Album: The Green Mile: Music from the Motion Picture

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Album:

The Green Mile: Music from the Motion Picture

Artist: Thomas Newman
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Label: Warner Bros / Wea

The greatest soundtrack composers have historically performed a musical tightrope act, being called upon to be stylistically inventive yet invitingly familiar, emotionally compelling without being cloying. In modern times, few have risen to the challenge like Thomas Newman. His score for Frank Darabont’s adaptation of Stephen King’s miraculous death row fable is an organic masterpiece, whether Newman is wringing dramatic fury from his orchestra’s rhythm and percussion or, as is more often the case here, delicately shading the proceedings with a palette of sounds…

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The greatest soundtrack composers have historically performed a musical tightrope act, being called upon to be stylistically inventive yet invitingly familiar, emotionally compelling without being cloying. In modern times, few have risen to the challenge like Thomas Newman. His score for Frank Darabont’s adaptation of Stephen King’s miraculous death row fable is an organic masterpiece, whether Newman is wringing dramatic fury from his orchestra’s rhythm and percussion or, as is more often the case here, delicately shading the proceedings with a palette of sounds distinctly his own. Though seasoned with a pinch of period pop and folk music to underscore the film’s period and locale, it’s Newman’s spare, creative soundscapes that become the film’s subtle, emotional core. The composer may have grown up in a family (Hollywood’s legendary Newman clan) steeped in daunting film-music history, but Newman has gratifyingly created a body of work whose attention to shade and nuance—and their crucial spiritual connections—seem more influenced by Bernard Herrmann, and that’s not bad company, either. —Jerry McCulley

Related Works

Book:The Green Mile: The Complete Serial Novel

The Green Mile: The Complete Serial Novel

Stephen King

Set in the 1930s at the Cold Mountain Penitentiary’s death-row facility, The Green Mile is the riveting and tragic story of John Coffey, a giant, preternaturally gentle inmate condemned to death for the rape and murder of twin nine-year-old girls. It is a story narrated years later by Paul Edgecomb, the ward superintendent compelled to help every prisoner spend his last days peacefully and every man walk the green mile to execution with his humanity intact.

Edgecomb has sent seventy-eight inmates to their date with “old sparky,” but he’s never encountered one like Coffey—a man who wants to die, yet has the power to heal. And in this place of ultimate retribution, Edgecomb discovers the terrible truth about Coffey’s gift, a truth that challenges his most cherished beliefs—and ours.

Film:The Green Mile

The Green Mile

Frank Darabont

“The book was better” has been the complaint of many a reader since the invention of movies. Frank Darabont’s second adaptation of a Stephen King prison drama (The Shawshank Redemption was the first) is a very faithful adaptation of King’s serial novel. In the middle of the Depression, Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) runs death row at Cold Mountain Penitentiary. Into this dreary world walks a mammoth prisoner, John Coffey (Michael Duncan) who, very slowly, reveals a special gift that will change the men working and dying (in the electric chair, masterfully and…

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