6.8/10
54,449
383 user 162 critic

Bringing Out the Dead (1999)

Haunted by the patients he failed to save, an extremely burned-out Manhattan ambulance paramedic fights to maintain his sanity over three fraught and turbulent nights.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
4,505 ( 873)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Kundun (1997)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

From childhood to adulthood, Tibet's fourteenth Dalai Lama deals with Chinese oppression and other problems.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Tenzin Thuthob Tsarong, Gyurme Tethong, Tulku Jamyang Kunga Tenzin
After Hours (1985)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An ordinary word processor has the worst night of his life after he agrees to visit a girl in Soho whom he met that evening at a coffee shop.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Griffin Dunne, Rosanna Arquette, Verna Bloom
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The life of Jesus Christ, his journey through life as he faces the struggles all humans do, and his final temptation on the cross.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, Barbara Hershey
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Fast Eddie Felson teaches a cocky but immensely talented protégé the ropes of pool hustling, which in turn inspires him to make an unlikely comeback.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Drama | Music | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An egotistical saxophonist and a young singer meet on V-J Day and embark upon a strained and rocky romance, even as their careers begin a long, up-hill climb.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Liza Minnelli, Robert De Niro, Lionel Stander
Cape Fear (1991)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A convicted rapist, released from prison after serving a fourteen-year sentence, stalks the family of the lawyer who originally defended him.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A recently widowed woman is on the road with her precocious young son, determined to make a new life for herself as a singer.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Kris Kristofferson, Mia Bendixsen
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Aspiring comic Rupert Pupkin attempts to achieve success in show business by stalking his idol, a late night talk-show host who craves his own privacy.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis, Diahnne Abbott
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A tale of nineteenth-century New York high society in which a young lawyer falls in love with a woman separated from her husband, while he is engaged to the woman's cousin.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Winona Ryder
Mean Streets (1973)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In director Martin Scorsese's look at New York City's little Italy, A small-time hood aspires to work his way up the ranks of a local mob.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, David Proval
I Call First (1967)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young man struggles with the fact that his girlfriend was once raped.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Harvey Keitel, Zina Bethune, Anne Collette
Boxcar Bertha (1972)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

During the depression, a union leader and a young woman become criminals to exact revenge on the management of a railroad.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Barbara Hershey, David Carradine, Barry Primus
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Nurse Constance
...
Cy Coates
...
Dr. Hazmat
...
Nurse Crupp
...
Kanita
Cynthia Roman ...
Rose
...
Griss
Cullen O. Johnson ...
Mr. Burke (as Cullen Oliver Johnson)
...
Captain Barney (as Arthur Nascarella)
Edit

Storyline

An Easter story. Frank is a Manhattan medic, working graveyard in a two-man ambulance team. He's burned out, exhausted, seeing ghosts, especially a young woman he failed to save six months' before, and no longer able to save people: he brings in the dead. We follow him for three nights, each with a different partner: Larry, who thinks about dinner, Marcus, who looks to Jesus, and Tom, who wallops people when work is slow. Frank befriends the daughter of a heart victim he brings in; she's Mary, an ex-junkie, angry at her father but now hoping he'll live. Frank tries to get fired, tries to quit, and keeps coming back, to work and to Mary, in need of his own rebirth. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From the Director of Taxi Driver See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for gritty violent content, drug use and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 October 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vidas al límite  »

Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$6,193,052 (USA) (22 October 1999)

Gross:

$16,640,210 (USA) (7 January 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The base-ballers mentioned by Frank and Noel are Don Mattingly and Reggie Jackson (aka "Mr October"). At the time the film was made, both players were retired, Mattingly in 1995 and Jackson in 1987. See more »

Goofs

In Mary's apartment, the shadow of the boom mic is visible on the wall. See more »

Quotes

Frank Pierce: I gotta get a drink. Sobriety's killing me.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Directors: The Films of Martin Scorsese (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Janie Jones
Written by Joe Strummer and Mick Jones
Performed by The Clash
Courtesy of Epic Records and Sony Music Entertainment (EMI) Ltd.
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Narrative-wise it is unsatisfying but it has style and pace that makes it worth seeing
31 May 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Frank Pierce is a New York City paramedic. We join his story when he is facing down a double shift of graveyard work despite being burnt out and tired he battles through. Facing the ghosts of those he has lost on the job, Frank tries to help the usual junkies and heart failures but gets involved with Mary when he gets called to her father's heart attack. Despite his tiredness, he tries to help Mary's more emotional pain.

My plot summary for this film is weak, I know that. However it is not weak because I am in a rush, it is weak because the film's narrative is also weak. The basic set up is interesting and this carries the film for the first hour but after this the film tries to settle into more of a story then it falls to bits. For the first half of the film the action is carried by it's visual style and it's pace – it is effortless to watch and is very slick and interesting. Indeed whenever the film stays away from it's story with Mary and focuses on style then it is most enjoyable. It may be very episodic during it's stylish tour of those in need of help but it's is enjoyable nonetheless. However when the film tries to follow a thread with Mary it becomes dull and you realize that this may have style in bucket loads but the substance was given out using an eggcup. For this reason I found it ultimately unsatisfying despite being worth a watch for Scorsese at work.

As a director he really pulls out the stops, it looks great and is visually never dull even if it's narrative is. The soundtrack is also very good even if it could easily be accused of excess in the same way as the visuals could be. Even though this is Scorsese's film, the cast still do OK if not great.

Cage is convincingly washed out for the duration even if isn't as good a character as he hoped. Arquette is not quite as bad as I've seen her but she is still quite poor here. She isn't great and it is partly her fault but also the fault of the material – after all she is given the poor narrative to carry. Goodman has presence if not much to do while Rhames and Sizemore really enjoy their OTT characters. Anthony and Turturro add to the film in minor roles (Anthony being especially good) but I didn't feel like Curtis worked in his role even if he was another well-known face and I was amused by Reyes in a pre-Scrubs medical role.

Overall this is a film that is all about the ride and, for that, it's worth seeing. I enjoyed it's energy, it's pace and it's style in terms of visuals and music, however the narrative is episodic at best and weak for the rest of the time. The best performances are mostly OTT, befitting the excessive mood set by Scorsese's direction but as enjoyable as it is on a stylish, pacey level it isn't satisfying as a total film or as a story.


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

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?