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

    The Sitter

    Jonah Hill stars as a slacker who's forced to fill in as a babysitter for a night, but the kids he's looking after prove more than he can handle when he takes them on a crime-filled trip through NYC

  • Film4 Amy

    Amy

    Senna director Asif Kapadia tells the story of Amy Winehouse in her own words with the use of unseen archive footage and previously unheard tracks

  • Film4 Evil Dead

    Saturday Night Shocks on Film4

    Horror, mystery and suspense stake its claim on the weekend. A new season of Saturday Night Shocks comes to Film4.

  • Film4 Bridesmaids

    Comedy Season 2015 on Film4

    Eight nights of contemporary comedy hits, including first plays of Cuban Fury, American Reunion, The Sitter, and the network premiere of 21 & Over, on Film4

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Top pop moments from Cannes 2015

    Cannes is always a great place to see and hear brilliant pop music, often divorced from its usual context, and 2015 has been no different. Here's my personal playlist of top pop moments from the Compe

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Critics' Week: Day Seven - Krisha

    Catherine Bray adds to a growing chorus of acclaim for Trey Edward Shults' Krisha, a feature film backed on Kickstarter to the tune of  $14,260, which went on to win the Grand Jury Award at SXSW Some

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

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

or Register

Share