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|“||I believe in two things: discipline and The Bible. Here you'll receive both. Put your trust in The Lord. Your ass belongs to me. Welcome to Shawshank.||„|
|~ Samuel Norton's most famous quote as he welcomes Andy Dufresne and the other convicts to Shawshank State Prison.|
|“||Nothing stops. Nothing... Or you will do the hardest time there is. No more protection from the guards. I'll pull you outta that one-bunk Hilton and cast you down with the sodomites. You'll think you've been f-cked by a train. And that library? Gone. Sealed off, brick by brick. We'll have us a little book barbecue in the yard. They'll see the flames for miles. We'll dance around it like wild Injuns. You understand me? Catching my drift?... Or am I being obtuse? Give him another month to think about it.||„|
|~ Samuel Norton threatens to break Andy Dufresne completely if he quits the money laundering scheme before locking him up for solitary in another month.|
He is a corrupt and fanatically religious warden of the Shawshank penitentiary, as well as the boss of prison guard Captain Byron Hadley. At first he took a liking for the inmate Andy Dufresne due to his abilities to launder money for him; but once Andy discovers a chance to regain his freedom, Norton does whatever he can to prevent Andy from getting out of jail in order to continue with his illict schemes.
Samuel Norton starts out as a deeply religious man when Andy Dufresne arrives in 1947. As the year's pass, he notices a lot of potential in Andy and gives him protection from the guards, library access, and helping inmates get their GED's in return for aiding him in laundering money from kickbacks and his scams. At one point, Norton has his second-in-command and top prison guard Captain Byron Hadley beat up convicted rapist Bogs Diamond after it transpired that Bogs and his gang called The Sisters had been terrorizing Andy to the point where they constantly raped and assaulted Andy on multiple violent occasions.
In 1965, a young thief named Tommy Williams comes along to the prison. A year later Tommy reveals to both Andy and his best friend, Red, that a convicted prisoner named Elmo Blatch was the one who killed Andy's wife, therefore disclosing that Andy was indeed set up and thus proving his innocence in the process. Later on Andy arranges to see Norton and informs him about this, but Norton refuses to help him - as Norton needs him to take care of his shady business; but above all, he fears that his frauds will come to light if Andy is released. Taken aback by the warden's response, Dufresne asks him why he being is so "obtuse" and tries to reassure him about his silence - though this only enrages and frightens Norton to the point where he verbally lashes out at Andy. It is then Norton orders for Andy to be put in solitary confindement for one month, much to Andy's horror.
Soon afterwards, Norton proceeds to question Tommy and the latter confronts him - making it clear by his testimony that he intends to help prove Dufresne's innocence by unveiling the truth. Upon realizing that Tommy's intentions put his own scheme in danger, Norton has Tommy murdered by Captain Hadley and ends up disguising the incident as an escape attempt. The next day, he visits Andy in his isolation cell - lying about the murder by telling instead Tommy has attempted to escape. Andy, deducing that Norton had Tommy killed, attempts to stand up to the warden by declaring that he is done with his scheme. However, Norton is unfazed to the point where he insists that "nothing stops". It is then Norton, determined to keep Andy under his thumb, threatens to take away everything from Andy if he quits by torching the library, removing him from being protected from the guards and moved from his cell into appalling conditions and gives him another month to think about it.
By the time Andy is eventually released, it seems as though as Norton has prospered in keeping him under his thumb. However, Andy later succeeds in escaping the prison through a tunnel he had been digging for the past 20 years (27 years in the book). The next morning, Norton learns about Andy's escape when he and Hadley learn about it from the latter's subordinate Haig. Thereafter an angry Norton flies into a rage that leads him to fortuitously discoversthat the poster on the wall actually masks the entrance to a tunnel, which Dufresne painstakingly dug during his nineteen years of imprisonment; Andy had used the stone slicer Red had given him years later. Under the name "Randall Stevens", the identity he used to store all of Warden Norton's money, Andy not only drains him of all of his ill-gotten gains - but also delivers a book that exposes Norton's corruption and Hadley's conspiracy when it includes disclosing their killing of Tommy to the Daily Bugle.
The police then come to Shawshank to arrest them both. They succeed in arresting Captain Hadley, but Norton wasn't going to go quietly. Loading up a gun he kept in his drawer, he prepares to take as many police officers down with him as possible as soon as they entered his office. However, when the policeman assigned to arrest him tells Norton to "make things easier for himself", Norton decides to turn the gun on himself and commits suicide. While what Norton was exactly thinking when the bullet passed through his head is unknown, Red likes to believe that it was to ponder on how Andy Dufresne ever got the better of him.
In the book, however, Norton escapes arrest by resigning from his post. He isn't as cruel in the book, as he had Tommy transferred to another prison where he could be paroled soon to keep him quiet instead of having him murdered. He also didn't force Andy to be in solitary confinement for two months. As such, Norton was not as present in the book as he doesn't take over Shawshank as warden until later in the story. In fact, within the film, he is a combination of the different wardens in the novel that took over Shawshank before he did.
- The song he whistles is "Eine feste Burg ist unser Gott", translated as "A Mighty Fortress is Our God." from Martin Luther.
The Long Walk
The Dark Tower
Cycle of the Werewolf
Cain Rose Up
Word Processor of the Gods
Secret Window, Secret Garden
The Dark Half
Storm of the Century
Lunch at the Gotham Café
From a Buick 8
A Good Marriage
Gwendy's Button Box
In The Tall Grass
Locke & Key
The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer
The Gingerbread Girl
The Night Flier
Why We're In Vietnam