The Green Mile movie poster
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The Green Mile Movie Review

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Stephen King wrote The Green Mile, a story about an inmate with a great gift, and the head guard who learns to realize this. There is no horror and not much science fiction, but yes, Stephen King wrote it. It came out in six pieces (what I call rip-off ten times over). It was a good story, but a slow story.

And who would have thought that for once, the theatrical version is actually better than the book it is based on? The Green Mile is. The movie follows the book down to the lines spoken, including every scene I can remember. It hardly takes any colorful additions. The only downside is that in exchange for a movie that is true to the novel, The Green Mile is exactly three hours long. Thankfully, do to skillful writing, the time passes rather comfortably (not perfectly, but near perfectly). Though it has been some time since I read the book, there seems to be a lot more wit and humor in the film that does quite the opposite of detract from King's original intentions. The feeling of the film is still there but the director and screenwriter manage to keep a high level of entertainment throughout.

The acting is superb. Tom Hanks does an excellent job, although I do not see anything extremely notable about this performance that could earn him an Oscar. David Morse also does a good job, but the award of the movie has to go to Michael Duncan, the large, stupid, gifted, black man on death row, John Coffey. He is in every way what I pictured Coffey as in the book, and performs the character as smooth as butter.

The only complaint I have is that in the ending, the old Paul Edgecombe, while showing his "girlfriend" his special prize, explains things a little too much, as if the audience cannot figure it out on their own. I can't really get any more specific without giving away anything, but what he says seems blatantly obvious and a scapegoat to explain the story.

The Green Mile is true to the novel in every way possible, and even though it takes three hours, it rolls along nicely.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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