If ever there was a classic movie, it’s Shawshank Redemption. And, in my personal opinion, Morgan Freeman can do no wrong. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him in a bad movie. Stephen King’s Shawshank Redemption takes you into the backstory of the two main characters serving life in prison out in the middle of nowhere. So where was The Shawshank Redemption filmed? Let’s find out, then talk about the storyline.

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Where Was The Shawshank Redemption Filmed?

The iconic prison scenes from the classic 1994 film Shawshank Redemption were filmed at the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio. Built in 1896, this beautiful Romanesque Revival-style building has since been preserved as a museum and is now known as The Shawshank Trail.

Where Was The Shawshank Redemption Filmed - Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield Ohio

It’s also home to other films like Air Force One and Tango & Cash. 

Other The Shawshank Redemption film locations include the nearby Marion, Ohio and Toledo, Ohio areas. The iconic Shawshank tree that Red visits in his dream sequence is located in Malabar Farm State Park in Lucas, Ohio.

Shawshank Tree Malabar Farm State Park in Lucas, Ohio

The reformatory was also featured in the popular video game series, Silent Hill. The dark atmosphere and eerie architecture of this building help to add an element of dread that can’t be found in other places.

What Was Shawshank Redemption All About?

Andy Dufresne on His Way to Shawshank

Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film based on Stephen King’s novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. The movie follows the story of Andy Dufresne, an innocent man who is wrongfully convicted of murder and sent to the notorious Shawshank Prison in Maine. While at Shawshank, Andy uses his financial and legal savvy to help other inmates gain freedom. The movie also highlights themes of hope, justice, friendship and redemption which would be defined as a character arc.

Who Was In The Cast of Shawshank Redemption?

Tim Robbins as Andy Dufresne and Morgan Freeman as Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding at the Shawshank Filming Location in Ohio

The Shawshank Redemption cast includes:

  • Tim Robbins as Andy Dufresne
  • Morgan Freeman as Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding
  • Bob Gunton as Warden Norton
  • William Sadler as Heywood
  • Clancy Brown as Captain Hadley
  • Gil Bellows as Tommy Williams
  • James Whitmore as Brooks Hatlen

Who Directed Shawshank Redemption?

Shawshank Redemption was directed by Frank Darabont who had previously worked on The Shawshank Redemption screenplay and wrote the screenplay for the Stephen King adaptation “The Green Mile”.

The Shawshank Redemption Director Frank Darabont

He was responsible for setting the tone of the film and bringing it to life. Darabont also casted Morgan Freeman as Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding, a role that won him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Darabont was also nominated for three Oscars and two Golden Globes for his work on the film.

Did Shawshank Redemption Receive Any Awards?

67th Academy Awards Best Writing Adapted Screenplay

Shawshank Redemption received numerous awards and nominations. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards and seven Golden Globe Awards. At the 67th Academy Awards it won the Oscar for Best Writing Adapted Screenplay. It also won several other awards from various film festivals, including the Special Jury Prize at the Tokyo International Film Festival in 1995. 

Technical Information

Behind The Scenes the Arriflex 35 BL4S

This was a long movie by 1994 standards. It runs 2 hours and 22 minutes. The cameras used were the Arriflex 35 BL4S with Zeiss Standard Speed and Super Speed lenses as well as the

Moviecam Compact with Zeiss Standard Speed and Super Speed lenses.

Fun Facts About Shawshank Redemption

Shawshank Redemption is filled with fun facts that make it an even more enjoyable movie to watch. Here are some of the most interesting ones:

  • The Shawshank tree scene was filmed in one take – over eleven hours!
  • It took six weeks for Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman to learn how to play chess for their scenes.
  • The movie originally only earned $18 million at the U.S. box office, but became a huge success after being released on home video and television.
  • Stephen King wrote five different endings to his novella before settling on the one in the movie.
  • Red’s line “I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams” was ad-libbed by Morgan Freeman.

Can You Visit the set of Shawshank Redemption?

The Ohio State Reformatory Experience

Yes, you can visit the set of Shawshank Redemption. The prison where the movie was filmed is located in Mansfield, Ohio, and it is open to visitors year-round. You can take a guided tour of the prison or explore on your own.

The Ohio State Reformatory Experience The Hallway

There are also several Shawshank Redemption-themed events held throughout the year. If you’re a fan of the movie, it’s definitely worth visiting the prison to get an up-close look at where some of the iconic scenes were filmed.

What is Ohio Famous For?

Ohio is known as the “Buckeye State” due to its abundance of Buckeye trees, and it is also referred to as the “Heart of it All” because of its location in the center of the country. Ohio is home to many popular tourist attractions, including the National Museum of the United States Air Force and Cedar Point Amusement Park. It is home to several major cities, such as Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus. 

Ohio is also famous for its sports teams, like the Cleveland Indians, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Ohio State Buckeyes. Additionally, it has a rich history of industry that has contributed to its economic development including filmmaking as one of them.

Unique Places in Ohio 

Ohio has plenty of unique places to visit. Here are a few you may be interested in: 

  • World’s Largest Drumsticks: This is on David Grohl Alley. David Grohl is the founder of the Foo Fighters and was the second drummer for Nirvana. 
  • Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: holds the largest collection of rock and roll memorabilia.
  • The Christmas Story House: The Christmas Story house is open all year and is even available for overnight stays. It’s the original house used in the The Christmas Story movie. There’s also a museum across the street.
  • The Garfield Memorial: This attraction holds the only Presidential casket on display for the public.

Ohio is full of unique places to explore and these are just a few of its many attractions. Whether you’re interested in history, art, or nature, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Things to Do in Ohio 

Ohio is full of fun and exciting things to do. Whether you’re looking for outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, or camping, indoor entertainment like museums and art galleries, or something in between, there are plenty of options. Here are some great activities to check out when you visit:

  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park: With its lush forests, scenic trails, and breathtaking waterfalls, this national park is a great place to explore in Ohio.
  • Cincinnati Music Hall: Enjoy a show at one of the oldest theaters in America or take a tour through the museum showcasing its long history.
  • Toledo Museum of Art: This world-class museum is home to over 30,000 pieces of art from around the world.
  • Franklin Park Conservatory: Enjoy the beauty of this historic garden, full of flowers, plants and trees, as well as a butterfly habitat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Shawshank Redemption a true story?

It is not a true story. The movie is based on a novella from famed author Stephen King. The original title of the source material is Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, referring to one of Andy Dufresne’s posters.

Where was the Beach Scene in Shawshank Redemption filmed?

The final scene of The Shawshank Redemption was filmed at Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Final Thoughts

Where Was The Shawshank Redemption Filmed? Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio

Whether you’re looking for an outdoor adventure or a cultural experience, Ohio has plenty of activities to keep you busy and entertained. The Shawshank Redemption tour and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will certainly be worth a visit.

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  1. Really loved the fun facts section, Alanna Birmingham! It’s always cool to find out those little behind-the-scenes details about classics like Shawshank Redemption. Makes re-watching it even more interesting.

  2. Fascinating to read about the film’s location in Ohio. It’s amazing how a place can become a character in its own right in the hands of a skilled director.

    1. So true, Alex! The setting really brought Shawshank to life. It’s inspiring to see how much impact the right location can have on a story’s atmosphere.

  3. The article’s section on Ohio really sheds light on the state’s rich history and how it contributes to the film’s backdrop. It’s always intriguing how location plays a role in storytelling.

  4. Found the part about being able to visit the Shawshank set quite inviting. However, I wonder how much of the original set remains intact for tourists to actually feel the movie’s essence.

  5. absolutely loved the bit about ohio and its unique places. makes me want to plan a road trip there asap! good stuff, Alanna.

  6. The Shawshank Redemption’s storyline always resonates with me for its themes of hope and redemption. It’s fascinating how the movie marries these profound themes with such memorable characters and setting.