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We each owe a death. There are no exceptions, but oh God, sometimes the Behind the Scenes Pic of the Day seems so long…

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s Behind the Scenes Pic!

The Oscars for me is a celebration of film, something that unites the world in looking film both obscure and commercial for a few hours every year. I still get the wide-eyed feeling I had as a kid watching the Oscars. Fuck yeah, they’re frustrating, they’re full of self-congratulation and surface-level schmoozing, but beyond all that is a real tribute to film and filmmaking that is an event for anybody who even has a passing interest in films.

So, today I picked a photo for a movie that was nominated for Best Picture, but like many deserving films didn’t win. This shot from the set of Frank Darabont’s The Green Mile features three of my favorite dudes, tops in their own categories. Director Frank Darabont, author Stephen King and actor Tom Hanks pose with Ol’ Sparky.

Now I’m going to head out and enjoy the Oscars with some friends. Thanks to reader Craig Cesmystruk for sending this shot along. Hope you guys enjoy it!



Tomorrow’s Behind the Scenes Pic is Viggo!

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Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 27, 2011, 5:25 p.m. CST

    Phil Collins!

    by Triple_J_72

    No? ... Oh... sorry...

  • Feb. 27, 2011, 5:27 p.m. CST

    Robert Englund

    by nolan bautista

    or a Miami swinger..

  • Feb. 27, 2011, 5:28 p.m. CST

    next to a denim wearing hick

    by nolan bautista

  • Feb. 27, 2011, 5:33 p.m. CST

    Darabont's footwear

    by DonLogan


  • Feb. 27, 2011, 5:33 p.m. CST

    Robert Englund, Harold Lauder and Tom Hanks

    by ROBRAM89

  • Feb. 27, 2011, 5:36 p.m. CST

    Don't turn out the light boss, I'm scared.

    by alan_poon

    Is King still swigging Blue Stratos or what?

  • Feb. 27, 2011, 5:37 p.m. CST

    This is what I'm talkin' bout

    by BlaGyver

    I love this collumn but for the last month or so there's been very few interesting shots. This one is a good one. Really cool pic, thanks Quint.

  • Feb. 27, 2011, 5:39 p.m. CST

    Darabont's shoes???

    by darth_hideous

    Can anyone explain this?

  • Feb. 27, 2011, 5:47 p.m. CST


    by Quint

    His shoes are regular shoes, I'm guessing, but those little bootie things are put on over shoes when there's a scuffable floor so there's no loss of continuity (ie scuffs on the floor in one shot and clean in another). I wore those things when visiting Tony Stark's workshop.

  • Feb. 27, 2011, 5:50 p.m. CST

    All Hail The King

    by elsewhere

    I love The Green Mile, but I don't watch it often because of the ending. Damn it's sad.

  • Feb. 27, 2011, 5:51 p.m. CST

    As soon as I saw this I got excited

    by memento108

    What an awesome shot for an amazing film.

  • Feb. 27, 2011, 6:14 p.m. CST

    The Oscars...

    by Unscripted

    are the industry giving itself a hand job. Nothing more. Nothing less.

  • Feb. 27, 2011, 6:16 p.m. CST

    In a perfect world...

    by Nomoredirtyanything

    the only people who should adapt King are Darabont, and a young Rob Reiner. I'm the first to call The Shining a perfect film, it's just more Kubrick than King.

  • Feb. 27, 2011, 6:18 p.m. CST


    by SmokingRobot

    Well said, Sir, I say, well said. I haven't watched the Hollywood hand job in 30 years.

  • Feb. 27, 2011, 6:57 p.m. CST

    agree on Kubrick's The Shining

    by ciroslive

    great film but poor adaptation

  • Feb. 27, 2011, 7:03 p.m. CST

    I didn't know the sponge was sposed

    by TheMcflyFarm

  • Feb. 27, 2011, 7:03 p.m. CST

    to be wet

    by TheMcflyFarm

  • Feb. 27, 2011, 7:08 p.m. CST

    my favorite oscar moment is...


    ...when Marlon Brando didn't want one! LMAO

  • Feb. 27, 2011, 7:13 p.m. CST

    darabont's shoes

    by Billy_D_Williams

    he's wearing wraps over his shoes...while on set, sometimes its necessary to wrap your shoes in a special material to keep footprints off.

  • Feb. 27, 2011, 7:26 p.m. CST

    The booties aren't the weird part.

    by ROBRAM89

    The weird part is that the other two aren't wearing them, especially King.

  • Feb. 27, 2011, 8:06 p.m. CST

    The Shining's a great movie

    by slone13 long as you didn't read the book.

  • Feb. 27, 2011, 8:36 p.m. CST

    Stephen King is rocking the Canadian Tuxedo...

    by talk2megoose

    I guess money doesn't buy you nice clothes after all....

  • Feb. 27, 2011, 9:30 p.m. CST

    I met King once--at the premier of Creepshow

    by Ingeld

    I asked him what he thought of the film version of the Shining. He made a face and said he was less than impressed. Back then, the Shining (the film) did not receive such acclaim. I am not sure what happened over the years. The film didn't change, but people seem think it is a great film now. I don't think so. I didn't when I first saw it in 1980 and the years have not changed my mind. (King autographed my paperback of the Shining though!)

  • Feb. 27, 2011, 10:20 p.m. CST

    Good one Quint.

    by Shubniggorath

    Scratch that, GREAT one Quint. This is now one of my favorite BTS pics! Thanks man!

  • Feb. 27, 2011, 10:23 p.m. CST


    by steves

    Liam Neeson has filmed a new scene for the Blu-Ray edition of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith. Frank Oz also involved.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 12:35 a.m. CST

    Has Darabont ever not looked 46 years old?

    by Chet_P_Disney

    Seems like he was born bald with granny glasses.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 1:08 a.m. CST


    by one9deuce

    Try revisionist history somewhere else, the reverence for Kubrick's THE SHINING isn't new.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 6:05 a.m. CST

    Tomorrow’s Behind the Scenes Pic is Viggo!

    by photoboy

    Mortensen or the Carpathian?

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 6:06 a.m. CST

    ewL one9deuce

    by Ingeld

    Actually, it is you who are trying to revise the past. I remember the reaction to the film and I remember King's reaction. In case you need reminding you can check out wikipedia and other sources. Here's a quote. "For example, Variety was critical saying "With everything to work with, [...] Kubrick has teamed with jumpy Jack Nicholson to destroy all that was so terrifying about Stephen King's bestseller." It was the only one of Kubrick's last nine films to get no nominations at all from either the Oscars or Golden Globes, but was nominated for a pair of Razzie Awards, including Worst Director and Worst Actress (Duvall). . .Stephen King has been quoted as saying that although Kubrick made a film with memorable imagery, it was not a good adaptation of his novel[25] and is the only adaptation of his novels that he could "remember hating".

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 9:33 a.m. CST

    Loved "The Green Mile" book...

    by Hipshot

    And hated the movie. John Coffey wasn't a human being, he was a symbol. The evidence is a critical change Darabount made from the book: no one tries to save him. In the book, the Hanks character SUSPECTS Coffey is innocent, and tries to get his case reviewed. He fails. I can deal with that. In the movie, because Coffey broadcasts psychic images, Hanks KNOWS Coffey is innocent--and does not a damned thing to try to save his life. "Oh, Coffey said he was tired, and wanted to die" you say. And how many times have we seen that? That's the time for the inspiring Oscar speech about how worthwhile life is. If Lassie had been accused of biting Timmie, was about to be gassed, and they discovered at the last minute Lassie had been rescuing Timmie from the wolves, the last act would have been a mad dash across town to save the Collie. But not here. They smuggled Coffey out to save the white woman. They wasted fifteen minutes on stupid mouse tricks. Coffey helped Hanks get his first hard-on in months. But no one, for a fraction of a second, treated the only black man in that movie like an actual human being with hopes and dreams and needs. He was purely a symbol to ennoble the white characters, and it was loathsome. A fabulous move...and I'll never watch it again.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 9:35 a.m. CST

    ingeld re: The Shining

    by spire_walk

    I think the critical response plus King's reaction was an attempt to strangle "The Shining" in its crib. What seems to be left out is that the movie gained momentum in the box office when word started to get around after the film snob and book fans had finished their bitch session. Film critics were too busy being trendy and really didn't understand that The Shining was taking the genre in new directions. King and his fans couldn't see past the novel. And sorry, but sometimes it's okay to deviate from the sacred text, and sometimes the movie is better. Every now and again it happens. In other words, all the wrong people (the biased people) saw the film first. People who actually enjoy movies showed up a week or two later when word of mouth began to spread that maybe Stephen King and the film critics were full of shit. The fact that the movie is considered a classic now is a testament to its genuine quality. It had to run the gauntlet and survived.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 10:15 a.m. CST


    by Ingeld

    Perhaps you are right, but I saw the movie when it came out, and at the time I had not read the book so there was no "sacred" text for me to compare it to. I judged it purely on my experience of a movie. I found it interesting, but I disliked Nicholson's performance. He seemed crazy from the beginning, so his descent into insanity did not seem like a long way to go--thus the horror of the story was diminished. That people now love the movie is no doubt true, and that they find things to love about it is equally true. Now, I think it is trendy to love the film.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 11:04 a.m. CST

    I'm no hater...

    by Damned if I can login

    ...but Kubrick's version just didn't do a whole lot for me. I'm one of the three people who actually liked the miniseries. The hideous corpse in the bathtub scene was pretty scary. But Jack's performance and Kubrick's camera work are both strong elements of his version. But then again, Kubrick had Scatman Crothers in his version, and that *rules*. I just can't get enough of the Scatman, I loves me some Hong Kong Phooie, and his voice renders even the Globetrotters cartoon watchable. I'm not bashing the Globetroters, like every kid in the 70's I loved 'em...but the cartoon was less than stellar. Geez, can I digress or what???

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 11:21 a.m. CST

    Scatman Crothers in "

    by Hipshot

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 11:24 a.m. CST

    Scatman Crothers in "Shining"

    by Hipshot

    Yet another example of what I'm talking about--a loathsome change from King's book. One solitary black man in the whole film, with supernatural powers. He comes back from vacation, snow-buggies across miles of desolate land, and walks right into Jack Nicolson's axe. "Magical" Negro, "Sacrificial" Negro and "Hella-stupid" Negro all in the same moment. Gotta love "Shining."

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Ok, so you have issues with this topic

    by Damned if I can login

    I still loves me some Scatman, magic or no.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Macherry: "But still the magical negro aspect of this movie has bothered me"


    If you are bothered by magical negroes, then you, my friend, are a magical racist. I have no time for your magical bigotry.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 12:17 p.m. CST

    Wow there's a lot of achievement in that shot.

    by moonlightdrive

    The back catalog of those three is powerful.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Not a Great Film

    by eck_iii

    Green Mile was okay, but way overdone at times!

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 12:26 p.m. CST


    by spire_walk

    His grip on sanity was precarious at best.... The weakest part of the movie is Jack playing a "family dad." Then again, from the beginning you're waiting for the fucker to snap, because you know it's going to be spectacular. I'm convinced Shelly Duvall's character's only purpose was to make you feel sympathetic to Jack, and why he would want to take an axe to her and her creepy kid.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 12:29 p.m. CST

    I checked Stephen King's publication list...

    by Damned if I can login

    And I see about 80 novels published (give or take), not including non-fiction or short story collections. If only 2 of these 80 novels contain black characters that perform some kind of supernatural feat, that's a pretty good percentage. Of course, I don't know anything about a lot of the titles on the list so there may be other novels that include people of color who practice magic in some way. Feel free to correct me. But I just don't get it. Most of Stephen King's novels have characters that use magic (or something like it). Sometimes they are Native American, Gypsies, or a different demographic. Sometimes they're white. I don't understand the problem if he decides to make that character black (or any other race, color, or creed) in a couple of his novels. Or is your beef with the filmmakers or screenwriters who adapted SK's novels? Color me confused.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 12:45 p.m. CST

    Magical Negro

    by spire_walk

    Spike Lee needed a sound bite so he could remain relevant. Race relations make him a one-trick pony.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 7:44 p.m. CST

    Steven King

    by Hipshot

    I've met King on several occassions, and consider him a good guy and a brilliant writer. But clearly his conception of black people is "outsider". Who are his main black characters? The two mentioned, and the Old Black Woman in "The Stand". Another one was a black main eating a white man's cum off the sheets to give her children a genetic advantage (I kid you not!). Then of course there's Suzanna, the legless half-debutante, half-crackwhore of the Gunslinger novels. It's frankly embarrassing. But that doesn't make him a "racist" in the sense of considering blacks inferior. He's just...kind of a typical guy, clueless about what the world is like outside his gates, and prone to stereotypes and generalizations. And one of my very favorite writers. ##

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 7:52 p.m. CST

    by Hipshot

    It's absurd to say that someone pointing out the "Magical Negro" meme is "a racist." Racism is ascribing different levels of humanity or capacity to different groups, not protesting one's depiction in fiction. That's a clumsy and obvious debate tactic, and it won't fly. The "magical negro" is someone who appears in a movie with no external connections, hopes, or dreams, who exists only to ennoble some white character: John Coffey in "Green Mile", Morgan Freeman in "Bruce Almighty", Will Smith in "Bagger Vance" and so forth. It is replacing the human inwardness of an "other" with your own cultural mythology, and while it is incredibly popular with white people, it is incredibly irritating on the other side. It crops up in fiction far more often than simple depictions of actual, fully human black people with hopes, dreams, aspirations, and sexuality. My son can't grow up to be God, but he can and will be a man, and deserves the same cinematic images of maturation and humanity white kids get. Now note--in no way do I think white people are worse about this than blacks would be if the positions were reversed. But if they were reversed...I hope I'd be more perceptive and empathetic than most talkbackers seem to be.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 8:44 p.m. CST

    hipshot and the magical caucausoid

    by Ingeld

    When a white person has the role in a movie of no external connections, hopes, or dreams, who exists only to ennoble some other character they are simply seen as characters. OB Wan Kenobi in the first Star Wars, Nanny McPhee, Mary Poppins, George Burns in Oh God, etc. etc. Perhaps when Blacks are given the role it is seen as inclusivity in a kind of role found in cinema since the beginning of cinema. No, no, better not go there. It has to be divisive and political--it makes for a sharper axe to grind.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 9:36 p.m. CST


    by Hipshot

    No, Ingeld. It happens if that black man is the only one in the movie. If Obi-wan had nurtured a bunch of black kids, he most certainly would have been a "magical Caucasoid." Anyone who knows me knows that the very last thing I am is racially divisive. But neither do I put up with shit without comment.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 10:15 p.m. CST


    by Ingeld

    That is because you cannot see things except through the filter of race. When you see a movie you need to make a note of the race of the characters--white or black-- and then you need to view the racial dynamics of the movie in terms of what you have constructed as the current paradigms of race relations in our society. As any postmodernist will tell you, meaning is not constructed with the text but by the audience. Thus it is those who critque the racial context of anything who are the ones most obssessed by race. BTW, statments that disagree with yours are not by necessety shit. Sometimes they're from people who just disagree. Feel free to comment.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 10:39 p.m. CST


    by Hipshot

    I see movies through that prism partially because I work in that industry, and partially because I'm paying attention not merely to the movies that are made--but to their audience popularity. That is what I'm looking at: the unconscious images that appeal to large groups of Americans. No, I don't think Darabount did it consciously. In his mind, he was organizing the images and scenes to produce a given emotional effect on the audience, and he choreographed it brilliantly. There's just this one little problem. I'll try a little exercise to help you see my point. Tell me: have you ever, ever seen an American film that had only one white character, who died? There have been plenty of movies with nothing but black people. If you can't name a single one, while the list of films in which the opposite is true is lengthy, at what point do you stop thinking it's a statistical aberration, and start wondering if you are tracking a social meme? Art is what the artist expresses through both conscious and unconscious application of his craft. But popular art is...popular. Lotsa folks like it. I propose a simple theory, one that doesn't say anyone is especially guilty: it's something that exists in human nature. Chiefly, the capacity to consider the "other" as just a little less human than we are. To empathize a little less. It would make sense of every war, every act of murder and oppression that stains our history as a species. This approximate 10% disconnect definitely operates in my field, and I've seen it in every group of human beings I've ever encountered, except maybe a few Buddhist monks. I talk about it in cinema because I think you can prod at both ends of the snake. This stuff only works when people are unconscious. Waking up is sometimes a little painful, but always worth it.

  • March 1, 2011, 3:24 a.m. CST

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  • March 1, 2011, 7:13 a.m. CST


    by Ingeld

    The archetype of the wise old man who assists the hero and departs (usually through death) is as old as story itself. That in the last few years the role has been given to blacks in films that have a white protagonist shows that the industry is less color blind rather than more. More roles--that are roles of power, authority, strength and control-- are going to blacks that in the past might have only been given to whites. That you and others wish to make racial statements because you can't find a instance of the magical caucasoid with a black protagonist is just silly. The funny thing is if such a film exists many would point to it as racist because here is just another example of blacks being dependent on the amazing powers of white folk to suceed. So, people who look for statistical instances of racism in order to grind their axe have found a win/win situation in this one. I am not so naive to think our society and hollywood is free of racism, I just don't see it here. The old saying that when the only tool you have is a hammer, everything look likes a nail applies. When the only lens one looks through is race, everythng takes on a racial tone or edge. Feel free to post another comment. I have said what I want to say. All the best.

  • March 1, 2011, 9:07 a.m. CST


    by Hipshot

    I've taught the Hero's Journey for many years, and am totally aware of the prevalence of the "Wise Old Man" archetype. I've also taught writing at the university level, and watched white kids totally unable to create a realistic black character--but hypnotized by the "Magical Negro" archetype to the point that I can predict that out of ten students, one of them will create some magical, mystical old juju-man or woman to assist a white character. And I see what is missing: the normal human being. Same thing I saw missing to an absurd degree growing up. And at every step of confronting white artists about their limited perceptions, someone would claim that NOTICING exclusion or stereotyping was in itself racist. Nonsense. Noticing child abuse isn't the same as child molestation. And if I notice a disproportionate number of blacks dying in movies, or being presented as criminals or mental defectives, at every step its: "oh, you're just too sensitive! You're being a racist just to notice this." Nah. And I feel sorry for anyone who would buy that argument. Or that you would think it my obligation to just eat whatever corrupt or narrow pictures white artists condescend to create. But until I see images of black males being simply human--loving, thinking, surviving, having know, just like white guys--I'm going to call out images of sub or trans-human black people--they aren't real, they don't satisfy, and they do nothing to enhance communication.

  • March 1, 2011, 9:48 a.m. CST

    limited percpetions-hipshot

    by Ingeld

    The thing about limited perceptions is that we all have them and it is very easy to recognize in others--not so much in ourselves. Not all things you perceive are true. Take it from this magical old caucasoid. Now, I will disappear.