Miracles do happen.
Frank Darabont (screenplay)
Michael Clarke Duncan
The movie is primarily about Paul Edgecomb and his life as a prison guard on the death row in the 1930s. The movie is told in flashback by Paul Edgecomb in a nursing home and follows a string of supernatural and metaphysical events apon the arrival of tried and convicted murderer John Coffey.
In the 2000 Academy Awards the movie was nominated for four awards (Best Actor In A Supporting Role, Best Picture, Best Sound, Best Writing, Screenplay Based On hi Material Previously Produced or Published) but failed to win a single one.
|Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about|
the entire movie.
The Green Mile is a story told in "flashback" by an elderly Paul Edgecomb in a nursing home. He tells a friend about the summer of 1935 when he was a prison guard in charge of death row inmates. His domain was called "The Green Mile" because the linoleum floor was green. The star of the cellblock was "Old Sparky", the electric chair, sitting peacefully, waiting for his next victim.
One day, a new inmate arrives. He is seven-foot-tall John Coffey, a black man convicted of raping and killing two young white girls. Coffey immediately shows himself to be a "gentle giant", keeping to himself and being moved to tears on occasion. Soon enough, Coffey reveals his extraordinary healing powers by healing Paul Edgecomb's urinary infection and bringing a mouse back from the dead.
At the same time, Percy Wetmore, a vicious, sadistic guard who takes pleasure in intimidating and injuring inmates, exasperates everyone else in the cellblock. However, he "knows people in high places," preventing Paul or anybody else from doing anything significant to curb his deviant behavior. What Percy wants is to be put "up front" for (i.e., in charge of) an execution; then, he promises, he will transfer himself to another government job and Paul will never hear from him again.
- Tom Hanks: Paul Edgecomb
- David Morse: Brutus "Brutal" Howell
- Bonnie Hunt: Jan Edgecomb
- Michael Clarke Duncan: John Coffey
- James Cromwell: Warden Hal Moores
- Michael Jeter: Eduard Delacroix
- Graham Greene: Arlen Bitterbuck
- Doug Hutchison: Percy Wetmore
- Sam Rockwell: 'Billy the Kid' Wharton
- "I couldn't help it, boss. I tried to take it back, but it was too late." - Michael Clarke Duncan as John Coffey
- "The man is mean, careless, and stupid. Bad combination in a place like this." - Tom Hanks as Paul Edgecomb
- "I just can't see God putting a gift like that in the hands of a man who would kill a child. - Tom Hanks as Paul Edgecomb
- Originally set in 1932, the timeframe was bumped up to 1935 so the 1935 film Top Hat could be featured.
- The prison guards wear uniforms to give the movie a better feel, even though uniforms weren't in use at the time in which the movie is set.
- The music played over the loudspeakers in the retirement home as Old Paul Edgecomb first walks out of his room is the same as the music the nurses played at medication time in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975).
- Originally, Tom Hanks was going to play the Old Paul Edgecomb but the makeup tests didn't make him look credible enough to be an elderly man. Dabbs Greer was cast instead as the older Paul Edgecomb.
- By the time Paul introduced Elaine to Mr. Jingles, the mouse would have to be at least 64 years old - over nine times the age of the oldest ever known real mouse. It is however inferred in the book that this longevity is a side effect of John Coffeys resurection of the mouse earlier in the story.
- While many of Stephen King's novels are set in the author's native Maine, The Green Mile takes place in Louisiana. However, the surname of the main character--Edgecomb--is the name of a town on Maine's mid-coast.
- The electric chair featured in the film was built from the original designs of an electric chair named "Old Sparky" which is part of the museum/tour of the Moundsville State Penitentiary in West Virginia. The prison was one of the finalists for the final shooting location.
- The plot unfolds in the form of Paul telling Elaine the story of the Green Mile. In the book, Paul writes his story down in the form of a novel. At the end of the film, as Paul leaves the cemetery after Elaine's burial, a tombstone can be seen behind him that reads "Greene", and two others, one in the foreground and one to the right of the screen, that read "Story".
The Green Mile is, for the most part, faithful to Stephen King's original novel. There are, however, a few slight alterations.
- The novel is a written story, delivered by the elderly Edgecombe to his fellow nursing home patient, Elaine. Each of the six volumes includes both an entry in the Green Mile story, as well as brief bookend scenes taking place in a modern day nursing home. These scenes included not only Paul's relationshp with Elaine, but also his interaction with a sadistic employee, Brad Dolan, who reminds him of Percy Wetmore, his Green Mile co-worker. It is these interactions that cause him to remember 1933, his last year on the Mile. In the film, Brad Dolan is left out completely, and the bookend sequences only take place at the very beginning and end of the movie. Instead of Dolan, it is watching the 1935 film Top Hat that provokes the flashback, and this film is added to the main storyline as well, in which John Coffey's last request is to be able to see a motion picture before he is executed.
- In the book, Hal Moores has an assistant named Curtis Anderson. He does not appear in the film, and his lines and scenes are given to Moores instead. Other inmates of the Green Mile who did not have speaking roles, and are inconsequential to the plot, are also omitted.
- The first and second volumes of the book are told out of chronological order. The first book begins with the arrival of John Coffey, and provides details of the murder for which he is convicted. At this point in time, inmate Eduard Delacroix already has his pet mouse, Mr. Jingles, and another inmate, Arlen Bitterbuck, has already been executed. The second book goes back in time, to before Coffey is brought in, to explain where Mr. Jingles came from, and who Bitterbuck was. The film re-arranges these events so that Coffey's arrival is the first event to take place, and all others follow it.
The following is a list of filming locations, of which The Green Mile was shot on:
.College Grove, Tennessee, USA
- Blowing Rock, North Carolina, USA
- Columbia, Tennessee, USA
- Lewisburg, Tennessee, USA
- Nashville, Tennessee, USA
- Nolensville, Tennessee, USA
- Shelbyville, Tennessee, USA
The following is a list of tracks featured in the film. Please note, that this does not include the tracks composed by Thomas Newman.
- Fred Astaire - "Cheek to Cheek"
- Gene Austin - "Did You Ever See A Dream Walking"
- Guy Lombardo - "Charmaine"