Movies That Everyone Should See: “The Shawshank Redemption”

“I will grant any student filmmaker the right to make a movie out of any short story I have written (not the novels, that would be ridiculous), so long as the film rights are still mine to assign. I ask them to sign a paper promising that no resulting film will be exhibited commercially without approval, and that they send me a videotape of the finished work. For this one-time right I ask a dollar.”

- Stephen King

In 1980, Stephen King made one of the first of his “Dollar Deals” with a 20-year-old filmmaker named Frank Darabont. The resulting short film, “The Woman in the Room”, impressed King so much that the two began a correspondence with each other, becoming friends in the process.

In 1987, Darabont optioned the rights to another of King’s short works, the novella “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption”. Not for a dollar this time, but at a favorable price, in consideration of his relationship with King.

The resulting film would eventually become one of the most cherished movies of all time.

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