Director Frank Darabont's second adaptation of a Stephen King prison tale (the first being 1994's nearly flawless THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION) is a hopeful charmer with a hint of the supernatural. The story focuses on Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks), a Louisiana security guard who works on death row during the Great Depression. When John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), a gigantic black man convicted of raping and murdering two white girls, joins the other prisoners on the row, Paul's life is forever altered. Coffey doesn't fit the mold of a psychopathic killer; he's kind, gentle, and afraid of the dark. As the story progresses, Edgecomb learns that there is something more than simple goodness to Coffey. Building to a hopeful climax, Darabont once again proves that he is King's most loyal cinematic translator. The film features uniformly excellent performances in leading and supporting roles, notably Duncan as Coffey; David Morse and Barry Pepper as Hanks's fellow prison guards; and Michael Jeter as condemned killer Edward Delacroix.
Green Mile, The: Special Edition
Miracles happen in unexpected places, even on death row at Cold Mountain Penitentiary. There John Coffey, a prisoner with supernatural powers, brings a sense of spirit and humanity to his guards and fellow inmates. Tom Hanks leads a stellar cast (including Michael Clarke Duncan as Coffey) in this emotional, uplifting story of guards and captives; husbands and wives; prisoners and a remarkable mouse named Mr. Jingles; and, on another level, of a moviemaker and his source. Frank Darabont returns after his 1994 directorial debut The Shawshank Redemption to adapt another Stephen King tale into a crowd-pleasing entertainment nominated for four Academy Awards?, including Best Picture.
Most of the film was shot on the soundstage on the set of Cell Block E, the film's death row cell. The remaining scenes were shot in Nashville Tennessee, and Blowing Rock, North Carolina.
Tom Hanks elected to bulk up, weight-wise, for this film so that he seemed intimidating as a prison warden.
Although Michael Clarke Duncan had previously appeared in films such as FRIDAY and BULWORTH, his role in THE GREEN MILE dramatically raised his profile.
Certain VHS and DVD versions include the behind-the-scenes documentary WALKING THE MILE.
THE GREEN MILE won People's Choice Awards for Favorite Motion Picture and Favorite Dramatic Motion Picture at the January 2001 ceremonies.
"...[A] powerful and meticulously crafted drama....Hanks excels..." (Variety)
"...[Hanks] is on par with his career-best work....A long walk to a worthwhile destination..." -- Rating: A- (Entertainment Weekly)
"...There are several sequences of powerful emotion in the film....It tells a story with beginning, middle, end, vivid characters, humor, outrage and emotional release..." (Chicago Sun-Times)