The Green Mile (1999) – Frank Darabont

Unless you watch it on a fairly regular basis, you tend to forget how beautiful The Green Mile is as a film. It’s been a long time since I sat down to watch this one, so I was glad that it showed up on the What Else to Watch list in DK Canada’s The Movie Book following my screening of The Shawshank Redemption.

Much like Shawshank, The Green Mile was based on a Stephen King story, and much like Shawshank was written for the screen and directed by Darabont. This time around the leading roles fall to Tom Hanks, Micheal Duncan Clarke, and David Morse, with supporting roles going to Barry Pepper, Bonnie Hunt, James Cromwell, Harry Dean Stanton, Sam Rockwell, and Jeffrey DeMunn.

Hanks is Paul Edgecomb, the supervisor on a prison’s Death Row, and Micheal Duncan Clarke’s John Coffey is delivered to him, found guilty of the rape and murder of two little girls.

John may not be the verbose man, and Paul and his men fear that he may be mentally challenged, but the large man has a gift, and as the film unfolds over its gorgeous three hour runtime, we’ll get to know about miracles, friendship and love.

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Three hour runtime! You’d better believe it, and every minute of the film is a joy to behold, there is no extraneous fat, and everything on the screen serves the story, filling out the characters lovingly, and inviting us into the lives of Paul, John and the rest of the residents of the Green Mile.

Unlike Shawshank, there is a bit of a supernatural element going on in this film, but it’s handled as lovingly as the rest of the film, and you have no problem buying into it because the film grounds itself in the reality of the world for quite some time before John does his thing.

And like Darabont’s other King adaptation there is a lot of humor, drama, and some serious misty-eyed moments happening throughout the film.

In fact, I had delightfully forgotten a number of the story threads and moments that make this such a powerful film. In fact it’s films like this that make me realize that Tom Hanks was, is, and continues to be my favorite actor.

In fact every tole is perfectly cast, and David Morse continues to be a decidedly underrated and underused actor, I love seeing him pop up in films and television.

Darabont and King form a wonderful team, and they have yet one more film together that shows up on the What Else to Watch list. Both men are masters of their craft, and I love both of their work.

So check it out! Revisit it! Or pick up a copy of DK Books’ The Movie Book and find a new to you classic to watch tonight!

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