Morgan Freeman Reveals What He Hates About Shawshank Redemption


Archetypal sleeper hit ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ cemented Morgan Freeman’s place as a Hollywood player.

But there’s still something that bugs the man who bought Ellis 'Red’ Redding to the big screen.

And that’s the movie’s ‘terrible title’.

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“The original title came from Stephen King’s book, 'Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption’,” he told Seth Meyers on his US talk show this week.

“Now, don’t choose Shawshank Redemption when you’ve got Rita Hayworth!

“I complained but they said ‘It won’t fit on the marquee’.

“I said, ‘So what? Just put Rita Hayworth’. But they chose not to, so it took a while to catch on.”


Just calling the film 'Rita Hayworth’ would have been extraordinarily random, and equally, it’s doubtful that calling it 'The Shawshank Redemption’ was the reason audiences were slow to pick up on it, following its less than stellar theatrical run.

But having been in it, perhaps Mr. Freeman knows best.

The movie made just $16 million (£11 million) on its initial release in 1994, and then another $9 million (£6 million) when it was re-released in February 1995 around Oscar season, after it earned seven nominations, but it was still a pretty woeful figure, making it only the 51st highest-grossing movie of the year.

However, it went on to earn widespread acclaim.

Since 2008, it’s been the highest-rated movie on IMDB, ahead of 'The Godfather’.

Image credits: Columbia