Andy Dufresne, a prisoner at the Shawshank State Penitentiary is on a work detail on the roof of a Licensing Plate Factory, when he overhears Hadley, the Captain of the prison guard, discussing an inheritance …
The guards stiffen at Andy’s approach. Youngblood’s hand goes to his holster. The tower guards CLICK-CLACK their rifle bolts. Hadley turns, stupefied to find Andy there.
Mr. Hadley. Do you trust your wife?
That’s funny. You’re gonna look funnier suckin’ my dick with no fuckin’ teeth.
What I mean is, do you think she’d go behind your back? Try to hamstring you?
That’s it! Step aside, Mert. This fucker’s havin’ hisself an accident.
Hadley grabs Andy’s collar and propels him violently toward the edge of the roof. The cons furiously keep spreading tar.
Oh God, he’s gonna do it, he’s gonna throw him off the roof…
Oh shit, oh fuck, oh Jesus…
Because if you do trust her, there’s no reason in the world you can’t keep every cent of that money.
Hadley abruptly jerks Andy to a stop right at the edge. In fact, Andy’s past the edge, beyond his balance, shoetips scraping the roof. The only thing between him and an ugly drop to the concrete is Hadley’s grip on the front of his shirt.
You better start making sense.
If you want to keep that money, all of it, just give it to your wife. See, the IRS allows you a one-time only gift to your spouse. It’s good up to sixty thousand dollars.
Naw, that ain’t right! Tax free?
Tax free. IRS can’t touch one cent.
The cons are pausing work, stunned by this business discussion.
You’re the smart banker what shot his wife. Why should I believe a smart banker like you? So’s I can wind up in here with you?
It’s perfectly legal. Go ask the IRS, they’ll say the same thing. Actually, I feel silly telling you all this. I’m sure you would have investigated the matter yourself.
Fuckin’-A. I don’t need no smart wife-killin’ banker to show me where the bear shit in the buckwheat.
Of course not. But you will need somebody to set up the tax-free gift, and that’ll cost you. A lawyer, for example…
Ambulance-chasing, highway-robbing cocksuckers!
…or come to think of it, I suppose I could set it up for you. That would save you some money. I’ll write down the forms you need, you can pick them up, and I’ll prepare them for your signature…
nearly free of charge.
(off Hadley’s look)
I’d only ask three beers apiece for my co-workers, if that seems fair.
Co-workers! Get him! That’s rich, ain’t it? Co-workers…
Hadley freezes him with a look. Andy presses on:
I think a man working outdoors feels more like a man if he can have a bottle of suds. That’s only my opinion.
The convicts stand gaping, all pretence of work gone. They look like they’ve been pole-axed. Hadley shoots them a look.
What are you jimmies starin’ at?
Back to work, goddamn it!
EXT — LICENSE PLATE FACTORY — DAY (1949)
As before, an object is hauled up the side of the building by rope — only this time, it’s a cooler of beer and ice.
And that’s how it came to pass, that on the second-to-last day of the job, the convict crew that tarred the plate factory roof in the spring of ’49…
EXT — ROOF — SHORTLY LATER (1949)
The cons are taking the sun and drinking beer.
…wound up sitting in a row at ten o’clock in the morning, drinking icy cold Black Label beer courtesy of the hardest screw that ever walked a turn at Shawshank State Prison.
Drink up, boys. While it’s cold.
The colossal prick even managed to sound magnanimous.
Red knocks back another sip, enjoying the bitter cold on his tongue and the warm sun on face.
We sat and drank with the sun on our shoulders, and felt like free men. We could’a been tarring the roof of one of our own houses. We were the Lords of all Creation.
He glances over to Andy squatting apart from the others.
As for Andy, he spent that break hunkered in the shade, a strange little smile on his face, watching us drink his beer.
HEYWOOD (approaches with a beer)
Here’s a cold one, Andy.
No thanks. I gave up drinking.
Heywood drifts back to others, giving them a look.
You could argue he’d done it to curry favor with the guards. Or maybe make a few friends among us cons. Me, I think he did it just to feel normal again…if only for a short while.