The Green Mile (1999) artwork

The Green Mile (1999)

1st January 2000

Even on death row miracles can happen. When new inmate John Coffey appears to exhibit supernatural powers the prisoner guards soon begin to suspect Coffey's innocence and need his help to cure the terminally ill wife of the prison warden.
Tom Hanks, David Morse, Bonnie Hunt, James Cromwell, Michael Clarke Duncan, Michael Jeter, Graham Greene, Sam Rockwell, Doug Hutchison, Barry Pepper, Jeffrey DeMunn
Fantasy, Suspense/Thriller
3 Hours 8 Minutes

Based on the book by Steven King, the Green Mile is a cross between The Shawshank Redemption and Mouse Hunt (and I kid you not!) the film gains its title from the green tiles on the prison blocks floor.

Set in 1933 Paul Edgecomb is the prison warder on death row in a Louisiana prison who is suffering from a chronic bladder infection. When a massively framed new inmate John Coffey arrives, for the brutal rape and murder of two young girls, he become intrigued by the massive man.

After a violent new prisoner arrives, kicking Edgecomb in the crotch and making his bladder problem worse, Coffey calls him over and grabs him through the bars. Fearing for the worse he struggles to get free only for a strange supernatural phenomenon to occur which relieves him of his painful problem. Soon he and the other warders suspect he is innocent and after witnessing another miracle, when he brings a mouse back to life, they seek his assistance to help the terminally ill wife of the prison warden.

The picture is bright and although the bit-rate is only average, probably to fit the three hour film on to one side of a disc, it is clear with rich colours and no artifacting. Although mainly dialogue based the sound is quite effective. This is especially evident during the executions in the electric chair as you can hear the electricity shoot through the doomed prisoner in glorious Dolby digital.

Although not a bad film, it can be quite a powerful and emotive film, too much time was spent developing the characters only for them to be fried and what the hell a performing mouse called Mr. Jingles has to do with anything beats me. It seemed to be an inappropriate diversion from the main plot.

Warning, plot spoiler ahead. I didn't really expect the ending of this film, I would have expected John Coffey to be pardoned and not roasted. If the guards were so convinced of his innocence why the hell didn't they say so and not just get on with the job of executing him? I suppose you could argue along the religious lines of a certain other person capable of producing miracles with the same initials of J.C.

  • "Walking the mile" Behind the Scenes Featurette
  • Production Notes
  • Theatrical Trailer
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