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Dead Man Walking (1995)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  2 February 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 70,449 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?


The scene where Sister Helen was pulled over is based on an incident that happened to Helen Prejean during filming. She thought it was so funny that she asked to have it put into the film. See more »


Matthew says that they shaved his left leg in case they couldn't find a vein. In subsequent shots, it has clearly not been shaved. See more »


State trooper: I never gave a ticket to a nun before. I gave a ticket to a guy from the IRS one time. Got audited the next year. I'll tell you what, this time I'll let this one slide, but keep your speed down, yeah?
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 The Lying Game: Dead Man Talking (2012) See more »


I Will Not Be Sad in This World
Armenian Traditional
Arranged by David Robbins
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Amazingly objective and moving
12 March 2001 | by (Austin, Texas) – See all my reviews

I'm astonished how a filmmaker notorious for his political left-wing fervor could make such a subtle, non-sanctimonious picture. If you're for capital punishment, you'll still be for it after seeing this. If you're against capital punishment, you'll still be against it. But whatever your stance is, this movie will, at the very least, make you reflect on why you feel the way you do. There's not one false note in the film.

78 of 108 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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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
1996 best actrees OSCAR goes to... abril1088
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