Morgan Freeman's one complaint about 'The Shawshank Redemption'

It's arguably the movie he's best known for, but Morgan Freeman has one big gripe with The Shawshank Redemption.

The 79-year-old revealed that he's never liked the 1994 film's title and believes it's the reason the movie wasn't a hit when it was originally released in cinemas.

"The original title was ... Stephen King's book, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption," Freeman said to talk show host Seth Meyers.

The actor said he complained when he discovered the film was instead going to be released as The Shawshank Redemption.

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"They said it (Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption) won't fit on the marquee," Freeman said.

"I said, 'So what? Just put Rita Hayworth ...' but they chose not to so it took a while to catch on."

Despite what Freeman described as a "terrible title", The Shawshank Redemption remains the highest rated film of all time on IMDB.

Morgan Freeman Looks Back on The Shawshank Redemption

Here are some fun facts about the classic film:

Stephen King never cashed his check: The movie is based on a Stephen King novella called Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. The author sold the rights to his 96-page story to Frank Darabont (the film's writer/director) for just $5,651 but bizarrely he never cashed the cheque. According to the Wall Street Journal, King actually framed the cheque and sent it back to Darabont years after the movie came out, with a note that said, "In case you ever need bail money. Love, Steve".

Tim Robbins wasn't the first choice to play Andy Dufresne: Tom Hanks and Kevin Costner both passed on the movie (whoops). Tom Cruise was really keen, but he wasn't thrilled that Frank Darabont had never directed a feature film before and demanded that Rob Reiner (who directed Cruise in A Few Good Men and was Darabont's mentor) have greater control over the movie.

According to the film's producer, Liz Glotzer, Rob Reiner spoke to Cruise and said, "No, if you're going to do it with [Darabont], it's his vision".

"So then Tom Cruise didn't want to do it," said Glotzer.

Tim Robbins in the prison movie The Shawshank Redemption (1994) directed by Frank Darabont.
Tim Robbins in the prison movie The Shawshank Redemption (1994) directed by Frank Darabont.

There was a lot of tension on set between the actors and the first time director: According to Morgan Freeman (who played Red), director Frank Darabont always wanted to shoot scenes several times over, even if they were perfect.

"The answer [I'd give him] was no," said Freeman in Vanity Fair.

"I don't want to be chewing the scenery. Acting itself isn't difficult. But having to do something again and again for no discernible reason tends to be a bit debilitating to the energy."

Painful scene: Remember the scene where Andy (played by Tim Robbins) chats to Red (played by Morgan Freeman) as he throws a baseball in the prison yard? That scene actually took nine hours to shoot and Freeman spent the whole time throwing the baseball back and forth. He didn't complain but did rock up the next day with his arm in a sling. That's dedication.

Crappy water: The water that Andy (played by Tim Robbins) crawled through in the sewage pipe during his escape attempt was actually toxic.
"We got a local chemist to test the quality of the water, and he said this water is absolutely lethal," said designer Terence Marsh.

Apparently Robbins agreed to film the scene in the dangerous water as long as there was a hot shower nearby for get clean immediately afterwards.

- news.com.au

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