The Green Mile

The Green Mile


Reviewed by: Symon Parsons

It's not as good as The Shawshank Redemption. Now I've got that out of the way, on with the review.

Tom Hanks is a prison guard on death row who suffers from a urinary infection. Then one day a large convict grabs his goolies.

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This would be bad news for Tom if the title of this film were "Hot Prison Guards" but in fact the prisoner is healing him and very soon Tom is wielding his night-stick again with aplomb.

This makes Tom ponder whether the miracle worker can really have committed the crimes that he's condemned to die for. Meanwhile, Percy the sadistic guard and William the psycho convict loom menacingly...

I've seen reviews in the papers of this film which say it's "saccharine-sweet" or "a typical American feelgood movie". Honestly, sometimes I wonder about reviewers....

This is a film more bitter than sweet, and if it makes you feel good you must be pretty depressed to start with. It's a bleak film that basically says life is harsh and tragic and the only thing to keep us going are the little pockets of love we manage to create along the way.

The three hours running time zips by, the performances are all fine, and it contains one of the most disturbing executions I've ever seen in a film.

The sniffling around me started about one hour from the end and continued until the titles came up. I've never seen a crowd so silent on their way out.

So why isn't it as good as "Shawshank"? Well, that's down to personal preference I suppose. This story seems more slight, and also "Shawshank" ended on a note of hope - a genuine "feelgood" film. Still, you should try and see this if you can.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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The Green Mile packshot
A prison guard's relationship with a death row prisoner. Now out to own on Special Edition two-disc DVD.
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Read more The Green Mile reviews:

Paz Newis ****
Angus Wolfe Murray ***

Director: Frank Darabont

Writer: Frank Darabont

Starring: Tom Hanks, David Morse, Bonnie Hunt, Michael Clarke Duncan, James Cromwell, Michael Jeter, Graham Greene, Doug Hutchison, Sam Rockwell, Barry Pepper, Jeffrey DeMunn

Year: 1999

Runtime: 188 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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