"The Shawshank Redemption," starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, was not based on a true story; it was based on a fictional short story by Stephen King called "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption." Writer-director Frank Darabont purchased the rights from King for just $1.
Released in 1994, "The Shawshank Redemption" received rave reviews from critics and was nominated for seven Academy Awards, but was a commercial failure at the U.S. box office, grossing under $30 million. It ultimately became a hit on home video and scored record-breaking TV ratings on TNT. In 2007, AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies placed "The Shawshank Redemption" at number 72 on a list of the best movies of all time, and Empire magazine named "Shawshank" the fourth greatest movie of all time.