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I guess it comes down to a simple choice really. Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’.
~ Andy

Andrew "Andy" Dufresne is the main protagonist in the 1994 drama film The Shawshank Redemption. He is a banker who is convicted of murdering his wife and her lover. He is also a rockhound.

He is portrayed by Tim Robbins.

Imprisonment and escape

In 1947, Andy Dufresne is convicted of murdering his wife and her lover. He claims to be innocent, but the police say that they have evidence. He is sent to Shawshank Pennitentary to serve two life sentences. Upon entering the prison, he meets Captain Byron Hadley, a brutal prison guard who is in charge of security and the warden, Mr. Samuel Norton, who is seemed to be a devout Christian who gives his inmates discipline and a bible.

For the first month, Andy says nothing and keeps to himself. One day, he meets an African-American inmate smuggler called Ellis "Red" Redding. He tells Red that he is rockhound and he asks Red for a rock hammer. During lights out, Andy finds his rock hammer.

In the first few years of his imprisonment, he works in the laundry department cleaning other prisoners' clothes and is tormented by a group of prison rapists called the Bull Queers lead by Bogs Diamond. They sometimes beat him up and will often rape him. Andy is able to fight them off sometimes and sometimes not. On a summer day when most of Andy's friends are working on the prison roof, Andy helps Captain Hadley with his tax problems in exchange for his prisoners having some beer. One day, while the other prisoners are watching a movie starring actress Rida Hayworth, Andy asks Red if he can smuggle a poster of Rita Hayworth for him. Red says yes, but it will take some time. On the way back to the projector room, the Bull Queers attack him so hard that he is sent to the infirmary. Bogs is sent into solitary confinement and is later beaten to death by Captain Hadley. He is sent to a minimum security hospital and his gang has since left Andy alone. When Andy gets out of the infirmary, he finds a poster of Rita Hayworth on his bed.

One day during surprise inspection, Warden Norton admires Andy for reading his Bible and offers him to move from laundry to the library with Brooks, the prison's old librarian. There, Andy is given respect from the other prisoners and guards. He also gets protection from the guards at this point. He decides to write letters to the city requesting more books and funds to expand the prison's library, a thing that the warden says is impossible but lets him do it anyway. While in the process of writing letters, Brooks is given parole to leave Shawshank and eventually kills himself, because he couldn't handle the outside world.

After two years of letters, the city finally gives in to Andy's demands and gives him a check for $2,000 and crates of records as well as books. Hadley tells him to clear all of the crates before the warden gets back, but instead plays a record of an Italian woman singing opera on a record player projecting the sound over the entire prison. This makes the warden angry and makes Hadley take Andy into solitary confinement for two weeks. His friends tell him how he might survive solitary confinement without going crazy. He says that hope keeps him alive, a thing that Red strongly disapproves of.

In 1963, after writing more letters to the city, Andy is given more books and more funds to expand the library into making it bigger and better. He names the library after Brooks. Also, the warden starts programs involving his prisoners going outside the prison to do hard-working labor. In return, the warden starts receiving kickbacks and has Andy launder the money under the alias, Randal Stevens. Two years later, a new inmate named Tommy Williams is sent to Shawshank to serve two years for B&E (breaking and entering). There, he goes to Andy to help him earn his GED.

During a talk between Red and Tommy, Tommy asks why Andy is in prison. Red says for murdering his wife and her lover, which brings back a moment of something to Tommy. Tommy says to Red and Andy that a few years before coming to Shawshank, he was at another prison, where he had a cellmate by the name of Elmo Blatch. Blatch says to Tommy that he was working at a country club and he came across a snooty golfer. He kills the golfer and a lady who happened to already be married to some banker who was convicted of the murder he didn't do. Knowing that Tommy's story is all about his wife's murder, Andy goes to the warden for another trial against Elmo Blatch, but the warden denies the story and doesn't want Andy to leave prison in order to keep the money laundering going. The warden sentences Andy to a month in solitary confinement. Tommy is eventually given his GED after achieving a 75%.

During Andy's incarceration, the Warden has Tommy walk out of the prison to see if Tommy's testimony is true about the murder and if he is willing to testify in court. After Tommy agrees, the warden has Captain Hadley shoot Tommy dead. The warden goes to Andy and says that Tommy was killed under an escape attempt, but Andy really knows what happened. Andy also says that he is done with the money laundering, but the warden threatens to destroy the library and cuts off his protection from the guards. Andy is released from incarceration and Red goes to him and says that he is not a murderer for what happened to his wife. Andy then tells Red about starting a boating business in Mexico, but Red says that it is highly unlikely and that he needs to accept the fact that he is stuck in prison. Andy doesn't listen to Red and tells him that if he ever gets out of prison, to go to Buxton, Maine, and go to a tree outlined with stones and find a specific black volcanic rock and find something.

The next morning during the prison role call, Andy does not come out. The guards go to his cell to find that he is nowhere to be found. Angry and confused, the warden forces Red to say where Andy is and what happened to him. The warden then throws rocks at Andy's Rockelle Welch poster to find a hollow tunnel that Andy made to escape. Meanwhile, Andy takes all of the warden's laundered money under the alias Randall Stevens and withdraws it and mails evidence of warden's money laundering schemes and murder of Tommy to a local newspaper. The next day, the warden finds that his crimes have been made public and the police comes to arrest him. The police takes Captain Hadley into custody, but the warden shoots himself to avoid arrest.

In 1967, a year after Andy's escape, Red is granted parole and leaves Shawshank. Red almost breaks his parole from not handling the outside world, but remembers Andy's promise and hitches a ride up to Buxton. He finds the specific rock to find a lunch box filled with money and a letter from Andy that he will be waiting on Red and that hope is not a bad thing but a good thing. Red, moved by Andy's letter, breaks his parole and buys a ticket to Mexico. There he finds Andy working on a boat for his boat business and the two friends are reconciled forever.

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