The Green Mile (movie)

Green Mile DVD cover

The Green Mile is a 1999 movie, directed by Frank Darabont, who adapted the story from the Stephen King novel The Green Mile. Tom Hanks stars as Paul Edgecomb and Michael Clarke Duncan as John Coffey.

Basic plot

Below is the basic plot of the The Green Mile movie, which does not reveal the ending. There is a full version of The Green Mile plot, which does reveal the ending.

The story is based primarily on the E Block of the Cold Mountain Penitentiary. The main characters are the inmates and wardens of the prison. The movie is told in flashback by Paul Edgecombe, the main character and the captain of the guard. The "Green Mile" is the corridor from the cells where the prisons live to the execution room. These corridors are often called the "last mile". At Cold Mountain the linoleum floor is green.

The story is primarily set in the 1930s. There is a section where the main character Paul is shown as an old man in a nursing home.

The story revolves around John Coffey. A seven foot black man who is convicted of raping and killing two small white girls. He is a quiet man, who is afraid of the dark, which coupled with his enormous size makes him an memorable character. He is the calmest prisoner the warders have ever seen.

Other prisoners include Eduard Delacroix, a small and cowardly man with a pet mouse called Mr. Jingles, and William Wharton, a tough boaster claiming to be a modern day Billy the Kid.

The warders realize that John Coffey is different to any other inmate.

Read the full version of The Green Mile plot.


Actor Role
Tom Hanks Paul Edgecomb
Michael Clarke Duncan John Coffey
Doug Hutchinson Percy Wetmore
Michael Jeter Eduard Delacroix
David Morse Brutus "Brutal" Howell
James Cromwell Warden Hal Moores
Sam Rockwell 'Wild Bill' Wharton
Eve Brent Elaine Connelly
Brent Briscoe Bill Dodge
Patricia Clarkson Melinda Moores
Jeffrey DeMunn Harry Terwilliger
Graham Greene Arlen Bitterbuck
Dabbs Greer Old Paul Edgecomb
Bonnie Hunt Jan Edgecomb
Barry Pepper Dean Stanton
William Sadler Klaus Detterick
Gary Sinise Burt Hammersmith
Harry Dean Stanton Toot-Toot
Bill McKinney Jack Van Hay



Directed by Frank Darabont
Produced by Frank Darabont
David Valdes
Novel written by Stephen King
Screenplay written by Frank Darabont
Music by Thomas Newman
Cinematography David Tattersall
Editing by Richard Francis-Bruce
Distributed by Warner Bros. & UIP/Universal
Release date December 10, 1999
Running time 188 minutes
Language English & French
Budget $60 million USD


  • Originally set in 1932, the timeframe was moved to 1935 so the film Top Hat (released in that year) could be featured. It is Top Hat that prompts Paul to remember his final year on the Green Mile.
  • The prison guards wear uniforms to aid the film's visual style, even though they were not in use at the time in which the movie is set.
  • The music played over the loudspeakers in the retirement home as Old Paul Edgecomb first walks out of his room is the same as that which the nurses played at medication time in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975).
  • Originally, Tom Hanks was going to play Old Paul Edgecomb but the makeup tests did not make him look credible enough to be an elderly man. Dabbs Greer was cast instead in the role.
  • By the time Paul introduced Elaine to Mr. Jingles, the mouse would have to be at least 64 years old, over nine times the age of the oldest ever known real mouse.
  • While many of Stephen King's novels are set in the author's native Maine, The Green Mile takes place in Louisiana. However, the surname of the main character — Edgecomb — is the name of a town on Maine's mid-coast.
  • The electric chair featured in the film was built from the original designs of an example named "Old Sparky", which is part of the museum/tour of the Moundsville State Penitentiary in West Virginia. The prison was one of the finalists for the final shooting location. "Old Sparky" has been a common nickname for the electric chair in a number of states that used it.
  • A teaser trailer, gradually revealing Mr. Jingles to be making his way about the electric chair, was shot but not used. With no other creature present to give a sense of scale, it was decided that the close-ups of the mouse made it resemble a rat.
  • Ten years before the release of the book, an episode of the sci-fi/fantasy show Amazing Stories featured a nearly identical plot. In the episode, entitled 'Life on Death Row', an inmate (Patrick Swayze) discovers he can heal even death at a touch. As authorities rush to halt his execution and the world debates the morality of the decision, the twist ending reveals that every inmate and guard healed by the power now also possess the power as well.

Filming locations

  • Blowing Rock, North Carolina, USA
  • Columbia, Tennessee, USA
  • Lewisburg, Tennessee, USA
  • Nashville, Tennessee, USA
  • Nolensville, Tennessee, USA
  • Shelbyville, Tennessee, USA

Awards and nominations

1999 Academy Awards (Oscars)

  • Nominated - Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role — Michael Clarke Duncan
  • Nominated - Best Picture — David Valdes, Frank Darabont
  • Nominated - Best Sound Mixing — Robert J. Litt, Elliot Tyson, Michael Herbick, Willie D. Burton
  • Nominated - Best Adapted Screenplay — Frank Darabont

2000 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films (Saturn Awards)

  • Won - Best Supporting Actor (Film) — Michael Clarke Duncan
  • Won - Best Supporting Actress (Film) — Patricia Clarkson
  • Won - Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film
  • Nominated - Best Director — Frank Darabont
  • Nominated - Best Music — Thomas Newman

2000 BMI Film & TV Awards

  • Won - BMI Film Music Award — Thomas Newman

2000 Black Reel Awards

  • Won - Theatrical - Best Supporting Actor — Michael Clarke Duncan

2000 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards

  • Won - Favorite Actor - Drama — Tom Hanks
  • Nominated - Favorite Supporting Actor - Drama — Michael Clarke Duncan
  • Nominated - Favorite Supporting Actress - Drama — Bonnie Hunt

2000 Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards

  • Won - Best Screenplay, Adaptation — Frank Darabont
  • Won - Best Supporting Actor — Michael Clarke Duncan
  • Nominated - Best Picture

2000 People's Choice Awards

  • Won - Favorite All-Around Motion Picture
  • Won - Favorite Dramatic Motion Picture

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