During his escape, after he crawls into his tunnel that he spent 19 years chiseling away at, Andy Dufresne puts his poster of Racquel Welch back up, thereby covering the hole.. How did he do that?

The poster seems to be fairly secured to the wall too (which makes me think getting two corners and letting gravity do the rest of the work isn't very likely).

Is this a movie cheat/small plot hole? Is there someway he could have done that that I'm not realizing?

  • 1
    Ha, I had the exact same thought when I saw the film for the first time. Followed by "What does it say about me, that I'm thinking about this of all things in this emotive climactic scene?". I'm slightly ashamed to say it bugged me for the whole of the rest of the film... never figured out any answer, either May 11, 2016 at 17:57
  • 7
    I'd be more concerned about the fact that Red could have just used his time machine to escape prison, given that the picture on the poster wasn't taken until a year after Andy's escape.
    – user7812
    May 11, 2016 at 18:02
  • @Richard Was it?.. he escaped in June 1966 and production for that film started in 1965 I am pretty sure.. I suppose the poster could have been released prior to the film.
    – Dom Vito
    May 11, 2016 at 18:54
  • @DominicG. - He had the poster for some considerable time before he escaped.
    – user7812
    May 11, 2016 at 19:03
  • @Richard when does he get that poster? I can't remember at what point he swaps the Raquel Welch poster for the Rita Hayworth.
    – Dom Vito
    May 11, 2016 at 19:05

4 Answers 4


On his other photos, Andy seem to be in the habit of using Scotch Tape, either the double-sided variety or perhaps just folded over, in only the top corners.

enter image description here

However, on his Raquel poster he also uses tape on one side, but not the other.

enter image description here

Based on what we can see (no visible tape at the top and a single piece of tape visible on the side, that may or may not be stuck to the wall) it appears that the poster is attached securely only at the top and that when he digs, Andy carefully lifts it, then allows it to fall back into place. This general wear and tear would also explain why he needs to replace the poster at least once.

When Andy made his escape, he presumably lifted the poster (to allow him to climb through) and let it drop back into position under its own weight.

In the interests of science, I've just performed a simple experiment, hanging a piece of glossy paper to a wall by a single piece of sellotape at the top, then throwing a stone at it. As you can see, the stone easily passed through the paper, without any need to secure it at the four corners. It had plenty of "taughtness" all on its own.

enter image description here

  • 2
    I dub thee Eagle Eye! May 11, 2016 at 19:22
  • 1
    Does it still explain the tautness? Or as Peter Griffin puts it, "After you escaped into the hole, how did you perfectly re-attach the Raquel Welch poster from inside the hole with a tautness that a rock could pierce?"
    – Walt
    May 11, 2016 at 19:30
  • 4
    @Walt - I did science. A piece of glossy paper is easily weighty enough to allow a stone to pierce it. It helps if the paper is glossy rather than plain and it helps if the stone is sharp rather than smooth. To the naked eye, it certainly would appear taught. It also helps if there's any negative air pressure behind the poster.
    – user7812
    May 11, 2016 at 19:41
  • Minor correction: "fuzzy britches" in the poster shown above is not Rita Hayworth, but Raquel Welch.
    – user132278
    May 11, 2016 at 22:48
  • @user132278 - You are, of course correct. If you see an error, don't hesitate to use the edit button :-)
    – user7812
    May 11, 2016 at 22:54

If he weighted the corners at the bottom with washers taped to the inside corners they'd stay in place as if they were stuck to the wall. Elementary my dear Watson's or should I say Shawshakston's?


It's not clear but assumed it was held up on the top by common tape. The poster was flat through hanging there a while and thick enough to remain flat. Along with him rolling it and temporarily securing it would keep it from getting damaged while he tunneled night after night.

It seemed it was quite a long hole so he would have to physically enter it to complete it as the exit was far out of reach.

I wondered how he fit through it. But he did.

Also, the poster may have been rolled in the opposite direction to curve inward toward the wall. I speculate it was not secured to the bottom to begin with the curl of the paper had long since left the poster. If he repeatedly replaced the bottom tape after each tunneling session it would've appeared odd for cell inspection so he may have moistened or dampened the wall when finished to get it to adhere but not permanently stick to the wall.

Other possibilities were the vacuum pull created by the hole once he was through held the poster secure to the wall. If you watch as the warden tears the poster from the wall it rips away pretty easily not as if it was taped on the bottom.

Another way would be to coat the back of the paper with a mixture of the wall debris and something sticky to make it flat eggs and water would even work.


Perhaps Andy had stuck two small magnets on either lower corner on the back of the poster and two small iron pieces glued to the wall that would hold the magnets in place and keep the poster taut.

It would not be a big deal for Andy to get two little magnets and two small iron pieces from the prison's machine shop.

  • Not sure why someone gave negative rating for this. I have seen the local library use this technique to cover and protect the touchscreens of their terminals located outside the library (so people can return the materials they borrowed from the library when the library is closed). The magnet at the bottom of the protective screen holds the screen together and patrons have to apply some pressure to pull it off and lift the protective screen. When they are done, they would let the screen go, and it comes down and locks back on the magnet, thereby covering the touchscreen.
    – whirlaway
    Aug 23, 2016 at 17:42

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .