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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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4 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Jimmie Ray Weeks ...
Marvin, Older Marshal
Mark Bringelson ...
Lee, Younger Marshal
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

No one can survive becoming a legend.

Genres:

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:

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Details

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Release Date:

10 May 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$1,069,600 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The passage Salvatore Jenko reads from the Bible is from 1 Samuel 17:46, "This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee ...". See more »

Goofs

While the three bounty hunters are waiting in the office, Conway asks Johnny for tobacco, then dismissively says that Johnny isn't even old enough to smoke. There would have been no laws governing tobacco use by minors at the time this movie was set, and persons as young as nine or ten might have smoked or chewed tobacco without raising much comment other than that tobacco was considered a bad habit in the young. The thought that Johnny was too young to smoke should not have even crossed Conway's mind. (It is also possible that Conway was simply commenting on how extremely young Johnny is in general--that he's too young even to have picked up such a habit.) See more »

Quotes

[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?"
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Crazy Credits

In between the Set Production Assistants and First Assistant Editor is the "Hangin'-out Guy," Nemo Labrizzi. See more »

Connections

References Pumpkinhead (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Billy Boy
Played in the saloon
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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


79 of 102 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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