Dead Man

Dead Man

4.7 11
Director: Jim Jarmusch

Cast: Jim Jarmusch, Johnny Depp, Gary Farmer, Lance Henriksen

     
 

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A dark, bitter commentary on modern American life cloaked in the form of a surrealist western, Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man stars Johnny Depp as William Blake, a newly-orphaned accountant who leaves his home in Cleveland to accept a job in the frontier town of Machine. Upon his arrival, Blake is told by the factory owner Dickinson (Robert Mitchum) that the job hasSee more details below

Overview

A dark, bitter commentary on modern American life cloaked in the form of a surrealist western, Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man stars Johnny Depp as William Blake, a newly-orphaned accountant who leaves his home in Cleveland to accept a job in the frontier town of Machine. Upon his arrival, Blake is told by the factory owner Dickinson (Robert Mitchum) that the job has already been filled. Dejectedly, he enters a nearby tavern, ultimately spending the night with a former prostitute. A violent altercation with the woman's lover (Gabriel Byrne), also Dickinson's son, leaves Blake a murderer as well as mortally wounded, a bullet lodged dangerously close to his heart. He flees into the wilderness, where a Native American named Nobody (Gary Farmer) mistakes Blake for the English poet William Blake and determines that he will be Blake's guide in his protracted passage into the spirit world.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Dan Friedman
The interesting thing about Western movies is that they are the oldest genre in the cinema and yet, because of that status, every couple of years there seems to be a reinvention or new take on what is, by definition, the most American of stories. Dead Man, putting it mildly, ain't your grandfather's Western. In fact, it breaks the Western stereotype in so many ways, maybe Westerns should be defined by more than just their setting. To begin with, the director is indie darling Jim Jarmusch, who would be associated with Westerns in much the same way that Jerry Lewis would be associated with Holocaust dramas. This is, after all, the same man who gave us such classics as the Elvis homage Mystery Train and Down by Law, which introduced Roberto Benigni to American audiences. Add to that the character of William Blake, a bookish accountant played by Johnny Depp, who is most decidedly not your typical Western hero. In fact, Blake is the type of character who would most likely have been comedy relief to John Wayne not too many years ago. Briefly, Blake is hired by a corrupt industrialist (Robert Mitchum, in his last screen role) to serve as his company's accountant. Upon spending everything he has to reach the West, he is told his job has been given to another, thus sending into motion a series of events where Blake is wounded and on the run from a gang of bounty hunters, including Lance Henriksen. While there are bits of adventurism, the film is really a much quieter character study of a man forced to survive in an unfamiliar place by unfamiliar means and how it changes him as a human being. As a consequence, the film applies layer upon layer of subtext, some of which is as meaningless as the rest is meaningful. Blake encounters a loner Indian named, appropriately enough, Nobody, who believes Blake to be the great English poet William Blake and attempts to save his soul before Blake can expire from his wounds (not to give anything away, but the title of the film says it all). The film does follow some classic Western traits, in that it is gorgeously shot; the black-and-white cinematography is excellent, particularly in the opening sequence that chronicles Blake's journey west. Dead Man can be a little slow-moving at times, but it definitely engages both the senses and the philosophical portions of the brain that sometimes need a good, swift kick.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/13/2015
UPC:
0031398211709
Original Release:
1995
Rating:
R
Source:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[B&W, Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Stereo]
Time:
2:01:00
Sales rank:
23,351

Special Features

Closed Caption

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Johnny Depp William Blake
Gary Farmer Nobody
Lance Henriksen Cole Wilson
Michael Wincott Conway Twill
Robert Mitchum John Dickinson
Mili Avital Thel Russell
Gabriel Byrne Charlie Dickinson
Iggy Pop Salvatore "Sally" Jenko
Crispin Glover Train fireman
John Hurt John Scholfield
Eugene Byrd Johnny "The Kid" Pickett
Billy Bob Thornton Big George Drakoulious
Jared Harris Benmont Tench
Alfred Molina Trading Post Missionary
Jimmie Ray Weeks Marvin, Older Marshall
Mark Bringelson Lee, Younger Marshall
Michelle Thrush Nobody's Girlfriend
Pete Schrum Drunk
Richard Boes Man with Wrench
Mike Dawson Old Man with Wanted Posters
John C. Pattison Trading Post Man No. 1
Todd Pfeiffer Trading Post Man No. 2
Mickey McGee Bartender (Uncredited)
Gibby Haines Man with Gun in Alley
George Duckworth Man at End of Street
John North Mr. Olafsen
Thomas Bettles Young Nobody
Daniel Chas Stacy Young Nobody
Johnny Pfeiffer Man at Trading Post
Leonard Bowechop Makah Villager
Cecil Cheeka Makah Villager
Michael McCarty Makah Villager

Technical Credits
Jim Jarmusch Director,Screenwriter
Marit Allen Costumes/Costume Designer
Lou Carlucci Special Effects
Francis Ford Coppola Producer
Karen Koch Co-producer
Dayna Lee Set Decoration/Design
Ellen Lewis Casting
Demetra J. Macbride Producer
Neal Martz Makeup
Robby Müller Cinematographer
Todd Pfeiffer Asst. Director
Jay Rabinowitz Editor
Laura Rosenthal Casting
Neil Young Score Composer,Songwriter
Bob Ziembicki Production Designer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Dead Man
1. Strangers On A Train [8:27]
2. Machine [7:08]
3. Mr. Dickinson [6:26]
4. This Is America [5:47]
5. The Hunt Is On [5:20]
6. Stupid White-man [5:35]
7. Written With Blood [9:21]
8. Story Of Nobody [3:40]
9. Camp Crazy [8:50]
10. Wanted [8:01]
11. Poetry [10:32]
12. Nobody Does It Better [9:10]
13. Salvation [10:34]
14. With The Tribe [10:42]
15. Horizon Meets The Sea [11:21]

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