King Never Cashed His Shawshank Check

The Wall Street Journal posted a series of behind the scenes pictures from The Shawshank Redemption.  One caption read:
Mr. King never cashed the $5,000 check Mr. Darabont sent him for the right to turn his story into a movie. Years after 'Shawshank' came out, the author got the check framed and mailed it back to the director with a note inscribed: 'In case you ever need bail money. Love, Steve.' 
Check all the pictures out at

In another article, WSJ points out that The Shawshank Redemption continues to make money.  Though the film did poorly at the box office, it caught on later.

In the days when videocassettes mattered, "Shawshank" was the top rental of 1995. On television, as cable grew, it has consistently been among the most-aired movies. 
In a shifting Hollywood landscape, film libraries increasingly are the lifeblood of studios. "Shawshank's" enduring appeal on television has made it more important than ever—a reliable annuity to help smooth the inevitable bumps in a hit-or-miss box-office business. When studios sell a package of films—many of them stinkers—a "Shawshank" acts as a much-needed locomotive to drag the others behind it.  (
How strong is the film?  WSJ notes that though Warner Brothers wouldn't say how much they made off the film, that it was "one of 6,000 feature films in a library that last year helped generate $1.5 billion in licensing fees from television, plus an additional $2.2 billion from home video and electronic delivery."


  1. You gotta love him! It's not my fav SK adaptation/movie but it's in with the great. And so true about enduring appeal, my children (teenagers now) love the movie.

  2. I live about an hour from where it was filmed in Mansfield, OH. I really want to go over to the old reformatory and tour it. I've been by it many times, but never have time to stop.

  3. Brian, go take the tour and send me the pictures. (: