Waking the Dead (2000)

R  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Romance  |  24 March 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 5,853 users   Metascore: 59/100
Reviews: 107 user | 43 critic | 27 from Metacritic.com

A congressional candidate questions his sanity after seeing the love of his life, presumed dead, suddenly emerge.



(novel), (screenplay)
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1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill Haugland ...
TV Newsman at Bombing
Francisco Higgens
Gisela Higgens
Maxine Guess ...
Danny's Receptionist
Danny Pierce
Isaac Green
Governor Kinosis
Jerry Charmichael
Robert Harding ...
TV Newsman #2
Caroline Pierce
Angelo Bertelli
Minister with Bertelli on TV


Fielding Pierce lives the life of an aspiring politician - in 1972 he's serving in the Coast Guard (trying to avoid Vietnam in the most honorable way), and by 1973 he has entered law school. Along the way he falls in love with Sarah, a fiercely idealistic woman who devotes her life to helping others - unfortunately she's killed in an explosion while assisting members of the Chilean resistance. Nine years later, in the middle of a congressional election, Fielding is suddenly flooded with thoughts and visions of his lost love. Written by ccampbell

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Sometimes love has a life of its own.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

24 March 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amor Maior que a Vida  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$8,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$150,422 (USA) (24 March 2000)


$327,418 (USA) (7 April 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Brooke Shields was originally cast as Sarah Williams, but turned down the role due to the erotic nature of the film. See more »


During an argument in his new apartment, Fielding's (Billy Crudup) new girlfriend calls him "Billy". See more »


Fielding Pierce: Uh, I'm sorry, but do you believe that I'm going into politics so I can become a corrupt son of a bitch who sells electrodes to the Chilean secret police?
See more »


References Labyrinth (1986) See more »


A Case Of You
Written and Performed by Joni Mitchell
Courtesy of Elektra Entertainment Group
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

Another truly great character study from Keith Gordon
8 July 2003 | by (West University Place) – See all my reviews

Following in the big footsteps of "The Chocolate War", "A Midnight Clear" and "Mother Night", Waking the Dead" is perhaps the most cohesive and satisfying film by Keith Gordon to date. This is a film composed of two parts. The first part is a love story which takes place in America but focuses on the violent overthrow of the Salvador Allende republic in Chile. Fielding Pierce, the protagonist, is an idealistic naval officer from a working class family. He meets Sarah (played by the always lovely Jennifer Connelly), a free-thinking social activist, and they begin a whirlwind romance. Soon, though, she leaves for Chile, where she is murdered during the coup d'etat staged by Pinochet. Fielding, of course is devastated, and it leaves a scar on him which still hasn't healed when the film flashes forward to the eighties, when he has gotten into politics. Attached now to an important politico's daughter, Fielding has to make some important decisions regarding the ideals he holds so important while coping with a tremendous loss he never really came to grips with. Many critics have panned this film for being contrived and unbelievable, mostly because of the "ghost" sequences and the chronological flashback "vignette" structure which Gordon uses to paint the story. I found it refreshing after so many Pulp Fiction wannabe timeline films having been made in the last 10 years. Also, isn't it a bit wonderful to see a film that equates personal emotional turmoil with personal idealistic/political turmoil. In the midst of dealing with the loss/reincarnation of Sarah, Fielding is forced into making hard choices about what kind of man he is going to be; a member of the political machine or a true servant of the people. A rare treat.

26 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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