256. The Green Mile

Movie: The Green Mile

Release Date: December 10, 1999

Director: Frank Darabont

Starring: Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, David Morse, Bonnie Hunt, James Cromwell, Michael Jeter, Graham Greene, Doug Hutchison, Sam Rockwell, Barry Pepper, Jeffery DeMunn, Patricia Clarkson, Gary Sinise.

Tag Lines: “Miracles do happen.”

“Miracles happen in the most unexpected places.”

“Paul Edgecomb didn’t believe in miracles. Until the day he met one.”

“This is a story about a miracle where I work… The Green Mile.”

“Walk a mile you’ll never forget.”

Relevance: It seems like I have been a fan of Stephen King’s stories since the time I started reading. The first novel of his I read was “Carrie” way back in 1983 at the age of twelve. Not necessarily the perfect read for an average twelve year old. But I was not an average twelve year old. The book scared the hell out of me and at the same time began my addiction with all things horror and Mr. King. Through the years I have read countless (but not all) of his books and have enjoyed every single one to some degree.

His novels and stories have been made into many, many movies for both the big and little screen. Some of them are good. Some of them are not so good. It’s rare that they get any love from critics or make any huge splash at the box office. (The recent adaptation of ‘It’ and ‘It: Chapter 2’ are exceptions to that statement.) Despite Hollywood not always showing the love to Mr. King, I have always loved them. I watched the good ones, the bad ones and the ugly ones and I was entertained by them all. In fact, Stephen King inspired six movies on my list of most influential movies of all time. ‘The Green Mile’ is the first of those films.

The literary “The Green Mile” was originally released as serial novels in paperback form in 1996. There were six of them each released a month apart starting in March of that year. I was at the book store each month from March through the end of summer buying my copies. It was a fun way to read the story. Each time I finished one, I had to wait a bit to see where the story would go. After all was said and done, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and I was super excited to find out that they were adapting it into a movie for the big screen.

For reasons that I can’t seem to remember, I did not see ‘The Green Mile’ when it was in theaters. I’ll blame managing a retail store during the month of December. It is most likely the reason as a normal work week for me at that time was sixty plus hours. I don’t miss that at all. I do know that I saw the movie when it was released as a rental and that it was after the Academy Award telecast that year, where it was nominated for four awards including Best Picture. I always try to see the Best Picture nominees before the ceremony. I was unsuccessful this year. When I finally did see it though, I couldn’t have been more pleased.

Frank Darabont, the writer and director of ‘The Green Mile,’ will be popping up two more times as part of this project. They are also Stephen King adaptations. He and Mr. King are definitely a winning combination as far as I am concerned. What he did with this film was miraculous. Not only did he capture the essence of the books, he created a cinematic masterpiece on many levels. The cast assembled, each and every one of them, are perfect in their roles. As it was nominated for Best Picture, I do own the DVD, and everyone involved created a moving piece of art that I have watched countless times throughout the years.

Today’s Thoughts: ‘The Green Mile’ is a long movie. So I woke up extra early today so that I would be able to watch it in its entirety. The length of a movie never bothers me. The longer the better (that’s what she said), especially if I am paying to see it in the theater. I kind of want my money’s worth. But when at home, I am never bothered by the “pause” button. I just thought I would have to take breaks due to some tasks and chores and it would take the bulk of the day for me to get through it. I was wrong. As soon as it started, I was sucked right back into the movie and I didn’t move for three hours. The movie is that good. My tasks and chores waited.

Although it has a tinge of fantasy, it is not your typical Stephen King horror film. The beautiful story that enfolds is a powerful tale of hope, redemption, sanctity of life and a circus mouse named Mr. Jangles. Tom Hanks and the entire ensemble are absolutely superb. This is Tom Hank’s third film (see 314. Extremely Close and Incredibly Loud and 275. Apollo 13 for his first two) on my list of most influential movies. He still has eleven to go. In this one, he is simply fantastic from beginning to end.

The film is also super emotional. One of the last scenes in the movie has a bulk of the male cast in tears. Yes, this is a Kleenex movie. I got choked up a few times throughout the film, but even the most stoic of people will show some sort of emotion during that scene. I cried. Like a baby.

Everyone has a little extra time these days. Stay home. Stay safe. And do yourself a favor and watch ‘The Green Mile.’ It is well worth the three hours and it may give you a glimmer of hope for humanity during these darkened times.

Awards: Academy Award for Best Picture (nomination), Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Michael Clarke Duncan (nomination), Academy Award for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published, Frank Darabont (nomination), Academy Award for Best Sound, Robert J. Litt, Elliot Tyson, Michael Herbick, Willie D. Burton (nomination), Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a s Motion Picture, Michael, Clarke Duncan (nomination), Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Theatrical Motion Picture (nomination), Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role, Michael Clarke Duncan (nomination), Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor, Michael Clarke Duncan (winner), Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Screenplay, Adapted, Frank Darabont (nomination), Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures, Frank Darabont (nomination).

Ways to Watch: YouTube, Google Play, Vudu, iTunes, Amazon Prime, Max Go, DVD Availability.

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