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The Shawshank Redemption Deleted Scenes You Never Saw

Sometimes you're sitting at home, scrolling through basic cable, and you realize a certain movie is on that you haven't seen in years. Even if you had other things you needed to do that day, you pretty much have no choice but to sit there and finish the movie because it's just that good. The Shawshank Redemption is one of those films. 

Widely considered the best Stephen King movie adaptation that's ever been made, it's not what you'd consider to be a typical King work. You won't find any evil clowns or teenagers with supernatural powers here. Instead, it focuses on a friendship that blooms between two prisoners, Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) and Ellis "Red" Redding (Morgan Freeman). 

For many people, The Shawshank Redemption is about as close to perfect as a movie can get. Some of the highest words of praise for the film come from San Francisco Chronicle writer Zaki Hasan, who called it "Cinematic alchemy of a kind that's all too rare, propelled by a supremely talented cast, a sumptuous score by Thomas Newman and a first-rate script and direction from first-timer Frank Darabont." It's hard to imagine changing a single thing about this story, but in fact, two deleted scenes exist, scenes you won't find on any DVD or Blu-Ray copies. They aired on Showtime back in 1995, and, while they were briefly uploaded to YouTube, they've since been taken down (via The Huffington Post). 

Fortunately, we still have some descriptions of the scenes, so you can decide for yourself whether it was the right move to take them out of the final product. You best get busy reading or get busy dying, because, more than likely, you aren't going to find these scenes when the film next airs on AMC. 

In one Shawshank Redemption deleted scene, a guard is sent into Andy's escape tunnel

The first deleted scene from The Shawshank Redemption originally took place after we discover that Andy Dufresne has dug his way out of the prison. In that infamous moment the warden throws a rock at a poster of Raquel Welch, only to discover the wall is hollow. He then rips the poster off the wall to discover a full-blown tunnel behind it. During all his years locked up, Andy has been working on this elaborate plan. In the film sequence most people are familiar with, the scene transitions to a manhunt for the escaped convict; however, initially, there was a scene right after the warden's discovery.

Based on a description of the deleted scene we have from Rolling Stone, one of the prison's guards is sent into the tunnel. The young man soon discovers the extreme lengths to which Andy had to go in order to escape, as he encounters a ton of sewage, leading him to scream, "Oh my God, it's s***!" From there, he begins to vomit all over the place, and, despite the warden sentencing Red to spend time in "the hole," Andy's friend can't help but laugh at the circumstances. 

While it would've been a funny moment, it feels like something slapstick that would be in the Family Guy parody of The Shawshank Redemption, rather than the real thing. Leaving it in would've slowed down the momentum of the scene, as the music begins to swell and the scene transitions to the manhunt for Andy. Ultimately, it just feels like something the movie didn't need, and when you're looking at a film that already runs for two hours and 22 minutes, it's a snippet that was best left on the cutting room floor. 

The Shawshank Redemption's other deleted scene shows what life for Red was like on the outside

One of the most poignant moments in the film comes during Red's final probation hearing. In it, he gives a speech about what it truly means to be "rehabilitated" and how he's been in prison for so long that the young man who first entered no longer exists. Afterwards, he's approved for probation and is finally released. In a deleted scene, we see Red attempting to adjust to life on the outside. Rolling Stone describes there were moments in which we see Red take a job at a grocery store and encounter women — mind you, he hasn't really dealt with the opposite sex in decades — walking along the street. 

The film also featured an interior monologue to go with Red's thoughts on women and how a lot has changed over the 40 years he's been incarcerated. He enters a society he no longer recognizes, in which hippie culture runs rampant, and part of his monologue goes, "Not a brassiere to be seen, nipples poking out at the world. Jesus please-us. Back in my day a woman like that out in public would have been arrested and given a sanity hearing. They're calling this the Summer of Love. Summer of Lunacy if you ask me."

By this account, it sounds as though the scene was meant to illustrate how Red just couldn't adjust to everyday life. By this point, he'd spent a larger portion of his life behind bars than as a free man, so when he decides to bail on this kind of life and meet Andy in Mexico, it makes sense. In the version of the film most people have seen, Red seemingly heads off to Mexico almost immediately in one of the most emotionally-satisfying film endings of all time

At the end of the day, The Shawshank Redemption is great as it was originally edited and didn't clearly didn't need these scenes to become a cultural landmark.