heywood: Shit. I could never get like that.
Ernie: Oh yeah? Say that when you been here as long as Brooks has.
Red: Goddamn right. They send you here for life, and that's exactly what they take. The part that counts, anyway.

Red: [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.

Andy: I had Mr. Mozart to keep me company.
[points and taps his head]
Andy: It was in here.
[gestures over his heart]
Andy: And in here. That's the beauty of music. They can't get that from you. Haven't you ever felt that way about music?
Red: I played a mean harmonica as a younger man. Lost interest in it though. Didn't make much sense in here.
Andy: Here's where it makes the most sense. You need it so you don't forget.
Red: Forget?
Andy: Forget that there are places in this world that aren't made out of stone. That there's something inside...that they can't get to, that they can't touch. That's yours.
Red: What are you talking about?
Andy: Hope.
Red: Let me tell you something my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane. It's got no place here. Better get used to the idea.

[1957 Parole Hearings]
Man #l: It says here you've served 30 years of a life sentence.
Man #2: You feel you've been rehabilitated?
Red: Yes sir, without a doubt. I can say I'm a changed man. No danger to society, that's the God's honest truth. Absolutely rehabilitated.

Red: Thirty years. Jesus. When you say it like that...
Andy: You wonder where it went. I wonder where ten years went.

Andy: 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: 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.

Red: Ever bother you?
Andy: I don't run the scams Red, I just process the profits. Fine line, maybe, but I also built that library and used it to help a dozen guys get their high school diploma. Why do you think the warden lets me do all that?
Red: To keep you happy and doing the laundry. Money instead of sheets.
Andy: I work cheap. That's the trade-off.

Red: [narrating] Tommy Williams came to Shawshank in 1965 on a two-year stretch for B&E. That's breaking & entering to you. Cops caught him sneaking TV sets out the back door of a JC Penney. Young punk. Mr. Rock and Roll. Cocky as hell.
Tommy: Hey, c'mon, old boys! You're movin' like molasses! Makin' me look bad!
Red: [narrating] We liked him immediately.

[Tommy and Red are talking about Andy]
Tommy: What's he in here for, anyway?
Red: Murder.
Tommy: The hell you say!
Red: You wouldn't think, lookin' at him. Caught his wife in bed with some golf pro. Greased 'em both.

Andy: How can you be so obtuse?
Warden Norton: What? What did you call me?
Andy: Obtuse. Is it deliberate?
Warden Norton: Son, you're forgetting yourself.
Andy: The country club will have his old time cards. Records, W-2s with his name on them. Sir, if I ever get out, I'd never mention what happens here. I'd be just as indictable as you for laundering that money.
[Norton slaps the table]
Warden Norton: Don't you ever mention money to me again, you sorry son of a bitch!Not in this room, not anywhere!

[Andy gets dragged away, kicking and screaming]
Andy: It's my life. Don't you understand? IT'S MY LIFE!

Heywood: Red? You saying Andy's innocent? I mean for real innocent?
Red: Yeah, it looks that way.
Heywood: Sweet Jesus. How long's he been in here?
Red: Since forty seven, what is that...nineteen years.

Andy: I'm done. Everything stops. Get someone else to run your scams.
Warden Norton: [icy] Nothing stops. Nothing...or you will do the hardest time there is. No more protection from the guards. I'll pull you out of that one-bunk Hilton and cast you down with the Sodomites. You'll think you've been fucked by a train! And the library? Gone... sealed off, brick-by-brick. We'll have us a little book barbecue in the yard. They'll see the flames for miles. We'll dance around it like wild Injuns! You understand me? Catching my drift?...Or am I being obtuse?
[to Hadley]
Warden Norton: Give him another month to think about it.

Andy: My wife used to say I'm a hard man to know. Like a closed book. Complained about it all the time. She was beautiful. God I loved her. I just didn't know how to show it, that's all. I killed her, Red. I didn't pull the trigger, but I drove her away. And that's why she died, because of me.
Red: That don't make you a murderer. Bad husband, maybe.

Andy: Bad luck, I guess. It floats around. It's got to land on somebody. It was my turn, that's all. I was in the path of the tornado. I just didn't expect the storm would last as long as it has.
[glances to Red]
Andy: Think you'll ever get out of here?
Red: Sure. When I got a long white beard and about three marbles left rolling around upstairs.

Andy: You know what the Mexicans say about the Pacific?
Red: No.
Andy: They say it has no memory. That's where I want to live the rest of my life. A warm place with no memory.

Red: I don't think you ought to be doing this to yourself, Andy. This is just shitty pipedreams. I mean, Mexico is way the hell down there and you're in here, and that's the way it is.
Andy: Yeah, right. That's the way it is. It's down there and I'm in here. I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying.
Shawshank Redemptiom Quotes

Red: [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. Oh, Andy loved geology. I guess it appealed to his meticulous nature. An ice age here, million years of mountain building there. Geology is the study of pressure and time. That's all it takes really, pressure, and time. That, and a big god-damned poster. Like I said, in prison a man will do anything to keep his mind occupied. It turns out Andy's favorite hobby was totin' his wall through the exercise yard, a handful at a time. I guess after Tommy was killed, he decided he had been here just about long enough. Andy did like he was told, buffed those shoes to a high mirror shine. The guard simply didn't notice. Neither did I...I mean, seriously, how often do you really look at a mans shoes? 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.

Red: [narrating] Andy Dufresne, who crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side. Shawshank Redemption Quotes

Warden Norton: I want him found. Not tomorrow, not after breakfast, now!

Warden Norton: Lord! It's a miracle! Man up and vanished like a fart in the wind!

Warden Norton: This is a conspiracy, that's what it is.
[throwing rocks]
Warden Norton: One...big...damn conspiracy! And everyone's in on it, including her!
[throws a rock at the poster, the rock goes right through it and they hear it clattering. Norton puts his arm through the torn poster and rips it away from the wall, revealing Andy's escape tunnel]
Shawshank Redemption Quotes

[Warden Norton finds the bible in his safe after Andy escapes and finds the message Andy left for him]
Andy: Dear Warden, You were right. Salvation lay within.
[Norton flips through a couple of pages to find the outline of the rock hammer that was hidden in the Book of Exodus within the Bible, and then drops it on the floor in shock]
Shawshank Redemption Quotes

[After Warden Norton shoots himself in his office]
Red: [narrating] I'd like to think that the last thing that went through his head, other than that bullet, was to wonder how the hell Andy Dufresne ever got the best of him.

Red: [narrating] I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice. Still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone. I guess I just miss my friend.

[1967 Parole Hearings]
Man: Ellis Boyd Redding, your files say you've served 40 years of a life sentence. Do you feel you've been rehabilitated?
Red: Rehabilitated? Well, now let me see. You know, I don't have any idea what that means.
Man: Well, it means that you're ready to rejoin society...
Red: I know what you think it means, sonny. To me it's just a made up word. A politician's word, so 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?
Man: Well, are you?
Red: There's not a day goes by I don't feel regret. 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 and this old man is all that's left. I got to live with that. Rehabilitated? It's just a bullshit word. So you go on and stamp your form, sonny, and stop wasting my time. Because to tell you the truth, I don't give a shit.

Red: [narrating] Forty years I been asking permission to piss. I can't squeeze a drop without say-so.

Red: [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.

Andy: [in letter to Red] Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.

[last lines]
Red: [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.

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Total Quotes: 61

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