Frank Darabont’s 1999 adaptation of Stephen King’s novel The Green Mile is a firm favourite among movie fans, nominated for four Academy Awards (including Best Picture) and approved by King himself (something Kubrick could not manage with his adaptation of The Shining). But with a three-hour runtime it’s certainly a movie marathon, though one worth carving some time out of your day for a Classic Rewatch. The film stars Tom Hanks as Paul Edgcombe, a prison officer in charge of death row (the ‘Green Mile’) and Michael Clarke Duncan as John Coffey, the innocent man under Paul’s charge with seeming supernatural powers. Clarke Duncan excels in his role as the gentle giant (earning a Best Supporting Actor nod) and Hanks, as ever, delivers a knockout performance. The film was made on a relatively modest budget of $60 million and managed to blow up at the Box Office with a $286 million return and was well received by critics. Just be sure to use the bathroom before hitting play.
But did you know…
1) Darabont’s initial choice for the role of Paul Edgcombe was John Travolta. Travolta was offered the part but turned it down and it went to Hanks. Travolta would later state, “I wouldn’t trade my career for anyone’s except Tom Hanks”.. Clarke Duncan won the role after Bruce Willis recommended him to Darabont as the two had worked together on Armageddon the previous year.
2) When asked about the lengthy runtime of the film, Hanks remarked, “Hey, it’s more movie for your dollar! It’s like an extra inning. Wow, now you can get a whole evening of entertainment!”
3) For the role of mouse Mr. Jingles, at least 15 mice were brought in, each trained with a specific task in mind — except for one particular scene where a prop mouse was, understandably (if you’ve already seen the film), used.
Our clip comes from one of the most powerful and pivotal moments in the film between Hanks and Duncan.