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Ladder 49 (2004)

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

Director:

Jay Russell

Writer:

Lewis Colick
1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joaquin Phoenix ... Jack Morrison
John Travolta ... Captain Mike Kennedy
Jacinda Barrett ... Linda Morrison
Robert Patrick ... Lenny Richter
Morris Chestnut ... Tommy Drake
Billy Burke ... Dennis Gauquin
Balthazar Getty ... Ray Gauquin
Tim Guinee ... Tony Corrigan
Kevin Chapman ... Frank Mckinny
Jay Hernandez ... Keith Perez
Kevin Daniels ... Don Miller
Steve Maye Steve Maye ... Pete Lamb
Robert Lewis ... Ed Reilly (as Robert Logan Lewis)
Brooke Hamlin ... Katie Morrison
Spencer Berglund Spencer Berglund ... Nicky Morrison
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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:

A bond forged by fire is never broken. 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 October 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Brigada 49 See more »

Filming Locations:

Baltimore, Maryland, USA See more »

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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

At the beginning of the film, the Third Alarm assignment to the large warehouse fire was given the location of Newgate and Newkirk Streets, which is the exact location of that very building that was burning. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the movie, Jack is carrying a red bag which he puts down when tending to the first found victim. After having the other firefighters carry him down, the bag reappears when he is going after the second victim, but he never picked it back up. See more »

Quotes

Ray Gauquin: No more beer for Linda. Doubles for Jack - he's gonna be a father!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Ashton Kutcher/Gwen Stefani (2005) 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 DICK STEELSee 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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