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Dead Man Walking (1995)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  12 January 1996 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 63,549 users   Metascore: 80/100
Reviews: 174 user | 78 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.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 20 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Helen's Mother
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Chaplain Farley
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Sister Colleen
Barton Heyman ...
Captain Beliveau
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Sgt. Neal Trapp
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Warden Hartman
Ray Aranha ...
Luis Montoya
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Guy Gilardi
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Storyline

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

Plot Keywords:

nun | execution | death row | court | murder | See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

12 January 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La dernière marche  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

£2,000,433 (UK) (19 April 1996)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In reality, Elmo Patrick Sonnier and Robert Lee Willie, both inmates on whom Sean Penn's character Matthew Poncelet is based on, were executed by the electric chair in Louisiana in 1984; by 1993, Louisiana switched that penalty to lethal injection as the most humane way to execute. Both Tim Robbins and Helen Prejean opted to use lethal injection in the film instead of the electric chair because, according to Prejean's interview, "We don't want to give people the moral (of the most humane death) out whereby people could say 'Oh well, we used to do electrocution but that's too barbaric so now we are humane and inject them'." See more »

Goofs

When Sister Helen and Mr. Delacroix are first speaking in his living room, a crew member wanders into the background outside the window and then quickly runs out. See more »

Quotes

Sister Helen Prejean: It's not faith, it's work.
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 »

Connections

Referenced in Overnight (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Shadow
(1993)
Performed & Written by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
Courtesy of Real World Records Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
one of the most important movies ever made
8 March 1999 | by See all my reviews

How do you know if a movie is good or not? It is the impact it has on you that makes the difference. "Dead Man Walking" upset me a great deal. I watched it twice. I don't know if I will be strong enough to watch it again. No, I did not feel good at all after watching it, but the film was as successful as it can be.

Robbins did a great job in incorporating all aspects of this controversial topic. He avoided making an argument that could easily be seen as biased or subjective. I hope that many people get to see "Dead Man Walking". I believe that anyone who supports or opposes the death penalty so enthusiastically should see the movie.

I don't know what else it could take to finally convince everyone that this relic from ancient times does not have a place in modern society anymore.

The movie itself does not make an argument for or against death penalty. It describes reality. The reality is the best argument against the death penalty.

A 10/10 for great performances, good filmmaking, and for the most important film made in years

Thank you, Tim Robbins!


14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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