Believe it or not, there was a time when Morgan Freeman didn’t narrate everything. The Oscar winner arguably became the world’s favorite voiceover actor after starring in, and narrating, 1994’s The Shawshank Redemption, as Tim Robbins’ prison bunkmate Red. In an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, Freeman grudgingly agreed to recite a new version of the film’s final voiceover (“I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend…”), written just for the occasion. Watch it above.
The Shawshank Redemption, about the friendship between two prisoners (Robbins and Freeman) leading up to one’s escape, is considered a classic in the category of uplifting dramas. Famously, it ranks as the all-time-favorite film of IMDb users. However, when it was first released, it flopped at the box office. In the Graham Norton interview, Freeman blamed this failure on the film’s inscrutable title, which he says fans still get wrong (one told him he loved “The Hudsucker Production“). But writer-director Frank Darabont has said that he blames the subject matter, not the title.
“Forrest Gump is a worse title, except it was a very successful movie, because everyone went to see it, so nobody questions that title,” Darabont said in an interview last year. “With Shawshank, I think the issue was more that it was a prison movie, it had two significant actors in it, and I think people looked at that trailer and thought, ‘Oh, this is going to bum me out.’ I honestly think that was more the factor, by far, than the title.”
Read more from Yahoo Movies:
- ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ Turns 20: Looking Back on the Prison Movie’s Surprising and Enduring Popularity
- Frank Darabont on His ‘Bizarre and Wonderful’ ‘Shawshank Redemption’ Experience, and the ‘Mean’ Ending to ‘The Mist’
- ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ Star Tim Robbins Wants You to Know He’s Not a Prison Break Expert