The Green Mile

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?

MikeH

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.

The characters talk about this several different times in the movies, how political connections can ruin careers.

MovieFan612

Question: Why does Percy like to bully Delacroix so much? Does he hate foreigners?

Answer: No. Percy is just a typical bully who abuses his power and enjoys picking on people he thinks are weak plus, as a guard, he can do it all he wants without facing any form of punishment.

Answer: Percy was also struggling with the homosexual tendencies of Delacroix. Further evident when Wild Bill grabs him and says some nasty things to him.

MovieFan612

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.

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?

MikeH

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: When John was healing Melinda, why did the house shake so violently but, when John healed Paul and Mr. Jingles, the Green Mile didn't shake at all?

Answer: Possibly because of the power required to heal her tumor being greater than what is required to remove a bladder infection.

Answer: Also, the Green Mile is brick and iron, the house Coffey healed Melinda in was just a wood house in 1935. Not as stable, in the Mile the lights got brighter or exploded when he used his powers. But the house doesn't have that much electricity and all that power had nowhere else to go so it shook the house, but that's just my opinion though.

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?"

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

Phixius

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: 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?

MikeH

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

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

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?

MikeH

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

Answer: My interpretation was, it was just some light-hearted humor on his part. In attempt to raise his own spirits, even if only for a little bit. Kind of in the same way a terminal patient might say "when I get out of here," even when they know there is no chance.

jshy7979

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

Because they are caring human beings, and feel some emotion towards someone in trouble, unlike Percy himself.

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.

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: 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

He could have take the bucket and doused Del's head. This would have resolved the dry sponge issue immediately.

That's a terrible idea. He could get others wet including himself and electrocute them.

lionhead

Answer: They all had pistols. In Last of the Mohicans Hawkeye shoots the British officer being burned alive to spare him the suffering. You'd think these guys would have thought to do the same.

It is shown in great detail how precise and professional the guards are during an execution, and how seriously they take it. There is simply no scenario where any of the guards would have taken out their service weapon and used it on Del in a room full of people.

jshy7979

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

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.

Question: What was with the scene where John picks up and smells the grass after he's snuck out to help Melinda? And what did John mean when he said 'no matter how it happened, Del was the lucky one.' Did John somehow take all that pain so Del wouldn't? I never really got it.

Brandon York

Answer: He smelled the grass because he had missed it being locked up. As for the other thing, John was tired, he constantly felt the pain of others around him, he wanted it to stop. Del died, to John that's the way out, to get rid of the pain. Even though Del felt a lot of pain, for John it doesn't matter, as long as he gets out, so the pain stops. He didn't take Del's pain.

lionhead

Watch John closely during Del's execution. His body reacts the same as Del's throughout. He said Del's the lucky one because he wouldn't know earthly pain any longer, something that John is longing for by the time of his own execution.

MovieFan612

He didn't take his pain.

lionhead

I believe that John himself had lived a long time because of his powers, maybe he couldn't die from old age, but could be killed like other people, he was tired of being alive, so the execution was his way out.

Answer: He smells the grass, because it's pure.

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?

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: After Percy kills Wild Bill, how would Paul and the others explain to Hal and Percy's aunt what happened? Even though Hal witnessed John healing Melinda, he probably wouldn't believe what happened and Percy's aunt would probably refuse to accept that Percy just snapped and went catatonic without a full explanation.

Answer: The explanation is set out in the scenes after the incident. They surmised that Percy had such hatred for Bill because he has humiliated him earlier, and he just lost his marbles. He's catatonic so who could question he just had a devastating episode.

MovieFan612

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

Question: How long will Old Paul live for?

Answer: At the end of the movie, it's discovered that Mr. Jingles is 64 years old. This is about sixteen times the life span of a regular mouse. Since this logic could apply to Paul, he could live anywhere between 1,300 and 1,500 years.

Nice idea but the math ain't mathin'. Your equation presumes that Mr. Jingles dies at age 64. But he is still alive! It seems more likely that John Coffey gave Paul and Mr. Jingles an indefinite natural life. They live forever unless something kills them. I'm sure if Paul was in a plane explosion over the Atlantic, he would die.

This is actually much simpler than either one of you are making it out to be: the answer is, there is no answer. We know that Paul and Mr Jingles are going to live longer lives because of John Coffey, and anything beyond that is pure speculation. I think this was intentionally left vague to keep the audience without a clear answer to Paul's fate, just like Paul is left without a clear answer.

jshy7979

Answer: Paul and the mouse both aged considerably. No one ever said they weren't aging, just that the power from John was making them live extremely long lives.

MovieFan612

Answer: If Paul could live to be that old then he would still be looking young. He would not be looking like a centenarian.

Gravity is relentless.

MovieFan612

Answer: Since John Coffey was able to die via execution, we can assume that Paul could be killed. This means that, like John, Paul would have to choose to die. All we know is that John gave Paul a piece of himself - perhaps that piece was immortality?

Question: What drops out of old Paul's raincoat on the porch at the old folks home?

Answer: It was something hard and small. Not toast.

Answer: So, in other words, no one knows? Maybe just something in the pocket of the raincoat... The world will never know.

Answer: Toast.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

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

lartaker1975

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://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sh3u3Kqdynw.

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.

lionhead

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.

MovieFan612

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.

Bishop73

More mistakes in The Green Mile

Old Paul Edgecomb: I'm a hundred and eight years old, Elaine. I was forty-four the year that John Coffey walked the Green Mile. You mustn't blame John. He couldn't help what happened to him...he was just a force of nature. Oh I've lived to see some amazing things Elly. Another century come to past, but I've...I've had to see my friends and loved ones die off through the years... Hal and Melinda...Brutus Howell...my wife... my boy. And you Elaine...you'll die too, and my curse is knowing that I'll be there to see it. It's my atonement you see; it's my punishment, for letting John Coffey ride the lightning; for killing a miracle of God. You'll be gone like all the others. I'll have to stay. Oh, I'll die eventually, that I'm sure. I have no illusions of immortality, but I will wished for death...long before death finds me. In truth, I wish for it already.

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

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