Brooks 'Brooksy' Hatlen was an inmate at Shawshank State Prison from 1905 to 1954. He was the librarian of the prison starting in 1912, and was friends with Andy. Brooks died after committing suicide in 1954, aged 72. Brooks is portrayed by James Whitmore. Marlen Memdoza


  • There was a scene in the script where Red finds Jake's carcass. This was to symbolize that Jake was meant to be caged, just like Brooks.
I never had time to shoot this section of the film, for which I'll always have mixed feelings. The writer in me mourns its absence, because it's among my favorite sequences written. The director in me realizes it's probably just as well -- since it isn't vital from a strictly narrative standpoint, I ultimately would have faced the tough decision of losing it in the editing room to tighten an already long movie. (As William Goldman so wisely observes in his excellent book Adventures in the Screen Trade, sometimes you have to kill your darlings...) The absence of this sequence does put an interesting and different spin on the Brooks/Jake subtext. As Red notes toward the end of the film, "Some birds aren't meant to be caged." As written, neither Brooks nor Jake is that kind of bird; neither can survive on the outside. As filmed, however, Jake can survive, but Brooks can't. In a symbolic sense, Jake now represents Andy and Brooks represents Red. It's a subtle but fairly meaningful shift.
Frank Darabont
  • In the novel, Brooks has a college degree in Animal Husbandry. Infact he got the prison library job due to being one of the only few prisoners with a degree.
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