Shawshank Redemption Glaring Plot Hole Finally Explained

By Jeffrey Rapaport | Published

the shawshank redemption

We all love The Shawshank Redemption and try to ignore that its whole plot hinges on an immense plot hole. Indeed, for almost three decades, fans have wondered at the nagging question: how could Andy Drufesne manage to replace the poster of Rita Hayworth after climbing into the hole hidden behind it? At a fireside chat at the 2024 Turner Classic Movies Film Festival, Tim Robbins finally revealed the truth: his character pinned the top of the poster to the wall, then slipped it through the tunnel after lifting the bottom, and let it fall into place after passing underneath.

Well… Yeah That Makes Sense

Pretty simple. 

It’s fitting, nonetheless, to learn the official answer to the question, albeit almost 30 years after the film’s release.

The film came out in 1994 and was based on Stephen King’s novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. It relates the poignant story of Andy Dufresne–played by Robbins—a banker sentenced to life in Shawshank State Penitentiary for the murder of his wife and her lover. While initially a box office flop, the Frank Darabont-directed film has achieved legendary status. Many consider it a cinematic masterpiece. 

The Escape

the shawshank redemption

In the movie’s climax, a daring prison break occurs, involving Drufesne’s high-stakes escape through a tunnel secretly dug over 20 years. The convicted banker hides his escape through a series of posters pinned to the wall of his cell, including one of actress Rita Hayworth. However, by the time of his escape, the poster has been replaced by one of Raquel Welch from the 1966 British adventure fantasy flick One Billion Years B.C.

For several decades, fans pondered: How did the poster stay put despite Andy crawling through the hole behind it? 

The Answer

the shawshank redemption

Robbins clarified the matter during a friendly back-and-forth with Morgan Freeman, his costar in the film. Freeman took the audience’s curiosity into his own hands and asked Robbins directly how Andy could have repositioned the poster after sliding into the tunnel in The Shawshank Redemption

The audience, a good sport, greeted the inquiry with laughter—a response underscoring the long-standing curiosity surrounding this puzzler. 

That Ties It Up

saddest movies

Robbins happily obliged his former costar, explaining that, by pinning the poster to the wall at the top of Raquel Welch, so to speak, you could then lift the bottom of the poster, go under it, and go into the tunnel. Straightforward, yes, but ingenious. With the poster falling back into place after he ducked under, Andy could continue on his journey to escape, rain, and redemption without compromising his secret—at least not for long. 

And while all the cynics might not consider this a groundbreaking feat of logistics, it’s nonetheless a satisfying resolution for diehard fans. For evidence, note that the room erupted into applause as Robbins concluded his explanation. 

Rest Easy, Andy

It’s nice to rest easy knowing the excellent film and Stephen King’s story can rely on this explanation from now on. No amount of Reddit trolling can take this amendment, this alibi for a significant plot hole, away from the Shawshank Redemption stans now. 

Source: GeekVibesNation