Here is our list of the best quotes from Frank Darabont’s moving supernatural prison drama, based on Stephen King’s novel, where during the Great Depression, death row corrections officer, Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks), discovers one of their inmates, John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), has a special gift.
'I guess sometimes the past just catches up with you, whether you want it to or not.' - Old Paul Edgecomb (The Green Mile) Click To Tweet
Old Paul Edgecomb: Usually, death row is called The Last Mile. We called ours The Green Mile. The floor was the color of faded limes. We had the electric chair. Old Sparky, we called it. Oh, I’ve lived a lot of years, Ellie. But 1935, that takes the prize. That year, I had the worst urinary infection of my life. It was also the year of John Coffey, and the two dead girls.
Brutus ‘Brutal’ Howell: You alright in there?
Paul Edgecomb: For a man pi**ing razorblades, yeah.
Paul Edgecomb: Your name is John Coffey.
John Coffey: Yes, sir, boss. Like the drink, only not spelt the same.
Paul Edgecomb: Oh, you can spell, can you?
John Coffey: Just my name, boss. J-O…
John Coffey: Do you leave the light on after bedtime? Because I get a little scared in the dark sometime, if it’s a strange place.
[referring to Percy]
Paul Edgecomb: The man is mean, and careless, and stupid. And that’s a bad combination in a place like this. Sooner or later, he’s going to get somebody hurt or worse.
Paul Edgecomb: Things that happen in this world. It’s a wonder God allows it.
'You can't hide what's in your heart.' - John Coffey (The Green Mile) Click To Tweet
John Coffey: Boss. Saw me a mouse go by.
Paul Edgecomb: Can’t put anything over on you.
Arlen Bitterbuck: Do you think if a man sincerely repents on what he done wrong, that he might get to go back to the time that was happiest for him, and live there forever? Could that be what heaven’s like?
Paul Edgecomb: I just about believe that very thing.
[referring to John]
Paul Edgecomb: In fact, I don’t think he did it at all. I do not see God putting a gift like that in the hands of a man who’d kill a child.
Melinda Moores: What’s your name?
John Coffey: John Coffey, ma’am.
Melinda Moores: Like the drink. Only not spelt the same.
John Coffey: No, ma’am. Not spelt the same at all.
Melinda Moores: [to John] I dreamed of you. I dreamed you were wandering in the dark, and so was I. And we found each other. We found each other in the dark.
John Coffey: He killed them with their love, their love for each other. Now you see how it is. That’s the way it is every day. That’s the way it is all over the world.
'I'm tired of all the pain I feel and hear in the world every day. There's too much of it.' - John Coffey (The Green Mile) Click To Tweet
[referring to Percy]
Bill Dodge: I think this boy’s cheese slid off his cracker.
Jan Edgecomb: There’s no way out of this for you, is there?
Paul Edgecomb: No. And I’ve been thinking about it, believe me. I’ve been running it through my head any number of ways. No. I’ll tell you the truth, honey. I’ve done some things in my life that I’m not proud of, but this is the first time I’ve ever felt real danger of hell.
Jan Edgecomb: Hell? Oh, Paul. Talk to him. Talk to John. Find out what he wants.
Paul Edgecomb: John, I have to ask you something very important now.
John Coffey: I know what you going to say. You don’t have to say it.
Paul Edgecomb: No, I do. I do. I have to say it. John, tell me what you want me to do. You want me to take you out of here? Just let you run away? See how far you could get?
John Coffey: Why would you do such a foolish thing?
Paul Edgecomb: 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 going to say? That it was my job? It’s my job.
John Coffey: You tell God the Father it was a kindness you done. I know you’re hurting and worrying. I can feel it on you. But you ought to quit on it now. I want it to be over and done with. I do. I’m tired, boss. I’m tired of being on the road and lonely as a sparrow in the rain. I’m tired of never having me a buddy to be with, to tell me where we’s going to, coming from, or why. Mostly, I’m tired of people being ugly to each other.
Brutus ‘Brutal’ Howell: Well, there must be something we can do for you, John. There must be something that you want.
[John thinks for a moment]
John Coffey: I ain’t never seen me a flicker show.
John Coffey: There’s lots of folks here that hate me. Lots. I can feel it. It’s like bees stinging me.
Brutus ‘Brutal’ Howell: Well, feel how we feel, then. We don’t hate you. Can you feel that?
'We each owe a death. There are no exceptions. But, oh, God, sometimes the Green Mile seems so long.' - Old Paul Edgecomb (The Green Mile) Click To Tweet
Paul Edgecomb: John Coffey, you have been condemned to die in the chair by a jury of your peers. Sentence imposed by a judge in good standing in this state. Do you have anything to say before sentence is carried out?
I’m sorry for what I am.
[as his head is about to be covered with the cloth]
John Coffey: Please, boss, don’t put that thing over my face. Don’t put me in the dark. I’s afraid of the dark.
Paul Edgecomb: Alright, John.
Old Paul Edgecomb: When John did that, when he took my hand, a part of the power that worked through him, spilled into me.
Elaine Connelly: He what? He infected you with life?
Old Paul Edgecomb: It’s as good a word as any. He infected us both, didn’t he, Mr. Jingles? With life.
Old Paul Edgecomb: I’m a hundred and eight years-old, Elaine. I was forty-four the year that John Coffey walked the Green Mile. You mustn’t blame John. He couldn’t help what happened. He was just a force of nature. Oh, I’ve lived to see some amazing things, Ellie. Another century come to pass. But I’ve had to see my friends and loved ones die off through the years. Hal and Melinda. Brutus Howell. My wife, my boy. And you, Elaine. You’ll die too. And my curse is knowing that I’ll be there to see it. It’s my atonement, you see. It’s my punishment for letting John Coffey ride the lightning. For killing a miracle of God.
Old Paul Edgecomb: You’ll be gone like all the others. I’ll have to stay. Oh, I’ll die eventually. Of that I’m sure. I have no illusions of immortality. But I will have wished for death, long before death finds me. In truth, I wish for it already.
Old Paul Edgecomb: I lie in bed most nights thinking about it. And I wait. I think about all the people I’ve loved, now long gone. I think about my beautiful Jan, how I lost her so many years ago. And I think about all of us walking our own Green Mile, each in our own time. But one thought, more than any other, keeps me awake most nights, “If he could make a mouse live so long, how much longer do I have?”
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