How well do you remember "The Green Mile"?

Torrance Grey

About This Quiz

Set in a rural prison, this three-hour epic starred Tom Hanks and introduced Michael Clark Duncan to the world. Find out how much you remember about this moving, character-driven film with our quiz!

What is the name of the character played by Tom Hanks?

Paul Edgecomb was the chief guard on "The Green Mile." If the name "Paul Sheldon" is familiar, he's from another Stephen King novel-turned-film -- he's the main character in "Misery."

In what setting does "The Green Mile" open?

The movie's "frame tale" is Paul Edgecomb telling his story to a fellow resident. (A frame tale is the beginning and end segments that "frame" the real story in a movie. Occasionally writers jump back to the frame story at several points, but most often, it's just the beginning and end -- hence the term "frame.")

Who wrote the novel, "The Green Mile"?

"The Green Mile" was originally published as six retro-style serial paperbacks, then collected into one volume. Fun fact: "Graham Greene" is the name of both a writer and an actor. The actor co-starred in "The Green Mile."

What was the name of the pivotal character played by Michael Clark Duncan?

Stephen King commented later that he took flack from critics for giving his saintly, doomed hero the same initials as Jesus Christ. King laughed it off, suggesting they were taking a serial novel way too seriously.

What is the name of the character Graham Greene played?

Graham Greene is an actor of First Nations lineage (the equivalent of "Native American" in the US). He plays the Cherokee inmate, Arlen Bitterbuck, leading one Green Mile guard to speculate that they'll need to bring in a native shaman for Bitterbuck's execution. (Not so: Bitterbuck is Christian, as Edgecomb explains).

Every story needs a bad guy. Who is the nasty one in "Green Mile"?

John Coffey calls these two "the bad men." Wait, they're just victims of bad upbringing and societal -- oh, never mind! We're with you on this one, John.

Which of these directors made "The Green Mile"?

Darabont jokes that he has the world's smallest niche: prison movies adapted from Stephen King novels. This is because Darabont also directed "The Shawshank Redemption," which was set mostly in a Maine prison.

What is Coffey accused of doing?

The girls' names were Katie and Cora. Coffey was found holding them in his arm and weeping, saying "I tried to take it back."

What happens right after John Coffey heals someone?

Some ideas that work well in novels can look almost comic as a CGI effect on film. This was probably the case with what we'll call, for lack of a better term, the "sickness confetti."

Where is Cold Mountain penitentiary, where "The Green Mile" is set?

Stephen King rarely sets his work outside Maine, except for one ("The Shining") set in Colorado -- both states where he has lived. But for "The Green Mile," King evidently wanted to use the Southern color and racial politics that a Louisiana setting could provide.

How old does Paul reveal himself to be?

Paul tells this to his friend Elaine, who has thought of him as decades younger (which he looks). Paul credits his incredible longevity to John Coffey's touch -- he "gave a little bit of himself" to Paul when he shared the vision of Wharton killing the two girls.

Who is "Mr. Jingles"?

When we first see the tame mouse, it's calmly approaching the guards on E Block. The younger guard, Dean, says it isn't normal for "a mouse to walk up on people like that" and suggests it's rabid, but this isn't the case.

What last request does John Coffey make?

If Coffey has any siblings, this isn't revealed in the movie. Instead, he tells Paul "I've never seen a flicker show." He watches "Top Hat," with Fred Astaire, in the prison's movie theater.

Who or what is Paul visiting in the woods outside the nursing home?

Incredibly, the mouse is still alive. Paul credits this to John Coffey, who held him during Del's execution and passed some of his power into the mouse.

Who played guard Brutus "Brutal" Howell?

The nickname "Brutal" is misleading; Howell is mild-mannered, like Edgecomb. Morse is often called on to play law-enforcement professionals and/or big, calm, voice-of-reason types.

What is the name of the Cajun inmate on the Mile?

Delacroix is a colorful and good-natured prisoner. But if you've read the book, you also know he's an arsonist and a murderer.

Whose nephew is Percy Wetmore?

For this reason, Percy can't easily be fired. This is why the other guards have to put up with his cowardice and cruelty.

Which inmate takes Mr. Jingles into his care?

Delacroix is delighted by the mouse's exploits and its friendliness. The guards find Delacroix a cigar box and some cotton batting for Mr. Jingles to sleep in.

Which inmate does Wharton get the drop on?

Wharton fakes being drugged and submissive until they reach E Block, when he gets a stranglehold on Dean. This scene is mostly to show that Percy, while a sadist, is actually a coward -- he freezes and fails to hit Wharton on the head with his nightstick, though he has a clear shot. Brutal, arriving from the yard, has to do it.

What tattoo does Wharton have on his arm?

Wharton likes to think of himself as a 1930s Billy the Kid. He objects to the guards calling him "Wild Bill," whom he does not admire.

What is wrong with Hal Moores's wife, Melinda?

Hal confides that he's worried about Melinda early in the film. An X-ray reveals that these fears are well-founded: she has a brain tumor the size of a lemon.

Of what does John Coffey heal Edgecomb?

An online article on "Actors Who Do the Same Thing in Every Movie" once identified urination as Tom Hanks' particular bit (note especially his first scene in "A League of Their Own.") We're sure that "every" movie is an exaggeration, but admittedly, in "The Green Mile" Hanks's first scene shows him painfully urinating in the restroom of E Block.

Where does Percy have a job application pending?

The job Percy has applied for is administrative, with "better pay," Paul explains. Paul also believes that Percy hasn't moved on yet because he wants to see an execution up close.

What are the guards fond of saying about their job?

This feels a little bit out of place in a movie set in 1935. So does the phrase, "Knock yourself out," which a guard says to Percy when he wants to tear apart the restraint room looking for the mouse. But it's a rare historical movie that doesn't have at least one anachronism in its dialogue, since most screenwriters don't have a background in linguistics.

What object does Mr. Jingles roll?

What's a thread spool doing in a prison? That's one of the unsolved mysteries of "The Green Mile."

What happens while Eduard Delacroix is entertaining prison administrators with Mr. Jingles's tricks?

From the first, the audience knows something is up. One visitor who has supposedly come from the state government to see Mr. Jingles perform is actually the prison's plumber, required to put on a tie to look the part. But Delacroix believes the ruse -- until Percy tells him otherwise.

After Edgecomb, who is next to be healed by Coffey?

Percy, who has disliked the mouse since the first day he saw it, steps on Mr. Jingles and kills him just before Delacroix's execution. Coffey holds the mouse in his hands and brings it back to life.

What does Coffey mean when he says he tried to "take [something] back"?

We learn about midway through the film that Coffey refers to healing as "taking it back," "it" being an illness or injury that passes physically into his body from the other person's. So his conviction for murder hung largely on confusion about language: When he said "I tried to take it back" about Katie and Cora, the authorities didn't understand that he meant he tried to help them.

What does the phrase "Roll on two" mean?

We hear the phrases "Roll on one" and "Roll on two" several times in the movie. Three inmates are executed by the end, the last being, of course, John Coffey.

Who sabotages Del's execution?

Percy is angry at Del for several reasons. One, his attempt to kill Mr. Jingles failed; two, Del mocked him after Percy wet himself when Wharton grabbed him through the bars. So Percy deliberately failed to soak the sponge that goes under the cap during the execution, meaning that electricity was not properly conducted to Del's brain, and his death was prolonged and painful.

Why do Paul, Brutal and Harry make a 2 a.m. trip to Hal's home?

The clandestine trip requires a lot of preparation, including drugging Wharton so be won't be a witness and locking Percy in the restraint room. These measures don't go as well as planned -- Wharton wakes up while the men are slipping out of E Block, and grabs John Coffey's arm, saying, "Where do you think you're going?"

What does Melinda give Coffey after he heals her?

Melinda apparently doesn't remember anything since heading to Vicksburg to get her X-ray. Yet she recognizes Coffey when she sees him, and gives him a hug and her St. Christopher medal.

Which of these is a sign of Coffey using his powers?

Coffey's power shakes the walls and furniture of the Moores's house when he heals Melinda. More often, power surges occur, often overloading light fixtures, which spark and die. This mirrors what happens during an execution on the Mile.

Who was the real killer of the two little girls?

This shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone -- Wharton killed three people, including a pregnant woman. Coffey learns the truth when Wharton grabs his arm. Later, by taking Paul's hand, Coffey passes his vision of the murder onto​ him.

Why does Coffey not regurgitate the sickness that he took from Melinda?

It's Paul's theory that Coffey wants to die of (somewhat) natural causes. But back at E Block, Coffey grabs Percy by the throat and exhales all the "sickness confetti" into his mouth, giving him Melinda's illness.

What does Percy do under the influence of the illness?

Melinda didn't seem to be violent under the influence of her brain tumor, but it affects Percy differently. He empties his gun into Wharton and then becomes catatonic. Coffey says simply, "I punished the bad men." That's an understatement!

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