History Main / TheGreenMile

1st Oct '13 8:19:07 PM Greenygal
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13th Apr '13 11:54:43 PM XFllo
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* Literature: ''Literature/TheGreenMilde''
* Film: ''Film/TheGreenMilde''

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* Literature: ''Literature/TheGreenMilde''
''Literature/TheGreenMile''
* Film: ''Film/TheGreenMilde''
''Film/TheGreenMile''
13th Apr '13 11:54:29 PM XFllo
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[[quoteright:206:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/green-mile-poster-0_2247.jpg]]

->''"This happened in 1932, when the state penitentiary was still at Cold Mountain. And the electric chair was there too, of course."''
-->-- '''Paul Edgecombe'''

1996 dramatic novel by Creator/StephenKing. Originally released as a SerialNovel in six installments.

The year was 1932 (1935 in the movie). John Coffey, a GentleGiant black man, has been condemned to die by the electric chair for the raping and killing of two young girls. What follows is a supernatural journey that not only reveals Coffey's wondrous powers, but proves he didn't do the crime. Sadly he [[DownerEnding still does the time]], but the journey toward Old Sparky changes the compassionate lead guard's life forever.

Eventually made into a movie in 1999, directed by Frank Darabont, who also directed ''TheShawshankRedemption'', and starring TomHanks. And like Shawshank, it was an Oscar charmer, if not a winner.
----
!!The book provides examples of:
* AgeWithoutYouth: See LongLived, below.
* AnachronismStew: Neither ''Allen's Alley'' nor ''Kay Kyser's Kollege of Musical Knowledge'' had premiered in 1932. King acknowledges this in the afterword.
** Though a ''{{Popeye}}'' Tijuana Bible was plausible, and the mouse could've been named Steamboat Willy after either the Mickey Mouse short or the BusterKeaton film it parodied.
* AngelUnaware: [[spoiler: John Coffey]] may or may not be an angel.
* AskAStupidQuestion: Warden Moores' wife, Melinda, has a brain tumor, which causes her to swear uncontrollably. When Paul is on the phone with Moores and asks him if he'll be home at the evening, he answers: "No, I'm taking Melinda out squaredancing. We're going to do-si-do, allemand left, and then tell the fiddler he's a rooster-dick motherfucker." [[ActuallyPrettyFunny Paul has to force himself not to laugh]].
* AttentionDeficitCreatorDisorder: Turning the novel into a serial helped make things more bearable for King.
* AxeCrazy: William "Wild Bill" Wharton.
* BenevolentBoss: Warden Hal Moores, while somewhat gruff and authoritative, nonetheless cares for the men under his charge, treats the prisoners decently enough, and is a devoted family man. Especially when placed in contrast with a certain ''other'' warden from [[TheShawshankRedemption a different Stephen King story]].
** Paul Edgecombe as well.
** AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: To show how tough he is, Edgecomb tells a story of how Moores faced down a prisoner with a shank. It ended with the prisoner on the ground with a broken wrist, calling for his mommy. Moores replies, "I'm not her, but if I were, I'd hike up my skirts and piss on you from the loins that gave you birth."
* BerserkButton: Wharton likes his nickname to be Billy the Kid, not Wild Bill. Wharton earns himself some time in solitary by abusing a guard. Paul Edgecombe calls him Wild Bill while applying a straitjacket, and gets back a writhing, agonized lecture about the difference between the two names. "Brutal" Howell proceeds to lean in to the restrained Wharton and push that red, shiny, jolly candy-like button with both hands.
* BigElectricSwitch: Labeled "Mabel's Hair Drier ''(sic)''"
* BlatantLies: "I didn't know the sponge was supposed to be wet."
* BlessedWithSuck: Coffey. "It's like pieces of glass in my head. All the time."
** Edgecombe's long life. "Sometimes there is absolutely no difference at all between salvation and damnation."
* CardCarryingVillain: Wharton, who awarded himself his own card. When Coffey calls him "a bad man" he responds: "That's right, [[PoliticallyIncorrectVillain nigger]]. Bad as you'd want."
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: Delacroix's botched execution. Its not called "The Bad Death of Eduard Delacroix" for nothing.
* CutTheJuice: Averted during Del's execution. Even though it goes horribly wrong, Paul orders his men to continue because shutting down and doing the whole thing again would be even more cruel.
* DeadlyDistantFinale: In each character's last appearance, Paul describes their eventual fate. Pretty much every major character in the book is covered.
* DeathByWomanScorned: Paul mentions that during his time, there was only one woman in the death row, who put up with years of her husband beating her, but when she found out that he's having an affair, she killed him right away.
* DecemberDecemberRomance: Paul and Elaine.
* DeepSouth
* DespairEventHorizon: Kathe and Cora Detterick's deaths, for their parents.
* DirtyCoward: Percy. Emphasis on ''dirty''.
* DisproportionateRetribution: See the NightmareFuel entry in the YMMV page? Percy did that because Delacroix laughed at him for pissing himself when Wharton grabbed him.
** The stupid bastard thought it would be a "cute little prank" to see what would happen if he didn't wet the sponge that they used to channel "Old Sparky's" shock into a person's brain. He got more than he bargained for, and Paul made sure he watched the entire thing.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:Edgecombe is spiritually broken after executing Coffey, and is still alive sixty years later, hoping he'll [[WhoWantsToLiveForever die before any more of his friends do.]]]]
* DramaticWind
* ElectricTorture: Not by the intention of most of the guards, who try and take care that the executions are quick, clean, and as painless as Old Sparky allows. But what happens in the ''Bad Death of Eduard Delacroix'' certainly qualifies.
* EmpathicHealer
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: The installment/chapter titled [[spoiler:"The Bad Death of Eduard Delacroix"]]
* FateWorseThanDeath: One can say Coffey inflicted this on Percy. And Paul. The former intentionally, the latter not.
* FieryCoverup: Part of the crime that put Delacroix on the Mile.
* FlyingDutchman: Paul, at least to some degree.
* ForcedToWatch: A rare example of it being done on a villain. While Delacroix is being slowly electrocuted to death due to Percy's actions, Paul forces Percy to watch the horror unfold after the latter turns away.
* FramingDevice: Georgia Pines nursing home.
* FullNameBasis: Most of the guards called John Coffey by his full name. Most of the other prisoners got nicknames like The Chief and The President.
* GentleGiant: John Coffey and Brutal Howell.
* HealingHands: [[spoiler:Coffey's powers require him to be able to touch his patients, as close to the injury as possible. Thus is he mistaken for a murderer: when the posse finds a ScaryBlackMan with a mangled white girl under each arm, bloody hands pressing their crushed skulls, who would believe he had found them that way and was trying to heal them using magic? Also creates an awkward situation when Coffey heals Edgecombe's groin infection.]]
* {{Irony}}: [[spoiler:Percy]] finally got to go to that hospital, [[spoiler:but not as a doctor]]...
** Similarly, Dean Stanton, [[spoiler:whom the other guards had protected on account of his kids, is the first of the four main guards to die.]]
* JerkAss: Percy Wetmore. Also Wharton.
* KarmicDeath: Delacroix, on Death Row for rape and murder by ''arson'', [[spoiler:basically burns to death during his botched execution]]
** [[spoiler: It was bad enough that even the victims' loved ones were shocked at the brutality of Percy's DisproportionateRetribution]]
* KickTheDog: Two by Percy; [[spoiler:when he stomps Mr. Jingles and what he says to Delcroix about Mousfield not existing before executing him.]]
* KickTheSonOfABitch: The prison guards do this to Percy ''a lot.''
* TheLancer: "Brutal" (although he also qualifies as a [[TheBigGuy Big Guy]].
* Tear Jerker: Far too many to count.
** The dead of Coffey. If you don't cry at that scene, you have no heart.
*** The death of Delacroix also counts. Sure, he was a criminal, but no being deserved to die like that.
**** Although Mr. Jingles gets better, his death is really sad. Not just because he was a pet and a harmless cute mouse, but also the reaction of Delacroix.
***** Think Coffey's death was bad? How about the speech he gives Paul when he offers him a chance to escape? Try not to cry with THAT scene.
* LastMinuteReprieve: Subverted; Edgcomb makes it a point to say the governor's line next to Old Sparky never rang. Both commutations (to a black woman who killed her womanizing husband and an insurance salesman who killed his father to collect the insurance money) were well before they were scheduled to be executed.
* LetThemDieHappy: A basic rule of the care of the condemned, and another reason Percy's a {{Jerkass}} is that he broke the rule with a condemned ''in the chair''...
* LongLived: [[spoiler:Paul and Mr. Jingles, as a result of being cured by John Coffey, wind up "cured" of everything for the rest of their lives. Functionally, this means they keep aging but are immune to everything that would eventually kill them. When Paul is telling the story, he's over 100, and Mr. Jingles - a freaking ''mouse,'' - is over 60. Paul considers it his [[WhoWantsToLiveForever punishment]] for allowing Coffey to be executed.]] However, [[spoiler:Mr. Jingles]] does finally die, so the punishment will end someday.
** [[spoiler:The average lifespan of a mouse is one and a half year, topping at 3. Mr. Jingles lived to see 60. If we follow the pattern, Paul will live up to 20 times the human lifespan, or about 1000 years for someone born at the early 20th Century.]]
* MagicalNegro: Literally.
* MagicalRealism: A textbook example. Psychic visions, supernatural healing and near-immortality are all plot points, but the real focus is on the fairly mundane story of a prison guard bonding with a wrongfully accused prisoner on death row.
* MeaningfulName: '''J'''ohn '''C'''offey - King even joked about how blatant it was in ''On Writing''.
** Percy '''Wetmore'''
** Inverted with Brutus "'''Brutal'''" Howell; despite being a rather [[TheBigGuy intimidating powerhouse of a man]], Paul [[LampshadeHanging acknowledges]] that he's [[GentleGiant really a very kind and noble person]], who rarely uses his size and strength to intimidate or harm others... except for Percy and Wild Bill, who both deserve it.
*** Could also be an averted case of NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast. Interesting that the main character's right-hand man is named [[Theatre/JuliusCaesar Brutus]].
* NobodyPoops: Heavily subverted, as Edgecombe's urinary infection became a plot point.
** Wharton pisses on a passing guard: promising "I'm also cooking up some turds to go with it, nice soft ones!", and scares Percy into [[BringMyBrownPants soiling himself]] with threat of buggery.
** Percy soils himself again (out both ends) [[spoiler:when Coffey infects him with the disease he took from Melinda, and then he goes catatonic.]]
* NotWhatItLooksLike: Dramatic example. Coffey is found with the bodies of the raped and murdered girls in his arms. When he's asked what happened, he says: "I couldn't help it. I tried to take it back, but it was too late!" Everybody assumes that he killed the girls, and was talking about his own murderous impulses.[[spoiler: Actually, he found them and tried to heal them, but it was too late for that.]]
* OffscreenVillainy: Used deliberately to allow audience sympathy. Remember, the men on death row are there because they were convicted of murder. Yet because we never witness the crimes of Delacroix or Bitterbuck, only their last days, we get to know them as people and not just criminals.
* OlderThanTheyLook: Paul comments on [[spoiler:Melinda]] retaining a youthful look through her older years due to [[spoiler:Coffey's healing powers]].
* PopculturalOsmosisFailure: At the guards' meeting that brought out the simple plan to cure Moores' wife, Paul's wife buts out by saying she's "visiting with Miss JaneAusten, and she's very good company." Harry immediately inquires as to Miss Austen's availability, and Brutal has to tell him that she's an author that's been dead for over a century.
* TheRainman: [[spoiler:Coffey, as well as being a MagicalNegro.]]
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Everyone throws one at Percy after what he does to Del.
---> '''Paul:''' You son of a bitch, you stand there and watch!
* ScaryBlackMan: Subverted. Coffey is big and scary looking, but gentle and childlike.
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections: Percy
** Later defied when the rest of the guards warn him not to tell anyone [[spoiler:that they straitjacketed him and locked him in solitary confinement]], reminding him that he's not the only one who knows people.
** [[spoiler:Elaine]] pulls this as well.
* SerialNovel: A very rare latter 20th-century example.
* ShoutOut: In editions released after TheMovie, Paul and his wife dance to [[Film/TopHat "Cheek To Cheek"]].
* SignificantMonogram: John Coffey.
* ASimplePlan: The entire scheme to [[spoiler:heal the Warden's wife, and the cover-up afterward]].
* SissyVillain: Percy.
* StupidityInducingAttack: [[spoiler:John Coffey does this to Percy, not through evil intentions but to remove the threat to his friends, resulting in the guard ending up in an insane asylum.]]
* SurvivorsGuilt: Paul Edgecombe
* TeamPet: Steamboat Willy a.k.a Mr.Jingles.
* ThisIsReality: Elaine guesses correctly that [[spoiler:Coffey was executed, because "Providence-with-a-capital-P is greatly overrated in the lives of ordinary humans"]]
** Similarly, Paul comments on how, in the movies, the governor's line to the execution room always rang right before the switch was pulled, and the contrast was that it never did ring in any of the 78 executions he took part in.
* [[spoiler:Coffey is TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth]]
* TooDumbToLive: Percy, Percy, ''Percy''.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Literally; King's wife asked the question and it led to the FramingDevice.
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: [[spoiler:Paul Edgecombe, at the end, wishes for death.]]
* YoungerThanTheyLook: By the time [[spoiler:Coffey's execution rolls around]], the 30-something parents of the two dead girls turned basically into an elderly couple from grief.
----
!!The movie provides examples of:
* BigNo: Del when Percy steps on Mr Jingles.
** Also Paul and the other guards when Percy shoots Wild Bill.
* DawsonCasting: The actor who played Percy, who is supposed to be 21, was 39 at the time. Also, Wild Bill was 19 in the novel, and was played by a 31 year old in the movie.
* TheDanza: Averted; Harry Dean Stanton was in the movie but played neither Harry Terwilliger nor Dean Stanton.
* GroinAttack: Wild Bill gives one to Paul during his little brawl with the guards. Having a urinary tract infection, this severely cripples him.
* LargeHam: Wild Bill, who would be pretty entertaining if he weren't such a disgusting, monstrous character.
* LastRequest: [[spoiler:Coffey receives his choice of dinner on the day of his execution as is standard, and Paul begs him to ask for other things, including a chance of escape to which he and the other guards would gladly turn the other way. John assures them that he is ready to die. Even earlier in the film, John tells them that he's never seen a "flicker show", so a projector is set up and he is allowed to watch the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers film ''Top Hat''.]]
--> [[spoiler:'''John:''' <''watching, entranced''> "They's angels... Angels, just like up in heaven..!"]]
** [[spoiler: Seeing ''Top Hat'' in his old age is enough to spook Edgecomb into telling his story to Elaine.]]
* MundaneMadeAwesome: Paul taking the most epic piss anyone has ever taken after his urinary infection is cured.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Wharton does this initially, with nearly lethal consequences when he drops the façade and attacks the guards.
* OscarBait
* PragmaticAdaptation: Some of the more rational explanations in the book are turned into supernatural explanations in the movie. [[spoiler:Instead of Paul figuring out who the actual killer was on his own, John Coffey gave him the information through his touch.]]
* PreAsskickingOneLiner: Harry Terwilliger gets his own back on Wild Bill after the latter urinates on him.
** "Piss on me?" (cue the fire-hose)
* PrecisionFStrike: "What in the blue '''fuck''' was that?!" From '''James Cromwell''', of all people, after Delacroix's horribly botched execution.
* ProtagonistCenteredMorality: After [[spoiler: John {{MindRape}}s Percy into killing William]], the good guys say they understand why he did it to Percy, but ask why he did that to William. They understand fully after TheReveal, but why did it take that long? William was established as already on death row for murder. They knew he'd done worse than Percy, just not on-screen.
** They're specifically asking why [[spoiler:''John'']] did it to Wharton. And they'd probably be right to ask: In the book it was mentioned that the two men didn't pass more than two dozen words past each other their entire time on the Mile, and half of those were when Wharton grabbed him.
* PsychopathicManchild: Wharton (type C) has an 8-year-old's sense of humor, but can be quite cunning, [[spoiler: and is a rapist pedophile]].
* RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil: Which is why Delacroix's crime was not mentioned in the film and why [[spoiler:Wharton]] is such a disgusting character.
* {{Retirony}}: Percy ending up a patient at the Briar Ridge Mental Institution, after being 'encouraged' to get a transfer there.
* ScullyBox: To make [=6'5''=] Michael Clarke Duncan ''taller''. Specifically, to ''tower'' over David Morse (Brutal, [=6'4''=]) and James Cromwell (Warden Moores); at [=6'7''=], Cromwell is one of the tallest actors in Hollywood, but you wouldn't know it from this movie.
* SoulFragment: John gives a "part of himself" to Paul.
* SparedByTheAdaptation: Mr. Jingles. In the novel, he finally dies of old age in the end. In the film, he's last shown sleeping.
* SpiritualSuccessor: The ''Film/TheShawshankRedemption''. A Christian allegory PeriodPiece about a wrongfully accused convict, based on a Creator/StephenKing story and directed by Frank Darabont.
* SurvivalMantra: "Heaven... Heaven... I'm in heaven..."
* TakeFive: Early in the movie;
-->'''Paul Edgecombe''': Percy, they're moving house in the infirmary. Why don't you go see if they could use some help?
-->'''Percy Whetmore''': They got all the men they need.
-->'''Paul Edgecombe''': Why don't you go make sure?
-->''(A pause) ''
-->'''Paul Edgecombe''': I don't care where you go, as long as it's not here at this moment.
* WorkingOnTheChainGang: Seen right at the beginning of the movie.

to:

[[quoteright:206:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/green-mile-poster-0_2247.jpg]]

->''"This happened in 1932, when the state penitentiary was still at Cold Mountain. And the electric chair was there too, of course."''
-->-- '''Paul Edgecombe'''

1996 dramatic novel by Creator/StephenKing. Originally released as a SerialNovel in six installments.

The year was 1932 (1935 in the movie). John Coffey, a GentleGiant black man, has been condemned to die by the electric chair for the raping and killing of two young girls. What follows is a supernatural journey that not only reveals Coffey's wondrous powers, but proves he didn't do the crime. Sadly he [[DownerEnding still does the time]], but the journey toward Old Sparky changes the compassionate lead guard's life forever.

Eventually made into a movie in 1999, directed by Frank Darabont, who also directed ''TheShawshankRedemption'', and starring TomHanks. And like Shawshank, it was an Oscar charmer, if not a winner.
----
!!The book provides examples of:
* AgeWithoutYouth: See LongLived, below.
* AnachronismStew: Neither ''Allen's Alley'' nor ''Kay Kyser's Kollege of Musical Knowledge'' had premiered in 1932. King acknowledges this in the afterword.
** Though a ''{{Popeye}}'' Tijuana Bible was plausible, and the mouse could've been named Steamboat Willy after
''The Green Mile'' redirects here. It may refer either the Mickey Mouse short or the BusterKeaton film it parodied.
* AngelUnaware: [[spoiler: John Coffey]] may or may not be an angel.
* AskAStupidQuestion: Warden Moores' wife, Melinda, has a brain tumor, which causes her
to swear uncontrollably. When Paul is on the phone with Moores and asks him if he'll be home at the evening, he answers: "No, I'm taking Melinda out squaredancing. We're going to do-si-do, allemand left, and then tell the fiddler he's a rooster-dick motherfucker." [[ActuallyPrettyFunny Paul has to force himself not to laugh]].
* AttentionDeficitCreatorDisorder: Turning the novel into a serial helped make things more bearable for King.
* AxeCrazy: William "Wild Bill" Wharton.
* BenevolentBoss: Warden Hal Moores, while somewhat gruff and authoritative, nonetheless cares for the men under his charge, treats the prisoners decently enough, and is a devoted family man. Especially when placed in contrast with a certain ''other'' warden from [[TheShawshankRedemption a different Stephen King story]].
** Paul Edgecombe as well.
** AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: To show how tough he is, Edgecomb tells a story of how Moores faced down a prisoner with a shank. It ended with the prisoner on the ground with a broken wrist, calling for his mommy. Moores replies, "I'm not her, but if I were, I'd hike up my skirts and piss on you from the loins that gave you birth."
* BerserkButton: Wharton likes his nickname to be Billy the Kid, not Wild Bill. Wharton earns himself some time in solitary by abusing a guard. Paul Edgecombe calls him Wild Bill while applying a straitjacket, and gets back a writhing, agonized lecture about the difference between the two names. "Brutal" Howell proceeds to lean in to the restrained Wharton and push that red, shiny, jolly candy-like button with both hands.
* BigElectricSwitch: Labeled "Mabel's Hair Drier ''(sic)''"
* BlatantLies: "I didn't know the sponge was supposed to be wet."
* BlessedWithSuck: Coffey. "It's like pieces of glass in my head. All the time."
** Edgecombe's long life. "Sometimes there is absolutely no difference at all between salvation and damnation."
* CardCarryingVillain: Wharton, who awarded himself his own card. When Coffey calls him "a bad man" he responds: "That's right, [[PoliticallyIncorrectVillain nigger]]. Bad as you'd want."
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: Delacroix's botched execution. Its not called "The Bad Death of Eduard Delacroix" for nothing.
* CutTheJuice: Averted during Del's execution. Even though it goes horribly wrong, Paul orders his men to continue because shutting down and doing the whole thing again would be even more cruel.
* DeadlyDistantFinale: In each character's last appearance, Paul describes their eventual fate. Pretty much every major character in
the book is covered.
* DeathByWomanScorned: Paul mentions that during his time, there was only one woman in the death row, who put up with years of her husband beating her, but when she found out that he's having an affair, she killed him right away.
* DecemberDecemberRomance: Paul and Elaine.
* DeepSouth
* DespairEventHorizon: Kathe and Cora Detterick's deaths, for their parents.
* DirtyCoward: Percy. Emphasis on ''dirty''.
* DisproportionateRetribution: See the NightmareFuel entry in the YMMV page? Percy did that because Delacroix laughed at him for pissing himself when Wharton grabbed him.
** The stupid bastard thought it would be a "cute little prank" to see what would happen if he didn't wet the sponge that they used to channel "Old Sparky's" shock into a person's brain. He got more than he bargained for, and Paul made sure he watched the entire thing.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:Edgecombe is spiritually broken after executing Coffey, and is still alive sixty years later, hoping he'll [[WhoWantsToLiveForever die before any more of his friends do.]]]]
* DramaticWind
* ElectricTorture: Not
by the intention of most of the guards, who try and take care that the executions are quick, clean, and as painless as Old Sparky allows. But what happens in the ''Bad Death of Eduard Delacroix'' certainly qualifies.
* EmpathicHealer
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: The installment/chapter titled [[spoiler:"The Bad Death of Eduard Delacroix"]]
* FateWorseThanDeath: One can say Coffey inflicted this on Percy. And Paul. The former intentionally, the latter not.
* FieryCoverup: Part of the crime that put Delacroix on the Mile.
* FlyingDutchman: Paul, at least to some degree.
* ForcedToWatch: A rare example of it being done on a villain. While Delacroix is being slowly electrocuted to death due to Percy's actions, Paul forces Percy to watch the horror unfold after the latter turns away.
* FramingDevice: Georgia Pines nursing home.
* FullNameBasis: Most of the guards called John Coffey by his full name. Most of the other prisoners got nicknames like The Chief and The President.
* GentleGiant: John Coffey and Brutal Howell.
* HealingHands: [[spoiler:Coffey's powers require him to be able to touch his patients, as close to the injury as possible. Thus is he mistaken for a murderer: when the posse finds a ScaryBlackMan with a mangled white girl under each arm, bloody hands pressing their crushed skulls, who would believe he had found them that way and was trying to heal them using magic? Also creates an awkward situation when Coffey heals Edgecombe's groin infection.]]
* {{Irony}}: [[spoiler:Percy]] finally got to go to that hospital, [[spoiler:but not as a doctor]]...
** Similarly, Dean Stanton, [[spoiler:whom the other guards had protected on account of his kids, is the first of the four main guards to die.]]
* JerkAss: Percy Wetmore. Also Wharton.
* KarmicDeath: Delacroix, on Death Row for rape and murder by ''arson'', [[spoiler:basically burns to death during his botched execution]]
** [[spoiler: It was bad enough that even the victims' loved ones were shocked at the brutality of Percy's DisproportionateRetribution]]
* KickTheDog: Two by Percy; [[spoiler:when he stomps Mr. Jingles and what he says to Delcroix about Mousfield not existing before executing him.]]
* KickTheSonOfABitch: The prison guards do this to Percy ''a lot.''
* TheLancer: "Brutal" (although he also qualifies as a [[TheBigGuy Big Guy]].
* Tear Jerker: Far too many to count.
** The dead of Coffey. If you don't cry at that scene, you have no heart.
*** The death of Delacroix also counts. Sure, he was a criminal, but no being deserved to die like that.
**** Although Mr. Jingles gets better, his death is really sad. Not just because he was a pet and a harmless cute mouse, but also the reaction of Delacroix.
***** Think Coffey's death was bad? How about the speech he gives Paul when he offers him a chance to escape? Try not to cry with THAT scene.
* LastMinuteReprieve: Subverted; Edgcomb makes it a point to say the governor's line next to Old Sparky never rang. Both commutations (to a black woman who killed her womanizing husband and an insurance salesman who killed his father to collect the insurance money) were well before they were scheduled to be executed.
* LetThemDieHappy: A basic rule of the care of the condemned, and another reason Percy's a {{Jerkass}} is that he broke the rule with a condemned ''in the chair''...
* LongLived: [[spoiler:Paul and Mr. Jingles, as a result of being cured by John Coffey, wind up "cured" of everything for the rest of their lives. Functionally, this means they keep aging but are immune to everything that would eventually kill them. When Paul is telling the story, he's over 100, and Mr. Jingles - a freaking ''mouse,'' - is over 60. Paul considers it his [[WhoWantsToLiveForever punishment]] for allowing Coffey to be executed.]] However, [[spoiler:Mr. Jingles]] does finally die, so the punishment will end someday.
** [[spoiler:The average lifespan of a mouse is one and a half year, topping at 3. Mr. Jingles lived to see 60. If we follow the pattern, Paul will live up to 20 times the human lifespan, or about 1000 years for someone born at the early 20th Century.]]
* MagicalNegro: Literally.
* MagicalRealism: A textbook example. Psychic visions, supernatural healing and near-immortality are all plot points, but the real focus is on the fairly mundane story of a prison guard bonding with a wrongfully accused prisoner on death row.
* MeaningfulName: '''J'''ohn '''C'''offey - King even joked about how blatant it was in ''On Writing''.
** Percy '''Wetmore'''
** Inverted with Brutus "'''Brutal'''" Howell; despite being a rather [[TheBigGuy intimidating powerhouse of a man]], Paul [[LampshadeHanging acknowledges]] that he's [[GentleGiant really a very kind and noble person]], who rarely uses his size and strength to intimidate or harm others... except for Percy and Wild Bill, who both deserve it.
*** Could also be an averted case of NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast. Interesting that the main character's right-hand man is named [[Theatre/JuliusCaesar Brutus]].
* NobodyPoops: Heavily subverted, as Edgecombe's urinary infection became a plot point.
** Wharton pisses on a passing guard: promising "I'm also cooking up some turds to go with it, nice soft ones!", and scares Percy into [[BringMyBrownPants soiling himself]] with threat of buggery.
** Percy soils himself again (out both ends) [[spoiler:when Coffey infects him with the disease he took from Melinda, and then he goes catatonic.]]
* NotWhatItLooksLike: Dramatic example. Coffey is found with the bodies of the raped and murdered girls in his arms. When he's asked what happened, he says: "I couldn't help it. I tried to take it back, but it was too late!" Everybody assumes that he killed the girls, and was talking about his own murderous impulses.[[spoiler: Actually, he found them and tried to heal them, but it was too late for that.]]
* OffscreenVillainy: Used deliberately to allow audience sympathy. Remember, the men on death row are there because they were convicted of murder. Yet because we never witness the crimes of Delacroix or Bitterbuck, only their last days, we get to know them as people and not just criminals.
* OlderThanTheyLook: Paul comments on [[spoiler:Melinda]] retaining a youthful look through her older years due to [[spoiler:Coffey's healing powers]].
* PopculturalOsmosisFailure: At the guards' meeting that brought out the simple plan to cure Moores' wife, Paul's wife buts out by saying she's "visiting with Miss JaneAusten, and she's very good company." Harry immediately inquires as to Miss Austen's availability, and Brutal has to tell him that she's an author that's been dead for over a century.
* TheRainman: [[spoiler:Coffey, as well as being a MagicalNegro.]]
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Everyone throws one at Percy after what he does to Del.
---> '''Paul:''' You son of a bitch, you stand there and watch!
* ScaryBlackMan: Subverted. Coffey is big and scary looking, but gentle and childlike.
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections: Percy
** Later defied when the rest of the guards warn him not to tell anyone [[spoiler:that they straitjacketed him and locked him in solitary confinement]], reminding him that he's not the only one who knows people.
** [[spoiler:Elaine]] pulls this as well.
* SerialNovel: A very rare latter 20th-century example.
* ShoutOut: In editions released after TheMovie, Paul and his wife dance to [[Film/TopHat "Cheek To Cheek"]].
* SignificantMonogram: John Coffey.
* ASimplePlan: The entire scheme to [[spoiler:heal the Warden's wife, and the cover-up afterward]].
* SissyVillain: Percy.
* StupidityInducingAttack: [[spoiler:John Coffey does this to Percy, not through evil intentions but to remove the threat to his friends, resulting in the guard ending up in an insane asylum.]]
* SurvivorsGuilt: Paul Edgecombe
* TeamPet: Steamboat Willy a.k.a Mr.Jingles.
* ThisIsReality: Elaine guesses correctly that [[spoiler:Coffey was executed, because "Providence-with-a-capital-P is greatly overrated in the lives of ordinary humans"]]
** Similarly, Paul comments on how, in the movies, the governor's line to the execution room always rang right before the switch was pulled, and the contrast was that it never did ring in any of the 78 executions he took part in.
* [[spoiler:Coffey is TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth]]
* TooDumbToLive: Percy, Percy, ''Percy''.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Literally; King's wife asked the question and it led to the FramingDevice.
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: [[spoiler:Paul Edgecombe, at the end, wishes for death.]]
* YoungerThanTheyLook: By the time [[spoiler:Coffey's execution rolls around]], the 30-something parents of the two dead girls turned basically into an elderly couple from grief.
----
!!The movie provides examples of:
* BigNo: Del when Percy steps on Mr Jingles.
** Also Paul and the other guards when Percy shoots Wild Bill.
* DawsonCasting: The actor who played Percy, who is supposed to be 21, was 39 at the time. Also, Wild Bill was 19 in the novel, and was played by a 31 year old in the movie.
* TheDanza: Averted; Harry Dean Stanton was in the movie but played neither Harry Terwilliger nor Dean Stanton.
* GroinAttack: Wild Bill gives one to Paul during his little brawl with the guards. Having a urinary tract infection, this severely cripples him.
* LargeHam: Wild Bill, who would be pretty entertaining if he weren't such a disgusting, monstrous character.
* LastRequest: [[spoiler:Coffey receives his choice of dinner on the day of his execution as is standard, and Paul begs him to ask for other things, including a chance of escape to which he and the other guards would gladly turn the other way. John assures them that he is ready to die. Even earlier in the film, John tells them that he's never seen a "flicker show", so a projector is set up and he is allowed to watch the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers film ''Top Hat''.]]
--> [[spoiler:'''John:''' <''watching, entranced''> "They's angels... Angels, just like up in heaven..!"]]
** [[spoiler: Seeing ''Top Hat'' in his old age is enough to spook Edgecomb into telling his story to Elaine.]]
* MundaneMadeAwesome: Paul taking the most epic piss anyone has ever taken after his urinary infection is cured.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Wharton does this initially, with nearly lethal consequences when he drops the façade and attacks the guards.
* OscarBait
* PragmaticAdaptation: Some of the more rational explanations in the book are turned into supernatural explanations in the movie. [[spoiler:Instead of Paul figuring out who the actual killer was on his own, John Coffey gave him the information through his touch.]]
* PreAsskickingOneLiner: Harry Terwilliger gets his own back on Wild Bill after the latter urinates on him.
** "Piss on me?" (cue the fire-hose)
* PrecisionFStrike: "What in the blue '''fuck''' was that?!" From '''James Cromwell''', of all people, after Delacroix's horribly botched execution.
* ProtagonistCenteredMorality: After [[spoiler: John {{MindRape}}s Percy into killing William]], the good guys say they understand why he did it to Percy, but ask why he did that to William. They understand fully after TheReveal, but why did it take that long? William was established as already on death row for murder. They knew he'd done worse than Percy, just not on-screen.
** They're specifically asking why [[spoiler:''John'']] did it to Wharton. And they'd probably be right to ask: In the book it was mentioned that the two men didn't pass more than two dozen words past each other their entire time on the Mile, and half of those were when Wharton grabbed him.
* PsychopathicManchild: Wharton (type C) has an 8-year-old's sense of humor, but can be quite cunning, [[spoiler: and is a rapist pedophile]].
* RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil: Which is why Delacroix's crime was not mentioned in the film and why [[spoiler:Wharton]] is such a disgusting character.
* {{Retirony}}: Percy ending up a patient at the Briar Ridge Mental Institution, after being 'encouraged' to get a transfer there.
* ScullyBox: To make [=6'5''=] Michael Clarke Duncan ''taller''. Specifically, to ''tower'' over David Morse (Brutal, [=6'4''=]) and James Cromwell (Warden Moores); at [=6'7''=], Cromwell is one of the tallest actors in Hollywood, but you wouldn't know it from this movie.
* SoulFragment: John gives a "part of himself" to Paul.
* SparedByTheAdaptation: Mr. Jingles. In the novel, he finally dies of old age in the end. In the film, he's last shown sleeping.
* SpiritualSuccessor: The ''Film/TheShawshankRedemption''. A Christian allegory PeriodPiece about a wrongfully accused convict, based on a
Creator/StephenKing story and directed by Frank Darabont.
or to its film adaptation.

* SurvivalMantra: "Heaven... Heaven... I'm in heaven..."
Literature: ''Literature/TheGreenMilde''
* TakeFive: Early Film: ''Film/TheGreenMilde''

If a direct wick has lead you here, please consider correcting the link
in the movie;
-->'''Paul Edgecombe''': Percy, they're moving house in
concerned article so that it would point to the infirmary. Why don't you go see if they could use some help?
-->'''Percy Whetmore''': They got all the men they need.
-->'''Paul Edgecombe''': Why don't you go make sure?
-->''(A pause) ''
-->'''Paul Edgecombe''': I don't care where you go, as long as it's not here at this moment.
* WorkingOnTheChainGang: Seen right at the beginning of the movie.
corresponding work.
25th Mar '13 9:26:42 AM WhiteCrane
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Added DiffLines:

* PreAsskickingOneLiner: Harry Terwilliger gets his own back on Wild Bill after the latter urinates on him.
**"Piss on me?" (cue the fire-hose)
20th Mar '13 12:31:39 AM Gitman
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* AgeWithoutYouth: As a result of being cured by John Coffey, Paul and Mr. Jingles wind up "cured" of everything for the rest of their lives. In effect, this means they continue aging but are immune to everything that would eventually kill them. At the end of the story, Mr. Jingles finally dies at over 60 years old (a mouse usually lives 1-2 years at most), and Paul is still alive at over 100.

to:

* AgeWithoutYouth: As a result of being cured by John Coffey, Paul and Mr. Jingles wind up "cured" of everything for the rest of their lives. In effect, this means they continue aging but are immune to everything that would eventually kill them. At the end of the story, Mr. Jingles finally dies at over 60 years old (a mouse usually lives 1-2 years at most), and Paul is still alive at over 100.See LongLived, below.
20th Mar '13 12:30:12 AM Gitman
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Added DiffLines:

* AgeWithoutYouth: As a result of being cured by John Coffey, Paul and Mr. Jingles wind up "cured" of everything for the rest of their lives. In effect, this means they continue aging but are immune to everything that would eventually kill them. At the end of the story, Mr. Jingles finally dies at over 60 years old (a mouse usually lives 1-2 years at most), and Paul is still alive at over 100.
16th Mar '13 7:32:40 PM ShadowofLuna
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Added DiffLines:

* Tear Jerker: Far too many to count.
** The dead of Coffey. If you don't cry at that scene, you have no heart.
*** The death of Delacroix also counts. Sure, he was a criminal, but no being deserved to die like that.
**** Although Mr. Jingles gets better, his death is really sad. Not just because he was a pet and a harmless cute mouse, but also the reaction of Delacroix.
***** Think Coffey's death was bad? How about the speech he gives Paul when he offers him a chance to escape? Try not to cry with THAT scene.
13th Mar '13 5:49:29 PM IlGreven
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Added DiffLines:

* PopculturalOsmosisFailure: At the guards' meeting that brought out the simple plan to cure Moores' wife, Paul's wife buts out by saying she's "visiting with Miss JaneAusten, and she's very good company." Harry immediately inquires as to Miss Austen's availability, and Brutal has to tell him that she's an author that's been dead for over a century.
6th Mar '13 2:53:28 AM webgiant
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* AskAStupidQuestion: Warder Moores' wife, Melinda, has a brain tumor, which causes her to swear uncontrollably. When Paul is on the phone with Moores and asks him if he'll be home at the evening, he answers: "No, I'm taking Melinda out squaredancing. We're going to do-si-do, allemand left, and then tell the fiddler he's a rooster-dick motherfucker." [[ActuallyPrettyFunny Paul has to force himself not to laugh]].

to:

* AskAStupidQuestion: Warder Warden Moores' wife, Melinda, has a brain tumor, which causes her to swear uncontrollably. When Paul is on the phone with Moores and asks him if he'll be home at the evening, he answers: "No, I'm taking Melinda out squaredancing. We're going to do-si-do, allemand left, and then tell the fiddler he's a rooster-dick motherfucker." [[ActuallyPrettyFunny Paul has to force himself not to laugh]].
1st Mar '13 6:32:56 PM WhiteCrane
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* GroinAttack: Wild Bill gives one to Paul during his little brawl with the guards. Having a urinary tract infection, this severely cripples him.


Added DiffLines:

* GroinAttack: Wild Bill gives one to Paul during his little brawl with the guards. Having a urinary tract infection, this severely cripples him.


Added DiffLines:

* ObfuscatingStupidity: Wharton does this initially, with nearly lethal consequences when he drops the façade and attacks the guards.
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