The Green Mile

New this week Question: Why is Paul on active prison guard duty with a debilitating medical condition, as opposed to some form of sick leave, or at the very least a desk job? On several occasions we see him either made vulnerable or even out-and-out helpless.

dizzyd

New this week Answer: He's one of those people who is dedicated to his job and will say he is OK even when he isn't, and keep working. He will power through and not let anyone know how sick he really is.

The_Iceman Premium member

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

Chosen answer: A piece of toast.

Question: Just before Del's execution, Paul realises that the sponge is dry because there's no water on the floor. Why didn't he halt the execution before the switch was thrown? If he had, Del wouldn't have suffered an agonizing death.

Answer: It was only 15 seconds between when Paul first sees what doesn't look right until the switch is thrown. He was spending most of that time looking at the rest of the floor and Edward's head to see if he could see wetness, which only left about two to four seconds from when he probably was actually concerned until the switch was thrown. The ceremony is obviously very structured, and if he halted it at the last second it would be a major issue so if he did and nothing was wrong there would be hell to pay so he probably trusted (poorly) that he was mistaken rather than take the risk. There is also an attitude of not getting your coworkers in trouble so stopping the execution would also go against that - the trouble of an execution with a dry sponge is a counterargument that probably didn't dawn on him in the couple seconds in which the decision had to be made.

jimba

Question: Why did Del say Mr Jingles is going to make him rich when he gets out? Does he understand the concept of death row?

raph

Chosen answer: Del (like every other prisoner on death row) was hoping for a last-minute pardon from the Governor or some sort of stay of execution from a court. The chance of that was slim to none, but they can always hope.

Scott215

Question: Why do the guard do execution rehearsals with a man who's not going to be executed? At first I thought the rehearsals were so the person being executed would know what to expect. The guards know how to run an execution, so why would they need to practice without the one being executed?

raph

Chosen answer: They do it for the same reason people practice anything. It is to stay on top of how to perform a certain function or activity. The man is just a volunteer. Correction officers (prison guards) who do executions would particularly have to make sure they can perform flawlessly. The state and/or federal government would closely regulate and monitor this. If anything was botched, there would be severe legal repercussions, possible job dismissals, and even lawsuits by families of the condemned prisoner. Also, executions are not performed on a regular basis at any one penitentiary, so constant practice would be essential to maintain an adequate skill level. Most likely, regular drills are required by law. There would also be changing or rotating staff that needs to be trained and/or retrained. There's been much publicity recently about several executions using lethal injections being done improperly, so it is hardly surprising the procedures would constantly be reviewed and practiced.

raywest Premium member

Question: Why didn't Percy hit Wild Bill when he was strangling Dean? He enjoys hurting people, so what was the problem in that scene?

raph

Chosen answer: Percy is a coward and froze in the heat of the moment. He has no idea how to deal with dangerous people, only helpless ones who are behind bars, like Del.

MovieFan612

Question: After killing "Wild Bill," Percy is lying on the ground "puking" out Melinda's brain tumor that John Coffey placed into him. While Percy's spitting that out, one of the guards keeps yelling "Oh no!" I see nobody's lips moving to say that, so is that an audio error, or was the person not on the screen? Anyway, it really bothers me, but who was it who yells that?

Tricky

Chosen answer: The camera is only on three individual people (Paul, Percy and the dead Wild Bill) when you hear Dean saying "Oh no, oh no."

MovieFan612

Question: When the guards are talking to Percy in the restraint room, Paul says he knows he sabotaged Del's execution. Why did he let him get away with it?

raph

Chosen answer: Percy's aunt is married to the state Governor, giving Percy powerful connections. All it would take is one phone call from Percy and Paul and the other guards could lose their jobs and if Percy wanted to, never find jobs again. Something Paul or his friends didn't want to happen.

Question: Was it John's intention to get Wild Bill killed when he made Percy lose his mind?

raph

Chosen answer: It would appear so. He even says "I punished those bad men."

Jason Hoffman

Question: What are the other inmates on death row for?

Chosen answer: Wild Bill is condemned for murdering people during a robbery. John is there for the twin girls. In the book, Arlen Bitterbuck was there for murdering a man over a pair of boots and Del was there for arson, rape and murder.

Jason Hoffman

Question: Why did Paul and the other guards show concern for Percy after Wild Bill caused Percy to piss his pants?

Answer: They may not like him but they still want to make sure he's ok.

Greg Dwyer

Exactly. Plus having a guard killed by an inmate on their watch would reflect poorly on them, to say the least. And Percy had political connections as well.

BaconIsMyBFF

Question: Why is Percy put into a mental hospital at the end?

jawsant

Chosen answer: Coffey put the sickness that he absorbed from Hal's wife into Percy, causing him to snap mentally, shoot Wild Bill and then collapse into what amounts to a catatonic state. He was placed in a mental hospital for long-term treatment to try to cure his condition.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: I know most movies have a disclaimer at the end of the credits saying that no animals were hurt during this movie, etc., so I have to ask this: did Percy stomp on a real mouse? I'm only asking because the after-death twitching that the mouse did was VERY realistic. (I've trapped many mice in my home so I know what I'm talking about - only I don't stomp on them.)

Chosen answer: When we first see Mr. Jingles get stomped, that is an effects shot done by ILM. In the next shot when Percy removes his foot and you see the mouse twitch a little, that is a puppet. Director Frank Darabont confirms the effects shot on the commentary, and there's a feature on the Blu Ray that shows it in detail.

Phixius Premium member

Question: What are the meanings of the random French words that Del uses throughout the movie? When Percy is chasing the mouse, he calls him a dumb something. (I don't want to put it here because it might be profane.) And when talking about who will take care of Mr. Jingles, referring to Dean's son, he says "He just a boy, n'est-ce pas?"

Chosen answer: In the example you gave he says "He's just a boy, isn't he?"

Phixius Premium member

Question: There seemed to be an unusually high number of guards as compared to the number of prisoners; would they actually be armed with pistols?

Chosen answer: Since this movie takes place in the '30s, I think the number of guards is about right. There were no such things as stun guns back then. If a prisoner freaked out, they would need a few men to overpower him, just like we see when 'Wild Bill' is brought in. Prison guards today don't carry guns because they could be used against the guard. In the '30s no such rules existed. If you were a cop or a guard, you had a gun no matter what.

Question: Why did Paul run outside when he had a urinary tract infection instead of to the toilet?

raph

Chosen answer: He WAS heading for the toilet. He and his wife had an outhouse instead of an indoor bathroom.

Scott215

Question: How can the necklace of Mrs. Moore fit John Coffey?

Chosen answer: The chain is fairly long and loose, it's able to fit over both their heads without being unclasped, so it would fit around his neck too.

Purple_Girl

Question: Couldn't John have shared his 'vision' of what happened to the girls with the warden or the girls' parents, not just Paul, then he might have gone free?

Answer: Also John Coffee had to "give a piece of himself" to Tom Hanks to show him what really happened to the girls. That's why he lived for so long. If that was the case he would have to lose a piece of himself everytime he wanted to show someone. Sure maybe he would only have to show the parents or even just the father, but if you keep losing pieces of yourself you will run out fast not to mention creating a bunch of long living people. John Coffee knew Tom Hanks was a good man. But yes JC was also very very tired (as a dawg boss, tired as a dawg) of all the bad things people have and will do. He could feel people's hate and pain constantly. Probably enough to drive a man crazy.

Chosen answer: It's doubtful that the parents would even allow him near them, and showing the warden would do nothing as John did not want to go free.

MasterOfAll

Question: Would the guards have made up a reason to move a death row inmate out of death row so the inmate wouldn't have to watch the guards do a runthrough of his execution?

Chosen answer: Most likely that would be the reason. As the guards explain to Percy in one of the scenes that the best course of action to take with death row inmates to keep things as calm and relaxed as possible. This way they don't have to worry about upsetting the inmate.

Lummie Premium member

Question: As in Del's case, would the guards have fabricated a scenario by which to get a death row inmate out long enough to do a practice run like they did?

Chosen answer: The practice run wasn't with a death row inmate. He was incarcerated in another part of the prison.

Phixius Premium member

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Quotes

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.

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Mistakes

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.

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Trivia

In the movie John Coffey has sort of a "messiah"-like role. His initials J.C might be a reference to Jesus Christ, as this is very fitting for his role. [This is a not-so-subtle attempt which places Paul Edgecomb in the role of Pontius Pilate]

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