The lives of guards on Death Row are affected by one of their charges:
a black man accused of child murder and rape, yet who has a mysterious gift.
In a Louisiana assisted-living home in 1999, Paul Edgecomb begins to cry
while watching the film Top Hat. His companion Elaine becomes concerned, and Paul
explains to her that the film reminded him of the events of 1935, which took place when he
was a prison officer, in charge of death row, what they refer to as the "Green Mile".In 1935, Paul
supervises officers Brutus Howell, Dean Stanton, Harry Terwilliger, and Percy Wetmore at
Cold Mountain Penitentiary. Paul is suffering from a severe bladder infection and receives John Coffey,
a physically imposing but mentally challenged black man, into his custody. John had been sentenced
to death after being convicted of raping and murdering two white girls. One of the other inmates is a
Native-American named Arlen Bitterbuck, who is charged with murder and is the first to be executed.
Percy demonstrates a severe sadistic streak, but, as the nephew of Louisiana's First Lady, he is beyond
reproach. He is particularly abusive with inmate Eduard Delacroix