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Ladder 49 (2004)

PG-13 | | Action, Drama, Thriller | 1 October 2004 (USA)
A firefighter, injured and trapped in a burning building, has flashbacks of his life as he drifts in and out of consciousness. Meanwhile, fellow firefighters led by the Chief attempt to rescue him.

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1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Tony Corrigan
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Steve Maye ...
Pete Lamb
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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 Deputy Chief Kennedy frantically coordinates the effort to save him.

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

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 October 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brigada 49  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,088,204, 3 October 2004, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$74,541,707, 25 February 2005

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$102,332,848, 30 June 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The real Fire Chief (Chief Goodwin) can be seen in some of the scenes in the movie he can be seen dancing with his wife at the wedding reception, standing by Travolta when everyone is singing "Fire," in a funeral scene and in a medals ceremony scene. That station, where the movie starts with Travolta as a captain before he becomes Chief happens to be the station where Goodwin was once a captain himself. See more »

Goofs

Throughout the movie, Captain Kennedy is running the rescue operation of Morrison. That task would have been left up to a Operation Section R.I.C. Division Leader, Command would have only been given updates through the Operation Section Chief. See more »

Quotes

Lenny Richter: I'm getting too old for this shit.
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Connections

Referenced in The Making of 'Ladder 49' (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Shine Your Light
Written by Robbie Robertson
Mixed by Chris Lord-Alge
Produced by John Shanks and Robbie Robertson
Performed by Robbie Robertson
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User Reviews

A Nutshell Review: Ladder 49
26 November 2004 | by 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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