The Shawshank Experience

Tracking the History of the World’s Favorite Movie

  • Maura Grady
  • Tony Magistrale

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Maura Grady, Tony Magistrale
    Pages 1-25
  3. Maura Grady, Tony Magistrale
    Pages 87-167
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 217-235

About this book


This book features an in-depth analysis of the world’s most popular movie, The Shawshank Redemption, delving into issues such as: the significance of race in the film, its cinematic debt to earlier genres, the gothic influences at work in the movie, and the representation of Andy’s poster art as cross-gendered signifiers. In addition to exploring the film and novella from which it was adapted, this book also traces the history of the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio, which served as the film’s central location, and its relationship to the movie’s fictional Shawshank Prison. The last chapter examines why this film has remained both a popular and critical success, inspiring diverse fan bases on the Internet and the evolution of the Shawshank Trail, fourteen of the film’s actual site locations that have become a major tourist attraction in central Ohio.


Shawshank Ohio State Reformatory Stephen King Frank Darabont Shawshank Trail fandom theory popular film American cinema cinema experience film film and television film history history of literature

Authors and affiliations

  • Maura Grady
    • 1
  • Tony Magistrale
    • 2
  1. 1.Ashland UniversityAshlandUSA
  2. 2.University of VermontBurlingtonUSA

Bibliographic information