6.8/10
24,249
146 user 53 critic

Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead (1995)

Five different criminals face imminent death after botching a job quite badly.

Director:

Gary Fleder

Writer:

Scott Rosenberg

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From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
2 wins. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Andy Garcia ... Jimmy 'The Saint' Tosnia
Christopher Lloyd ... Pieces
William Forsythe ... Franchise
Bill Nunn ... Easy Wind
Treat Williams ... Critical Bill
Jack Warden ... Joe Heff
Steve Buscemi ... Mister Shhh
Fairuza Balk ... Lucinda
Gabrielle Anwar ... Dagney
Christopher Walken ... The Man with the Plan
Michael Nicolosi ... Bernard
Bill Cobbs ... Malt
Marshall Bell ... Lt. Atwater
Glenn Plummer ... Baby Sinister
Don Stark ... Gus
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Storyline

Jimmy the Saint's business is videotaping the terminally-ill, so that they will be around to give 'Afterlife Advice' to their survivors. He hasn't been doing too well lately and has had to turn to loan-sharks to accomodate his failing business, as well as his expensive personal tastes. When an evil gangster-overlord buys up his note and demands a favor of Jimmy, in exchange for the interest that he can't afford, Jimmy capitulates. Jimmy is to scare someone for the gangster-overlord--really rough them up. Without giving too much away (spoiler), the scene goes down badly and Jimmy and his crew all end up with contracts on their heads for their trouble. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Protect. Love. Honor. Avenge. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong graphic violence and language, and for brief images of a sex film | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 December 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Asuntos pendientes antes de morir See more »

Filming Locations:

Denver, Colorado, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$529,766
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Miramax,Woods Entertainment See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film title is taken from a Warren Zevon song of the same name, from his 1991 release "Mr. Bad Example". See more »

Goofs

During the movie, they refer to the hit man killer as "Mr. Shush" (it even says as much in closed captions) - yet in the credits and chapter section, he is called "Mr. Shhh". See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Franchise: It is what it is.
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Connections

Features D.O.A. (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

Lluvia, Viento Y Cana
("Rain, Wind And Reed")
Performed by Cachao
Written by Cachao (as Israel "Cachao" López)
Courtesy of Crescant Moon/Epic Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Brooding Gem
22 April 2003 | by maestro133See all my reviews

I feel that a hell of a lot of ppl missed the point on this one; it is less a Tarantino-esque hip, Godfather mob drama, than a meditation on life and death, and the frustration of mortality.

Centered around Garcia's character Jimmy, the film follows him tying up his loose ends, after his gang botch up an 'action', and are given a 48hr suspended death sentence by bitter crimelord Walken, before the deadly assassin Mr Shh (Buscemi) is called in. Feeling responsible, and desperate to tie up as many loose ends in his life, the film finds Jimmy constantly striving to choose between options, and to try and finish nobly, and rectify his perceived wrongs. These include trying to secure his fellow gang members (Lloyd, Nunn, Forsythe and the crazed Williams), ensure the wellbeing of prostitute Balk, and ignore his love for Anwar, to avoid dragging her in with him. Throughout it all, Jimmy only succeeds in isolating himself further, fighting his fears and dreams with his logic and pride. Yet as Warden narrates, there is a sense that Jimmy's peace is just around the corner, if only he can do the right things.

Garcia truly tranmits his character's pain and suffering, most pertinently through the changing look on his eyes and face as the deadline nears - he tries to maintain his grace, but cant quite hide his fears. All the support are great - Walken and Buscemi as per usual are suitably fearful, Williams and Lloyd in particular represent lost souls going down defiantly very well, whilst the underused women are perfect - Anwar doing well with unhelpful scenes, and Balk truly outstanding as the prostitute with the zeal and realism that Jimmy so badly needs. The dialogue is at times cheesy and clunky, and the mob feel somewhat overdone, but the film feels true, and makes a valuable point about targets, and the temporality of life. And it refuses to lose hope, as proved by the final boat scene.

Similar to Spike Lee's new film, the issues of mortality, and aspirations and dreams are key. The film's sombre tone is perfect - not too downbeat (there are many hilarious and happy moments), but enough to make us understand the importance of the issues at stake. Aside from staunch, happy-to-be-cynical other imdb reviewers, the film will affect, and perhaps even instruct. Recommended.


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