Red and a Tall Drink of Water In a darkened room two passionate lovers eagerly embrace. Outside a distraught man sits in a truck, boozing it up. The old song ' If I Didn't Care ', plays from a tinny radio. The drunk man fumbles with a gun while he tries to get out of the truck.
He opens the door of the truck, stumbles, drops and breaks the bottle of alcohol, and the extra bullets spill onto the ground. The next scene is in a court oom where a lawyer is questioning a man. ' I was upset. I was confused and drunk. I mostly wanted to scare them ', Andrew Dufresne tells the lawyer that was cross-examine him. ' This was revenge', the lawyer shouts in his summation speech.
The verdict is guilty and the sentence is two life sentences, back to back. An older black man is sitting patiently in front of his parole hearing. The five men on the panel ask him if he thinks he is rehabilitated and he answers, yes. ' It's the Gods honest truth, 's ays Red. ' I'm absolutely rehabilitated. ' His friends, ask him what happened at the hearing.
Red replies, 's ame old shit, different day.' He had been rejected and denied parole again. Outside in the exercise yard a loud siren wails. The incarcerated men all gather together to get a look at the new prisoners that have just arrived. Reds' first impression of Andy Dufresne was, ' That one looks like a stiff breeze could knock him over. That tall drink of water with a silver spoon up his ass.' Little did Red know, at this time, but the two men would develop a strong bond. The mutual friendship Red and Andy would cultivate, caused them both to grow an inner strength which helped them deal with prison life.
The new prisoners stand linked together with chains, scared to death, in front of the Warden. He says, ' I believe in two things, discipline and the Bible. Here you " ll receive both. Put your trust in the Lord, your ass belongs to me.
' That was the kind of attitude Andy would have to live with from now on, and this was just the beginning.' Andy kept pretty much to himself at first... Wasn't till a month went by that he finally opened his mouth to say more than two words to somebody. As it turned out that somebody was me', Red pondered. ' Yeah, I think it would be fair to say that I liked Andy from the start ', Red assured himself. Andy and Reds' friendship starts up when Andy finds out that Red has a way to get things from the outside.
Andy decides he wants a rock hammer to carve rocks with. ' It was a hobby I used to have in my old life, ' he tells Red. Sure enough, Red gets it for him. Later on Red gets Andy a poster of Rita Hayworth, he asks for, after they see her in a movie shown at the prison. Their friendship strengthens after Andy helps the Captain of the guards, Mr. Hadley, get some important financial advice.
His expertise in financial matters lands him a job in the library. Andy ends up doing all the guards tax returns even the Wardens. With all this work to do he gets to hire Red to be his assistant, in tax season. After Andy pulls a stunt, by playing an opera record over the Public Address System, he gets two weeks in the hole.
The hole is solitary confinement. After he gets out he is talking with Red about hope. ' There's something inside that they can't get to, that they can't touch, hope ', Andy says. Red replies,' Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane. It's got no use on the inside.
Better get used to it.' Red has another parole hearing and is rejected again. Andy had gotten a harmonica for Red as a 'parole rejection present', as Andy called it. He had remembered how Red said he used to play one years ago. Red had also gotten Andy another girlie poster for his ten year anniversary present.
Meanwhile, after Andy had been writing two letters a week, to receive a fund for the library, a substantial amount finally came through. He received five hundred dollars annually. Once before, and it took him six years, he got two hundred dollars and a letter not to write again. But, that made him more determined and it finally paid off. Red said, ' Andy was as good as his word.' All this time that Andy had been at the library, he was also 'doing the books' for the Warden's Inside-out program. The Inside-out program was work crews from the prison basically doing slave labor.
These mis-dealings of the Warden's included scams, kickbacks and money laundering schemes. Andy eventually let Red know about the 'river of dirty money running through this place', as Andy put it. He also let Red in on what he was doing with the money, in the name of Randall Stevens.