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The Green Mile (1999) Poster

Trivia

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The prison guards wear uniforms to give the movie a better feel, even though uniforms were not in use at the time in which the movie is set.
Originally, Tom Hanks was going to play the old Paul Edgecomb but the makeup tests did not make him look credible enough to be an elderly man. Dabbs Greer was cast instead as the older Paul Edgecomb.
According to one of the features on the DVD, Stephen King called this film *the* single most faithful adaptation of his work.
Tom Hanks stayed in character as Paul Edgecomb whenever Stephen King visited the set. King asked him if he would like to sit in Old Sparky, but Hanks refused since he is in charge of the block.
In actuality, Michael Clarke Duncan is of a similar height as his co-star David Morse and is a couple of inches shorter than James Cromwell. Among other things, creative camera angles were used to create the illusion that Duncan as John Coffey towered over the prison staff, even Brutal Howell and Warden Moores.
When the producers were having trouble finding the right actor to fill the role of John Coffey, Bruce Willis suggested Michael Clarke Duncan, with whom he had co-starred in Armageddon (1998).
According to director Frank Darabont, Doug Hutchison (Percy) was given the squeakiest shoes he had ever heard. He thought this was the greatest bit of fate, and a "perfectly wonderful, annoying character trait" that he kept it in the movie, and you can hear sometimes how loud his shoes are.
Originally set in 1932, the timeframe was bumped to 1935 so that the movie Top Hat (1935) could be featured.
The reason Stephen King serialized "The Green Mile" was because it was a deliberate response to fans who flipped to the end of his books, something his mother used to do. The fans would have to wait for the last installment to find out the ending. King wrote each one with its own miniature climax, but even he admitted he did not have a clue how the story would end.
Rodney Barnes was Michael Clarke Duncan's stand-in. According to Barnes, he sneaked onto the set by hiding in the paddy wagon. He surprised director Frank Darabont and asked for a job. Darabont was impressed with Barnes' effort and hired him. Barnes wanted to work on the film so that he could meet his favorite author, Stephen King.
More than thirty works of Stephen King have been adapted to movies, but this was the only one to have broken the $100 million mark at the North American box office (as of November 2007).
Tom Hanks accepted the role of Paul Edgecomb in this film as a favor to Frank Darabont, after he was forced to turn down the role of Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption (1994) in order to play the title role in Forrest Gump (1994).
When Stephen King visited the set of this film, he asked to be strapped into Old Sparky to see how it felt. He did not like it and asked to be released.
The Green Mile (1999) was Dabbs Greer's last film.
Early in the film, Paul yells at Percy to "Get the fuck off my block," but it was later re-dubbed to "Get the hell off my block."
When Paul and Brutal take John Coffey outside at night, John looks at the stars and says, "Look Boss, it's Cassie, the lady in the rocking chair." This is a reference to the constellation Cassiopeia. In Greek mythology, Queen Cassiopeia is often depicted as sitting in a chair or rocking chair.
John Travolta was offered the role of Paul Edgecomb but turned it down.
According to the novel by Stephen King, Percy Wetmore is supposed to be 21 years old. During production, Doug Hutchison (Percy) was 39 years old. He told director Frank Darabont he was in his early/mid 30s. When he went to audition for The Salton Sea (2002), the director for that film told him he was "too young," resulting in Hutchison having to show him his driver's license which proved his age.
The name for the character John Coffey was lifted from a college professor, Rev. John Coffee. Stephen King had met him once and really liked his name and used it in "The Green Mile." Reverend Coffee taught history classes at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts and retired in May 2005.
Harry Dean Stanton appeared in this film. There is a character named "Harry," and another named "Dean Stanton." This is merely a coincidence, since the characters' names existed in the book long before Harry Dean Stanton was even cast in the movie.
Michael Jeter hired a dialect coach to pull off a Cajun accent.
The music played over the loudspeakers in the retirement home as Old Paul Edgecomb first walks out of his room is the same as the music the nurses played at medication time in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975). The music used is Mantovani's Charmaine.
At the beginning of the movie, when the old Paul Edgecomb is walking to get some breakfast after waking from that bad dream, he is walking on a tiled floor that is very green, as if it is his Green Mile.
This film was voted #2 in Channel 4's (U.K.) "Top 100 Tearjerkers" countdown, losing first place to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982).
While many of Stephen King's novels are set in the author's native Maine, The Green Mile (1999) takes place in Louisiana. However, the surname of the main character, Edgecomb, is the name of a town on Maine's mid-coast.
Stephen King's original novel 'The Green Mile' was published in 100-page paperback installments between March and August of 1996. He had begun developing the story while writing Desperation, and needed to finish that novel but still wanted to see where his death row story would go. Ralph Vicinanza, a friend of King's who sells foreign publication rights, had recently had a discussion with another friend in England about Charles Dickens, in which he learned that Dickens often published his novels in installments in newspapers and magazines, and it had been suggested that, in the U.S., someone like Stephen King could try writing a book that way. Vicinanza was under the impression that no recent novels had been written this way. He was in fact mistaken. Tom Wolfe had published his first draft of The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990) in installments in Rolling Stone. Both that novel and this one were turned into films starring Tom Hanks. This also ended up not being Stephen King's only story published in installments: his Dark Tower series spanned seven full-length books, published over the course of 30 years, from 1982 until 2012.
Many actors in this film have previously or subsequently appeared in other Stephen King adaptations. David Morse appeared in The Langoliers (1995) and Hearts in Atlantis (2001). James Cromwell appeared in Salem's Lot (2004), which was previously made with his wife, Julie Cobb. Patricia Clarkson appeared in Carrie (2002). Jeffrey DeMunn and William Sadler appeared together in The Shawshank Redemption (1994) as well as The Mist (2007), also both directed by Frank Darabont. Harry Dean Stanton appeared in Christine (1983), and Gary Sinise appeared in The Stand (1994).
Doug Hutchison (Percy) made a bet with the extras (behind the scenes) during Del's execution. He bet $20 to any extra who can recite his lines. Unknowingly, Tom Hanks wrote Hutchison's lines on big cue cards behind him. He caught on to the joke when the extras kept laughing. By the end of the day, Hutchison owed at least $60 to different people.
It's ironic that when Percy first encounters Mr. Jingles he calls him 'scurvy' which is a condition caused by lack of vitamin C. Mice have an active gene that synthesizes vitamin C.
Frank Darabont cast Dabbs Greer because he was a fan of It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958), in which Greer had appeared. The film was also an inspiration for Alien (1979), another of Darabont's favorite films, and which featured cast member Harry Dean Stanton.
This movie features three actors who have portrayed real-life U.S. Presidents: David Morse played George Washington in John Adams (2008), Gary Sinise played Harry S. Truman in Truman (1995) and James Cromwell played George H.W. Bush in W. (2008).
The film flips the action of the first two installments of the novel. The first book, "The Two Dead Girls," begins with John Coffey arriving on the Mile, but at this point Arlen Bitterbuck has already been executed and Eduard Delacroix already has his mouse. The second book goes back to before John's arrival and tells of Bitterbuck's fate and the origins of the mouse.
Tom Hanks and Gary Sinise also appeared together in Forrest Gump (1994) and Apollo 13 (1995).
Voted the #5 Must-See Movie of All Time by listeners of Capital FM in London.
Michael Jeter (who plays Eduard Delacroix) was also in Mousehunt (1997), another film which co-starred a gifted mouse.
Director Frank Darabont originally wanted Barry Pepper to play the part of sadistic guard, Percy.
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The character of John Coffey was named for Emerson College faculty member and Professor Emeritus of History John M. Coffee Jr., who Stephen King was introduced to by a student.
Josh Brolin auditioned for the role of "Wild Bill" Wharton.
Bonnie Hunt and Patricia Clarkson both appeared in Jumanji (1995), four years earlier. They did not share any scenes there and only share one here.
This film went two months over schedule.
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For emotional scenes, Michael Clarke Duncan would recall his father leaving him as a child.
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Frank Darabont called this "the most satisfying movie of his career."
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Sam Rockwell felt really bad delivering some lines in the flashback sequence because the two little girls liked him.
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Michael Clarke Duncan was the soul of the cast, according to producer David Valdes. He remembers Tom Hanks crying on Michael's last day of shooting.
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The elderly Paul Edgecomb tells Elaine that he is 108 years old. In reality, Dabbs Greer was 81 during the film's production.
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Stephen King attended the premiere with his wife Tabitha.
The film cast includes one Oscar winner: Tom Hanks: and five Oscar nominees: Michael Clarke Duncan, James Cromwell, Patricia Clarkson, Gary Sinise and Graham Greene.
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Patricia Clarkson played James Cromwell's sister-in-law on Six Feet Under (2001).
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James Cromwell also played a prison warden in The Longest Yard (2005).
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In real life, James Cromwell is two inches taller than Michael Clarke Duncan.
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Frank Darabont called Thomas Newman's score "a rainbow of music and emotion."
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Mr. Jingles' cigar box is from Marsh Wheeling, the oldest cigar manufacturer in the U.S.
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Tom Hanks said that the movie is about "great myths that communicate the complexities of being a human."
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Bonnie Hunt gained 15 pounds for her role. She joked, "It only took half an hour."
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Doug Hutchison said that every week on set was "a different chapter in Percy abuse."
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Stephen King said that Tom Hanks fit his part "like an old shoe."
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Fifteen mice were used in the movie. Each spent months being trained to do different tricks.
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Many times the actors are looking at a laser pointing at the floor and not a mouse.
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Mr. Jingles isn't pushing the spool. It's being pulled by a rig that was erased with special effects. The mouse is following a scent that was applied to the spool.
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That giant brick wall in the background of the prison is made out of lightweight fiberglass. All the walls could be moved to make room for cameras and lighting.
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Michael Clarke Duncan had to stop lifting weights while filming to look more like a man from 1935
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The crew made a small cannon to shoot chocolate goo at David Morse. The goo hit Morse so hard it went up his nose, in his eyes, and into his mouth. Morse wasn't amused, as he's allergic to chocolate.
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No mice were injured during the stomping scene. They used a puppet.
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David Morse wasn't amused by the Moon Pie prank, as he's allergic to chocolate.
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Frank Darabont controlled the lightning machine himself to create all the flashes. "I have a little control panel with buttons on it and I get to go crazy."
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Tom Hanks wasn't pretending to swipe his shirt. The mouse really defecated on him in the scene.
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It was Michael Jeter''s idea for Delacroix is reciting the Hail Mary in Cajun French when he's in the electric chair.
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Coffey's bed was built shorter in order to make Michael Clarke Duncan look like a giant.
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Tom Hanks treated the entire crew to a meal every Friday night on set.
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In order to make Melinda look strange, makeup artists made it look like she didn't have eyebrows.
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According to Frank Darabont, it's no coincidence that the projector is creating a halo over John's head.
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Michael Clarke Duncan was holding a light bulb when he resurrects Mr. Jingles, but most of the glow is done with effects.
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According to Frank Darabont, the electricity is meant to sound like a beast being unleashed.
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In the beginning scene of the movie (older) Paul Edgecomb is walking to the dining room of the old folks home. A musical piece called Charmaine by Mantovani is playing in the halls. This music is also playing in the opening scene of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) at medication time.
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Michael Jeter also appeared in another Tom Hanks movie, The Money Pit (1986).
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Dabbs Greer, who portrayed the older Paul Edgecomb had a previous role as a death-house guard in I Want to Live! (1958).
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Three people who worked on The Shawshank Redemption (1994) appear in this film; actors Jeffrey DeMunn and William Sadler and director Frank Darabont. DeMunn played the DA in the beginning of the film and Sadler played Heywood. Both movies are Stephen King adaptions.
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Dabbs Greer made a guest appearance on Lou Ferrigno, while Harry Dean Stanton appeared in The Avengers (2012), which also featured the Hulk as a character.
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The film cast includes one Oscar winner: Tom Hanks; and five Oscar nominees: Michael Clarke Duncan, James Cromwell, Graham Greene, Patricia Clarkson and Gary Sinise.
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David Morse appeared in an episode of Tales from the Crypt (1989) that was written by Frank Darabont.
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The expression about the cheese slipping of the cracker was used in True Blood (2008), which also takes place in Louisiana.
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The crew patterned the movements of the bugs that come out of Coffey's mouth after swimming fish and swarming insects.
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Michael Clarke Duncan had to stop lifting weights while filming to look more like a man from 1935.
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The crew made a small cannon to shoot chocolate goo at David Morse. The goo hit Morse so hard it went up his nose, in his eyes, and into his mouth.
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E Block was built as one giant set so cameras could follow actors for longer shots.
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The sequence of what Paul sees when he takes John's hand was shot at a slower speed in order to give it a dream-like quality.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Michael Clarke Duncan was uncomfortable with having to grab Tom Hanks crotch for the scene where he takes his infection away. Hanks left the set, came back to do the scene, Duncan grabbed at Hanks' crotch and was shocked because Hanks had put an empty water bottle in his pants. After that, Duncan felt more comfortable with the scene.
By the time Paul introduced Elaine to Mr. Jingles, the mouse would have to be at least 64 years old - over nine times the age of the oldest ever known real mouse.
We are never actually told why Arlen Bitterbuck and Edward Delacroix were sentenced to death throughout the film. According to the novel on which the movie is based, Delacroix is an arsonist, rapist and murderer, while Bitterbuck murdered a man in an argument over a pair of boots.
When Melinda Moores (Patricia Clarkson) is visited by John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), she gives him a St. Christopher medal. In Catholicism, St. Christopher is known as the patron saint of travelers (John Coffey describes himself as a wanderer), and, like Coffey, died a martyr.
In the book, Paul's wife is killed in a major bus accident, and Paul is one of four only survivors. It is highly hinted that Paul survived because of the power John gave him.
The plot unfolds in the form of Paul telling Elaine the story of the Green Mile. In the book, Paul writes his story down in the form of a novel. At the end of the film, as Paul leaves the cemetery after Elaine's burial, a tombstone can be seen behind him that reads "Greene", and two others, one in the foreground and one to the right of the screen, that read "Story".
Michael Jeter taught himself how to say "The Lord's Prayer" in Creole to add authenticity to his character's Cajun heritage. You can hear him quietly reciting it during Del's execution scene, as the dry sponge is being applied to his head.
In Doctor Sleep, Stephen King's sequel to The Shining, Danny Torrance has taken up drinking to dampen his psychic power and when he senses someone is dying, the Shining makes it appear like flies, similar to what comes out of John Coffey's mouth when he heals people (in Doctor Sleep, Danny even gets Percy's line "Dead man walking"). In Doctor Sleep, flies also symbolize something bad about to happen to someone, like Percy before he gets institutionalized.
To make John Coffey look big, his electric chair is smaller than the chair used in other scenes.
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Arlen Bitterbuck's story of his "best time", told to Paul Edgecomb before his execution, are Graham Greene's only lines of dialogue in the film.
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Body count: 7.
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