In the spirit of the movie we are reviewing I thought it would be humorous to make the show notes excessively long so that it would take you three hours to read them but it turns out that a) no one reads the show notes anyway and b) that would take me an extremely long time so instead you can recreate that experience by simply looping over these next sections a few thousand times.
Frank Darabont had already directed the Stephen King adaptation THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, initially a box office disappointment which at some point was apparently unanimously declared a modern classic, before he worked on bringing another of the Maine-born authors stories to the screen with 1999's THE GREEN MILE.
Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) is a Warden Supervisor at Cold Mountain Penitentiary's Death Row, given the movies titular nickname because of the green linoleum floor which leads from the doomed prisoners cells to the electric chair. Assisted by a team including David Morse's powerful but respectful Brutus, Barry Pepper's youthful Dean and Jeffrey DeMunn's humane Harry, his aim is to provide condemned men with dignity in their last days, an endeavour complicated by the sadistic Percy (Doug Hutchison), foisted upon him by virtue of the state governor's nepotism. When the physically imposing but gentle and childlike John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), sentenced to death after being convicted of the rape and murder of two young girls, joins the rest of the inmates on Death Row, inexplicable events will bind both prisoners and guards for the rest of their lives.
It's fair to say that Darabont takes his time breathing life into King's characters on screen; the movie has a whopping 189 minute run time and focuses heavily on drama and relationship building before introducing the supernatural elements to the story. Thankfully it is a superb array of actors that he has assembled, with the late Duncan giving perhaps a career best performance (Kingpin aside), a truly unforgettable villain in Hutchison's Percy and a talented ensemble cast featuring the likes of Bonnie Hunt, James Cromwell, Sam Rockwell and mouse-fondler Michael Jeter.
I didn't join the rest of the Dads for this review so I have no idea what they are going to say. I imagine at least one of us finds this maudlin, over-wrought and just too long. If I had been there, I might have talked about the troubling 'magical negro' aspect to the story (quoting Spike Lee there my friends, don't judge me) so consider yourself lucky you were spared that. Most of all I'm wondering just how long they will spend talking about the part where Michael Clarke Duncan touches Tom Hanks's penis. I reckon some of the guys could do 3 hours on that alone.
The Green Mile
Sidey: We're going for another listener nomination this week chaps. And this one was nominated by friend of the show. Andy Jameson.
Dan: God Jaymo
Sidey: In spite of being an arsenal fan, still a friend of the show. So green mile
everyone's seen this? Pete Pete's gonna take the lead because he rewatched.
Sidey: I didn't have time to digest it again.
Dan: I watched this probably around four months ago, five months ago with my boy and the whaf and it was
It was an absolute tear joker.
Sidey: Standard Let's get into it then.
Peter: Yeah. So I watched it today.
Sidey: Blind me
Peter: Which to refresh my memory, cuz I had seen this at least a couple of times. The first time I saw it was a while ago now and yeah, it, it hit me. It was a, I wasn't, I don't know. I thought Tom Hanks,
Peter: Yeah. He'd been in some films that I'd seen before. It was like, this was quite a way removed from things like big and stuff like that.
Sidey: Yeah. So
this is is Steven King. It's Frank Darbo
directed the same people did. Sure. Shane, so it's a
Peter: I know who Stephen King is,
Dan: It's it is a good point though. Cuz it is far different move from big because they play completely different characters in this one. He's he's like a warden, isn't he?
Peter: A prison warden?
Dan: And he wasn't in
Peter: No, he wasn't.
Sidey: Why are we talking about big though?
Dan: I dunno cuz Pete brought it
Peter: well, it just, I think, you know, before that I'd seen him, there'd probably been some things that weren't exactly. I'd not seen things like Philadelphia and stuff, but so not the cream cheese. I
Sidey: mean film
Peter: The film, but I'd only seen him in like whimsical lighthearted things pretty much, cuz this was before Castaway and forest camp wasn.
Sidey: No, no,
no, Out of your
gum was for, it was 94. This is 99.
Peter: Okay. But it was whatever. So it was definitely like a,
Sidey: so there was a gap in your Tom Hank's yeah. Knowledge, but this is solid. Yeah. So it starts off. I think if I remember rightly it starts off with Tom Hanks in the like old person.
Peter: Well, it actually starts, it actually starts off with the what you later find out is the kind of dramatization of the. So the, the buildup to it. So Whil the opening
Sidey: credit Yeah
Peter: are rolling. There's some police and some dogs and and a very kind of upset gentleman. Who's shout out little girls names.
Yeah. And so that's kind of just, all you get of that. A little kind of snippet
Peter: what's what's what's to then come. Then. Yeah, like, as you say, it's, it's Tom Hanks' character. Paul. Yeah. Who? What's his surname? Edgecomb.
Peter: edge. Paul edge, Lord. And he's in an old folks home.
Sidey: He's crying. Watching a, a
So there's so there's yeah, there's a little build up to it. And you just see, he's just a guy before that. Even you see him going to the canteen and the guy in the canteen is saying, oh, I heard you went on one of your walks again yesterday. Look, we don't wanna. I don't wanna come on like a man hunt.
You don't wanna fall over. You're an old boy. Now you don't wanna fall over and break a hip Whil you're on there, cuz they're not allowed to go for walks by themselves. They turn a blind eye where he's concerned, but it, it just kind of like nods towards him is he's a bit of a philosophical guy with pro possibly a reason for that.
Yeah. So yeah, they're all in the. They're actually all in the, like the, the main kind of like TV room or whatever, watching Jerry Springer which is quite funny room.
Dan: The rec
Peter: Yeah. The rec room watching Jerry Springer and some guy just stands up go, this is all bollocks. Why don't we find something different?
And there's I dunno what film it is, but it's the there's a song that's being played in the film. I dunno the name of the song even, but it's a
Dan: but that sparks
Peter: I'm in heaven.
Dan: No, no. And that sparks the
Peter: that sparks the memory
Sidey: the film the film is top hat
Peter: Top hat. Right. And his friend
Dan: Ginger Rogers.
Peter: Yeah. I think her name's Elaine, she sort of looks over and he's welling up. Yeah. And then he has to get outta there. And then she follows him off to, you know, a part of the old folks home and yeah, maybe so yeah, maybe that was to follow, but she, she just asked him what's wrong and he just, he just opens up and it goes back to 1935.
Sidey: Good year knowledge. Yeah.
Yeah. It does go It's no
Rupert: height of the depression. Yes. Just a bit of a,
Peter: yeah, yeah, yeah.
not the height of his depression. Cause he is still pretty depressed.
Dan: scene. And, and minutes later, these are the guy on death row, but they don't call it death row. There, they call it the green mile because of the light colored. Kind of green tiles that lead
Peter: Well, I, I think, I think a common name for death row is the long mile or whatever, cuz it's the, it's the longest walk. Obviously to the chair, but they call it the green mile to make it seem a little bit nicer. I mean, they're still gonna execute these cons,
Dan: Yeah. It sounds very eco doesn't it? But I guess in this scenario, you've got all the wrongins behind gates and Tom Hanks is leading.
The warden crew. Isn't he? He's
Sidey: He's, they've got their gang and then you've got the, oh, lovable mur, serial murderers who are, are supposed to like them, you know? And they're fun even though they've fucking like
Peter: well, there is, this is probably something worth, maybe picking up on either now or after, whenever you whenever.
But apart from one sort of like, you know, fairly notorious criminal, the other guys that are, you know, the inmates of, of death row. You end up, I guess, kind of warming to them. They're
Sidey: especially Dell
Peter: There's the, the main inmate John coffee who will come onto. Yeah. And there's like a native American guy.
Who's the first guy that gets executed and he's just very sort of like quiet keeps himself through
Peter: Very unassuming and there seems to be a fair amount of harmony on, on the, on the mile.
Sidey: everything's going. As smoothly as death row can, you know, there's no, but there there's the inmates as they are, there are not causing like a huge problem, you know, they know what's coming
Peter: and yeah, I imagine they all seem to have accepted their fate and it's, I
Sidey: they. They admit their guilt as well.
They know what they've done is wrong, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And then, but then things are gonna, you know, get turned on its head with a couple of new additions to the,
Peter: so the, the crew are made up of, of Tom
Sidey: He's he's Paul edge, Lord. Yeah.
Peter: Yeah. And then there's David Morse.
Who I last remember from the rock.
He was one of the guys in the rock. And then people that I guess are, are sort of, you've got, they they're recognizable without. Like main characters or, or actors in, in other films. But you, you, you recognize a lot of the people in there, both the inmates and the guards and so
Sidey: Yeah. Well, you've got James Cromwell as the.
He's the prison warden dude. Yeah. That's cousin distant cousin.
Yeah and a few other people that we recognize who come in later on, but you've also got Percy.
Percy Wetmore. Yeah. He's a real piece of shit.
Peter: Now he's a guy. Sorry. Is it Doug Hutchinson is, is the actor's name. Yeah. And I don't think I've ever seen him in anything else. He is like, for me, totally synonymous with the, with the character Percy cuz on the first watch of this many, many years ago.
Sidey: Oh the
Peter: you fucking hate this
Dan: guy. Oh, he was the guy you wanted behind bars. Wasn't he? He is.
Rupert: isn't he a complete weirdo in real life?
Sidey: Yes A hundred percent
Rupert: Yeah. Yeah. He's got
Sidey: dunno if that's true, but he is,
Rupert: he was seeing some girl who was much younger than him, you know, don't wanna judge, but she was about 19 is see all this. And he was basically accused of abusing her and stuff. So this, so therefore look, he was a good character, good person to pay Percy because yeah.
Yeah. He's a bit of a psycho. Yeah. Worked out well. Yeah.
Peter: Yeah. So he was just playing himself in this film. Yeah, essentially. Yeah. He's, he's massively hateable and obviously you, you hope that there's gonna be some kind
Sidey: he's he's a bully. He's got the job through a family connection. Isn't it?
Peter: so he is the, he, the governor's wife is his auntie, right. So, yeah, he's obviously pulled some strings to get this job and it becomes apparent. He's got it for fairly kind of Maar reasons.
Sidey: Yeah. He wants to see people die.
Peter: gets off on bullying and intimidating the inmates, but also he wants to be there at the
Sidey: Yeah He's horribly sadistic and just a real
Rupert: But he's also a massive coward.
Rupert: he's not a big, brave man. He's he's
Dan: oh, he is all mouth.
he's a little boy, essentially. Who is a bit of a psycho. Yeah.
Peter: Yeah He's a, he's a total piece of shit. But anyway, not long into the film You get the introduction of the, the main inmate, which is and what, what they do here is they, they, on, on the, like the third watch or whatever, they sort of really do kind of like, it's not that fucking, it's pretty blunt how massive this guy is.
They sort of like show,
Dan: oh, each part of the film, they get to show how big he is by putting him up against
Peter: but even before you, you see him, you see the carriage kind of rocking and then some like feet come down on the step and the whole carriage drops. And David Mo's character. Yeah. And David, he's a big guy anyway.
And cuz Hanks even says like, like, you know, David Mo has seen him and goes, don't think you want to get in a cell with this fellow and, and straight away. And, and, and Tom Hanks goes, well, he can't be bigger than you. And this guy comes out and he's towering. You don't see his head for a good couple of minutes, cuz every shot is just showing everybody kind of like craning to look up at him.
But he is a enormous bloke called John coffee. Yeah.
Dan: Who looks just
Peter: like the drink, but spelt different.
Sidey: Yeah. And he describes how, He
is in there for the crime that we saw at the very start, where there was the big man hunt across the fields.
He is been found guilty of the rape and murder of these two young girls.
And so he is public enemy number one. Yeah. As it were.
Dan: Oh, yeah. I mean, they they've been calling for, for him and he's now in jail and obviously the, the wardens they're scared, you know, a little bit just because he's intimidating
Sidey: an intimidating. presence
Dan: But you look at him and he, he looks like a little kid he's, he's scared in his face, kind of eyes are looking everywhere and you can see the worry on his face and they, they lead him in and he causes no trouble other than just with his size.
Trying to get him in and out places. But then they, they get him into the cell. Don't they? And it's like, right. Jobs done, lights out. Yeah. And
Peter: He, and, and one of the first things that, like you say, he, he kind of walks in, you think brutal crime, enormous guy. This is like, got a big potential for, for disaster. But when they leave him in hisself for the first time, he just quietly asks if the lights can be left on cuz he's frightened under the dark
Dan: of the dark and, and that kind of gives you all you need to know about, you know, it's ridiculous and it's somebody so big, who's been accused and sentenced to a crime.
So horrible would be afraid of the dark.
straight away you you're thinking, oh, okay. There's more, more to this than. Than the I,
Rupert: But also it does play on prejudices. And I don't think we've mentioned this yet.
Obviously race is a huge factor of America that time you know, slavery was abolished, but there was still massive racist divides. And so that
Sidey: big, that guy is just raped and killed two white girls.
Rupert: So, so as an audience member, you are forced to as the film to think, right. Okay. You know, you are almost put in the, in the position of the people who've accused him and thought, right.
They've made an assumption based on how he looks. Yeah. And therefore he is guilty. And so you're set up straight away with this kind of,
Sidey: well, also he was found.
Rupert: Yeah. I mean, there is that
Sidey: he was found with the
two girls holding crying and holding them, crying and So,
Peter: and saying
Sidey: didn't look great I mean
Peter: and also like shouting saying, I, I, I wanted to take it back, but it was too late. And so,
Sidey: yeah so
it's not a great look,
Peter: but also I've just remembered in the very opening sequence, even before they show like the, the, the, you know, like what is obviously a police hunt for, for these girls, they show what is, looks like a chain gang.
It's like a load of like African American. Inmates, seemingly all, all working on the chain with the, with the pickaxes and so on. So it's of that time where it wasn't because they're wearing prison clothing, that's the assumption. But and it, obviously he comes in, in inmates, clothing in the chains and
It's it's deep south, isn't it, we're in kind of Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana, that kind of area. Isn't it. So always had that, that bottom viewer society and the kind of prejudice that they've they've got around there. So yeah, that's the undercurrent all the way through it.
but it doesn't seem so with Hanks, you know, Hank seems a generally nice bloke and he's never not played a generally nice bloke.
Is he, is he right? It doesn't matter. Even if he hasn't in this, he is
Sidey: he just takes him at face value. You know, he treat me well, I'll treat you
with respect You know he doesn't he's not, I
Peter: I think if you do a job like that, You know, it's gonna be his, his big thing because obviously this Percy's behavior. So at one point for absolutely no reason, he just smashes the fingers of Dell one or the other inmates who's on the face of things, quite a sweet,
old, French American Cajun
Sidey: French friends
Peter: Yeah. And he just smashes his fingers that are like hanging out the cell and breaks three of his fingers and, and Hanks gives him a dressing down and just basically say, goes, look, we, we want them calm. These guys are all fucking rapist and killers. And what we don't wanna be doing is rattling their cages literally, but metaphorically as well.
Sidey: Dell also has a mouse, which we should
Peter: well the mouse hasn't didn't doesn't come into. I thought the mouse was in it right from the get go. But the mouse introduces himself. Oh,
Sidey: Oh that's right
Peter: A little bit into the film, but I think the first kind of. Thing worth mentioning beyond, like now we've gone through the establishment part is the next bit of establishment is the process of the electrocutions cuz the, the native American guys Arlan, who hasn't really featured prominently, but he's the first to get up and go.
They have this old guy. Tut, I think his name is who's basically. I don't, I don't really know. It's kind of like a janitor sort
Rupert: Yeah, I think so.
Sidey: His name's Tutut smoke
Peter: There we go. Like the three train. Fantastic. And he, what he does is he, like they have to every day or whenever it is like periodically, they have to go through the like the routine, the rehearsal of the electrocution.
So he gets it, he's going walk in the mile, walk in the mile. And then he walks to the chair and he's like sitting in the chair and they call the chair old Sparky. And it's nice for these things to have nicknames so that they. Feel like left out or anything. So you see the, the process pretty sort of like carefully and closely the wedding of the sponge that might come into it a bit later on and they roll through it.
And I think at this point Percy's just joining in with the, with the rehearsal bit. He's taking a real keen interest in, in how it all works.
mad. That is the best thing that they came up with. I mean,
Peter: surely just to sh just shoot him straight in the head. And that's far more humane,
Dan: you know, 10 people always pointed.
Rupert: I find that I found that, do you know what this is the first time I actually watched the film. I remember seeing it maybe years ago, but this is the first time I'd sat down and properly seen it. So I didn't really know what to expect. Yeah. But one of the first things that shot me was like, I can't believe they actually did that.
I can't believe they sat down and had a,
Sidey: I got an audience
in to watch you know, let's all sit down.
Rupert: I thought that was.
As bar Barrack as the actual execution itself in a way, you know, and people sort of, it seem, it seems almost perverse.
Sidey: Well then you, then you get into the whole sort of, you know, moral thing about, you know, is it right?
Do that, can you ever be 100% sure you're taking someone's life. Can
Peter: but yeah, there's definitely, even in those times, there's more humane ways of offering somebody.
And shooting them straight in the head is, is one of
Dan: maybe it was seen as a punishment and a deterrent as well.
Peter: Well, yeah, it's
Dan: was that kind of thing. So people would say that is you don't ever want to be doing anything that would put you in that place.
Peter: anyway, Arlan goes to the chair, takes it like a champ and we see like all the light di and everything.
And that's kind of like the first kind of real sort of shocking part of the film because I, I remember watching it for the first time knowing. That Stephen King's name was attached to it. And just assuming at that point that Stephen King only did like horrible. Horrible.
Sidey: It's gonna go down.
Peter: Yeah. Horrible horrors.
Dan: Incredible though. Isn't it? This comes from the mind of Stephen King. Who's already given so many books, films, ideas, the
Sidey: got a sta for
you horrors, Well, more than 30 of his works have been turned into films.
Peter: Wow. Wow. That is prolific.
Rupert: And you know, the way he writes, he doesn't plan it at all.
Dan: He just lets it
Rupert: He just lets so he he'll start off with a sentence. Sometimes. Sometimes he'll have a, a slight idea in his head or, you know, that's it.
So he'll start off with a, with a sentence paragraph and off he goes and then just, he doesn't know who's coming. He doesn't know the characters. He doesn't that's impressive. He doesn't know how it
Dan: you know, you know, he's 666 years old as well. It's fucking bizarre.
Peter: well, what something I did know about, I never read the, the book of this, but what he deliberately did with this is he serialized
Yeah I didn't want people to just going to the end,
Peter: end because he said even his mum. Would like read books and just go straight to the end to read what happened at the end.
So he just maybe, well, maybe his excuse was, it was cuz of his mum, but maybe he hadn't thought at the end and that's why he just kept like serializing. It that's.
Rupert: that is a, that is a criticism of Stephen King is that his endings are poor. But I,
Peter: Oh right.
Rupert: I don't wanna skip ahead, but,
Not in this case. I think we
can. say that yeah,
So we are a man down on the green Mar, so we need, we need a new inmate
one. Yeah. And
Peter: we get, and this was my first ever.
Rockwell. So good like experience. And I remember watching it the first time, like fucking hating this guy. Yeah. But thinking what a good actor.
Yeah. Like what a brilliant
Dan: it makes you, it makes you, you've gotta try and forget about the hang go.
This guy's just an actor because
Peter: I dunno. If was he a relative newcomer at this stage? What had he been in? Because he's obviously been in quite a lot since,
Sidey: he might have been in confessions of a dangerous minds, but maybe that came after
Peter: mean his best film's galaxy quest.
We can all
Sidey: Oh I haven't seen that. yet
Peter: Oh, it's amazing. You wanna see how good Sago Weaver looks in that
Sidey: looks at that? Anyway, he, yeah, he's so as irritating as Percy is this guy
Peter: he's next
Sidey: he's next level, but from. Prisoner aspect. So you've got a fucking asshole warden and you've got a dickhead.
Peter: Well, his introduction is good cuz they have to go and pick him up from the effectively the asylum
Sidey: you dribbling
Peter: yeah, but he's been given a, sort of a clean bill of mental health and he's actually fit to go and like sit in the chair for, I think there was a, there was like a a hold up and like he, you know, six people died or something like that.
So they go and pick him up and he's like catatonic. So he's naked. They have to dress him. He's dribbling every. Percy's obviously realizes he can, there's a weakness there so he can abuse him. So he does. And then as soon as they get into the mile, He just like snaps out of it. Cuz he's faking, it sticks his chains around one of their necks starts like strangling and he's like giving it all the yeha, like this guy's a loose cannon.
Yeah. And there's a bit where Percy's got the co or bit of the fuck you call it like the trench and thing and could whack him, but he's just like absolutely frozen with fear. So it needs the big fella to come in and take him down. But yeah, by this time the, the, the mouse has been introduced. He's just a little mouse that keeps running in and, and
Dan: kind of turns our French prisoner into like the bird man of Alcatraz. But he's the, the
Sidey: the mouse man,
Peter: Well, the, the mouse keeps like outsmarting them, like going under doors and then they can't find him on the other side. And so, but he ends up becoming adopted by Dell.
Sidey: What's his name Mr
Peter: Mr. Jingles
Sidey: Yeah jingles
Peter: Yeah. One thing we haven't mentioned is Tom Hanks has a real load of bother taking a piss.
Sidey: Yeah. Like razor blades.
Peter: He's got a urine retract infection.
Dan: no, you remember? I think if you had it. Yeah, yeah, no. You clean bit of health
Sidey: No, I never had that. No,
Peter: You, you are the one that always has the trouble with the plumbing and stuff.
Dan: Well yeah, not, not. That kind of sense, but yeah, it's I was just interested because I know a friend of ours.
Peter: Friend of ours. Oh, a friend. Yeah.
Dan: I a friend. Yeah, yeah. PLO.
Peter: oh yeah.
this this may be another
Peter: another one. Yeah. That'll be another pod so that this has become sort of escalating as well. He's like waking up in the middle of the night and having to like. Go out in the garden and have like the most horrifically painful piss on his knees and then like falling into the piss with relief afterwards and stuff.
Dan: And it's the kind of problem.
It ain't getting fixed in 1935. He's gonna have to just suffer with that. So it is bloody horrible. You can see that it's causing him a great deal of pain and as he goes about, and he, he runs a tight ship, but he is firm and fair. He, he tries to be fair to all the prisoners, even Percy. He tries to give him.
Kind of, you know, chance to, to improve, to learn. He praises him when he can and, and all the rest of it. He wants to bring him in his part of the team. But with, with Sam Rockwell and Percy there's always, and, and Mr. Jangles, there's always gonna be fun. Isn't there?
Peter: Yeah. So bill wild bill, I can't remember what his name, full name is. Sam Rockwell's character.
Sidey: will Warton
Peter: The the,
Peter: Warton, the only way they can tame him. Is with the, the threat of the, the padded tail at the end of the corridor. Cause I think he pisses on a, one of the guards.
Sidey: He does the moon pie thing where
Peter: the moon pie
Sidey: he has a whole This moon pie thing and he just keeps it his mouth.
And is, is it Percy that he spits on
or is it is it B
Peter: the big fell. Yeah. It's Bru.
Sidey: Or like he smash, smashes his cheeks together. Doesn't he? And just gobs all this stuff all over his face. And you like, you're in there, you're in the hole for that one.
Peter: Yeah. So we see that develop and then eventually. because we, we've not mentioned John coffee enough at this stage, but he one day as Paul is, is near his cell, he Becks him over. He knows that he's having trouble in the toilet department. So he pulls him over and effectively pins him to the, to the cell,
Sidey: his Dick,
Peter: grabs his Dick. And you can see like, Paul's trying to go for his gun, but this guy's so fucking physically strong.
Doesn't allow him to get his gun and you see the lights dim. And the next thing, Paul falls to his knees and John coffee sits back down on his bed. And then. Opens his mouth and what I, at first I thought were like bees or
Sidey: so Candyman Ash
Peter: like Ash. Yeah.
Sidey: Yeah. Sort
Peter: is kind of like
Yeah. He's coughing. And then all this Ash just comes out of his, out of his mouth and then, and then he gets awful tired,
Dan: which is
Sidey: the and this is going
Dan: what he's just done, he's got special healing powers and we always suspected that it, there might be more than meets the eye here. And this big, old friendly
Is just taken the, the pain from,
Sidey: yeah It's just going try to take a piss now. You can't.
Dan: Hanks is Hanks is 18. Again, he can't believe it. You know, everything's working, he's bright as a button.
The misses get goes out
Dan: spin. Like, you know? Yeah. He's its just like a new day, you know?
Peter: mean, you say, you say he takes his job seriously, but he Fox work off the next morning just so he can rattle his
Sidey: this is overtime So
Dan: Pete let's be fair. Let's be fair.
Peter: I haven't so yeah, that's so that's the introduction to the special
Dan: And, and, and so now what we, we find out that coffee's got these healing powers and Hanks now is in this kind of mold dilemma, because he's beginning to think
Sidey: this guy's not a killer.
Dan: This guy is not a killer. This guy is not the droid we're looking for.
Peter: Well, he, he goes to see the, the lawyer, the the effectively, I think it must have been the prosecution lawyer. I don't, I didn't, I
Rupert: he was, he was defending John coffee.
Peter: Oh okay. He the, but he was adamant the guy, his adamant John Coffey had, had done it.
Sidey: Open his shut
Dan: And, and I think there's another quote or a little bit later on. He, he, he says, you know, back in those days, there's no appeal for, for people like John Coffey.
Yeah. In the system you've just been caught doing this or, and a jury of your peers has found you guilty. There's no appeal. This is it.
Rupert: He, he compares it to, so he brings his son in. Do you remember he brings his son, right. And we see his son's been injured. Yeah. And he says, essentially he compares John to a dog.
He said, you can trust him, but eventually you'll get bitten. Yeah. So again, that links back to sort of these prejudices that were around and
Peter: I mean, it's an UN it's not UN even unfortunate.
It's just a horrible kind of like yeah. Speech about how. People like John coffee aren't trustworthy. You can, like, he even says, you know, they don't really serve any purpose, but they're nice to have about kind of thing. So that's the prejudice that he would've been up against anyway,
and particularly chilling when they're telling that to a child, isn't
Peter: well in front of a
Dan: kind of brings it up him up to, to believe the same. And that's what my dad, you know, so,
Sidey: so do we, do we move on now to the next execut?
Peter: Yeah. Well, the, the reason why this happens is because it's become apparent that Percy has been offered effectively another job in the, I think the psychiatric hospital.
Yeah. Which sounds like it's better pay better hours.
Sidey: They won't they want rid of him. They want rid of him.
Peter: They want rid of him. They want rid of him. So they're, they're now finding out why is he hanging around in, in death row when he could be taking his job and they come to the conclusion and then address it with him. It's because he wants to be out the front an execution.
He basically wants
Dan: he wants to tick that
Peter: Yeah. He wants to look, basically look in so where you can't see their eyes cuz they're under a hood, but he wants to yeah. Fully get off on it.
Sidey: So they give him a bit more responsibility. Yeah. For,
Dan: to get him out the door. It's almost like an agreed position. They'll say, look, let do this one. Then it'll take the job and we can get back to being the team we were
Sidey: who was it? Dell.
Peter: so before the next execution, there's a scene where Percy Percy's actually changed his demeanor a little bit because it's one, it's not making him many friends. Not that he wants to make friends, but he's, he's clearly an outsider. But also what he wants is what they want, which is for him to go up front.
Yeah. See an execution so that they can then get rid of him and he's like, tick that box and then you can move on. And he kind of like starts being a little bit more sort of, you know, not friendly as, but most kind of like snidey bullies would be to get his own way, but his, he kind of drops his guard and he wanders a bit too close to wild Bill's cell who grabs him and like, and I think he's like, you know, he's like trying to stick his finger up his ass, through his like trousers and everything.
And he's like whispering horrible things in his ear about gonna fuck him and that. And eventually he lets go. But he stumbled to the other side of the of the, of the, the mile. And you find out he's pissed himself and whilst no one only like the other inmates are, are like, obviously wild bill is, but Dell's having a good laugh, cuz he's been horrible to Dell the whole time.
So, and Percy's like seeing Dell, like laughing at him,
Sidey: He's not having it
Peter: And not long thereafter. Mr. Jingles has been taught tricks by, by Dell it's jingles.
Dan: I'll go with Jangles.
Peter: Okay. Well I've got it written down here. it's probably the accent. Mr. Jangles.
Dan: Who, who do you think Ru
Rupert: I'm going Jangles.
Peter: Well, it's, it's written here
Dan: it's the
Sidey: I also have it written as jingles,
but who cares?
Because he gets he gets stomped.
Peter: He does get stomped. He's chasing this like cotton reel across the, across the mile. And yeah, he gets stamped by Percy. Who's like fucking horrible about it. And this is another one where we see John coffee. Now resurrect.
Peter: the recently crushed
Jingles. Yeah. Not Jangles, totally different mouse. Jangles. Yeah.
Dan: So is it jingles or Jangles? Is he Jangles, right?
Peter: Yeah. we have Dell's execution,
Sidey: which is is
Peter: much fun,
Dan: which is not much fun. Go back to that sponge that where sponge, you said a little while ago and we've got the man in charge charge, Percy. Who, who neglects to wet the sponge?
Sidey: Well, yeah, he's, he's not satisfied with just having stomped the mouse. Now he's front, he's got re responsibility, but he knows what has to be done. The, the sponge has to be wet.
Dan: he conducts the electricity through. Otherwise you
Sidey: efficiently Otherwise, you get what we see, which is one of the most fucking brutal film kills of all time.
Peter: how so Ruper in your first experience of this, how did you feel?
Rupert: Well, what I loved about it was that, you know, what's coming. Yeah. Because you see, you see the previous scene where they wet the sponge, you see the whole process it's placed on the head. The strap comes on, you know, job done this time.
Obviously, Percy, you see his eyes, you see him think about it. And obviously the sponge doesn't come in. So as well as knowing. What's gonna happen. You know, the audience doesn't know what's gonna happen. Yeah. And the rest of them. So that you've got this scene and the clock's ticking, it's ticking. It's ticking to the point where obviously at midnight, whatever time it is, it's gonna happen.
Yeah. So sponge goes on the head dry. We know that as an audience member, they don't, the CLA goes on the thing over his face comes down and then you see Tom Hanks his face and he slowly sees the floor it's dry and he realize.
water's not in the sponge. Yeah. And within seconds to go, he says, well, he tries to stop it.
Yeah. But that point roll on too.
Sidey: and it is fucking brutal. And to the point where they're thinking, we have to turn this, you can't stop it halfway through. We gotta go through this now. And his eyes are on fire. Like the, the
herd over his eyes
Dan: he's burning up. They're
Sidey: It's fucking absolutely horrific It's I
Peter: didn't re obviously the first time I would've watched it had fucking shocked the life out of me, but even on the second or third watch, whatever this.
It is it, it is just go, is so drawn out and protracted to the point where it's fuck it is absolutely horrifying. It's probably what Stephen King is kind of synonymous for like this like gruesome fucking shit.
Rupert: the audience can smell him and they're trying to escape and they're
Dan: You almost can at home.
Rupert: and you can imagine what it's like.
Yeah. It's just
Dan: All hair burning and everything eyes.
think then you see him on a, on a gurney, like in a body bag, like don't you and Percy's there
face melt Yes absolutely
Peter: Even Percy, you can see in Percy's face it cut cuts a couple of times to him. And it's kind of gone from pleasure to like terror because he's,
Dan: he, he realizes he's gone too far.
Yeah. Yeah. And it's yeah. Is, is horrible. And that kind of, if ever.
Sidey: well don't they stick him don't they stick him in the, in the pad itself for
Peter: that they, they do. But what, what happens straight after that is the warden guy. This, I forgot the guy's name.
Sidey: James Cromwell, James Cromwell, Oliver brother
Peter: Oliver Cromwell. So whilst we're talking about height,
Sidey: he's a
Peter: He's six foot seven.
Sidey: Yeah, he's taller.
Peter: taller So he's actually two inches taller than Michael Clark Duncan. Who's six, five, and the other guy, David Morris is six foot four and a half or whatever. And Tom Hanks is six foot. Like these aren't like little short people, but they've obviously done sort of, you know, camera trickery and clever angles and everything.
Sidey: They Dan AED, his prison cell
Sidey: they did
they made all the furniture.
Peter: a really niche joke. Like that's only people in Jersey will get that.
Rupert: Just thinking of height. Are we, are we thinking Percy's got extreme small man syndrome because he does seem very, very small compared to the rest of
Peter: they've probably, I dunno what height the actor is, but they've made him seem like very Domin compared to everybody else.
But the warden comes down and addresses what just happened because he's saying it's gonna take five years to get that smell out of it. The audience were fucking horrified. People are being sick
Sidey: Yeah Well, yeah. I've but
Peter: But what we haven't mentioned is at the same time is, is the warden's wife has affected, she's been diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Yeah. That there's been x-rays and she is not long for this world.
Dan: Sorry. The warden is babes
Peter: yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Babe picking the city.
Sidey: I love a comma.
Peter: Yeah. So that's obviously. Part of it because he's, they keep asking the warden, especially Tom Hanks is asking the warden how his wife's getting on and saying, oh, it'll all be okay.
Turns out one of the scenes quite like upsetting where he's like, like I, they, they gave him the news. I guess they probably did that back in those days, they give the husband the news. He's like, I've gotta tell my wife that she's gonna die. So
Sidey: So don't bring her up to this big black guy. We've got, we sort you
Yeah. So, so this is, this is where they, they hatch the plan. Yeah. So this guy's got healing hands. They know that Percy's a piece of shit. They know that. So they throw Percy in the, in the padded cell.
Peter: Dress it up as I, this is retribution for everything that you've done, but they want him out the way they drug wild bill.
And put him in his cell. And then they take John coffee out to the, to the warden's house in the dead of the night. Haven't explained this story to the warden, which I think probably was a bit of an error cuz he comes out and sees them getting off. I think at first he thinks John coffee
well, he he's had to convince his, his mates there as well to do all this isn't he?
So he's, he's you know,
Rupert: this, this, this is the part of the film, which I sort of kind of struggle with. Cause I'm like, what was the reason? Why did they take such a risk? I, I, I can't, I can't remember why they took such a risk. Well,
Dan: I can only assume that it's the respect they got for Hanks. And he said, look, this happened, yeah, this really happened.
You know, I was struggling here. He's fixed it. Mr. Bojangles
Peter: him bring a, a mouse back to life, right. So they know that this is, this is like genuine healing powers that he has. But also by this time, Tom Hanks is fully convinced that that John coffee has not committed these
Peter: And all of the other guys are on board with that
Sidey: I think they've they've had the con and that's just, I couldn't take it back, you know, I tried to help them, but I couldn't take it.
But he's said, you know,
Dan: they start to understand, take it back. Was the poison, the death, the pain. It was. He's got this ability to, to draw out pain or illness or virus or whatever it is yeah. From people and then expel it out of his mouth at great costume.
So physically, it makes him very tired, but that is what he tried to do with the girls. And that
Sidey: he it was too
Dan: him, him saying, I, I can't take it back. I couldn't take
Peter: it's it was
Dan: obviously misinterpreted as him having murdered them.
Rupert: Yeah. Just my point on that is. They do they, do they actually ask John if he's alright with it, because he goes through such pain yeah. To heal people. And that's obviously a Testament to his character cuz he's happy. Well, he, he does it because he wants to do it. But I just remember that it's
Peter: his, his, so how they portray it for me is that they basically, he gets asked a lot of questions that he doesn't know the answer to and they effectively. I guess portray him is a very simple guy.
Right. But he has this like unbelievable power and he can't explain it, but he feels the pain, but he also, it's not just when he's doing the healing, when Dell's getting like burnt to death, like slowly he's in his cell. And it's, he's mirroring all of like the, you know, the dramatic kind of movements that Dale's making.
So I think he, it kind of suggests, and it says it a little bit later that he fills all of the pain of the world that he, but he wants to. He's almost like a, a guardian angel and he wants to help these people. So that's why he's on board with it. I agree with your, like what you're saying there, that.
In, in the, in the context of say reality, that's a big sell to like the, the rest of the inmates.
It'd be like, yeah, I know this guy's good, but what, like, but like boost him out of the jail. I mean, they could have just let him go, but I guess that would've like, he's pretty recognizable on the road or whatever. But anyway, it does happen, I guess. I guess if you, if you can get on board with the healing thing, you can get on board with this like little sort of yeah.
Dan: we'll go. And he, he goes to the wardens house and the wife meets her.
Peter: Yeah, I I'd misremembered this. I thought it was gonna be like a bit of a, like an Exorcist scene where she's like, like this massive guy comes in the room and she's oh, fucking get away from me and out, like, but straight away, she almost, even though she's fucked, like
Dan: she kind of senses,
Peter: she just almost like senses.
And like, she calms down straight away. He sits on the bed and he, and like, she asks him his name and everything and he says it again, like John coffee, like the drink, but spellt different. And then she, he, he basically gets off with her. He goes straight in for the Frenchie. Yeah. Which is quite hot. Yeah.
I mean, even if it it'd be funny, if it hadn't worked,
Dan: the ward, in here at this stage is kind of
You know, he's like, he's fantasized
Rupert: boys, are you sure?
Peter: he's like, I'll watch a DVD like this actually. But so he,
but, coffee works his magic.
Peter: does it, he does it again. But this time what's distinctive is, is he's almost like fighting to, to swallow the, the badness.
And you're wondering why that is. And, and I don't know if they say he's done it for a reason. Anyway, we find out what the, what the reason is. And so the wife is fine basically immediately.
And the warden's overjoyed and you start thinking now this is when you are like getting towards the home story, are this fucking amazing redemptive story where he's gonna be fine and they're all gonna move into one big house together. And like the girls will get resurrected and the, and the kid will get his I a and it's gonna be a nice, happy ending.
Sidey: But he, he he has internalized that evil or whatever it is. He's got the power that we didn't know about where he can actually then transmute that if
And he, they, he passes it on to Percy, which sends him Dalley.
Peter: Yeah. So Percy.
Sidey: So he goes to the asylum, but not as an, as a
Peter: right, but it's this really important this, but they give.
He, he grabs Percy, obviously gobs all the, the bad stuff into his mouth. Yeah. They're trying to stop him doing it, but they can't, again, he's too physically strong. And then what happens is Percy wanders up the corridor?
And just gets outside while bill sell. He's get, he's gone on one of his, like tirades, lots of effing and Jeff and stuff.
And Percy just guns him down. And whilst he's doing that, John, Coffey's saying he's a bad man. He's a bad man. Cuz there's a point earlier in the film where, where, while bill grabs John coffee's, he's going past and you, you don't know what he can see, but he's, he has a moment there, like some more light
Dan: kind of reads his mind or
Sidey: He done it
Peter: And so what coffee then does, is grab Tom Hanks and says, you need to see this. He like holds his hand out and he effectively gives him the vision that he saw, which is you find out that it was wild. Bill was painting at this house. There was the two girls. It's a fucking sinister. You don't see the actual, like, like murder or anything like that itself, but you see it where he gets the two girls in the room and he says to one.
If you are not quiet, I'll kill your sister. And if you are not quiet, I'll kill your sister. And yeah, you, you fill in the blanks
Peter: So that I guess draws a, it kind of like ties a nice bow around wild bill. And with Percy, Percy goes to the asylum, ironically, as, as
Dan: but we don't get our happy ending in that regard. Do we? Because the wheels of justice are not stopping to turn even in the wrong direction.
Sidey: now tired, you know, he's tired of it all. Yeah. Yeah. To the extent where he's like, no, it's okay. You know, I, I want this,
I want go So he's saying that I want that fucking execution. It's like, whoa,
man, come on. Which
Dan: Which happens? The
Sidey: Well he built, well be beforehand. He says, but you know, I, I just have all this misery.
I feel everyone's pain. I just wanna see something good can watch just before we go, I wanna watch a film and that's top hat, which just watch Tom Hank was crying at, at the start of the
Peter: So, interesting fact is that this film, I think in the book is set in 1932, but the, for the film, they brought it forward to 1935, because top hat had been released
Sidey: by Oh right Okay
Peter: I might be wrong, but I think that's why they changed the year from the book to the film.
Dan: what Stephen King was going. I actually wrote it just right.
Yeah Yeah. Yeah.
Sidey: Yeah But there's an important sort of finale moment where.
Tom Hanks, then back to elderly, Tom Hanks, we cut back to, you know, he's told the whole story now of John coffee.
Peter: Well, we've not the execution
Sidey: Well, just Stan, just like brushed over and
said he's dead
Dan: over it.
Peter: so, oh, Jesus. Yeah. Well, I know as a west fan, I know
Sidey: I don't wanna talk about it
Peter: you think like
Sidey: Why you think like that? I don't, I don't wanna talk about too much. Cause very emotional.
Dan: Yeah, that's
Peter: I think that there is one point in part of it where he asked to not have the hood
Sidey: scared of the dark Yeah So you have to watch someone's face melt again
Peter: down on the absolute blobbing that I was experiencing the first time watching
Sidey: the first time watching this. Yeah. So yeah. Then we got, so Tom has told the story we've got all the back story, but then it's like the mouse, obviously reappears, Mr.
Bo jangle, jingle Jangles who is now something like a thousand years old. Yeah. In mouse years. But he, if he hears something like 80,
Peter: yeah, yeah, yeah,
And he's like,
Peter: and thanks
Dan: comes in here every now and again, you know?
Sidey: know Yeah. So to Hanks, whilst still being elderly still has a fucking shitload of years left to go.
If the mouse has got, and he's like, that's my curse, you know,
Peter: Yeah. So you, it transpires that, that Paul is now 106. Yeah. Not looking 106. He's going off for walks every day. He's still got all his faculties and everything and he.
Questions, whether or not this is his curse. He, because he effectively let an innocent man go to the chair, knowing he was innocent and he's outlived all of his loved ones. There's even like an extra little like gut punch that he sees his mate, Elaine from the old folks home he's at her funeral as well.
Yeah. And I guess that's the, how many more funerals is he gonna have to, you know, be at
Rupert: He's kind of absorbed coffee's curse, which is coffee. He absorbed the pain and then he's got carrying on the mantle. Yeah. I'll be honest. I don't, I thought the ending, I could have turned off 10 minutes before I think.
Dan: right. Yeah. Just didn't go. That's
Rupert: my opinion.
But uh I just think
Dan: well did, but the rest of the film, did it carry enough weight with you that you could enjoy even with, with the, the kind of game of Thrones ending?
Rupert: It was on, it was one of the best films. I can't believe I I'd not seen it. It was, it was brilliant.
Loved it at first
Sidey: bit emotional a little bit emotional
Rupert: Yeah. And particularly, so, so going back to when, when they killed John coffee and you see Tom Hanks and the rest of the rest of the guards, what, what, what's more
Dan: still too early for me.
Rupert: nothing Sader than knowing someone's been wrongfully.
Yeah. Yeah. Convicted. Yeah. His name was not cleared because at the end there were still people in the courtroom. Yeah. The parents of the kids were screaming, saying he's a monster, da, da. Yeah. Yeah. And the fact. The prison guards had to remain professional. And even just as they're gonna say, you know, roll on two, you see Paul he's holding on and he thinks,
Rupert: and you think at this moment, could he back out and say, no, this man needs to live.
And yeah. Yeah, he execute and that's just heartbreaking.
Peter: compounded by the fact, I mean, he's saved that woman's life, like he's, he's, you know, taken her brain tumor away. God knows how many of these, like
Sidey: How many has he saved Yeah
Peter: He's like made Tom Hanks' Willie work again as
Sidey: well. Which, Yeah.
God Yeah. Thank God yeah. So we mentioned before over 30 of Stephen King's works have been adapted to movies. This is the. Only one that broke the hundred million mark at the box office, really until it,
yeah, until it so
Dan: So he is had a couple what, how in, in the number of films, where, where did this? Isn't
Sidey: five one I dunno.
Dan: I, I dunno if
Sidey: D I DT even know what you're
Dan: be interesting.
Sidey: in chronological
order You mean
Dan: Just see how, how many he'd had before this one.
Sidey: Oh good Whack Yeah. Fair few.
Peter: My, my, because I've always avoided horror, right. But I'm aware there's probably a load. I wanna say things like misery or
Sidey: yeah misery? shining
Peter: Okay. Shining obviously.
And obviously like you, you guys know that I avoided shining for for years. Not because I thought it'd be shit, but because I didn't want to fucking piss the bed that night. Right. But this, I think if I recall rightly or certainly how I felt, this was where he kind of like broke into the mainstream as a film where all audiences got something from it, even though yeah.
There are horror elements in it
stand by me, him as well. We all know that's
Peter: good. Okay. Yeah. Yes. Stand by
Sidey: me So average
Peter: So. But this, this seemed to kind of really like break through and hit a much wider audience than which obviously those, those
Sidey: Shank before this as well.
Peter: Is that him as well?
Peter: He's right. With a quell in his hand.
Sidey: Yeah. It's it's so this budget was 60 million fist,
Dan: that's I tell you what that is a bargain. In it for this, if you say of all the films that you've watched and money you've know that's been spent on films, you have film like this 60 million
Peter: When you think the set? I think they built a prison.
Sidey: Yeah. It's pretty bankable like Tom Hanks, you know, Stephen King, Frank Darron. It's like a lot of the building blocks from shore Shan came into this. So we know I've already given the game that made more than a hundred, but how much do you think, do
Rupert: Do you know what? I actually know this? Cause I, I saw on Wikipedia, so I won't, I won't give it.
Dan: No, I, I reckon this is double hundred,
Sidey: 287. mill Wow. And
probably plus more than that on home
Dan: renting. Yeah. Okay. Just,
Rupert: just quickly going back to the budget, it's actually, the whole film was pretty much all in one scene.
Yeah. Obviously there's some scenes at pulls house. You
Sidey: could have been a play.
Do you know what I mean? Yeah. It could have been on stage just blah,
Rupert: and you, and you are captivated the whole time, despite it taking place in essentially one corridor
Peter: considering, or again with, for your first viewing, this is a three hour film. Did. I mean, I watched it again today. I, it, on, in the back, I've seen it before, so I had it on the background Whil.
I was working in inverted commerce, but it didn't drag this time round either. And even as a first is captivating, isn't
Rupert: it? Well, first I thought three hour film. Cheers for the homework. But I, I just didn't wanna take my eyes away, you know, just even an hour in, I was thinking, I hope this, even after an hour, you're still in the kind of setup it, it does not that it drags, but it's, it's you.
Yeah. You're captivated the whole
Sidey: It takes its
Peter: Dell's execution is like halfway through the film and there's been a lot going on before that and there's still, yeah. Yeah. That is,
Dan: yeah, it's, it's a real big pick. And we've, we've got Chris, a researcher in tonight for us who let me know that the height of Percy is one meter 68.
Peter: That is
Dan: Sure. He's not a tall man. And this was the 46 film I believe
of the man's yeah. Carrie, would've been number one and then this got
Rupert: into 46.
Sidey: Okay. that's
That's good research
Sidey: Still however, cannot forgive Michael Clark Duncan for the slam and salmon, which is the worst
Peter: Oh, I
Dan: Yeah, that was shocking.
Peter: he he's, he's no longer with us to defend
Sidey: him I know So he is gonna have to take that to the grave.