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Ladder 49 (2004)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Drama, Thriller  |  1 October 2004 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 47,065 users   Metascore: 47/100
Reviews: 323 user | 125 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

Under the watchful eye of his mentor Captain Mike Kennedy, probationary firefighter Jack Morrison matures into a seasoned veteran at a Baltimore fire station. Jack has reached a crossroads,... See full summary »

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Title: Ladder 49 (2004)

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Cast

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Steve Maye ...
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Ed Reilly (as Robert Logan Lewis)
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Spencer Berglund ...
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Storyline

Under the watchful eye of his mentor Captain Mike Kennedy, probationary firefighter Jack Morrison matures into a seasoned veteran at a Baltimore fire station. Jack has reached a crossroads, however, as the sacrifices he's made have put him in harm's way innumerable times and significantly impacted his relationship with his wife and kids. Responding to the worst blaze in his career, he becomes trapped inside a 20-story building. And as he reflects on his life, now Assistant Chief Kennedy frantically coordinates the effort to save him. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Their greatest challenge lies in rescuing one of their own See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense fire and rescue situations, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

1 October 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brigada 49  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$22,088,204 (USA) (1 October 2004)

Gross:

$74,540,762 (USA) (18 February 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Costume designer 'Renee Kalfus' designed rubber air tanks as a substitute for the real 30 pound tanks for scenes where the firefighters did not need to use the real tanks. See more »

Goofs

When Chief Kennedy is talking to trapped Jack Morrison on the radio from outside the building, when showing Jack trapped in the burning building, the type of radio Chief Kennedy is using changes multiple times. Sometime Kennedy is talking on a portable radio with no mic attached to it, and sometimes he is talking on a portable radio with a speaker mic attached to it, and is holding the mic in his hand. However it is common for the BCFD to run on both a TAC channel and the communications channel therefore causing a chief to have 2 radios. See more »

Quotes

Jack Morrison: Linda, what is wrong?
Linda Morrison: I saw you on the news, Jack, dangling from a rope! How could you tell me that it's not dangerous?
Jack Morrison: I never said it wasn't dangerous.
Linda Morrison: When we talked about it, I asked you and you said it wasn't dangerous.
Jack Morrison: I said it wasn't any more dangerous than being on the engine! I never said it wasn't dangerous!
Linda Morrison: Do... do... do you see me right now? Do you? 'Cos this isn't just about us. Have you thought about that?
[Jack approaches Linda]
Linda Morrison: Don't. Don't.
Jack Morrison: [whispers] I'm sorry.
Linda Morrison: I'm scared. I ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Edited into Underdog (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Big Sweet Life
Written and Performed by Jon Dee Graham
Courtesy of New West Records
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User Reviews

A Nutshell Review: Ladder 49
26 November 2004 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

First, let me explain the movie title.

The firehouse featured in the movie has 2 vehicles. One of them is the more conventional fire truck you see around, the one with the water hoses. That truck is codenamed Engine 33 in this movie. Ladder 49 is its companion truck, the one with the mega-ladder. This truck comprises of the brave men in the fire department's rescue team, those who risk their lives going into burning buildings without water (unlike Engine 33's), for the sole mission of saving other people's lives.

Which raises the question everyone asks of emergency responders (police, fire dept, etc) - what makes them do what they do? In this case, also raised in the movie, what makes them rush into a burning building when everyone else is running out?

We follow the life of Joaquin Phoenix's character, Jack Morrison, whom we see from rookie firefighter (waterboy) to hero, from singlehood to fatherhood. This film, through his character, humanizes emergency responders, their lives, their camaraderie, their courage. It also explores relationships within their families, which is key, as family members struggle to understand the risks their spouses/fathers undertake everyday in their job.

Don't expect another Backdraft, which was more of an "arson-whodunnit", with spectacular beastly fires engulfing the screen. This film dwells more on characterization and drama, with well placed action set pieces between slow moments which will set you thinking, and at the end of the film, appreciating the courage of these brave men and the threats they face daily in their job.


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