The movie Shawshank Redemption will celebrate its 25th anniversary with several events this weekend in Mansfield.
Photo: Submitted
Photo: Submitted

WORTH THE DRIVE: Shawshank Redemption celebrates 25th anniversary this weekend

“The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry.”

That was what prisoner Brooks Hatlen said in a very powerful scene in 1994's iconic film Shawshank Redemption. 

The fact that this well-known and beloved movie is celebrating its 25th anniversary this weekend makes that sentiment feel very true. 

Events surrounding the 25th anniversary celebration will be held this weekend, Aug. 17-18, in and around Mansfield, where the majority of the film was shot. 

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Actors Bob Gunton (Warden Norton), William Sadler (Heywood), Mark Rolston (Bogs), Frank Medrano (Fat Ass), Neil Giuntoli (Jigger), Alfonso Freeman (Red’s Mugshot and Fresh Fish Guy), Scott Mann (Glenn Quentin), Renee Blaine (Linda Dufresne) and Claire Slemmer (Bank Teller) are expected to attend. 

Film critic Ben Mankiewicz will also be on hand to moderate the largest panel discussion of the film’s cast and crew assembled since its 1992 filming. It will be held at a ticketed reception inside Shawshank State Prison, where cast members will mingle with fans of the film. Tickets for the Saturday event are on sale at Shawshank25.com. Also in attendance will be legendary director Frank Darabont who produced, directed and wrote the Oscar-winning film based on the Stephen King story. 

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In addition to visiting the 16 filming sites along The Shawshank Trail, organizers of the Aug. 16-18 anniversary celebration have added more events that allow fans to take part in celebrating the release of this milestone of what IMDB has measured as the No. 1 movie of all time, including a number of free offerings. 

Several background actors will be staged at filming sites along the trail throughout the weekend to meet guests and sign autographs. Special anniversary souvenirs will also be available for purchase, including artifacts crafted out of wood from the Shawshank tree, which was felled by a lightning strike in 2016. Additional guests and event updates will be announced via social media at @ShawshankTrail. 

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The Ohio State Reformatory, which had a starring role in the movie as Shawshank State Prison, can be toured for $25. Guests will have an opportunity to stand inside Warden Norton’s office, peer into Andy’s escape tunnel, walk the “Road to Buxton” and ride a wagon to Malabar Farm’s Pugh Cabin where the film’s opening scenes were shot. Travelers are encouraged to check back for announcements regarding new events, souvenirs and actor appearances. A full list of other filming sites can also be found on the Shawshank25.com web site

• Contact this contributing writer at alexis.e.larsen@hotmail.com.

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