The Green Mile (1999)
December 13, 2022 11:55 AM - Subscribe

Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) walked the mile with a variety of cons. He had never encountered someone like John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), a massive black man convicted of brutally killing a pair of young sisters. Coffey had the size and strength to kill anyone, but not the demeanor. Beyond his simple, naïve nature and a deathly fear of the dark, Coffey seemed to possess a prodigious, supernatural gift. Paul began to question whether Coffey was truly guilty of murdering the two girls.

Also starring Bonnie Hunt, James Cromwell, Michael Jeter, Graham Greene, Doug Hutchison, Sam Rockwell, Barry Pepper, Jeffrey DeMunn, Patricia Clarkson, Harry Dean Stanton, Dabbs Greer, Eve Brent, William Sadler, Gary Sinise.

Directed by Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption). Screenplay by Darabont, based on the novel by Stephen King.

79% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently streaming in the US on HBO Max, Also available for digital rental. JustWatch listing.

How about six Stephen King movies today?
posted by DirtyOldTown (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Michael Clarke Duncan was so stellar in this.

This movie is excellent but I don’t know that my heart can handle ever watching it again.
posted by obfuscation at 2:58 PM on December 13, 2022 [4 favorites]

This one should probably get the problematic tag, too, what with the Magical Negro.
posted by praemunire at 4:23 PM on December 13, 2022 [6 favorites]

posted by obfuscation at 6:10 PM on December 13, 2022

I like a lot of King’s work, but a character with healing powers and the initials J.C. is just too on the nose for me to suspend disbelief.
posted by FallibleHuman at 10:34 PM on December 13, 2022

but a character with healing powers and the initials J.C. is just too on the nose for me to suspend disbelief.

I think the book was more overtly saying 'what if I was one of the Romans who executed Jesus?'. Wasn't there a dream sequence where the main character saw himself and the other guards in that scenario? I only saw the movie once sometime on cable, my vague memory is that it was less on the nose than the book, but to its detriment. Like, if you're going to adapt this story, embrace the premise and go full bore, don't try to keep it grounded/subtle.
posted by oh yeah! at 3:47 AM on December 14, 2022 [2 favorites]

I haven't seen it in a long time but I remember the walk down the green mile being very ominous, like with the other incarcerated people banging on the bars, etc. That is the image I had held of a person's last walk - very eerie.

Then in the last year I heard a piece on The Takeaway (with Melissa Harris-Perry) on NPR about the death penalty. At one point in the series they talk about what happens among those incarcerated when someone's execution date comes up. They have time to say goodbye. One man talked about how they all take time to hug the condemned man and spend as much time showing him love as they can. He said "if you could extend your friend's life by a few minutes, wouldn't you do it?" I nearly had to pull over the car from crying.
posted by Emmy Rae at 1:36 PM on December 14, 2022 [5 favorites]

I watched this again the other night. This movie was the first where I finally started to recognise Sam Rockwell. And Michael Jeter's Del is just an incredible performance.
posted by h00py at 6:04 AM on December 16, 2022

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