191 user 75 critic

Dead Man Walking (1995)

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.),
4,632 ( 697)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 20 wins & 19 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)


$39,025,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of the victims' surnames is Delacroix. Coincidentally, this name also turns up in another drama about the death penalty, The Green Mile (1999), but there it was the name of the death row inmate played by Michael Jeter. 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 »


Earl Delacroix: My wife filed for divorce this afternoon. We just have different ways to deal with our son's death. Until death do us part.
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 Tripping the Rift: Chuckles Bites the Dust (2007) See more »


In Your Mind
Performed & Written by Johnny Cash
Produced by Ry Cooder
Johnny Cash courtesy of American Recordings
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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.

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Thank god for the death penalty! uncrules30
Are we supposed to feel sorry... JoesDreaming
Revenge or Forgiveness? anasuet1
Bad acting or bad directing? Picasner
1996 best actrees OSCAR goes to... abril1088
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