For the film The Green Mile, according to IMDb:

Originally set in 1932, the timeframe was bumped to 1935 so that the movie Top Hat (1935) could be featured.

Why was the altered time frame of the movie deemed necessary to include the movie Top Hat? What significance does this movie have in the story of Green Mile? Could it just be a director's tribute to an older film?

1 Answer 1


Watching this movie while he is at the nursing home, is what triggers Edgecomb to tell his story to Elaine.

In some ways it is a Chekhov's Gun: you don't learn why this movie caused him to reveal his secret until very late in the movie, when John Coffey asks to see movie as his last request on the day of his execution.

It is an invention of the movie (it isn't in King's story), and most likely they changed the year to allow them to pick an iconic movie. Let's also not forget what Coffey said while watching it:

"They's angels... Angels, just like up in heaven!"

  • 2
    I dunno if I can rewatch this movie anymore without crying ever since Michael Clark Duncan passed away...
    – DForck42
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 16:02
  • That much seems clear, yet one has to wonder if they wouldn't as well have found any other pre-32 movie for that either.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Aug 12, 2017 at 20:59

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