In 1999, the critically acclaimed film The Green Mile, based on Stephen King’s 1996 fantasy drama novel of the same name, was released. 

The heartwarming fantasy crime drama film directed by Frank Darabont tugged at the viewers’ heartstrings and had them weeping. It is the story of prison officer Paul Edgecomb on death row, nicknamed The Green Mile.

The film takes an interesting turn after inmate John Coffey, who inhabits extraordinary supernatural abilities, is brought to the prison. 

It was a box office hit and grossed $290 million, owing much of its success to prominent names in the industry such as Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, David Morse, and Bonnie Hunt. 

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With an interesting storyline and stellar performances from the cast, one could not help but wonder, “Is The Green Mile a true story?”

Here is a breakdown of whether the story has anything to do with reality. 

Is The Green Mile a True Story?

The Green Mile is not exactly a true story. That being said, it was influenced by King’s novel that drew inspiration from real-life events.

So the movie strongly parallels the real-life case of George Stinney

Stinney was a 14-year-old boy convicted of killing two young girls in 1944, even though he claimed to be innocent. 

At that time, all the jurors were American, and the trial lasted only two hours. He was sentenced to death by electrocution ten minutes later, despite being a minor. He remains the youngest person sentenced to death in the 20th century in the United States. 

Unfortunately, decades after Stinney’s demise, he was proven innocent. 

In the movie, Duncan, who starred as Coffey, was also convicted of rape and murdering two young girls, and like Stinney, he was innocent of his crimes. 

Set during the great depression, when racism and unfair legal practices against African Americans were the norms, Coffey never got the chance to prove his innocence. 

Despite his gentle manners and miraculous ability to heal other people from ailments and injuries, he died on the electric chair in the end. 

Where Was The Green Mile Filmed?

These similarities between the movie and the real events of Stinney’s case caused people to question if the film was based on reality. 

However, some differences show the movie is not based on a true story. 

Michael Clarke Duncan as John Coffey in The Green Mile

Michael Clarke Duncan as John Coffey in The Green Mile. (Source: Instagram)

Both the stories are set at different locations. Stinney was from South Carolina and was held in the South Carolina Penitentiary, which was renamed the Central Correctional Institution in 1965. 

Meanwhile, the movie was filmed at Tennessee State Penitentiary, located at Cockrill Bend Boulevard in West Nashville. In the film, the prison was called Cold Mountain Penitentiary and was located in Louisiana.

Additionally, the scenes where Edgecomb recited the story of Coffey were filmed in a nursing home named Georgia Pines. 

The nursing home is at Moses Cone Memorial Park at Blowing Rock, between Asheville and Winston-Salem, North Carolina. 

The Green Mile is not based on a true story but merely a depiction of the failings of U.S. law enforcement.