Back Seat Producers Season 07 Shows

BSP Episode 242: The Green Mile

Release date:  12/10/1999

Warner Bros.

Directed by

  • Frank Darabont

Produced by

  • Frank Darabont
  • David Valdes

Screenplay by

  • Frank Darabont

Based on

  • The Green Mile, by Stephen King


Tom Hanks

  • Paul Edgecomb

Michael Clarke Duncan

  • John Coffey

David Morse

  • Brutus “Brutal” Howell

The hosts review:

Darrell thought the movie wasn’t bad but had trouble getting into it because of the length of it, he thought the plot point dragged on.  The hosts break into a side discussion about Stephen King’s books and, when he writes about lighter supernatural elements and the characters are real, the stories are much better.  The human elements in this story aren’t driven by the supernatural events; the story is driven by the characters.  Another example of this is Shawshank Redemption, which has no supernatural elements at all.

David liked the movie, but he doesn’t like the use of older characters used to tell their stories from years ago, as Tom Hanks character does to begin and end the movie.  Tony brought up that in this particular case, it gives you a few hints as to what the “gift” is that John Coffey gave Paul Edgecomb.  This brought up the question of, ‘Just how old is John Coffey?  How long has been around before he’s ready to leave?’  Lena (chat room) thought that the scars on his arms might have meant that he might have been a slave.

In discussion the actors, the hosts agreed that Tom Hanks did a great job, and his best quality as an actor is the ability to be understated and to improve the quality of everyone working with him (see: Wilson – Castaway).  Michael Clarke Duncan did a really great job at playing Coffey’s character and switching from an innocent to someone with the power to heal.  The hosts thought Sam Rockwell did a fantastic job at Wild Bill.  Michael Jeter as Del, Doug Hutchison as Percy, David Morse as Brutal, James Cromwell as Warden Moores… all believable, all really good characters.

In true Stephen King style, a lot of the movie showed each character’s set up; who everyone is, what their role is, how everyone interacts, and each part was necessary.  There has to be three executions because each one sets up information about the next one.  Percy have to have every one of his scenes to show what kind of a character he is so that it’s understood why Coffey gives a small part of himself to Percy so that justice could ultimately be done to Wild Bill.  Edgecomb’s back story had to follow that particular path to understand why Coffey gives part of his gift to him.

The hosts go into short, impromptu lists of top boob movies and top dong movies… yeah, that’s what I said.

Trivial bits ‘n pieces:

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’s his Green Mile.

In actuality, Michael Clarke Duncan (6’5”) is only one inch taller than David Morse (6’4”) and two inches shorter than James Cromwell (6’7”). 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 Stephen King visited the set he asked to be strapped into Old Sparky to see how it felt. He didn’t like it and asked to be released.

When the producers were having trouble finding the right actor to fill the role of John Coffey, Bruce Willis suggested Duncan, who co-starred with him in Armageddon.

Many actors in this film have previously or subsequently appeared in other Stephen King adaptations.  Morse appeared in the Langoliers and Hearts in Atlantis.  Cromwell was in Salem’s Lot.  Patricia Clarkson acted in Carrie.  Jeffrey DeMunn and William Sadler were both in Shawshank Redemption and The Mist.  Harry Dean Stanton appeared in Christine and Gary Sinise was in The Stand.


1999 Academy Awards – 4 nominations

  • Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role-Michael Clarke Duncan
  • Best Picture
  • Best Sound Mixing
  • Best Adapted Screenplay

2000 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films – 3 wins

  • Best Supporting Actor
  • Best Supporting Actress-Patricia Clarkson
  • Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film

The Green Mile also won the following awards:

  • 2000 Black Reel Award (Best Supporting Actor)
  • 2000 Blockbuster Entertainment Award (Favorite Actor)
  • 2000 Broadcast Film Critics Association (Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor)
  • 2000 People’s Choice Award (Favorite All-Around Motion Picture and Favorite Dramatic Motion Picture)

Your Producers for this episode were:

  • Tony
  • Darrell
  • David

This episode was recorded: 9/19/2012

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