Is The Green Mile based on a True Story? Plot and Ending Explained - News (2023)

The Green Mile

The Green Mileis a critically acclaimed movie released in 1999, directed by Frank Darabont. The film tells the story of a death row corrections officer named Paul Edgecomb (played by Tom Hanks) who begins to question the morality of the death penalty after he meets a new inmate, John Coffey (played by Michael Clarke Duncan).

The story is set in the 1930s in Louisiana, USA, and the central premise is the supernatural abilities of John Coffey. He is a large black man convicted of raping and murdering two young white girls. Despite being wrongly accused, he accepts his fate and is resigned to his execution. However, as the story unfolds, it becomes apparent that Coffey possesses an incredible gift of healing, and he also has a telepathic ability to sense people's emotions and thoughts.

As Edgecomb and his fellow guards get to know Coffey, they become increasingly convinced of his innocence and struggle with the moral dilemma of executing an innocent man. The film's emotional climax comes when Coffey is led to the electric chair, and Edgecomb is forced to come to terms with the consequences of his role in the execution.

IsThe Green Mile based on a true story?

No,The Green Mile is not based on a true story.The Green Mile is a movie adaptation based on the book of the same name, which portrays a fictional story. Although the central plot remains the same in the movie, certain changes were made to make it less depressing. For instance, the book's conclusion is more sorrowful, where the readers learn that Paul's wife, Jan, died in his arms after a bus accident. Additionally, the mouse Mr. Jingles also dies in the book, but this scene is not featured in the film. Furthermore, a character named Brad Dolan, who mistreats Paul at the nursing home, is not present in the movie.

The film depicts a poignant yet harrowing tale, comparable to other films like "A Time To Kill" and "Mississippi Burning," that reveal the flaws in the US legal system, particularly in cases concerning race. Even though The Green Mile is not based on a true story, it sheds light on the injustices prevalent during that era.

The film is a poignant exploration of themes such as justice, redemption, and the power of human connection. The superb acting performances of the cast, especially Tom Hanks and Michael Clarke Duncan, elevate the story and leave a lasting impact on the viewer.

The Green Mileis a captivating and thought-provoking movie that raises important questions about the death penalty and the nature of justice. It is a powerful reminder of the importance of compassion, empathy, and understanding in our interactions with others.

The Green Mile Plot

The movie The Green Mile starts with Paul Edgecomb, a retiree at a Louisiana assisted-living home in 1999, getting emotional while watching the movie "Top Hat" with his companion, Elaine. Paul tells her that the movie reminded him of the events he witnessed when he worked as an officer at Cold Mountain Penitentiary's death row, known as "The Green Mile."

In 1935, Paul oversaw a team of Corrections Officers, including Brutus "Brutal" Howell, Dean Stanton, Harry Terwilliger, and Percy Wetmore, who was the nephew of the state governor's wife. Percy's sadistic nature and influential connections made him difficult to hold accountable for his actions, including the abuse of prisoner Eduard "Del" Delacroix, who had a pet mouse named Mr. Jingles.

Paul met John Coffey, a physically imposing but gentle black man, who had been convicted of raping and murdering two young white girls. He joined Del and another condemned convict, Arlen Bitterbuck, who was the first to be executed. The officers had to deal with the violent and racist William "Wild Bill" Wharton, who assaulted them and verbally abused John.

After John healed Paul's severe bladder infection by touching him and resurrecting Mr. Jingles, Paul realized that John had a supernatural ability to heal others. Paul began to doubt John's guilt and the fairness of his conviction.

The Green Mile Ending Explained

Percy, in exchange for resigning from the penitentiary and accepting a job at an insane asylum, was allowed to oversee Del's execution. However, Percy deliberately didn't wet the sponge used to conduct electricity, causing Del to suffer a painful and gruesome death, which John felt as well. Paul and the other officers punished Percy by locking him in the padded cell for a night. While Percy was confined, they smuggled John out of the prison to heal Warden Hal Moores' wife Melinda of a brain tumor, which saved her life.After releasing Percy from the padded cell, Paul and the other officers threatened to report his misconduct if he didn't change his behavior.

In a twist of fate, John transfers Melinda's illness to Percy, who ultimately shoots Wild Bill to death before being sent to the same insane asylum where he had planned to work. John reveals to Paul that Wild Bill was the true culprit of the murders, using his supernatural energy to do so. Stricken with guilt for condemning an innocent man, Paul offers to release John, but John insists on being executed, seeing it as a mercy. As his last request, John watches a movie with the other officers, and the men are moved to tears as they watch him die.

Years later, Paul, now aged 108, reminisces about his time at the prison with Elaine, revealing that Mr. Jingles is still alive thanks to John's healing touch. Paul questions whether his longevity is divine punishment for executing an innocent man and attends Elaine's funeral, wondering how much longer he has left to live.

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IsThe Green Mile based on a true story - FAQs

1. Is The Green Mile based on a true story?

No, The Green Mile is not based on a true story, but it is a work of fiction based on a book by Stephen King.

2. What is the plot of The Green Mile?

The Green Mile is a story about a group of death row corrections officers and their experiences with the supernatural. The main character, Paul Edgecomb, forms a special bond with a death row inmate named John Coffey, who possesses the power to heal others.

3. What is the significance of the title "The Green Mile"?

"The Green Mile" refers to the path that death row inmates walk on their way to the electric chair, which is painted green. It is a metaphor for the final journey that these inmates take before their execution.

4. How does the film differ from the book version of The Green Mile?

While the heart and plot of the book remain intact for the movie adaptation, some changes were made to prevent the film from being "too sad". For example, the movie leaves out some of the more depressing elements of the book, such as the deaths of Jan and Mr. Jingles.

5. What themes are explored in The Green Mile?

The Green Mile explores themes such as the abuse of power, the corrupt nature of the justice system, and the power of human connection and empathy. It also examines the concept of the supernatural and the idea of miracles, as well as the idea of redemption and forgiveness.


Is The Green Mile based on a True Story? Plot and Ending Explained - News? ›

The Green Mile is not based on a true story. However, it was majorly influenced by Stephen King's novel, The Green Mile.

What's The Green Mile based on a true story? ›

The Green Mile is a work of magical realism and, while grounded in real places and told with the feel of realism, is not based on true events. Much of the events in The Green Mile explore the supernatural powers of John Coffey and how they affect his fellow inmates and the guards at Cold Mountain Penitentiary.

What was the ending of Green Mile? ›

Paul reveals to Elaine that Mr. Jingles is still alive, having been blessed with a supernaturally long life thanks to John's healing touch. He also reveals that he is now 108 years old.

Who was the real killer in The Green Mile? ›

Paul's long-simmering suspicions that John is innocent are proven right when he discovers that it was actually Wharton who raped and killed the two girls and that John was trying to revive them.

What were John Coffey's last words? ›

Don't put me in the dark. I's afraid of the dark. John Coffey's last words and his most famous quote.

Is John Coffey based on a real person? ›

Released in 1999, the character “John Coffey” was inspired by George's story; with alterations, of course. In this story, “John” was an adult man convicted of the same crime the real fourteen-year-old boy was executed for. In 2014, George's case was reopened and he was found innocent.

How accurate is The Green Mile movie? ›

Technically, the answer is "no." The movie is an adaptation of the 1996 Stephen King novel The Green Mile. That said, there are certainly strong parallels to the real-life George Stinney case. The aforementioned youth was a 14-year-old boy convicted of killing, and possibly sexually assaulting, two young girls in 1944.

What did Tom Hanks suffer from in The Green Mile? ›

The story then flashes back to the 1930's at the Louisiana State Prison, where a young Paul Edgecomb (now played by Tom Hanks) suffers from a urinary infection.

Why was Green Mile killed? ›

The Green Mile's ending ultimately sees Coffey executed for the crimes he didn't commit. However, before he dies, he passes some of his abilities on to Paul, forever changing the guard's life. It's a bittersweet conclusion, but it also leaves one or two burning questions that require closer inspection.

What is the moral of The Green Mile? ›

The Green Mile is a notable masterpiece of cinematography addresses the moral dilemma of the death penalty. As a viewer, you are forced to understand that capital punishment can lead to the death of an innocent person, kill someone who can still bring something good into our world, or leave the crime unsolved.

Why was it called The Green Mile? ›

"The Green Mile" (so-called because this Death Row has a green floor) is based on a novel by Stephen King, and has been written and directed by Frank Darabont. It is Darabont's first film since the great "The Shawshank Redemption" in 1994. That, too, was based on a King prison story, but this one is very different.

Why did John get electrocuted in The Green Mile? ›

In order to answer the question, "Why did they kill John in The Green Mile?", it is because he was convicted of sexually assaulting two young girls, which, as the makers of the film reveal soon enough, is a crime committed by Sam Rockwell's "Wild Bill" Wharton.

Who framed John in The Green Mile? ›

William Wharton was a serial murderer revealed to be indirectly responsible for framing John Coffey for the rape and murder of two girls and sending him to Cold Mountain Penitentiary.

What was John Coffey's famous line? ›

I'm tired, boss. Tired of bein' on the road, lonely as a sparrow in the rain. Tired of not ever having me a buddy to be with, or tell me where we's coming from or going to, or why. Mostly I'm tired of people being ugly to each other.

Is he an angel in Green Mile? ›

Many believe that Mr. Jingles is a sort of angel, sent to Delacroix to prepare him for his transfer to the other world. This same angel reenters, again miraculously, Paul's life, apparently because Paul needs to be reminded that the story of John Coffey was not yet told.

Is John Coffey Jesus in The Green Mile? ›

The character of John Coffey in 'The Green Mile' strongly links to the biblical Jesus. John Coffey is Darabont's Hollywood Jesus – a representation of contemporary suffering servant who preaches love, kindness and compassion through words, miracle and action. You can't help but notice the shining light behind him.

How did John Coffey look so big? ›

To make John Coffey look big, his electric chair is smaller than the chair used in other scenes.

Why did John Coffey apologize? ›

He doesn't offer any resistance during his execution. If anything, he just expresses his fear of darkness and requests Paul not cover his head while he is on the electric chair. Right before his execution, he gives a broad smile and apologizes to the family of the victims for a crime he didn't commit.

How big was John Coffey supposed to be? ›

Answer and Explanation: The character John Coffey in Stephen King's novel The Green Mile is a very large African American man. He is described as being 6' 8" tall.

How long did Paul live on The Green Mile? ›

He lives in excess of 100 years due to the fact that John passes on a bit of his grace to him when curing Paul of a bladder infection.

What did Stephen King think of The Green Mile? ›

In Hollywood's Stephen King, he said: I would have to say that I was delighted with The Green Mile. The film is a little “soft” in some ways. I like to joke with Frank that his movie was really the first R-rated Hallmark Hall of Fame production.

Are the executions in The Green Mile realistic? ›

To conclude, 'The Green Mile' shows realistic executions through the electric chair. This was supported by the resemblance between executions shown in the movie and executions taking place in the US during the last century.

What does the mouse symbolize in The Green Mile? ›

And the mouse does bring him a genuine touch of joy. Additionally, Mr. Jingles is believed to represent the small glimmer of light and goodness that still manages to find its way into the Mile, despite the location and circumstances. This theory also makes sense within the context of the film.

How old was Paul when he died in The Green Mile? ›

The movie adaptation of Stephen King's The Green Mile hints that narrator Paul Edgecomb lives to be significantly older than the average human. Paul, played by Tom Hanks, is established to be 108-years-old in 1999 when the movie comes to an end.

What crime did Eduard Delacroix commit? ›

Convicted for raping and murdering a young girl, and then involuntarily setting fire to the adjacent building (leading to the deaths of six more people), Delacroix shows no sign of cruelty by the time he reaches E block. Instead, he appears to be a fearful old man, terrified of the cruel Percy Wetmore.

What was the infection in Green Mile? ›

Paul Edgecombe has been suffering with a bladder infection for some time that hasn't cleared. It is in this book that Paul discovers that John Coffey can heal with his touch.

What does the electric chair represent in The Green Mile? ›

The Green Mile is symbolic of the inmates' inevitable walk toward death, as they all must face the electric chair. It is a space where violence and compassion co-exist, as Paul's humane efforts to talk to the inmates balance out the danger of the inmates losing their sanity or turning to violence.

What is The Green Mile summary? ›

Why is the floor green in The Green Mile? ›

The title Green Mile comes from the color of the corridor floor leading to the premises with the electric chair, where officers escort prisoners sentenced to death: “Usually, death row was called “the last mile”; we called ours “the Green Mile” — the floor was the color of faded limes.” (The Green Mile).

What happens when you don t wet the sponge during execution? ›

1. The fire and smoke during the Medina execution was the result of the dry sponge laced onto the brass electrode in the head piece catching fire and burning almost completely due to a lack of saline solution in that sponge. The lack of saline solution in the dry sponge caused the dry sponge to act as a resistor.

Why did Percy pee himself in The Green Mile? ›

When Wild Bill attempts to garrote Dean, Percy does nothing but stand by in fear, and Brutal has to get involved to neutralize the threat. After Percy causes Del to slip and fall, he gets groped by Wild Bill, causing him to wet his pants.

Why did the sponge have to be wet? ›

One of the reasons we always say you need to wet your blender is because water causes the sponge to swell and it ensures your makeup won't be absorbed...which results in less makeup waste!

What did John do to the little girls in The Green Mile? ›

He and his fellow guards are assigned to watch inmates on death row, known as The Green Mile. John Coffey has been convicted of murdering two young girls and sentenced to death but there's something about him that makes Paul question whether this man could have committed that crime.

Who is the old man in the beginning of The Green Mile? ›

Dabbs Greer: Old Paul Edgecomb.

What happened to the black guy in The Green Mile? ›

Duncan was taken to Cedars Sinai Medical Center after suffering a heart attack on July 13, 2012.

What was on John Coffey's necklace? ›

After John Coffey miraculously cures Melinda Moores of her brain tumor, she gives her savior a medal of Saint Christopher, telling him to wear it around his neck as protection.

What is the famous line from Green Mile? ›

Tired of bein' on the road, lonely as a sparrow in the rain. Tired of not ever having me a buddy to be with, or tell me where we's coming from or going to, or why. Mostly I'm tired of people being ugly to each other. I'm tired of all the pain I feel and hear in the world everyday.

What exactly was John Coffey in The Green Mile? ›

John Coffey is a supporting character of the Stephen King multiverse. Serving as the deuteragonist of the novel The Green Mile and it's film adaptation of the same name. He was an innocent inmate placed on deathrow at Cold Mountain Penitentiary for a crime he never committed.

Is The Green Mile based on the Bible? ›

The character of John Coffey in 'The Green Mile' strongly links to the biblical Jesus. John Coffey is Darabont's Hollywood Jesus – a representation of contemporary suffering servant who preaches love, kindness and compassion through words, miracle and action. You can't help but notice the shining light behind him.

How long did Paul live in The Green Mile? ›

He lives in excess of 100 years due to the fact that John passes on a bit of his grace to him when curing Paul of a bladder infection.


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