The 1994 film The Shawshank Redemption told the story of wrongly convicted Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) who, after being accused of the murder of his wife and her lover, tunneled his way out of prison over the course of 17 years. The film was nominated for seven Oscars, and, though it wasn’t a huge hit at the box office, is included in the American Film Institute’s AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies and IMDB’s Top 250. Today we have an infographic about just how Dufresne did it from self-described “front end hacker” and graphic designer Shahed Syed called “The Shawshank Computation.”
Syed explained his quest at the top of the image: “Just how long was the tunnel that Andy dug out? Let’s find out with known dimensions and the power of mathematics.”
Click to expand
In the picture, we see an image of Dufresne incarcerated in 1947, the posters that marked his time in prison, including Rita Hayworth (1949), Marilyn Monroe (1957), and Raquel Welch (1966), as well as an image of him as a free man, also in 1966. Below that is a graphic representation of the tunnel it took him so long to dig over 16.9 years or 6168.5 days. There are mathematical formulas explaining what he did, digging 1/64″ per day or 7.13″ per year.
On his blog, Syed wrote about the Shawshank piece, saying:
“If you haven’t seen The Shawshank Redemption yet, quit reading and go watch it right now.
After watching the brilliant escape scene for the twentieth time, I got thinking: just how long was the tunnel that Andy dug out? I shouldn’t have been surprised that someone had already calculated it. I went ahead and visualized the calculations in imperial units with some conservative estimation, and the result.
10′ is plausible, given the amount Andy could carry out each day and the fact that he was limited to tunneling for a few hours every night. Let’s say Andy tunneled 3 hours every night and progressed about 1/64″. At that rate he would be out in just over 2 years if he dug continuously.”
Pretty amazing, right? We’d love to hear what you think. Tweet me/us @JennaBusch/@Nerdist and let us know if you’d have the patience for this. Heck, I can barely stay on the same web page for more than 30 seconds if it won’t load fast enough.