Dead Man Walking

January 12th, 1996


Dead Man Walking

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Still of Susan Sarandon and Roberta Maxwell in Dead Man WalkingStill of Sean Penn in Dead Man WalkingStill of Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn in Dead Man WalkingStill of Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn in Dead Man WalkingStill of R. Lee Ermey and Celia Weston in Dead Man WalkingStill of Susan Sarandon in Dead Man Walking

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

Release Year: 1995

Rating: 7.6/10 (40,859 voted)

Critic's Score: 80/100

Director: Tim Robbins

Stars: Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, Robert Prosky

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.

Writers: Helen Prejean, Tim Robbins

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 - Luis Montoya
Larry Pine - Guy Gilardi

Release Date: 12 January 1996

Filming Locations: Angola, Louisiana, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $118,266 (USA) (29 December 1995) (4 Screens)

Gross: $39,025,000 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The scene where Sister Helen was pulled over is based on an incident that happened to Helen Prejean during filming. She thought it was so funny that she asked to have it put into the film.

Continuity: Matthew says that they shaved his left leg in case they couldn't find a vein. In subsequent shots, it has clearly not been shaved.

Prison guard: Tell me something sister, what is nun doing in a place like this. Shouldn't you be teaching children? Didn't you know what this man has done? How he killed them kids?
Sister Helen Prejean: What he was involved with was evil. I don't condone it. I just don't see the sense of killing people to say that killing people's wrong.
Prison guard: You know what the Bible say, 'An eye for an eye'.
Sister Helen Prejean: You know what else the Bible ask for death as a punishment? For adultery, prostitution, homosexuality, trespass upon sacred grounds, profane in a sabbath and contempt to parents.

User Review

Amazingly objective and moving

Rating: 10/10

I'm astonished how a filmmaker notorious for his political left-wing fervor could make such a subtle, non-sanctimonious picture. If you're for capital punishment, you'll still be for it after seeing this. If you're against capital punishment, you'll still be against it. But whatever your stance is, this movie will, at the very least, make you reflect on why you feel the way you do. There's not one false note in the film.


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