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The screenplay and hence the movie for THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION is an extraordinary story of hope, survival, and perhaps most of all friendship.The poster hangs here at SU headquarters.   The final scene represents the culmination of two important aspects that are key to any story: characterization and plot  But for SHAWSHANK we can add a third element: narration (voiceover).

Darabont was asked by Creative Screenwriting years ago about his use of voiceover -- if there is a movie about how to use it, this is the one. But at first Darabont wasn't sure about the technique, his response to the question is as follows:

So I started writing it, and I got really freaked out halfway through. I suddenly thought, oh my God, I’m breaking the rule. I’m going to be damned to movie hell. I’m telling instead of showing. I’m relying too much on it. As if a sign from God, I turned on cable that night and it’s the premiere of Goodfellas. And I thought, this is a really great movie and it has a lot of voice-over. It had been about a year since I had seen it in the theaters, and I sat and watched it again. And I thought ‘I’m a piker, man, I’m a stingy little bastard when it comes to narration compared to these guys’ [Nicholas Pilleggi and Martin Scorcese]. There are no rules, and as soon as you think there are, you’re fucked. Because it all comes from the heart, from the instinct, and if it feels right, it probably is right. So, my talisman in Ohio was my tape of Goodfellas. I took it with me, and on weekends – my weekend was Sunday – I’d sit there totally blown-out and depressed, and I’d pop in Goodfellas and get inspired again." [source: ‘Frank Darabont Interviewed By Daniel Argent & Erik Bauer’ Creative Screenwriting, Volume 4, #2 (Summer 1997) & Volume 6, #6 (November/December 1999]

Here's the text from the script:

The voiceover during the final scene is powerful, glorious, and poignant. However, perhaps presenting it here does an injustice for you have to watch the entire movie to truly feel its weight.

Here you go, the final scene of THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION:

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