Dead Man Walking

Dead Man Walking is the story about Mat Poncelet, a Louisiana death row inmate, who writes a nun, Sister Prejean, asking for her help in his stay of execution attempt. She and Mat begin writing to each other and become friends. After visiting with Mat in prison several times, she decides to assist him with his appeal. During her research into the case, she meets the families of the victims he is accused of murdering. Sister Prejean finds that she is torn between the feelings she shares with the victims' families and her duties to Matt as a servant of God. She must do a lot of soul searching during this time which leads her to recollections of her own past and experiences she had growing up. After the stay of execution is denied by the governor, Mat asks Sister Prejean to be his spiritual guide until his death. She becomes the first nun to ever walk with a prisoner to his death. In accepting this task, it becomes her duty to convince Mat to make his peace with himself and God. It is an experience that leaves Sister Prejean with a feeling of accomplishment knowing that she has served God, while at the same time touching the lives of so many, especially Mat, in his time of need.

  • Starring: Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn
  • Director(s): Tim Robbins
  • Producer(s): Twelve Gauge Productions
  • Screenwriter(s): Tim Robbins
  • Distributor: Gramercy Pictures
  • Animal Coordinator: Unknown
  • Release Date: Wednesday, October 25, 1995

Featured Animal Action

Animal action in this film is limited to a dog being walked on a leash and taxidermic possum. In one scene, Sister Prejean has a flashback of herself as a child. Some children are seen standing around a possum striking it with a stick. No live animals were used for the scene. A taxidermic possum was leased by the production company and American Humane was provided with receipts for the rental. In another flashback sequence, there is a very brief scene of a search party walking through the woods with a dog on a leash.