The Shawshank Redemption, 1994

Director

Cast

visit Ohio

Visit: Ohio

Mansfield Tourism

Visit: Mansfield Reformatory, 100 Reformatory Road, Mansfield, on Route 30, 80 miles southwest of Cleveland (tel: 419.522.2644)

Visit: Malabar Farm State Park, 4050 Bromfield Road, south of Lucas (tel: 419.892.2784)


Trivia

Mansfield Reformatory features as the ‘Russian’ prison in Air Force One, and is also seen in1976’s Harry and Walter Go To New York, with James Caan, Elliott Gould and Michael Caine; and 1989’s Tango & Cash, with Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell.

The Shawshank Redemption location: Ohio State Reformatory, Mansfield, Ohio

The Shawshank Redemption location: ‘Shawshank State Prison’: Ohio State Reformatory, Mansfield, Ohio

One of those odd sleepers, a modest success on release, Shawshank went on to a phenomenally popular afterlife on video and DVD.

Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) bides his time during twenty years’ imprisonment for the murder of his wife in this adaptation of a Stephen King story. And being Stephen King, the setting is once again Maine, though you’ll find ‘Shawshank State Prison’ in Ohio. It’s the forbiddingly Gothic Mansfield Reformatory, 100 Reformatory Road, Mansfield, on US Route 30, about 80 miles southwest of Cleveland.

Built between 1886 and 1910, the reformatory remained in operation until 1990 and was scheduled for demolition when the film was made. In fact, much of the prison yard has now gone to make room for the adjacent Richland Correctional Institution, but the striking Administration Building lives on as a tourist attraction. Find it just north of downtown Mansfield, off South Olivesburg Road.

Although some prison interiors were recreated in the studio, the office of the corrupt Governor Norton (Bob Gunton) really is Mansfield Reformatory.

Prison scenes for Air Force One, Harry and Walter Go To New York and Tango & Cash were also filmed in the reformatory.

The Shawshank Redemption filming location: Mansfield, Ohio

The Shawshank Redemption filming location: stickers identify locations on the Shawshank Trail: Shawshank Trail, Mansfield, Ohio

Mansfield Tourism has laid out a helpful Shawshank Trail if you want to explore the film’s other locations in Mansfield and the surrounding area. Stickers identify the key locations.

The Shawshank Redemption filming location: Malabar Farm, Mansfield, Ohio

The Shawshank Redemption filming location: the house where Andy Dufresne’s wife is murdered: Malabar Farm State Park, Mansfield, Ohio

The golf pro’s house, where Andy’s wife and her lover are murdered, is the Pugh Cabin, which you’ll find on the grounds of Malabar Farm State Park, 4050 Bromfield Road, south of Lucas, a few miles southeast of Mansfield itself.

The Shawshank Redemption filming location: Bissman Building, North Main Street, Ohio

The Shawshank Redemption filming location: the ‘Brewer’, the halfway house to which Brooks is sent: Bissman Building, North Main Street, Ohio

About 40 miles west of Mansfield, in the town of Upper Sandusky, Andy’s trial is held at Wyandot Courthouse, 109 South Sandusky Avenue.

Incidentally, 228 South 8th Street, also in Upper Sandusky, served as the woodwork shop of ‘Shawshank Prison’.

The Shawshank Redemption filming location: Bissman Building, North Main Street, Ohio

The Shawshank Redemption filming location: the ‘Brewer’, the halfway house to which Brooks is sent: Bissman Building, North Main Street, Ohio

The town into which the elderly, institutionalised Brooks (James Whitmore) is released is Mansfield itself. The ‘Brewer’, the halfway house where he carves ‘Brooks was here’ into the beams, is the Haunted Bissman Building, 193 North Main Street. Built in 1887 as HQ of the Bissman grocery company, the now-disused building is supposedly inhabited by mysterious spirits, and you can participate in regular paranormal investigations. The Bissman is also featured in Edward Douglas’s 2010 horror The Dead Matter, with splatter-master Tom Savini.

The interior of the ‘Brewer’, incidentally, was filmed inside Mansfield Reformatory.

The Shawshank Redemption filming location: Central Park, Mansfield, Ohio

The Shawshank Redemption filming location: Brooks looks for jake the crow as he feeds the pigeons: Central Park, Mansfield, Ohio

South from the Bissman Building, on Main Street, it’s in Mansfield’s Central Park that Brooks sits on a bench forlornly feeding the pigeons, hoping to get a glimpse of Jake, the crow he reared.

The Shawshank Redemption filming location: Huntington Bank, West Main Street, Ashland, Ohio

The Shawshank Redemption filming location: ‘Randall Stephens’ withdraws his money from ‘Maine National Bank’: Huntington Bank, West Main Street, Ashland, Ohio

‘Maine National Bank’, into which the invented ‘Randall Stephens’ strides to withdraw the Warden’s money, is Huntington Bank, 19 West Main Street, in Ashland, about 12 miles northeast of Mansfield. The bank is currently closed.

The Shawshank Redemption filming location: Carrousel Antiques, West Main Street, Mansfield, Ohio

The Shawshank Redemption filming location: Red looks in the gunshop and contemplates breaking his parole: Carrousel Antiques, West Main Street, Mansfield, Ohio

It’s back to Mansfield, where Carrousel Antiques, 118 North Main Street, provided the gun store window into which Red (Morgan Freeman) looks as he considers breaking parole to be returned to prison.

The Shawshank Redemption filming location: Pleasant Valley Road, Mansfield, Ohio

The Shawshank Redemption filming location: the oak tree at ‘Buxton’: Pleasant Valley Road, Mansfield, Ohio

The ‘hayfield up near Buxton’, to which Red travels keeping his promise to Andy, is a private field near to Malabar Farm. You can see the oak tree north of Pleasant Valley Road (Co Hwy 303) at Bromfield Road, a little to the east of the entrance to the farm. The majestic tree is a little reduced after being split in two by a lightning strike in 2011.

The tree is on private property, used as agricultural farmland, so please don’t trespass. The owners of the tree are negotiating the opportunity to view the oak tree up close for the Shawshank Reunion 20th Anniversary in 2013. It’s important to protect the land, the crops and the oak tree for people to enjoy in the years ahead.

The Shawshank Redemption filming location: Pleasant Valley Road, Mansfield, Ohio

The Shawshank Redemption filming location: Red keeps his promise to Andy: Pleasant Valley Road, Mansfield, Ohio

Back in Ashland, not far from the bank, Revivals Thrift Store 345 Orange Street became The ‘Trailways Bus Station’, where Red boards the bus to ‘Fort Hancock, Texas’.

The Shawshank Redemption filming location: Orange Street, Ashland, Ohio

The Shawshank Redemption filming location: the ‘Trailways Bus Station’, where Red catches the bus to ‘Fort Hancock, Texas’: Orange Street, Ashland, Ohio

 

Andy and Red are finally reunited in ‘Mexico’, but that’s not the blue of the Pacific. It’s the Caribbean, and the beach at ‘Zihuatanejo’ is Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge, a two-mile crescent of sand just south of Frederiksted on the southwestern tip of St Croix., largest of the U.S. Virgin islands, an unincorporated territory of the United States.

It is a remote and peaceful spot, but needs to be treated with respect. The beach is a hatching ground for leatherback turtles, and open only at limited times (10am to 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays), and not at all during the breeding season.

See also ...


• Many thanks to Erik Hollander for help with this section.

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