(detailed information about this entry from Wikipedia)
The Green Mile is a 1999 movie, directed by Frank Darabont, based on the Stephen King novel The Green Mile. The film stars Tom Hanks as Paul Edgecomb and Michael Clarke Duncan as John Coffey.
The movie is primarily about Paul Edgecomb and his life as a prison guard on Death Row in the 1930's. The movie is told in flashback by Paul Edgecomb in a nursing home and follows a string of supernatural and metaphysical events upon the arrival of tried and convicted murderer John Coffey.
For the 2000 Academy Awards, the movie was nominated for four awards (Best Actor In A Supporting Role, Best Picture, Best Sound, and Best Writing--Screenplay Based On Material Previously Produced or Published) but won none of them.
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 1) the linoleum floor was green and 2) condemned prisoners walking to their execution are said to be walking "the last mile". The star of the cellblock was "Old Sparky," the electric chair, sitting peacefully, waiting for its next victim.
One day, a new inmate arrives. He is seven-foot-tall (about 213 centimeters) John Coffey, a black man (wrongly) 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. Later, he would heal the terminally ill wife of the warden.
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" (supposedly he was the nephew of the governor), 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.
Notwithstanding Coffey's incredible abilities and the wrongness of his conviction, he ends up being executed, due in large part to geographically-based racial overtones (the movie was set in the American South, during a period of racial segregation). Edgecomb thereafter transfers from death row to another prison. His "fate" for not stopping Coffey's execution was that he would outlive all his relatives and friends; as he puts it, he would have to walk his own "green mile."
- 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 implied in the book that this longevity is a side effect of John Coffey's resurrection 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. "Old Sparky" has been a common nickname for the electric chair in a number of states that used the device.
- 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".
- Two of the characters in the book (and movie) are named Harry Terwilliger (played by Jeffrey DeMunn) and Dean Stanton (played by Barry Pepper). In the film, the character of the trustee Toot-Toot is played by veteran character actor Harry Dean Stanton.
Deviations from source material
The Green Mile is, for the most part, faithful to Stephen King's original novel. There are, however, a few slight alterations.
- The electric chair was, in fact, used first time in Louisiana in 1941, not 1930s
- 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 relationship 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.
- In the book, strong evidence -- ignored by the authorities -- is presented to the reader of Coffey's innocence in Edgecombe's eyes: for example, the tracking dogs' confusion at the site of the girls' murder resulting from the murderer and the girls' bodies leaving in different directions. In the movie, however, John Coffey grabs Paul Edgecomb's hand and along with transferring 'life' to him, he also shows Paul who really killed the two girls.
The following is a list of filming locations, of which The Green Mile was shot on:
- Blowing Rock, North Carolina, USA
- Columbia, Tennessee, USA
- Lewisburg, Tennessee, USA
- Nashville, Tennessee, USA
- Nolensville, Tennessee, USA
- Shelbyville, Tennessee, USA
The Green Mile soundtrack contains mostly instrumental pieces scored by Thomas Newman. Below is a listing of the songs (and their track numbers on the CD) that weren't composed by Newman.
8. "Cheek to Cheek" performed by Fred Astaire – 2:38
19. "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" performed by Billie Holliday – 3:27
27. "Did You Ever See a Dream Walking?" performed by Gene Austin – 2:52
34. "Charmaine" performed by Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians – 2:25
Awards and nominations
1999 Academy Awards (Oscars)
2000 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films (Saturn Awards)
2000 BMI Film & TV Awards
2000 Black Reel Awards
2000 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards
2000 Bram Stoker Awards
2000 Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards
2000 Chicago Film Critics Association Awards
2000 Directors Guild of America
- Nominated - Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures — Frank Darabont
2000 Golden Globe Awards
2000 Image Awards
2000 MTV Movie Awards
2000 Motion Picture Sound Editors (Golden Reel Award)
- Nominated - Best Sound Editing - Dialogue and ADR — Mark A. Mangini, Julia Evershade
- Nominated - Best Sound Editing - Effects and Foley — Mark A. Mangini, Aaron Glascock, Howell Gibbens, David E. Stone, Solange S. Schwalbe
2000 People's Choice Awards
- Won - Favorite All-Around Motion Picture
- Won - Favorite Dramatic Motion Picture
2001 Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (Nebula Award)
2000 Screen Actors Guild Awards
- Nominated - Outstanding Performance by a Cast
- Nominated - Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role — Michael Clarke Duncan
has a collection of quotations related to: