Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 18
  • Crime, Drama
  • 1999
  • 189 mins

The Green Mile

The Green Mile

Synopsis

Tom Hanks stars in this second prison drama adapted from a story by Stephen King and directed by Frank Darabont.

About

Tom Hanks stars in this second prison drama adapted from a story by Stephen King and directed by Frank Darabont. Into a depression-era penitentiary comes a prisoner accused of killing two children, yet apparently capable of performing miracles

Five years after The Shawshank Redemption director Darabont again hooked up with writer Stephen King for another quasi-religious fable, once more set in a prison. Though lacking the 1994 film's depth, The Green Mile is a grand, sprawling, soap opera of a film that contains moments of high emotional intensity - and a great deal of woolly padding.

In 1935 Paul Edgecombe (Hanks) is an officer at Cold Mountain Penitentiary. Into his care comes convicted child-killer John Coffey (Duncan). A great hulking bear of a man, Coffey exhibits a sort of childlike innocence and seems capable of healing the sick. "He just fell out of the sky," says his lawyer, and though it takes three hours for the plot to work itself out, Coffey's initials provide a clue to the story's inspiration.

Though the film drifts off down some long blind alleys, when Darabont exercises discipline the result is highly effective. The relationship between Edgecombe and Coffey is tenderly painted and the depiction of the green mile itself - the eerily tinted corridor that leads to the electric chair - is very creepy. Coffey himself is something of an empty vessel, but the final scene, built around a clip of Fred Astaire singing "Heaven... I'm in Heaven," is very well worth the wait.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Sam Rockwell, Michael Jeter, Harry Dean Stanton, Graham Greene, Tom Hanks, Bonnie Hunt, David Morse, Michael Clarke Duncan, James Cromwell, Barry Pepper
  • Director: Frank Darabont
  • Screen Writer: Frank Darabont
  • Writer (Book): Stephen King
  • Producer: Frank Darabont, David Valdes
  • Photographer: David Tattersall
  • Composer: Thomas Newman

In a nutshell

Though the film is way too long, there's a great deal of value here thanks to the imaginative stylings of Darabont and a story with plenty of emotional impact.

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

    Zachary Gordon stars in the third film in the family comedy franchise, based on Jeff Kinney's hit pre-teen novels.

    On Film4: 31 Jul 1:00PM

  • Film4

    Blood Ties

    Clive Owen, Billy Crudup and Zoe Saldana star in French actor-director Guillaume Canet's English-language directorial debut, a thriller set against the backdrop of 1970s New York.

    On Film4: 4 Aug 9:00PM

  • Film4

    Chef on Film4

    Jon Favreau, Sofía Vergara and Scarlett Johansson star in Film4's network premiere of Chef.

  • Film4

    The Big Lebowski On Film4

    Catch the Coen Brothers' best-loved comedy The Big Lebowski on Film4.

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share