The lives of guards on Death Row are affected by one of their charges: a black man accused of child murder and rape, yet who has a mysterious gift.
Promotional posterDirected byFrank DarabontProduced byFrank Darabont
David ValdesScreenplay byFrank DarabontBased onThe Green Mile by
Stephen KingStarringTom Hanks
Michael Clarke Duncan
James CromwellMusic byThomas NewmanCinematographyDavid TattersallEditing byRichard Francis-BruceStudioCastle Rock EntertainmentDistributed byWarner Bros. (US) PolyGram Films (thru Universal Studios) (international)Release date(
December 10, 1999 (1999-12-10)
Running time188 minutesCountryUnited StatesLanguageEnglishBudget$60 millionBox office$290,701,374
The Green Mile is a 1999 American drama film directed by Frank Darabont adapted from the 1996 Stephen King novel of the same name. The film is told in a flashback format and stars Tom Hanks as Paul Edgecomb and Michael Clarke Duncan as John Coffey with supporting roles by David Morse, Bonnie Hunt, and James Cromwell. The film tells the story of Paul's life as a death row corrections officer during the Great Depression in the United States, and the supernatural events he witnessed.
The film was nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor for Michael Clarke Duncan, Best Picture, Best Sound, and Best Adapted Screenplay.
One day, John Coffey (Duncan), a giant black man convicted of raping and killing two young white girls, arrives on death row. Coffey shows all the characteristics of being a "gentle giant": shy, soft-spoken, fearing darkness, and crying often. Soon enough, John reveals extraordinary powers by healing Paul's urinary tract infection and resurrecting a mouse. Later, he heals the terminally ill wife (Clarkson) of Warden Hal Moores (Cromwell). When John is asked to explain his power, he merely says that he "took it back.
Percy Wetmore (Hutchison), a sadistic and unpopular guard, who is the nephew of the governor's wife, has recently begun working on the mile. Percy recognizes that the other officers dislike him and uses that to demand managing the next execution. After that, he promises he will transfer to an administrative post at a mental hospital. An agreement is made, but Percy then deliberately sabotages the execution. Instead of wetting the sponge used to conduct electricity and make executions quick and effective, he leaves it dry, causing the execution of Eduard Delacroix (Jeter) to malfunction dramatically.
Shortly afterward, a violent prisoner named "Wild Bill" Wharton (Rockwell) arrives, to be executed for multiple murders committed during a robbery. At one point he seizes John's arm, and John psychically senses that Wharton is responsible for the crime for which John was convicted and sentenced to death. John "takes back" the sickness in Hal's wife and regurgitates it into Percy, who then shoots Wharton to death and falls into a state of permanent catatonia. Percy is then housed in the Briar Ridge Mental Hospital. In the wake of these events, Paul interrogates John, who says he "punished them bad men" and offers to show Paul what he saw. John takes Paul's hand and says he has to give Paul "a part of himself" in order for Paul to see what really happened to the girls.
Paul asks John what he should do, if he should open the door and let John walk away. John tells him that there is too much pain in the world, to which he is sensitive, and says he is "rightly tired of the pain" and is ready to rest. For his last request on the night before his execution, John watches the film Top Hat. When John is put in the electric chair, he asks Paul not to put the traditional black hood over his head because he is afraid of the dark. Paul agrees, shakes his hand, and John is executed.