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Dead Man (1995)

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On the run after murdering a man, accountant William Blake encounters a strange North American man named Nobody who prepares him for his journey into the spiritual world.

Director:

Jim Jarmusch

Writer:

Jim Jarmusch
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4,116 ( 236)
5 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Johnny Depp ... William Blake
Gary Farmer ... Nobody
Crispin Glover ... Train Fireman
Lance Henriksen ... Cole Wilson
Michael Wincott ... Conway Twill
Eugene Byrd ... Johnny 'The Kid' Pickett
John Hurt ... John Scholfield
Robert Mitchum ... John Dickinson
Iggy Pop ... Salvatore 'Sally' Jenko
Gabriel Byrne ... Charlie Dickinson
Jared Harris ... Benmont Tench
Mili Avital ... Thel Russell
Jimmie Ray Weeks ... Marvin, Older Marshal
Mark Bringelson ... Lee, Younger Marshal
John North ... Mr. Olafsen
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Storyline

Dead Man 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 2nd half of the 19th 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. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes it is preferable not to travel with a dead man. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for moments of strong violence, a graphic sex scene and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA | Germany | Japan

Language:

English | Cree

Release Date:

10 May 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

DEM 645,423 (Germany), 10 January 1996, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$104,649, 12 May 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,037,847
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby SR

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robby Müller's black and white cinematography was influenced by the work of photographer Ansel Adams. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
Train Fireman: 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?"
See more »

Crazy Credits

Although Crispin Glover receives 9th billing, before Gabriel Bryne, John Hurt, Alfred Molina and Robert Mitchum, his part ends before his name appears in the opening credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Lone Ranger (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Billy Boy
Played in the saloon
See more »

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User Reviews

 
plot lacks meaning?
21 November 2007 | by jeffreytaosSee all my reviews

Please...if you think there is no plot and no meaning....visit a few Indian Pueblos, study some American history, read more William Blake. This journey into the fire of hell has the most beautiful and moving ending ever filmed. A train to hell...Have you ever had a dead end job? What is the connection to Nobody? Why is his name Nobody? What happened at the General Store? Why wouldn't the guy sell the Indian (Native American) tobacco? Please reconsider. This movie is not the best ever made, but it doe's have a powerful meaning as it looks into the hell that Native American's were put through. Depp is a messenger. I saw the film six months ago and felt that Depp's performance was superb. I felt that there was a powerful symbolism in the film related to our concepts of life, death, and dying. The ending is the journey into the other world. The questions the film brings up relate to our concepts on premonitions, rebirth, death, life, and dying. Isn't it amazing that a fellow was named William Blake only to be discovered by a man named Nobody? And, after all we put Native American people through, isn't it amazing that someone with the name of Nobody would venture to help a Dead Man, that is one who is sure to become dead. And what of the prophecy, when bullets become words....oh, the meanings may not be clear, but the provocation to thought is at a very extreme level. Joy to all. Live this life and remember, this is a sacred journey. Every step counts!


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