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The Green Mile

Year: 1999
Production Co: Castle Rock
Studio: Warner Bros
Director: Frank Darabont
Writer: Frank Darabont/Stephen King
Cast: Tom Hanks, David Morse, Michael Clarke Duncan, Sam Rockwell, James Cromwell, Patricia Clarkson, Bonnie Hunt, Michael Jeter, Barry Pepper, Sam Rockwell, Harry Dean Stanton
Frank Darabont tries to strike the same magic with a Stephen King story he did in The Shawshank Redemption, and while the result isn't nearly as triumphant as the film that routinely makes it to the top of best movies lists, the solidity of King's central idea assures high quality.

Paul (Hanks) is a depression-era prison guard whose charges are the Death Row inmates that live at one end of the Green Mile in an everyday prison - the green concrete corridor that leads to the electric chair.

When they bring in gentle giant John Coffey (Duncan), Paul isn't convinced he's responsible for the murder of two little girls that he's been convicted of. Coffey has a magical gift of being able to draw sickness out of the sick and inject health into the injured by laying his hands on them, like an angel.

Paul and colleague Brutus (Morse) have to navigate the nastiness of their snivelling coworker Percy, the new psychotic bought in (Rockwell) and the other inmates while doing their level best to secure Coffey's freedom because of powers nobody will ever believe.

Structurally it was well distilled down from the serial novel, and it has a kind of hopeful engagement that won't let you go even if it doesn't pull your heartstrings as tautly as Shawshank. Another prison movie with show-stopping justice and a worthy entry to Darabont's canon.

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