#255 / 365 – ‘The Green Mile’ (1999) – 189 mins
IMDb Challenge #149 / 250 – Ranked #85 – DVD Collection
In 1935, inmates at the Cold Mountain Correctional Facility call Death Row “The Green Mile” because of the dark green linoleum that tiles the floor. Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) is the head guard on the Green Mile when a new inmate is brought into his custody: John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), convicted of the sadistic murder of two young girls. Despite his size and the fearsome crimes for which he’s serving time, Coffey seems to be a kind and well-mannered person who behaves more like an innocent child than a hardened criminal. Soon Edgecomb and two of his fellow guards, Howell (David Morse) and Stanton Barry Pepper), notice something odd about Coffey: he’s able to perform what seem to be miracles…
Based on a Stephen King novel, this adaptation by director Frank Darabont is an engrossing story from start to finish with stand out moments like when John Coffey, the man who literally, sucks the evil and illness out of anyone he touches and then releases the pain as a swarm of flies, buzzing and dissolving as they rise to the above which as a very biblical, very apocalyptic feel to it.
Michael Clarke Duncan more than earned his Best Supporting Actor nomination for his portrayal of John Coffey, but to be honest there is no single star in this movie. Sure, Tom Hanks, as prison guard Paul Edgecomb, is the big draw and the name on the poster but the true strength of the Green Mile is it’s ensemble cast.
Darabont also directed Stephen King’s ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ which is still the best of the two, (perhaps he should be the only person allowed to adapt King’s novels) but The Green Mile comes a mighty close second.
Having seen The Green Mile on its cinematic release in 1999 and then a few years ago, when I re-visting the film again I’d forgotten just how moving this supernatural drama was, and its a truly fantastic way to spend three hours.
#256 / 365 – ‘All About Eve’ (1950) – 138 mins
IMDb Challenge #150 / 250 – Ranked #85 – iTunes
Broadway legend Margo Channing (Bette Davis), aging but not gracefully, has everything: a successful career, close friends, a man who loves her. She also has a ‘fan’ named Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter), who manages to worm her way into Margo’s life, in order to “study her like a blueprint”. Eve’s sweet facade is soon seen through by a number of people, most quickly by theater critic Addison deWitt, who decides to become her mentor. Eve achieves her goal of Broadway stardom, leaving a trail of unhappiness, but ultimately contentment, behind her.
On first this first watch there is so much to admire of Joseph Mankiewicz’s All About Eve, in fact if you’ve watched Darren Aronofsky’s classic Black Swan earlier in year then you could say All About Eve was the blueprint for that as there are strong resemblance’s throughout in this magnificently acted character driven drama which is a possessive and cunning portrait of feminine power.
Winner of 6 Academy Awards from an incredible 14 nominations – the most nominations received by any single film made before or indeed since, until James Cameron’s Titanic (1997) came along to sweep the board. All About Eve is a recommended classic watch.