MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 263 this week

Dead Man (1995)

 -  Drama | Fantasy | Western  -  10 May 1996 (USA)
7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 61,581 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 313 user | 98 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

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.

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Related News

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 28 Mar 2011
 
a list of 39 titles
created 27 Nov 2011
 
a list of 45 titles
created 18 Jan 2013
 
a list of 40 titles
created 31 Mar 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 11 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Dead Man" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Dead Man (1995)

Dead Man (1995) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Dead Man.

User Polls

6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An African American mafia hit man who models himself after the samurai of old finds himself targeted for death by the mob.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Forest Whitaker, Henry Silva, John Tormey
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A series of vignettes that all have coffee and cigarettes in common.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Bill Murray, Tom Waits, Roberto Benigni
Down by Law (1986)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The story of three different men in a Louisiana prison and their eventual journey.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Tom Waits, John Lurie, Roberto Benigni
Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

As the extremely withdrawn Don Johnston is dumped by his latest woman, he receives an anonymous letter from a former lover informing him that he has a son who may be looking for him. A freelance sleuth neighbor moves Don to embark on a cross-country search for his old flames in search of answers.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Bill Murray, Jessica Lange, Sharon Stone
Mystery Train (1989)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Three stories are connected by a Memphis hotel and the spirit of Elvis Presley.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Masatoshi Nagase, Yûki Kudô, Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A self-styled New York hipster is paid a surprise visit by his younger cousin from Budapest. From initial hostility and indifference a small degree of affection grows between the two. Along... See full summary »

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: John Lurie, Eszter Balint, Richard Edson
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The story of a mysterious loner, a stranger in the process of completing a criminal job.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Isaach De Bankolé, Alex Descas, Jean-François Stévenin
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An anthology of 5 different cab drivers in 5 American and European cities and their remarkable fares on the same eventful night.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Winona Ryder, Gena Rowlands, Lisanne Falk
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A young slacker wanders New York City searching for some meaning in life and encounters many idiosyncratic characters.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Chris Parker, Leila Gastil, John Lurie
The Brave (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A down-on-his-luck American Indian recently released from jail is offered the chance to "star" as the victim of a snuff film, the resulting pay of which could greatly help his poverty ... See full summary »

Director: Johnny Depp
Stars: Johnny Depp, Marlon Brando, Marshall Bell
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An oddball journalist and his psychopathic lawyer travel to Las Vegas for a series of psychedelic escapades.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Tobey Maguire
Nick of Time (1995)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An unimpressive, every-day man is forced into a situation where he is told to kill a politician to save his kidnapped daughter.

Director: John Badham
Stars: Johnny Depp, Christopher Walken, Courtney Chase
Edit

Cast

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

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

|

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

10 May 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$1,069,600 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The lines "Some are born to sweet delight and some born to the endless night" are also lyric of a song entitled "End of the Night" by The Doors. See more »

Goofs

The straps on Thel's dress while she's talking to Charlie. 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?"
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Spin-off Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Billy Boy
Played in the saloon
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A wonderful journey through life and death...
26 September 2006 | by (Mexico) – See all my reviews

The Western genre has always been misunderstood as a simplistic, racist (and misogynistic) traditional genre due to the many mediocre Westerns of the 40s and 50s. However, real good Westerns have delighted us with complex stories that take advantage of the setting themes: the conflict between honor & law, wilderness & civilization, and life & death. Director Jim Jarmusch, who has achieved fame and recognition in the independent film community, uses the elements of the Western genre to create his very own poetical meditation on these themes, giving the genre his personal touch crafting a powerful and original gem.

Young accountant William Blake (Johnny Depp) seems to have lost everything as his parents have died and his fianceé left him without a reason; so he decides to take a job in Machine, a town located at the end of "civilization" in the Wild Wild West. To his misfortune, the job he applied to has already been taken and now he finds himself really without nothing. However, his life will change forever after by a series of circumstances he ends up murdering a man, becoming an outlaw, although getting badly wounded in the process. Now, traveling along an outcast native who calls himself "Nobody" (Gary Farmer), he'll begin a strange and surreal trip that'll prepare him for the next stage.

Written by Jarmusch himself, the film's story details Blake's trip guided by Nobody in a similar way to Dante's journey in "The Divine Comedy", where a series of "episodes" are used to explore different ideas and themes across the trip. Jarmusch subtlety mixes drama and comedy to deliver his philosophical meditation making the film an entertaining experience, never becoming boring or tiresome. The Western setting is used effectively to tell this story and "Dead Man" toys with the Western elements in a subtle, respectful and quite entertaining way that neither parodies it nor makes fun of it in any way.

Shot entirely in black and white, the cinematography (by Jarmusch regular, Robby Müller) captures that feeling of loneliness and emptiness that William Blake's life has, as well as his collision with the wilderness of the wild west. Jarmusch camera-work together with Neil Young's excellent soundtrack give the film a beautiful surreal look that echoes Blake's equally surreal journey across the darkness searching for light. Finally, another interesting point is Jarmusch extensive care for detail in his portrayal of the American west, as well as his respect for the Native American cultures that play an important role in his film; making "Dead Man" one of the most realist Westerns ever made.

Johnny Depp's performance is remarkable, and probably one of the best in his career. Blake's complete transformation across the film is a real challenge and Depp makes the most of it. Gary Farmer is equally excellent and he is as effective in the comedy scenes as he is in the drama scenes, showing his flexibility and talent. The supporting roles present an assortment of cameos where actors such as Crispin Glover, Lance Henriksen, John Hurt and Robert Mitchum (in his last role) appear giving outstanding performances despite the limited screen time they receive. Henriksen certainly delivers his best performance in years.

Jarmusch's film is a brilliant poetical meditation of life and death, but its episodic nature make it feel even more slow than it is, as every vignette is separated by fade outs that break the mood created. This really damages the film's atmosphere, as it feels as a forced wake up after a pleasant dream. Another problem, is that fans expecting an action-filled Western may end up disappointed, so bear in mind that this film is more about feelings rather than actions. Despite his minor problems, the film is still a very enjoyable experience and a whole new way to experience Westerns, so even non-fans of the genre will appreciate it.

To summarize, "Dead Man" is an atypical look at Westerns that presents Jarmusch's interesting views on life and death in an entertaining, attractive way. Among the revisionist westerns, "Dead Man" is a valuable gem that is worth a watch. Even non-fans of the genre will find something interesting in it. 9/10


55 of 66 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
More films like this? BERSERKERpoetry
Music ruins it abit ntini77
Cole and Conway millar70
three guys in the woods? pob9551
Steve Buscemi? Where? longshanks_68
Jarmusch = Symbolism Mr_Cinema8
Discuss Dead Man (1995) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?