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The Green Mile

Miracles Do Happen 

Year: 2000 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 18 Cert – Not suitable for under 18s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Frank Darabont 
Starring: Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, David Morse  
An image from The Green Mile

Based on Stephen King's novel, The Green Mile is a supernatural drama about Paul Edgecomb's (Tom Hanks) time as a policeman on death row in the 1930's. Paul and his friends have the job of looking after the strange, new arrival of the simple giant John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan) who is on death row for murdering two young girls. However, John has an amazing gift; he can heal the sick. Once Paul discovers John's amazing gift he soon begins to doubt whether John is guilty of his crime and a moral dilemma ensues.

The other prisoners on the mile also play important roles such as Eduard Delacroix (Michael Jeter) who adopts the clever little mouse Mr Jingles and the insane prisoner "Wild Bill" Wharton (Sam Rockwell) whose sinister character will make your hair stand on end. In addition to the miscellaneous group of prisoners, the guards themselves display an array of different characters from the prison warden (James Cromwell) to Percy Wetmore (Doug Hutchison) the latest addition and the nastiest guard on the mile.

The Green Mile is not for the faint hearted as executions are sabotaged and violence is prevalent in the film. However, the story combined with Thomas Newman's amazing soundtrack is so moving and tragic it makes this film an unforgettable one; it's a heart breaking story about morality and how the decisions we make define the rest of our lives.

Lauren Howard

The Green Mile is based on a Depression-era story by Stephen King, and is told in a flashback narrated by Paul Edgecomb (Hanks) to his friend Elaine Connelly (Brent). Edgecomb is now living in a retirement home some six decades after working as the head guard on Death Row
at Cold Mountain Penitentiary in the 1930's.

Edgecomb's duties at Cold Mountain included watching over several killers awaiting their final walk down "the Green Mile," - the stretch of green lino flooring that took convicts from their jail cells to their fate in the electric chair.

Over the many years, Edgecomb walked the mile with a variety of convicted criminals. Yet he had never before encountered someone like John Coffey, a giant man convicted of brutally killing two nine-year-old sisters, who came to Death Row in 1932. Coffey certainly had the size and strength to have killed anyone, not least two young girls, but his behaviour did not match his appearance. Beyond his simple, naive nature and an uncharacteristic fear of the dark, Coffey seemed to possess an unusual, supernatural gift. Edgecomb began to question whether Coffey was truly guilty of murdering the two girls, and him and the other guards find themselves in a moral dilemma.

This is another excellent movie from Stephen King and Frank Darabont  (Director of The Shawshank Redemption). Once again we witness some great acting from Tom Hanks, but it has to be said that Michael Clarke Duncan steals the show with an outstanding performance that gained him a well-deserved Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Michelle Foy

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Screenings of this film:

2000/2001 Autumn Term (35mm)
2000/2001 Autumn Term (35mm)
2000/2001 Autumn Term (35mm)
2004/2005 Spring Term (35mm)
2013/2014 Spring Term (35mm)