In the Hollywood movie, The Shawshank Redemption, Andy Dufresne is shown to stick a picture of Rita Hayworth on the wall of his cell which is used as a cover to hide the hole through which he escapes later.

Why he chooses that picture instead of sticking a normal picture like landscape or scenery which is less suspicious?

In the film, it is shown that the warden who is a very religious person, at one point mentions that 'usually I wont let these here' pointing to the picture. Anyway, luckily he got escaped that time.

I felt like if he chooses some other picture he would have avoided such risky situation. As Andy requests for more posters of some other actresses he tells Red that he likes to imagine he can step through the pictures and be with the actresses.

Is there any specific reason to choose the picture of actresses?

  • (If the film was out) I think he should have chosen the movie poster for 'The great escape' - no one would have been at all suspicios about that ;)
    – Pat Dobson
    Sep 18, 2017 at 11:22

2 Answers 2


It's the other way around. hanging this poster is not suspicious, or at least way less suspicious than the alternative you suggest.

A prisoner hanging a famous attractive actress poster is understandable and fits with his situation. A landscape poster in the other hand is a bit strange, and will make some people wonder why (and why bother) and ask for an explanation that might be not convincing, but with Rita/Raquel/Marilyn posters, no one will, they already understand.

  • 5
    I completely agree with you. There is another consideration: people would stare at a landscape for some time, which may then reveal that there's a hole behind the poster (because of a breeze in the tunnel, causing the poster to move). But comparatively, guards will only cast a quick glance at a poster with a pretty woman, because they don't want to come across as perving while on the job.
    – Flater
    Sep 18, 2017 at 12:47
  • It fit with the Warden's stereotype of the immoral convict such that he didn't give it a second thought. He just assumed Andy wanted the poster because he liked looking at inappropriate images of women, and not for some alternative reason such as to cover up a hole he was digging. Its also a clever and memorable plot device.
    – sanpaco
    Dec 14, 2018 at 17:32

It's not only Rita Hayworth's poster Andy used for covering hole.

In the film, he uses three: a Rita Hayworth poster, a Monroe poster, and a Raquel Welch poster.

Andy Dufresne was was incarcerated in 1947 during which Rita Hayworth was an established actress. No doubt she was his choice.

I think over the time his taste changed or to overcome his boredom he changed one in 7-8 years.

The last poster was of Raquel Welch.

It also fulfilled the purpose of entertainment and gave him hope.

Check Symbols section.

  • What makes the warden allow Andy to keep those kinds of posters if he normally wouldn't allow it?
    – user25738
    Sep 18, 2017 at 20:37
  • @SiXandSeven8ths: It's been answered here
    – Rahul
    Sep 19, 2017 at 4:07
  • Why does he use 3 posters to cover a small hole?
    – Sandun
    Jul 12, 2021 at 6:15
  • @Sandun: It was according to actress who were famous in different times during his duration in prison. And by the end hole got bigger.
    – Rahul
    Jul 12, 2021 at 8:24

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