Two innocent people are arrested. An interesting third person, with broken English, joins them in their cell. On his idea, they decide to escape from the prison. Their journey is the rest of the movie.
As the extremely withdrawn Don Johnston is dumped by his latest woman, he receives an anonymous letter from a former lover informing him that he has a son who may be looking for him. A freelance sleuth neighbor moves Don to embark on a cross-country search for his old flames in search of answers.
This is the story of a young man's journey, both physically and spiritually, into very unfamiliar terrain. William Blake travels to the extreme western frontiers of America sometime in the second half of the nineteenth century. Lost and badly wounded, he encounters a very odd, outcast Native American named "Nobody", who believes Blake is actually the dead English poet of the same name. The story, with Nobody's help, leads William Blake through situations that are in turn comical and violent. Contrary to his nature, circumstances transform Blake into a hunted outlaw, a killer, and a man whose physical existence is slowly slipping away. Thrown into a world that is cruel and chaotic, his eyes are opened to the fragility that defines the realm of the living. It is as though he passes through the surface of a mirror, and emerges into a previously-unknown world that exists on the other side.
While the three bounty hunters are waiting in the office, Conway asks Johnny for tobacco, then dismissively says that Johnny isn't even old enough to smoke. There would have been no laws governing tobacco use by minors at the time this movie was set, and persons as young as nine or ten might have smoked or chewed tobacco without raising much comment other than that tobacco was considered a bad habit in the young. The thought that Johnny was too young to smoke should not have even crossed Conway's mind. (It is also possible that Conway was simply commenting on how extremely young Johnny is in general--that he's too young even to have picked up such a habit.) See more »
Look out the window. And doesn't this remind you of when you were in the boat, and then later than night, you were lying, looking up at the ceiling, and the water in your head was not dissimilar from the landscape, and you think to yourself, "Why is it that the landscape is moving, but the boat is still?"
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In between the Set Production Assistants and First Assistant Editor is the "Hangin'-out Guy," Nemo Labrizzi. See more »
Jim Jarmusch is one of my favorite directors, and Dead Man is probably the greatest work he has ever done. Very rarely does a film come alive with a sense of poetry. The only other film I can compare it to would be Wim Wenders' Wings Of Desire. The film moves like a dream, floating and spinning around you. Neil Young's electric score churns like a ghost train and pushes the film farther. There isn't one performance that is wrong, nor is there ever a false moment. From start to finish this film pulls you into it's dream land, and carries you along on clouds until the finish.
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