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Tear Jerker / The Green Mile

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I'm tired of people being ugly to each other. I'm tired of all the pain I feel and hear in the world everyday. There's too much of it.
  • The bus crash. The whole Deadly Distant Finale leading up to the bus crash will probably make you require tissues.
  • When Coffey tells Paul how Wharton kidnapped the girls:
    Paul: Why didn't they scream, John? He hurt them enough to make them bleed, their parents were right upstairs, so why didn't they scream?
    Coffey: He say to the one, 'If you make noise, it's your sister I kill, not you'. He say that same to the other. You see? He kill them with they love, they love for each other. You see how it was? That's how it is every day, all over the worl'.
  • Del's reaction when Percy stomps on Mr. Jingles.
  • As Del is about to walk the Green Mile:
    Del: You a good man, Boss Howell. You too, Boss Edgecombe. You yell at me sometimes, but not 'less you have to. You all good men except for dat Percy. I sure wish I coulda met you guys someplace else.
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  • John talking about his dream to Paul before they're taking him to the electric chair:
    "I dreamed he got down to that place Boss Howell talked about, that Mouseville place. I dreamed there was kids, and how they laughed at his tricks! My!" He laughed himself at the thought of it, then grew serious again. "I dreamed those two little blond-headed girls were there. They us laughin, too. I put my arms around em and there us no blood comin out they hair and they 'us fine. We all watch Mr. Jingles roll that spool, and how we did laugh. Fit to bus', we was."
    "Is that so?" I was thinking I couldn't go through with it, just could not, there was no way. I was going to cry or scream or maybe my heart would burst with sorrow and that would be an end to it.
  • Every character in the book gets a Deadly Distant Finale mention by Paul in their last appearance. Other than Jan's, who gets her own chapter, the biggest one is Dean, who they'd protected the most in their plan to have Coffey save the Warden's wife because he had school-age kids. He'd be the first of the guards to die, only four months after Coffey's execution. He asks to be reassigned from the death row to the prison block, where he's shanked by an inmate, seemingly for no reason.
    Paul: I never knew why. I don't think anyone ever knew why. Old Sparky seems such a thing of perversity when I look back on those days, such a deadly bit of folly. Fragile as blown glass, we are, even under the best of conditions. To kill each other with gas and electricity, and in cold blood? The folly. The horror.
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  • Coffey's execution.
    Paul: John's eyes turned to me. I saw no resignation in them, no hope of heaven, no dawning peace. How I would love to tell you that I did. How I would love to tell myself that. What I saw was fear, misery, incompletion, and incomprehension. They were the eyes of a trapped and terrified animal.


  • The whole scene where Coffey gets executed, especially his repeating of "I'm in Heaven" has become almost unwatchably heartbreaking.
    • This scene is so heartbreaking that the viewers AND guards are crying their eyes out. It's so bad that Paul literally cannot bring himself to give the order to execute Coffey until Brutal reminds him that HE has to give the order and it's completely out of his hands.
    • Coffey begging Paul not to put the black hood over his head because he's afraid of the dark.
      • Even then, before Paul finally brings himself to give the order, he steps up, and grabs Coffey's hand one last time before he gives the order.
      • When he finally gives the order, his voice very audibly cracks.
    • This scene is made doubly sad when realizing that Coffey is innocent and that he's trying his darnedest to help people, yet despite this, ended up at the wrong place at the wrong time. Knowing that having his powers makes him sense all the people in need, to which he likens it having shards of glass in your brain at all times, only makes it worse. As stated above, all the guards are having a tough time keeping it together, knowing full well the kind of miracle man they have to execute.
    • The music that plays over the scene, "Coffey On The Mile" is easily one of the most heart wrenching scores in film history.
    • Of all the guards, Dean has by far the most heartbreaking reaction to the whole situation, openly weeping both before and after John is killed.
    • Brutus Howell, possibly the most stoic of all the guards, is VISIBLY SHAKING from trying to hold back his tears.
  • Delacroix and Bitterbuck before they are executed. Both are deeply sorry for what they've done, and it's obvious that everyone involved wishes that it didn't have to happen.
    • Del sobbing as he's being hooked up is sad enough, but when Percy tells him Mouseville is only a fairy tale, the look on Del's face is just heartwrenching.
    • Del's execution sequence is nothing short of brutal and very difficult to watch, even for a crazy ass bastard like Percy, whose fucked up idea was to NOT soak the sponge in order to direct the electrical current to Del's brain; essentially torturing Del to death. At least the other Guards warned Percy against doing this again lest things get....messy for him.
  • When Bitterbuck and Paul are discussing heaven before Bitterbuck's execution. Bitterbuck believes that if you sincerely repent your wrongs, you're sent back to eternally relive the best time in your life. Then he reveals his best time: The summer he was eighteen, spending time with his wife in the mountains. It's sweet and incredibly sad all at once. It's there in the book, too, but the sadness is taken away a bit by Paul's narration that he's only humoring Bitterbuck, and so is much better executed in the film.
  • Bitterbuck's execution: it's overshadowed by Del's and Coffey's very dramatic executions, but his was heartbreaking in a more quiet way. He's not crying or talking, you can't even see his face as he is already hooded when the scene starts. His breathing is heavy. It's obvious he's trying to keep himself calm. When his sentence is read, his breathing became slightly more panicked as he has to wait out those terrifying final seconds of his life.
  • After Coffey cures Hal Moores' wife, what she tells him never fails to jerk a tear, especially in the context of Coffey's fear of the dark...
    Melinda Moores: I dreamed of you, you know. I dreamed you were wandering in the dark...and so was I. And we found each other. We found each other in the dark.
  • The ending. Especially during the death of John Coffey.
  • Paul's final monologue:
    "We each owe a death - there are no exceptions - but sometimes, oh God, the Green Mile seems so long."
  • The revelation of how the two little girls Coffey supposedly raped and murdered really died: Wild Bill did it, and he had kidnapped them by threatening them that if one of them made a sound, then he'd kill the other one.
  • When Coffey walks into the execution chamber singing "Cheek to Cheek".
  • John's telling Paul he wants to be executed, because he's simply tired of life:
    Paul: On the day of my judgment, when I stand before God and He asks me why did I kill one of his true miracles, what am I gonna say? That it was my job? My job?
    Paul: Yes, John. I think I can.
  • The cruelty of the witnesses at Coffey's execution, hurling epithets at him, none of them knowing that John is anything but a "monster".
  • Coffey begging Paul not to put the shroud over his head. The stricken expressions on the guard's faces when he says that is heart-crushing.
    John: Please, boss. Don't put that thing on my face.. Don't put me in the dark... I'm afraid of the dark.....
  • Almost all of the guards, while grief-stricken, manage to somehow keep it together during Coffey's execution... except for Dean. He's an absolute mess and it is devastating to watch.
  • It's hard enough to watch the revelation of just what really happened to those two girls, and it's made all that much harder to watch when you see the looks of horror, disgust, anguish, and sorrow on Paul's face as Coffey shows him.
  • As Paul, Brutal, Dean, and Harry get John Coffey for his walk down the Green Mile, John tells them about the dream he had just had as he slept of Mouseville being real, and Mr. Jingles doing all of his little fetching tricks to the delight and amusement of the people who were there watching him, especially the children. John then mentions that the two little girls were also there, he had them sitting on his lap, no blood was pouring out of their heads, and the three of them were overcome with laughter as they watched Mr. Jingles. The combination of the sounds of joy and genuine excitement in John's voice as he relays his dreams, to the absolute emotionally blank faces of the guards (especially Paul) is quite the prelude to the execution that is to follow.
  • Meta example: Although Sam Rockwell enjoyed playing the part of Wild Bill because it allowed him to really stretch his abilities as an actor, he was really upset and felt genuinely horrible after shooting the scene where Wild Bill threatens to kill the sister of the other girl if she makes a sound, because off-camera the two girls really liked him.
  • Doubles as Fridge Horror- John Coffey's entire life. In the book and in the movie it's explained that he is connected to every living thing, feeling their pain and living in almost constant agony. However, later revelations about the effect of his abilities bring this into a new light. It's show that he is able to extend the lives of those he heals. And given that no one knows who he is or where he came from, that means that no one knows how old he really is. For all intents and purposes, John Coffey might have been alive for a very, very long time, and living in constant agony for all that time. Anyone can blame Coffey as he requested to be executed, when he's got an out from the world he doesn't belong to no more?
    • For that matter, we don't know how long he's had these powers; it's possible he's been feeling the world's pain since he was a child.
  • For what it's worth, the four guards seemed genuinely horrified by Percy's fate at the hands of John, even trying to snap him out of it. While they loathed Percy and had dished out (and thoroughly enjoyed) their own brutal form of punishment for his atrocious actions, even they didn't wish such a fate onto him.
  • Old Mr. Jingles, climbing out of his cigar box home, and pushing the spool. You can tell he's weak, tired, and probably in pain from his unnaturally long life, but he still at least tries to push that spool the way he did in his youth, bless his little heart.


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