One of the things the producer mentioned in the special features was that in the original cut the movie ended with the scene of Red sitting on an intercity bus, and his voice-over (nobody does voice-overs like Morgan Freeman) saying
I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend, and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.
… but the studio said “You can’t leave the audience hanging like that!” so they had to shoot a new ending with Red and Andy meeting on the beach in Mexico. I think the original ending was better, because it makes the audience participate in the hope, instead of sending them out of the theatre saying “Oh great, it worked out, then.”
Another thing they mentioned was the problems people have remembering the title, and the writer/director said “Nobody ever came up with a better one”. In Israel it was called “חומות של תקוה”, “Walls of Hope”, which is not at all bad.
I can’t talk about this movie without quoting my favourite line from it:
I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living, or get busy dying.