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Dead Man (1995)

R  |   |  Drama, Fantasy, Western  |  10 May 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 67,601 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 315 user | 99 critic | 19 from

On the run after murdering a man, accountant William Blake encounters a strange North American man named Nobody who prepares him for his journey into the spiritual world.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jimmie Ray Weeks ...
Marvin, Older Marshal
Mark Bringelson ...
Lee, Younger Marshal


Dead Man is the story of a young man's journey, both physically and spiritually, into very unfamiliar terrain. William Blake travels to the extreme western frontiers of America sometime in the 2nd half of the 19th century. Lost and badly wounded, he encounters a very odd, outcast Native American, named "Nobody", who believes Blake is actually the dead English poet of the same name. The story, with Nobody's help, leads William Blake through situations that are in turn comical and violent. Contrary to his nature, circumstances transform Blake into a hunted outlaw, a killer, and a man whose physical existence is slowly slipping away. Thrown into a world that is cruel and chaotic, his eyes are opened to the fragility that defines the realm of the living. It is as though he passes through the surface of a mirror, and emerges into a previously-unknown world that exists on the other side. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


No one can survive becoming a legend.


Drama | Fantasy | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for moments of strong violence, a graphic sex scene and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



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Release Date:

10 May 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$9,000,000 (estimated)


$1,069,600 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The line said by Nobody, "The eagle never lost so much time as when he submitted to learn from the Crow," is also a William Blake quote, from the proverbs of Hell in "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell". See more »


Blake buys a half-empty bottle in the bar. Minutes later, when he offers Thel a drink outside, the bottle is filled almost to the neck. See more »


[first lines]
Train Fireman: Look out the window. And doesn't this remind you of when you were in the boat, and then later than night, you were lying, looking up at the ceiling, and the water in your head was not dissimilar from the landscape, and you think to yourself, "Why is it that the landscape is moving, but the boat is still?"
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits, "Whahappan?" appears just before the soundtrack information. See more »


Billy Boy
Played in the saloon
See more »

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User Reviews

Touching, well achieved work of art
13 February 2005 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This is Jim Jarmusch at his best. I re-watched this movie a week ago and I'm still amazed by how Jarmusch gets under my skin and makes me think. Jarmusch plays with one of his favorite themes here: death. But of course, he's not limiting himself to that. He's questioning the western as a genre, he puts music in this movie in a way that makes it necessary for the viewer. Without Neil Young's guitar, this movie just isn't the same.

Johnny Depp plays William Blake an accountant from Cleveland lost in the west after some strange quiproquo. Blake is shot and dying throughout the movie. Helped with an Indian named nobody, he finds himself on his way to the other world. Lots of resilience shown by Blake, getting stronger and stronger as the difficult times are approaching. As much as the accountant never seemed to have evolved, he's taking bigger and bigger leaps as death is overshadowing him. Touching tale of friendship, resilience, death and guns! This movie is an all time great

78 of 100 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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