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Dead Man Walking (1995)

A nun, while comforting a convicted killer on death row, empathizes with both the killer and his victim's families.

Director:

Tim Robbins

Writers:

Helen Prejean (book) (as Sister Helen Prejean C.S.J.), Tim Robbins
Reviews
Popularity
3,387 ( 728)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 21 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Susan Sarandon ... Sister Helen Prejean
Sean Penn ... Matthew Poncelet
Robert Prosky ... Hilton Barber
Raymond J. Barry ... Earl Delacroix
R. Lee Ermey ... Clyde Percy
Celia Weston ... Mary Beth Percy
Lois Smith ... Helen's Mother
Scott Wilson ... Chaplain Farley
Roberta Maxwell ... Lucille Poncelet
Margo Martindale ... Sister Colleen
Barton Heyman ... Captain Beliveau
Steve Boles ... Sgt. Neal Trapp
Nesbitt Blaisdell ... Warden Hartman
Ray Aranha Ray Aranha ... Luis Montoya
Larry Pine ... Guy Gilardi
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Storyline

A convicted murderer on Death Row and the nun who befriends him. Through the portrayal of finely drawn characters and their interactions as the days, hours, and minutes tick down to the condemned man's execution, powerful emotions are unleashed. While Matthew Poncelet and Sister Prejean desperately try to gain a stay of execution from the governor or the courts, scenes are intercut from the brutal crime, gradually revealing the truth about the events that transpired. In addition to her temporal help, the nun also tries to reach out spiritually and assist as a guide to salvation. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a depiction of a rape and murder | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 February 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La dernière marche See more »

Filming Locations:

Angola, Louisiana, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$118,266, 29 December 1995, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$39,387,284

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$83,088,295
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First theatrical movie of Peter Sarsgaard (Walter Delacroix). See more »

Goofs

When Sister Helen and Mr. Delacroix are first speaking in his living room, a crew member wanders into the background outside the window and then quickly runs out. See more »

Quotes

Hilton Barber: [at Matthew Poncelet's appeals hearing] The death penalty. It's nothin' new; it's been with us for centuries. We've buried people alive; lopped off their heads with an axe; burned them alive at a public square... gruesome spectacles. In this century, we kept searchin' for more and more *humane* ways... of killin' people that we didn't like. We've shot 'em with firing squads; suffocated 'em, in the gas chamber. But now... Now we have developed a device that is the most humane of all. Lethal ...
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Crazy Credits

In the heart-shaped symbol at the end of the credits, the initials EMLA, JHR, MGR, and SS stand for Tim Robbins' family with Susan Sarandon (SS) -- Jack Henry Robbins and Miles Guthrie Robbins (their two sons together) and Eva Maria Livia Amurri (Sarandon's daughter with Franco Amurri). See more »

Connections

Featured in The 68th Annual Academy Awards (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Isa Lei
Performed by Ry Cooder & Vishwamohan Bhatt (as Vishwa M. Bhatt)
Written by A.W. Caten
Courtesy of Water Lily Acoustic, Inc. & Jhankar Corp.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Sean Penn is simply amazing!
5 January 2000 | by GregRGSee all my reviews

There are few films where both the performances and directing are as powerful as they are in this film. Sean Penn is nothing less than awesome in a film that is as unflinching, intelligent, and thoughtful about the death penalty as any film could be. Writer/director Tim Robbins shows a depth beyond any reasonable expectation, Susan Sarandon is wonderful as the strong moral center of the film, and Sean Penn's performance is one of the most specific, thought provoking and eerily realistic performances ever put on film. In short, his performance is a masterpiece, as is this important film.


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