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Bringing Out the Dead (1999)

 -  Drama | Thriller  -  22 October 1999 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 46,758 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 380 user | 168 critic | 34 from Metacritic.com

A Manhattan ambulance paramedic, overworked and haunted by visions of his failures, fights to keep a tenuous grip on his clarity.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

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

Frank Pierce is a paramedic working Gotham's Hell's Kitchen. He's become burned out and haunted by visions of the people he's tried to save. Written by Michael Arndt

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

hell | paramedic | ghost | ambulance | rescue | See more »

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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 October 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bringing Out the Dead  »

Box Office

Budget:

$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£356,544 (UK) (7 January 2000)

Gross:

£967,925 (UK) (21 January 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Several times in the movie the dispatcher tells the medics that they have a call for a 10-22. In the list of 10-codes, this usually means disregarding a call. See more »

Goofs

During Frank's trip, when he's flashing back to trying to save Rose, when he's seen sitting in the ambulance, as it drives by. All the snow is shown flying upward. When the camera closes on Frank through the ambulance window, the reflections of the surroundings are moving back to front, which means that the ambulance is driving backward, instead of forward, like is shown in the street shot. See more »

Quotes

Marcus: Rule Number One: Don't get involved with patients. Rule Number Two: don't get involved with patients' daughters, now do you understand that?
Frank Pierce: What about Rule Number Three: Don't get involved with dispatchers named Love?
Marcus: Boy, you don't know nothin' bout Rule Number Three! Can't even begin to understand the complexities of that rule!
See more »

Connections

References The Lion King (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Nowhere to Run
Written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland (as Edward Holland Jr.)
Performed by Martha & The Vandellas
Courtesy of Motown Record Company L.P.
Under license from Universal Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Bringing Out the Dead is another Scorsese Masterpiece
1 December 1999 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

Director Martin Scorsese and screenwriter Paul Shrader, these two names alone stand for excellence and brilliance, put them together and you havebrilliant film making history as witnessed by their former collaborations ("Taxi Driver", "Raging Bull" and "The Last Temptation of Christ"). Add the totally compelling and very real "Bringing Out the Dead" to that list. Based on the novel by Joe Connelly, a former EMS worker, "Bringing Out the Dead" follows three long nights in the life of New York City paramedic Frank Pierce (Nicholas Cage) as he navigates through the life and death situations of the last era of the "mean streets" of New York City, the early 90's, all the while attempting to hold on to his sanity by a thread.

Scorsese creates a very real New York (before the gentrification of the Giuliani era) that is rarely seen in films. This is not the flashy and glitzy New York that is often shown in most movies. He goes deep into the psyche of a city that is crammed with 9 million people, some who are struggling just to stay afloat. As the character Mary says, "You have to be strong to survive in this city." Some of the scenes in the movie are so memorable and haunting such as Frank's hallucination of actually pulling people literally from the steam shrouded pavement and bringing them back to life and the harrowing, almost Christ-like sequence where Frank is saving a drug dealer from death as he dangles from a balcony.

Nicholas Cage, one of our finest actors working today, gives a brilliant performance of great emotional range that is draining to watch. You literally see him coming unglued piece by piece. This is his best performance since "Leaving Las Vegas". Patricia Arquette (Cage's wife) gives a very moving and subtle performance of a person who has been to hell and back while struggling to maintain some balance in the jungle. Goodman, Rhames and Sizemore turn out good performances as always playing Cage's co-pilots in the nightly journeys. Also standing out are Latin singer, Marc Anthony as a homeless crazy and Cliff Curtis as a drug dealer who provides an "oasis" for the stressed-out individuals of the city. An excellent director and a great script are a perfect formula for producing top-notch performances by actors and Scorsese and Shrader bring out the best in theirs.

With it's story of the lead character Frank cruising the streets making narrative comments about life in the city, comparisons will be made naturally to Scorsese's other brilliant work "Taxi Driver" with it's main character Travis Bickle, but those comparisons are normal and stop right there. Where Travis Bickle wanted to save people who did not need saving, Frank Pierce reaches out to people who desperately need saving, but does not always have the power to save as in the case of the homeless girl Maria, who haunts him constantly. Also Scorsese is too highly intelligent, creative and the ultimate professional to retread the same waters, he never takes the easy road. A Scorsese film is like any great film, it takes time to take it in and digest, because there are so many different layers added that need to be looked at long after the last reel finishes. This is a powerful piece of filmmaking proving once again that Martin Scorsese is one of the all-time great directors of this century. Highly Recommended. × × ××


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