Actors: Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, David Morse, Bonnie Hunt, James CromwellDirector: Frank DarabontManufacturer: Warner Home Video
"The book was better" has been the complaint of many a reader since the invention of films. The Green Mile
is Frank Darabont's second adaptation of a Stephen King prison drama The Shawshank Redemption
was the first) and is a very faithful adaptation of King's serial novel. In the middle of the Depression, Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) runs death row at Cold Mountain Penitentiary. Into this dreary world walks a mammoth prisoner, John Coffey (Michael Duncan) who, very slowly, reveals a special gift that will change the men working and dying (in the electric chair, masterfully and grippingly staged) on the mile.
As with King's book, Darabont takes plenty of time to show us Edgecomb's world before delving into John Coffey's mystery. With Darabont's superior storytelling abilities, his touch for perfect casting, and a leisurely 188-minute running time, his film brings to life nearly every character and scene from the novel. Darabont even improves the novel's two endings, creating a more emotionally satisfying experience. The running time may try patience, but those who want a story, as opposed to quick-fix entertainment, will be rewarded by this finely tailored tale. --Doug Thomas