Bringing Out the Dead

Bringing Out the Dead

3.5 7
Director: Martin Scorsese, Nicolas Cage, Patricia Arquette, John Goodman

Cast: Martin Scorsese, Nicolas Cage, Patricia Arquette, John Goodman


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This tense urban drama stars Nicolas Cage as Frank Pierce, a paramedic on the brink of physical and emotional collapse. Frank has worked for years in one of New York's most brutal neighborhoods, and the pressure of his job has taken its toll; plagued with self-doubt, he is haunted by the spirits of the people he couldn't save, and while he desperately wants to quit


This tense urban drama stars Nicolas Cage as Frank Pierce, a paramedic on the brink of physical and emotional collapse. Frank has worked for years in one of New York's most brutal neighborhoods, and the pressure of his job has taken its toll; plagued with self-doubt, he is haunted by the spirits of the people he couldn't save, and while he desperately wants to quit his job, outside forces won't let him walk away. Bringing Out the Dead brought director Martin Scorsese back to the streets of contemporary New York, one of his favorite locations, after three films set elsewhere: Kundun, Casino, and The Age of Innocence. The film also reunited Scorsese with screenwriter Paul Schrader, who scripted Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and The Last Temptation of Christ. The supporting cast includes Patricia Arquette as the daughter of a heart attack victim that Frank has fallen in love with, and John Goodman and Ving Rhames as two of Frank's fellow drivers.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Set in the recently departed past of pre-Rudy Giuliani New York, Bringing Out the Dead (1999) reunites Martin Scorsese and Paul Schrader for another, different night crawl through a yet to be sanitized Hell's Kitchen. The manholes still belch Stygian steam and the protagonist still exists on the edge of sanity, but this time Nicolas Cage's ambulance driver makes a rocky ascent toward a tentative salvation rather than repeating Taxi Driver's (1976) descent into an ultra-violent inferno. Scorsese's customary visual brio and musical panache are amply displayed in such set pieces as a visit to a drug dealer's lair that climaxes with a victim enjoying a burst of "fireworks," while John Goodman, radio dispatchers Queen Latifah and Scorsese, and especially Ving Rhames add mordant humor to Cage's waking nightmare. Though Bringing Out the Dead pulsates with energy, chaos, and very brief rests, the ceaseless nature of the paramedic's job became a narrative frustration for critics and viewers who expected such a motion-filled picture to actually go somewhere. Even so, Bringing Out the Dead has enough moments of moviemaking courage and beauty to confirm Scorsese's place as an extraordinary teller of New York stories.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Paramount Catalog
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; Exclusive cast and crew interviews; 2 theatrical trailers

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Nicolas Cage Frank Pierce
Patricia Arquette Mary Burke
John Goodman Larry
Ving Rhames Marcus
Tom Sizemore Tom Wolls
Marc Anthony Noel
Mary Beth Hurt Nurse Constance
Cliff Curtis Cy Coates
Nestor Serrano Dr. Hazmat
Aida Turturro Nurse Crupp
Afemo Omilami Griss
Cynthia Roman Rose
Cullen Oliver Johnson Mr. Burke
Arthur Nascarella Captain Barney
Michael Kenneth Williams Actor

Technical Credits
Martin Scorsese Director
Elmer Bernstein Score Composer
Barbara de Fina Producer
Eric Steel Co-producer
Dante Ferretti Production Designer
Robert Guerra Art Director
Industrial Light & Magic Special Effects
Jeff Levine Associate Producer
Ellen Lewis Casting
Bruce S. Pustin Executive Producer
Joseph P. Reidy Asst. Director,Co-producer
Billy Reynolds Set Decoration/Design
Robert Richardson Cinematographer
Mark Roybal Associate Producer
Scott Rudin Producer
Rita Ryack Costumes/Costume Designer
James J. Sabat Sound/Sound Designer
Thelma Schoonmaker Editor
Paul Schrader Screenwriter
Adam Schroeder Executive Producer
Philip Stockton Sound Editor

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Bringing Out the Dead
1. Chapter 1
2. Chapter 2
3. Chapter 3
4. Chapter 4
5. Chapter 5
6. Chapter 6
7. Chapter 7
8. Chapter 8
9. Chapter 9
10. Chapter 10
11. Chapter 11
12. Chapter 12
13. Chapter 13
14. Chapter 14
15. Chapter 15
16. Chapter 16
17. Chapter 17
18. Chapter 18
19. Chapter 19
20. Chapter 20
21. Chapter 21
22. Chapter 22
23. Chapter 23
24. Chapter 24
25. Chapter 25
26. Chapter 26
27. Chapter 27
28. Chapter 28
29. Chapter 29
30. Chapter 30


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Bringing Out the Dead 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This has to be the worst Scorcese film I have ever seen: a real sleeper. So tediously boring I stopped watching it half-way through: I haven't cared to watch it since. There's no plot to the story and Nicholas Cage just talks on and on and on in a bland monotone. Nothing in this film is original: you can watch the same types of stories for free on 'ER' or old re-runs of 'Emergency 51.' Rent it if you must: buy at your own peril.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was a paramedic in the 4th busiest EMS system in the nation. I retired after 22 years. I was a transport medic not a fire fighter. When this movie first came out, I watched it in our guarters, while I was on duty. My partner and I both commented that ' we've had days like that' That's why there is probably such a mixed review. I believe anyone who has worked at least a few years on a rig, or engine, would have seen somthing in this movie that they could identify with.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Quiet simply one of the worst films I have ever endured. Slow, dreary, zero plot with Nicholas Cage going through (plodding through) the motions, he must have been stuck for the money.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a 911 dispatcher I could relate to a lot that was presented in this movie. Although some of it was a little dramatized the darkness of the job and the humor you must have to deal with it is conveyed well.
Gonzo84 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this flick...I was 16 when I first saw it and to this day, I think it's one of Scorsese's most Underated films. I think that it's definitely a tribute to his masterpiece "Taxi Driver," and still just as good. Nicholas Cage is at the top of his game playing paramedic Frank Pierce. He's got the same sort of edge DeNiro had in "Taxi Driver" and delivers an outstanding performance that's seems to be overlooked. The story is wonderfully adapted from the Screenwriters own experiences as a paramedic in NYC in the early 90s. There's such gritty and edgey feel to this film that traps you inside this dark and mysterious world which has yet to be featured on film. I'm from NY and majority of my family is employed within the Healthcare system and this gave me sort of an inside look of the kind of madness they would have to deal with. I love how Frank Pierce, like Travis Bickle (Taxi Driver), suffers from insomia and works the night shift, which allows him to deal with number of crazy characters on the mean streets of NY. Scorsese is the perfect director for this film, since he knows NYC and all its beauty but also its horror. He beautifully captures a sort of Underground NY that tourists and such aren't aware of. Which is the same thing he did with "Taxi Driver." There's a nice colorful cast to go along for the ride with John Goodman, Ving Rhames whom plays a overly Religous preacher type, and Tom Sizemore whom is a psychotic mess that suprisingly makes you laugh. There is a lot of humor within this dark film, but there is also some tough drama and hard issues. It seems like since "Taxi Driver," the streets are still an open sewer and has yet to be cleaned up. Only Scorsese and Spike Lee know how to tell the true stories of the streets and to do it right. So if you want an edgy story with an amazing cast and crew with vivid images to go along with it, check this out...
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