The Green Mile (1999) Poster


Michael Jeter hired a dialect coach to pull off a Cajun accent.
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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 The Green Mile (1999) 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 director 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.
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 Doug 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, Doug 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.
Voted the #5 Must-See Movie of All Time by listeners of Capital FM in London.
Tom Hanks and Gary Sinise also appeared together in Forrest Gump (1994) and Apollo 13 (1995).
Michael Jeter (who plays Eduard Delacroix) was also in Mousehunt (1997), another film which co-starred a gifted mouse.
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.
Director Frank Darabont originally wanted Barry Pepper to play the part of sadistic guard, Percy.
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This film went two months over schedule.
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Josh Brolin auditioned for the role of "Wild Bill" Wharton.
Bonnie Hunt and Patricia Clarkson both appeared in Jumanji (1994), four years earlier. They did not share any scenes in Jumanji (1994) and only share one in The Green Mile (1999).
Stephen King attended the premiere with his wife Tabitha.
The elderly Paul Edgecomb (Dabbs Greer) tells Elaine that he is 108 years old. In reality, Greer was 81 during the film's production.
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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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Three people who worked on The Shawshank Redemption appear in this film; actors Jeffery 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 a Stephen King adaption.
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Patrica Clarkson played James Cromwell's sister-in-law on HBO's Six Feet Under
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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 at medication time.
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Michael Jeter also appeared in another Tom Hanks movie, The Money Pit (1986). Jeter played a construction worker helping to rebuild the house that Hanks and Shelly Long's characters buy.
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Dabs Greer, who portrayed the older Paul Edgecomb had a previous role as a death-house guard in 1958's "I Want to Live" starring Susan Hayworth.
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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 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.

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