The Green Mile
written by Frank Darabont, from the novel by Stephen King
Old Paul: I think Mr. Jingles happened by accident. I think when we electrocuted Del, and it all went so badly. Well, John could feel it, you know, and I think a tiny part of whatever was inside of him just leapt out. Me, I was no accident. John had to give me a little part of himself. A gift, like, so I could see for myself what Wild Bill had done. When John did that, a part of whatever power worked through him spilled into me.
Elaine: He what? Infected you with life?
Paul: That's as good a word as any. He infected us both, didn't he, Mr. Jingles? With life. I'm a hundred and five years old, Elaine. I was forty the year John Coffey walked the Green Mile.
Elaine: Oh my God.
Paul: I haven't even had a cold since 1935. I've had to watch my friends and loved ones die off through the years. Hal and Melinda. Brutus Howell. My wife. My son. (pause) And you, Elaine. You'd die, too, and my curse is knowing I'll be there to see it. (we fade out to her funeral; the film ends with a voice-over) That's my punishment, you see? My punishment for letting John Coffey ride the lightning. For killing a miracle of God. You'll be gone, like all the others, and I'll have to stay. I'll die eventually, I imagine. 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.
(We fade again, a flashback to the Green Mile, after John's departure, when Paul rediscovered Mr. Jingles)
Paul (Tom Hanks): Mr. Jingles? (Paul bends down to gently pick him up) Where you been, boy? I've been worried about you. You hungry?
(We fade back to the present.)
Old Paul (voice-over) 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, and how I lost her so many years ago. 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? We each owe a death, there are no exceptions, but sometimes, oh God, the Green Mile is so long. (we see Mr. Jingles in his box, dreaming, "chasing that spool in his dreams as we fade out)
Kudos and much thanks go to Neil for this monologue, it is very much appreciated. This monologue was taken directly from the film's screenplay, so there may be differences between this and the final product you see; be advised.
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