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Dead Man Walking (1995)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  2 February 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 70,433 users   Metascore: 80/100
Reviews: 187 user | 76 critic | 26 from Metacritic.com

A nun, while comforting a convicted killer on death row, empathizes with both the killer and his victim's families.



(book) (as Sister Helen Prejean C.S.J.) ,
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 20 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Helen's Mother
Chaplain Farley
Sister Colleen
Barton Heyman ...
Captain Beliveau
Sgt. Neal Trapp
Warden Hartman
Ray Aranha ...
Luis Montoya
Guy Gilardi


A convicted murderer on Death Row and the nun who befriends him. Through the portrayal of finely drawn characters and their interactions as the days, hours, and minutes tick down to the condemned man's execution, powerful emotions are unleashed. While Matthew Poncelet and Sister Prejean desperately try to gain a stay of execution from the governor or the courts, scenes are intercut from the brutal crime, gradually revealing the truth about the events that transpired. In addition to her temporal help, the nun also tries to reach out spiritually and assist as a guide to salvation. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a depiction of a rape and murder | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

2 February 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La dernière marche  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$11,000,000 (estimated)


£2,000,433 (UK) (19 April 1996)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


First cinema feature of Peter Sarsgaard, who plays Walter Delacroix. See more »


When Sister Helen is talking to Hilton Barber outside the court house just after the first clemency hearing, he calls her "Susan" for Susan Sarandon instead of "Helen". See more »


Clyde Percy: How can you stand next to him?
Sister Helen Prejean: Mr. Percy, I'm just trying to follow the example of Jesus, who said that a person is not as bad as his worst deed.
Clyde Percy: This is not a person. This is an animal.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This Film Was Edited On Old Fashioned Machines. This credit was inspired by John Ottman, editor of 'The Usual Suspects'. Ottman had wanted to put "edited on a piece of s*** Steenbeck" at the end of his movie, but settled for the more subtle "Edited on film". Tim Robbins heard about this, and decided to put his own variation of the line on the credits of 'Dead Man Walking.' See more »


Referenced in Who Do You Think You Are?: Susan Sarandon (2010) See more »


Dead Man Walkin'
Performed & Written by Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen courtesy of Columbia Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Incredible filmmaking
20 March 2000 | by (Seattle, WA. USA) – See all my reviews

"Dead Man Walking" is a piece of incredible filmmaking. All the acting is top-notch and realistic, and the script examines the issue of the death penalty from both sides, paying equal homage to both. Above all, this is a deeply moving story of redemption, of death with dignity and loss of ego. Any film that deals this courageously and maturely with such incredibly difficult subject matter deserves a rating of 10/10. Thank you, Tim Robbins!

43 of 70 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Thank god for the death penalty! uncrules30
Revenge or Forgiveness? anasuet1
Are we supposed to feel sorry... JoesDreaming
Bad acting or bad directing? Picasner
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