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Green Mile, The, Eduard Delacroix (Michael Jeter)

Site Rating: 98%
(ratings: 5)
Writeup Rating: 90%
(ratings: 6)
Film: Green Mile, The (1999)
Deceased Character: Eduard Delacroix (Michael Jeter)
Archetype: Ambivalent (Minor)
Killed by: Percy Wetmore (Doug Hutchison)
Killed with: Dry sponge / Electricity combo

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Written by Mr. Mouseburger 14th Jan 2007

Kindly submitted by Pyro

Arguably one of the most terrifying scenes in the film adaptation of Stephen King's novel comes when the night of the execution of Eduard "Del" Delacroix arrives.

His gentle nature and his compassion for a rather intelligent mouse he named Mr. Jingles would make some doubt his ability to commit a murder (the one man he accidentally killed described as "the only crime he ever had in him"), but he wouldn't be here otherwise. He entrusts Mr. Jingles to the care of John Coffey, a massive inmate whose kind nature belies his imposing appearance, Del is escorted down the hall to the execution chamber, where crowds have gathered to observe.

Percy Wetmore, a spoiled and abusive guard with family ties in high places allowing him free reign to abuse the inmates and his co-workers, and not to mention have his request to run this particular execution approved, eagerly awaits this moment. Now it is required to place a damp sponge on the headpiece of the electric chair to insure the electricity goes straight to the brain to kill the inmate quickly. Percy seemingly does this before strapping it over Del's head, claiming that it is now fully set up and the electric chair can be switched on.

However, the head security guard, Paul, notices a rather curious absence of water around the bucket used to soak the sponge, and he realises too late that Percy has secretly sabotaged the execution by leaving the sponge dry! The chair switches on, and immediately the crowd and guards alike can see something very wrong is going on. Instead of shaking wildly for a few seconds and falling dead, Del emits a horrible scream of pain as electrical sparks begin flying out of his clothes. Then the crowd begins to notice the smell of burning flesh...

Meanwhile back in the cells, sociopath "Wild Bill" can hear the screams and can tell something is very wrong, and he begins laughing and singing in amusement while Coffey cries out in horror as he somehow both senses and feels Del's pain.

Del's torment still does not end, as the sabotaged chair overloads and blasts violent electrical currents all through his wracked body, causing his body to burst into flames, terrifying the crowd.
Percy looks on in shock at the effects of his sadism (although he still doesn't seem especially guilty).
Finally, flames begin to erupt from Del's eyes and mouth, burning away parts of the hood and revealing his now horribly burnt features beneath it as the electricity continues to fry him to death. At long last, his charred remains collapse in the chair and it is promptly switched off.

Paul is furious with Percy and, not believing his claims that he didn't know he was supposed to dampen the sponge, orders him to extinguish the flames as this horrible event reaches its end.

5 categories : Torture, Execution, Electricity, Combustion, Machinery

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Other Death Reviews for Green Mile, The (1999)

Eduard Delacroix (Michael Jeter)

Last Updated: 2nd Jun 2008
Number of views for this review since 30th May 2008: 49387
This review has 11 comments. Reply to the comments
Comment 1 by 'Matt' (reply to this comment)
God - no wonder it's an 18 certificate in the UK...
Comment 2 by 'Matt' (reply to this comment)
I just noticed - isn't this called The Green Mile?
Comment 3 by 'Mr Mouseburger' (reply to this comment)
No, it is "Green Mile, The" in order to stop our letter T getting overloaded with death writeups! grinning smiley

However, i did forget to add the "The", which has now been amended.

I have never actually watched this film (all the way through), but i do enjoy Stephen King's non-horror offerings, Shawshank Redemption and Stand by Me are very memorable. One of the worst ouchees i think i have seen was in Misery, where Kathy Bates breaks James Caan's legs - wowsers!
Comment 4 by 'Mr. Briggs Inc.' (reply to this comment)
What's this about Misery being non-horror?
Comment 5 by 'old bluffer' (reply to this comment)
The Green Mile is a wonderful film, shame on you Mouse for not watching it properly from start to finish!
Comment 6 by 'Deadhand' (reply to this comment)
Maybe this is just me but I think there should be some things added to the details of this death. They don't exactly pertain to how he died, but just show the kindness of the other guards and Percy's sadism even more.

I think there should be mention about how Paul and Brutus calm down Del before the execution. He is worried about what will happen to Mr. Jingles once he is gone and after trying various pitches Brutus suggest sending Mr. Jingles to Mouseville. It is a fictional place they describe to Del, where mice perform in a circus as a tourist attraction. Del decides that that is the place for Mr. Jingles and before being led away breaks down and tells Paul and Brutus that they are good men, and he wishes that they could have met some other way.

Just before the hood is pulled over his head Del looks to Paul and Brutus and tells them "Don't forget about Mouseville..."

Percy who is standing next to Del whispers to him "Hey. There's no such place. It's just a fairytale these guys told you to keep you quiet. Just thought you should know, faggot."

Again, it doesn't really pertain to how he died. But this scene was by far the most powerful to me watching the movie, and I don't think the description now does it justice into how sad it really was and how terrible Percy is.
Comment 7 by 'Monk' (reply to this comment)
Just like to say in the simpsons there is a part where Homer is being led down to death row which spoofs the green mile, first the warden says dead man walking on green mile, then a man resembling John Coffey says to Homer "take my hands boss" then strangle him and says "I'M GONNa KILL YOU JUST LIKE I KILLED THAT OTHER GUY!!" HE then releases him and says kindly to a mouse in his cell while holding some cornbread " you want some cornbread, Mr. Jingles, WELL YOU CAN FORGET IT BECAUSE I'M GONNA KILL YOU!!! Not really to do with Del's death just to do with the green mile
Comment 8 by 'Matt' (reply to this comment)
I saw that episode (entitled The Frying Game) today and found that bit quite funny, despite the fact I, as of yet, have not seen The Green Mile.
Comment 9 by 'Monk' (reply to this comment)
Yeah I knew it was called the frying game, honest. Oh, and before anyone else reminds me the guy who resembled John Coffey wasn't holding cornbread he just asked Mr. Jingles if he'd like some.
Comment 10 by 'Redneck' (reply to this comment)
In the book when Percy tells Del upon being executed that Mousville was just a fairy tale to keep him quiet, King as the narrator Paul Edgecome writes that the look on Del's face suggested that deep down he already knew. This is portrayed wonderfully in the movie.
Comment 11 by 'Bugs' (reply to this comment)
I had seen that death in the movie before and was watching it again yesterday. Pretty scary and grewsome to watch. They couldn't even abort the process since delacroix was still alive. People who die from accidental electric shocks get thrown about after some time i think but delacroix was tied to the chair and was burnt completely as a result. What with the blue flame and electricity bolts coming out of the skin and what not. The mixture of reactions is also stark - audience vengeance which turns to revulsion and fear, guards' horror, bill's insensitive and brash antiques and coffey's suffering. powerful scene