Favourite Films #19

Posted by Erik 'The Hat' Bear on
Category: Film Favourites32 Comments

Today, we continue our series of posts featuring our favourite films. There is nothing the bears love more than settling around the telly to watch one of our favourite films. Here at Jammy Toast, some of those films have been watched over and over and we would like nothing better than sharing them with you. Our tastes are many and varied as we enjoy films from some of our favourite directors and actors, some of whom we just love everything they do. So today, we continue our tour of some of our favourite movies of all time with The Green Mile.

In a Louisiana Retirement Home in 1999, Paul Edgecomb begins to cry while watching the film Top Hat. His friend Elaine becomes concerned, and Paul explains to her that the film reminded him of the events of 1935, which took place when he was a Prison Officer, in charge of death row, which they referred to as the “Green Mile”.

In 1935, Paul supervises officers Brutus Howell, Dean Stanton, Harry Terwilliger and Percy Wetmore at Cold Mountain Penitentiary. Paul is suffering from a severe bladder infection and receives John Coffey, a physically imposing but mentally challenged black man, into his custody. John had been sentenced to death after being convicted of raping and murdering two white girls. One of the other inmates is a Native-American named Arlen Bitterbuck, who is charged with murder and is the first to be executed. Percy demonstrates a severe sadistic streak, but, as the nephew of Louisiana’s First Lady, he cannot be held to account. He is particularly abusive with inmate Eduard Delacroix; he breaks Del’s fingers with his baton, steps on a pet mouse named Mr Jingles, which Del had adopted, repeatedly calls him by a gay slur and ultimately sabotages his execution by failing to soak the sponge used to conduct electricity to Del’s head; Del dies screaming in pain.

John begins to demonstrate supernatural powers; he cures Paul’s bladder infection, resurrects Mr Jingles and heals Melinda Moores, wife of the prison’s chief warden, of a brain tumour. This last affliction he releases into Percy, who under its influence shoots another prisoner, mass murderer William Wharton, dead. Wharton had from the moment of his arrival been a troublemaker; he assaulted the guards as he was being escorted into the block, made mischief on two occasions that later caused Paul to order him restrained in the block’s padded cell, groped Percy, racially insulted John, and revealed psychically to John that he is, in fact, responsible for the crime for which John was condemned. John then reveals the story psychically to Paul, and, when doing so, he also releases his supernatural energy into Paul. Meanwhile, Percy is committed to the insane asylum.

Although distraught over the notion of being executed while innocent, John tells Paul that he does, in fact, wish to die, as he views the world as a cruel place. Mentioning that he had never seen a movie before, John watches Top Hat with the other guards as a last request. John is executed that night but refuses the customary hood, as he is afraid of the dark. Paul concludes his story by telling Elaine that John’s was the last execution that he and Brutus supervised; following Coffey’s execution, they both took jobs in the juvenile system.

Elaine realizes that, since he had a grown son in 1935, Paul must be much older than he looks. Paul reveals that he is, in fact, 108 years of age. Not only is he still alive, so is Del’s mouse, Mr Jingles. Paul then muses that if John’s power could make a mouse live for as long as Mr Jingles has, how much longer does he himself have left?

The film was written and directed by Frank Darabont and adapted from the 1996 Stephen King novel of the same name. It stars Tom Hanks as Paul Edgecomb and Michael Clarke Duncan as John Coffey, with supporting roles by David Morse, Bonnie Hunt and James Cromwell. The film also features Dabbs Greer in his final film, as the older Paul Edgecomb.

The film received positive reviews from critics, and was nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor for Michael Clarke Duncan, Best Sound Mixing and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Michael Clarke Duncan credited his casting to Bruce Willis, with whom he had worked on the film Armageddon a year earlier. According to Duncan, Willis introduced him to Darabont after hearing of the open call for John Coffey.

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About the Author

Erik 'The Hat' Bear

I am fairly new to this writing on a blog malarkey so you will have to forgive me until I get the hang of it. I have asked if I can write on here but I still don''t really know what I am going to be writing about. Watch this space, I guess…

32 Comments on “Favourite Films #19”

  1. Mr Jangles!!! Going to mouseville. Loved this film.

    In other news. Merseyrail are thieving barstools. £3.75 one way for a handful of stops. Also no blackmailing emails today I thought all my contacts would have my naughty shenanigans by now :roflao:

  2. “On the day of my judgement, when I stand before God and he asks me why I killed his miracle, what am I to tell him? It was my job?”

    That scene has to be the most emotional scene from any film!

  3. Here’s an interesting question. If the mouse — who only has a relatively short lifespan — can live that long how long is Tom Hanks’ character going to live for?

    1. “I think Mr Jingles happened by accident. I think when we electrocuted Del, and it all went so badly… well, John can feel that you know… and I think a part of… whatever magic was inside of him just lept through my tiny friend here. As for me, John had to give me a part of himself; a gift the way he saw it, so that I could see for myself what Wild Billy had done. When John did that; when he took my hand, a part of the power that worked through him spilled into me. He infected us both, didn’t he, Mr. Jingles? With life. I’m a hundred and eight years old, Elaine. I was forty-four the year that John Coffey walked the Green Mile. You mustn’t blame John. He couldn’t help what happened to him… he was just a force of nature. Oh I’ve lived to see some amazing things Elly. Another century come to past, but I’ve… I’ve had to see my friends and loved ones die off through the years… Hal and Melinda… Brutus Howell… my wife… my boy. And you Elaine… you’ll die too, and my curse is knowing that I’ll be there to see it. It’s my attonement you see; it’s my punishment, for letting John Coffey ride the lightning; for killing a miracle of God. You’ll be gone like all the others. I’ll have to stay. Oh, I’ll die eventually, that I’m sure. I have no illusions of immortality, but I will wished for death… long before death finds me. In truth, I wish for it already.”

  4. I’ll be honest Donald Trump, we’ve got a lot of stuff going on right now so we don’t really have time for you to visit. Maybe go play golf in the Republic of Ireland instead?

  5. Easyjet will keep passengers updated with the World Cup score tonight during flights. A spokesman said, “If you don’t want to find out the score, your emergency exits are there, there, there and there..” :roflao:

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