So I was watching an old episode of “Amazing Stories” on Encore… For those who don’t know “Amazing Stories” was a fantasy TV show from the 80s that was produced by Steven Spielberg. (Kind of like a more family oriented “Twilight Zone”) Anyways, I was watching this one episode starring Patrick Swayze called “Life on Death Row” when after only a few minutes into the episode I noticed something, the story was strikingly similar to “The Green Mile” yet this episode was made 10 years before the book was published, Interesting.
So what are the similarities you might ask? Well here we go… In “Life on Death Row” we first of all have our prisoner. Patrick Swayze plays “Eric David Peterson” a convicted murderer on death row. While in prison he develops a friendship with one of the guards who tries to console him. Early into his stay Eric and a few other prisoners make an escape attempt, but Eric is hit by lightning giving him the ability to heal. The prisoners are apprehended and brought back where the guard soon learns of Eric’s powers. Thus the guard starts using Eric to help a few prisoners and even gets help himself for his bad leg. Now aside from the escape attempt, this whole thing about a “healing prisoner” is quite similar to “The Green Mile” He even gets somewhat fatigued after he does it, just like John Coffey. Now I’m not saying Stephen King ripped of a cheesy 80s TV show, in fact I’ll bet “Life on Death Row” was probably even based off of an earlier story. I missed the starting credits so I’m not exactly sure, but there were a handful of Twilight Zone episodes based off of short stories so it’s a possibility. Basically I just found this kind of interesting and worth a bit of a peek. One thing is for sure it’s no where as good as King’s story..