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>
The title "Dead Man Walking" is a slang term used by prison guards when escorting death row prisoners from their cells to the execution chambers. See more »
While Louisiana's lethal injection gurney is capable of being put in an upright position, inmates are only strapped to it when it is down. See more »
[at Matthew Poncelet's appeals hearing]
The death penalty. It's nothin' new; it's been with us for centuries. We've buried people alive; lopped off their heads with an axe; burned them alive at a public square... gruesome spectacles. In this century, we kept searchin' for more and more *humane* ways... of killin' people that we didn't like. We've shot 'em with firing squads; suffocated 'em, in the gas chamber. But now... Now we have developed a device that is the most humane of all. Lethal ...
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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 »
Tim Robbins did a masterful job directing this film. I say this because he avoided convention and cliché. He also oversaw superb performances from Susan Sarandon (who won an Oscar for her role) and Sean Penn. Even more amazing, Robbins doesn't patronize. He just tells the story and lets the events play on the viewer's mind. This is so effective because it allows the viewer to form his own opinions on the death penalty, one of the most controversial subjects of our time, without being unfairly manipulated in either direction. I can't recommend this film enough, 9/10.
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