The 1999 film, The Green Mile was a film that touched many. Originally this film was a novel, written in six volumes by the award-winning author Stephen King. In this film King sought out to depict the moral issues surrounding the death penalty from the beginning but as the film continues the audience is drawn to another very important factor. King showed the extraordinary and powerful role God plays in human life. The film begins with an ederly man named Paul Edgecomb (played by Dabbs Greer) in a retirement center. Paul and several other residents are watching TV when an old movie very fond to paul starts playing.
The camera shows a clip of the movie where a man and women are dancing to a song called song "Heaven”, Paul sees this he walks away, to go on his daily walk. A friend of his Elaine (played Eve Brent) follows him. As they are walking Elaine realizes that the movie stirred up some memories and emotions for Paul. As they are walking Elaine asks paul about it. At that point Paul begins to tell Elaine his story. He tells her that he was a prison guard during the Depression era, where he was in charge of Death Row, as called "The Green Mile" at that time, because of the green tiles found on the floor in the death row wing.
At this point the film flashes back to the 1930's at the State Prison, where a young Paul (played by Tom Hanks) and some of the other guards; Brutus "Brutal" Howell (played by David Morse), Dean Stanton (played by Barry Pepper) and Harry Terwilliger (played by Jeffery DuMunn) are bringing in a new inmate. His name is John Coffey (played by Michael Clarke Duncan). John Coffey was sent to Death Row after being convicted for the murder and rape of two small white girls. As the film goes on Paul meets up with the Warden, Hal Moores (James Cromwell).
In conversation with Paul Warden hal reveals that a new young guard name Percy Wetmore (Doug Hutchison) is the nephew of the governor's wife, and his powerful political connections are what got him hired and what has keot him in the job, because Percy is not a very nice person or a good guard according to the other gaurds. Warden hal then tells Paul that Percy has put in to be an administrator at a mental hospital and that he will be leaving death row very soon. Unfortunatlly Percy wanted to witness an execution up close before moving onto a new job. Warden Moores also told paul about his wife.
His wife Melinda was not doing well, she suffering from bad headaches and must have an X-Ray in order to find the source of the problem. The next day Paul and the others are doing a rehearsal for the next execution, with the prison's elderly janitor, Toot-Toot (Harry Dean Stanton). Paul instructs Percy to watch and learn while the others prep the electric chair. Later that night, Percy reveals that he wants to "be out front" meaning placed in charge of an inmate's execution before he leaves. Paul meets with Warden Hal again, getting word of a new inmate coming in, a man named William Wharton who killed three people in a holdup.
While telling paul about the new inmate warden Hal breaks down he tells Paul that the doctors said his wife Melinda has a tumor the size of a lemon in her brain, and that it will eventually be fatal. Later that night, Paul suffers from his urinary infection, he is almost in constant pain and this is a problem that has been going on for years. At this time Percy and Harry go to get the new inmate Wharton from a hospital. As soon as Wharton gets to death row, he springs to life, attacking the guards and kneeing Paul in the groin. While the others go to report what has happened, John Coffey asks to speak with Paul.
Once Paul gets to John's cell, John grabs Paul and puts his hand on Paul’s groin. John holds on for several seconds, until the lights flare brightly. Show that the power in john’s ability or gift. John then lets go, coughing and gasping until he releases a mouth full spores or flies from his mouth. the next day rehearsal for Eduard Delecroix's execution took place. This Paul time allowing to be Percy in charge, in the hope that he will finally leave the prison right afterward.
Paul an percy make a agreement that percey would leave The Green Mile after the execution of Del. Percy set everything up for Del's execution, except he does not properly soak the sponge, after already being warned by the orher guards during training, but percy wanted to punish Del one more time. Because of percy, the execution was horrible for Del and the entire audience was completely horrified as he rolls in pain, screaming and even catches fire before finally died. So the next day warden Hal reveals that Melinda is falling apart, she is losing her memory and experiencing severe behavior changes. Paul invites the other guards (minus Percy) to dinner later and discusses John Coffey's acts of healing both him and Mr. Jingles.
Paul states that he wants to sneak John Coffey out to try and heal Melinda. The others are very skeptical, pointing out that Coffey is a convicted murderer, and it would be disastrous if they are found or if he escapes. Paul puts forth his belief that Coffey is innocent; Paul "does not see God putting a gift like that in the hands of a man who would kill a child. " The next day, they carry out the plan- Paul drugs Wharton so he will not see them leaving, then the others gag Percy and put him in the padded room as supposed "retribution" for Eduard Delecroix.
They open up John Coffey's cell, and he is excited at the prospect of going for a ride outside and also seems to already know what they want him to do . John agrees to try and help Melinda. Wharton grabs Coffey as they head out, and John is apparently horrified by what he sees when touching Wharton. They arrive at Hal's home, and Hal threatens them with a shotgun. Paul talks him down while Coffey goes upstairs to meet Melinda. John gets very close to Melinda's face and something comes out of her mouth and into his, making the light in the room shine intensely. John breaks the connection with her, falling down coughing.
Melinda sits up, looking much healthier and having no memory of anything that happened before her X-Ray. Hal collapses, weeping at his wife's restoration. John continues to cough, unable to release the "spores" like before. Melinda gives Coffey a pendant with the mark of St. Christopher-the healer- as a present. John returns to the prison, still very ill from the encounter. Percy is released, apparently keeping silent but the others still fear that he might talk. John grabs Percy, releasing the spores directly into Percy's mouth. Percy, in a daze, walks over to Wharton's cell and empties his revolver into Wharton's chest.
The others seize Percy, who leans back and coughs up the remaining black spores. Upon examination, Percy appears to be catatonic. He is eventually sent to a mental hospital (ironically the same place where he was supposed to be an administrator) for presumably the rest of his life. Coffey repeats that Wharton and Percy were "bad men," and places his hand on Paul. Paul sees that Wharton was responsible for the murder John Coffey was convicted for. Now that he knows Coffey is innocent, Paul is unsure how to proceed. He talks to his wife that night and he suggests talking to John about it.
He even asks Coffey if they should just "let him go. " Coffey does not want to escape; he reveals that in addition to healing he can also feel the pain of all others around him and does not wish to continue with such pain in the world. Paul offers John a last request; Coffey states that he has always wanted to see a "flicker show" (a motion picture). They bring in a movie projector with the film "Top Hat," the same movie that the elderly Paul was watching at the beginning of the movie, which is what triggered Paul's memories particularly when Fred Astaire is dancing to "Heaven" and John watches in awe saying "they like angels!"
That night, John Coffey is put to death as the guards watch on in tears. The elderly Paul's voice cuts in and states that he left The Green Mile soon after, unable to carry on after seeing John Coffey die. He and some of the others transferred to a youth corrections' facility. Elaine admits that Paul's tale is "quite a story," and does not apparently believe it. She also points out that Paul mentioned his son being grown up in 1935, which means he should be much older than he appears. Paul takes Elaine on a walk, and they come to a cabin in the woods. There is a mouse sleeping in a small box; Elaine is shocked to meet Mr. Jingles- Paul found the mouse again after Coffey's execution and has kept him ever since.
Paul states that he is now 108 years old, and that he believes John Coffey "infected him [and Mr. Jingles] with life. " Paul feels that this is his punishment for killing a genuine miracle of God- he must stay alive and watch everyone he cares about, including friends like Elaine, grow old and die before his own death. Later, Paul is seen at Elaine's funeral, quietly wondering just how much longer he has to go. "We each owe a debt," he states, "There are no exceptions. But oh God, sometimes The Green Mile seems so long. "