The Green Mile

The Green Mile (1999)

35 corrected entries

(26 votes)

Corrected entry: When Percy sabotages Del's execution, he claims he didn't know the sponge was supposed to be wet, and everyone believes him. But everyone also saw him put the sponge in the bucket. If he didn't know he was supposed to wet the sponge, why would he put the sponge in a bucket of water? The answer is because he wanted to deceive everyone, but nobody picks up on that.


Correction: They didn't accept his explanation so much as they just gave up on trying to get through to him. They weren't fooled, only exasperated to the point of indifference.


Correction: Actually the guy punches him right in the face for lying and then they both cover for him, just so he will finally transfer out of the green mile like they wanted and were trying to get him to do during the whole movie.

Corrected entry: When John Coffey is first brought into the jail cell, he shakes Paul Edgecomb's hand. Look closely at the size of Paul's hand. It is a child's hand, to make John's hand seem much larger. But when John is in the electric chair, Paul reaches out to shake John's hand and it is now the size of a normal adult male.

Correction: There is no "child's hand" - it's Tom Hanks' hand but he keeps his fingers tight together and his hand rounded a bit to demonstrate the contrast to John's huge hand. This is discussed in the commentary. The size difference between the two scenes is also symbolic of the evolution of Paul Edgecomb: in the beginning, all he could see was a giant "monster" and in the end, they were both just men, saying goodbye with a handshake.


Corrected entry: Writer/Director Frank Darabont conveniently ignores the fact that Paul Edgecomb could easily have returned to Burt Hammersmith (the prosecuting attorney who got the conviction and death sentence for John Coffey) once he, Edgecomb, learned who the real killer of the Detterick girls was i.e. "Wild Bill" Wharton, and hence saved his life.

Correction: If you think about it, in the time period and location the movie was set in, no way could Paul Edgecombe have gone to the prosecuting attorney with the evidence he had and gotten John Coffey a new trial. He was a black man convicted of the brutal rape and murder of two little white girls. In the early to mid 20th century in the south, there was no way that conviction would have been overturned on the evidence that was in Paul Edgecombe's possession.

Corrected entry: The paper states that the date of the execution is July 10, 1935. Then at the end of the movie you can see that Paul and John are watching a film called Top Hat. The problem is that the movie was released on August 29, 1935. They watched it just before execution so maybe July 9, 1935, and at that time the movie wasn't released.

Correction: The July 10 execution was Arlen Bitterbuck's, not John Coffey's. Coffey's was in November, so John could have seen "Top Hat."


Corrected entry: When Percy is released from the straightjacket the cloth that is pulled out of his mouth is smooth and dry, not wet and wrinkled as it should be after an hour or so in his mouth. (02:18:00)


Correction: Everything that they had to accomplish in that storyline, would have taken far longer than an hour. With a rag stuffed in his mouth for that long, and covered by tape to boot, Percy's mouth would have been bone dry, by the time Boss Edgecomb removed it. The hanky looked like silk, which was common for that era, and silk doesn't wrinkle. You can actually hear in Doug Hutchinson's voice, that the few minutes he actually had the rag in his mouth had already made his mouth dry.

Corrected entry: The guards are watching the mouse and Brutus goes over to the desk and picks up a Nilla Wafer from a pile. The movie is set in 1935, while Nilla Wafers were not introduced until 1967.


Correction: The wafer shaped cookies were sitting on wax paper and we don't actually see the brand name "Nilla Wafer" anywhere in this scene. Since the wafer cookie has been around since before the 1930's, it is safe to assume the wafer cookies in this scene were most likely homemade.

Corrected entry: When John came in to help Howell's wife with her brain tumour if you look at the clock the dial is not on the same beat as it clicks. It almost looks like the dial is moving in slow motion. (02:11:25)

Correction: The clock is a grandfather clock; the pendulum swings one side to the other, and on the down-swing (I'm sure there's a more technical term) it clicks the second hand over. So at first glance, it appears (not just in this scene, but on all clocks like it) that the ticks are a bit behind, but in fact they are accurate. In a similar fashion, an orchestra conductor's beat is the up-swing of his baton; most people count the beat on the down-swing, but if you pay attention, you'll see it. So, too, with the clock.


Corrected entry: When the guards are fighting to get control of "Wild Bill," Edgecomb gets kneed in the groin. If you watch closely, you'll see that Wild Bill's knee actually hits Edgecomb on his left thigh/buttocks area.

Correction: The whole point was that Wild Bill struck Paul in the area of his urinary tract infection, i.e., the bladder and that area. This is accomplished with the way Bill struck Paul in this scene.


Corrected entry: When Coffey is first brought into the Green Mile and he and Edgecomb are having the "Am I going to have any trouble with you, big boy?" conversation, take a close look at Coffey's handcuffs. The cuffs are so huge he could easily slide both hands out. In fact, it almost looks like he is holding on to the handcuff chain to prevent them from falling off.

Correction: Coffey has already been shown to be a very quiet and obedient man. Even later in the movie, when he's technically proven to be innocent, he still chooses to be executed. If he makes a choice that big, actually holding onto his cuffs because they're too big also makes perfect sense.

Corrected entry: Edgecomb sees that Del is watching him with the help of a small hand mirror, something death-row prisoners certainly aren't allowed to have because of the danger for themselves or others. (00:54:30)


Correction: Although probably forbidden, this would be at the discretion of Tom Hanks who figured Del was not a danger to himself or others.


Corrected entry: Tom Hanks refers to an Intensive Care Unit, and although a few physicians had already discovered the practice of separating the sickest patients into a separate ward in the 1930's, the term Intensive Care Unit was not yet in use.

Correction: As it was told via flashback, maybe the old man either got the word wrong in his memory or put it in '90's terms?


Corrected entry: When the Indian inmate (first one executed) is in the electric chair, after they've hooked him up and before they begin the electrocution they show him up close with the black hood on breathing hard. You can see that he already has the markings and blood on his forehead from the electrocution before they even begin electrocuting him.

Ben's Mom

Correction: You are seeing shadows from the hood being pulled down. It makes absolutely no sense to use makeup during this scene when we don't see his body and the effects of the botched execution until the next scene.


Corrected entry: When Paul Edgecomb is in the cell with new arrival John Coffey, there is a definite blue square behind Paul. Later when the camera angle is changed, it disappears and only the brick wall is there. (00:14:45 - 00:15:45)

Correction: That "blue square" is a shelf - it's visible throughout the entire movie, depending upon the camera angle.


Corrected entry: When Percy is grabbed by John Coffey, he drops his nightstick during the struggle. You can plainly see the short thong on the handle as it hits the floor. When Percy turns to walk away however, the nightstick is dangling from his side.

Correction: No, there is a long strap hanging from Percy's waist and the nightstick is still laying on the floor outside Coffey's cell after Percy is tackled by the other guards.


Corrected entry: At around 2 hours and 5 minutes into the film, Hanks has just come back from the place where the man was executed without a wet sponge. He looks up and notices the light is smashed, and all the lights are out. He walks up to one cage, then over to John (the magical healing man), and you can see in this shot, all the lights are now back on and not one is smashed.


Correction: The broken light fixture cannot be seen from John's cell. It is further up "the mile" from any vantage point to which you refer.


Corrected entry: They needed to keep the mercy mission silent, so Percy was locked up and Wild Bill was drugged in his cell. So what became of the prisoner who was very rude to the warders about Mae West? He wasn't executed in the film and seems to have just vanished from his cell. Only two prisoners were executed.

Correction: Toot was Trustee, a minimum security lifer/prisoner who had privileges no other inmate had. He sold notions (i.e. the moonpie he sold to Wild Bill) and assisted with execution practice. He wasn't a resident of the Green Mile and there is no plot hole.


Corrected entry: When the guards are drinking Royal Crown Cola on The Mile they put the bottles on the desk, when Tom Hanks goes to give William "Wild Bill" Wharton a drink, when it cuts back to Brutus, Dean and Harry the bottle labels have moved. None of the guards would have moved the bottles because they were focusing on Wild Bill to make sure he drank his drink. (01:57:21)

Correction: There's no way to know that the continuity of that scene is disrupted, because the guards could have very easily taken a drink off camera, while still maintaining their focus on Wild Bill.

Corrected entry: When the guards are setting up to sneak John out, they go to the office Percy is in with the intent to lock him up. When Percy realizes what's about to happen to him, he tries to jump the desk to get away. Watch closely when he does. He has a book in his hands just before, and it disappears in the next immediate shot, leaving both hands free so he can jump the desk. It is implied that he threw the book, but you can see the book literally disappear with no time to throw it anywhere.

Correction: In the widescreen version you see Percy throw the book off the bottom right of the screen.

Dale Topley

Corrected entry: When Coffey takes Edgecomb's hand and makes him see what happened to the two little girls, Edgecomb sees the killer enter the enclosed porch and step over a doll and some blocks just inside the doorway. But earlier in the film, when the girls' father and brother go looking for them, there are no toys at all near the same porch door. (Note: The doll found by the girls' father is not the same one that was on the porch, so it cannot be argued that one of the girls took the doll and later dropped it).

Jeff Swanson

Correction: So the killer moved them out of the way when he was taking the girls mistake. He likely had to drag at least one of them along, so that would certainly account for the toys being moved.

Corrected entry: When John Coffey holds Edgecomb's hand to give him a 'view' of the evil of Wild Bill; we are shown a scene of the little girl's father shingling a roof. He is using galvanized roofing nails, something that wasn't yet in use in the nineteen thirties.

Correction: Galvanized nails have been in use for centuries. The earliest, crudest nails were made in the Roman Empire, and have been found in ships and excavations dating back to 500 AD. America has had galvanized nail factories since 1819.

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Suggested correction: How can you tell his jaw is slack when he had a hood over it the entire time?


I have the movie and during Del's execution, the hood is partially burned off. After he finally dies, his jaw is completely slack.

I also have the movie and can confirm that not only is Del's jaw slack but, when the hood is burned off it looks like most of his face has been burned off leaving nothing but a skull. Https://

Suggested correction: Rigor mortis can occur as quickly as 2 hours after death. One of the first muscles of the body to stiffen is the jaw. It also depends on the age of the deceased and calcium amount.


Suggested correction: The guards would have done what they could to make his remains less grotesque. Closing his jaw is probably one of their regular duties.


Once the body dies, muscles can not constrict, and they relax. A guard could never close the jaw or mouth after death anymore than he could close a dead man's eyes shortly after death. That's a movie myth.


More mistakes in The Green Mile

Paul Edgecomb: On the day of my judgment, when I stand before God, and He asks me why did I kill one of his true miracles, what am I gonna say? That it was my job? My job?
John Coffey: You tell God the Father it was a kindness you done. I know you hurtin' and worryin', I can feel it on you, but you oughta quit on it now. Because I want it over and done. I do. 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. I'm tired of all the pain I feel and hear in the world everyday. There's too much of it. It's like pieces of glass in my head all the time. Can you understand?
Paul Edgecomb: Yes, John. I think I can.

More quotes from The Green Mile

Trivia: In order for Michael Clarke Duncan to look like he's 7ft as in the book, they made him many different things such as walking on a wooden plank throughout the film and making a smaller electric chair just for him. He was also given a small bed during the scenes in his cell. When he's seen with the two dead little girls, they're actually a 7th smaller than the real girls to make him look much bigger.

More trivia for The Green Mile

Question: What does old Tom Hanks drop out of his pocket when he walked out of the door of the old folks home?

Answer: Paul seemed to take the windbreaker in a random fashion. I'm not sure if it even belonged to him. I've no idea what it was but I agree. Not a piece of toast.

Answer: A piece of toast.

I've tried and tried to see what it actually was. It couldn't have been toast. This object hit the floor hard and rolled out of camera range, quickly. I thought maybe door knob or thread spool. Possibly a thread spool because of Mr. Jingles. Door latch was intact.

More questions & answers from The Green Mile

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