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Ladder 49 (2004)

PG-13 | | Action, Drama, Thriller | 1 October 2004 (USA)
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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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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 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

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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:

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

Gross:

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

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite the fact that this was filmed in the standard spherical format, "Filmed in Panavision" is listed in the end credits. See more »

Goofs

When Jack is lowering the victim from the warehouse in the beginning of the movie the rope is wrapped around the metal construction. However, when the explosion occurs to his side we can see that the rope is no longer wrapped around the metal but simply lying across it. See more »

Quotes

Lenny Richter: Good confession now son... bless me father...
Jack Morrison: Bless me father for I have sinned. It's been seven years since my last confession
Lenny Richter: Seven years is a long time
Jack Morrison: Yes, father
Lenny Richter: All right, where do we start; theft, robbery, fraud, taxes?
Jack Morrison: Well, you know...
Lenny Richter: Taxes? Always taxes... How about sex? Impure thoughts?
Jack Morrison: Well yes, quite a bit
Lenny Richter: Try to cut back. Are you married?
Jack Morrison: No
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Benchwarmers (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Big Sweet Life
Written and Performed by Jon Dee Graham
Courtesy of New West Records
See more »

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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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