Dead Man (1995)

R   |    |  Drama, Fantasy, Western


Dead Man (1995) Poster

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.

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7.7/10
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  • Johnny Depp and Mili Avital in Dead Man (1995)
  • Johnny Depp and Gary Farmer in Dead Man (1995)
  • Lance Henriksen in Dead Man (1995)
  • Johnny Depp in Dead Man (1995)
  • Johnny Depp in Dead Man (1995)
  • Johnny Depp in Dead Man (1995)

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Director:

Jim Jarmusch

Writer:

Jim Jarmusch

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1 November 2012 | gavin6942
7
| An Unusual, Surreal Tale About Something
On the run after murdering a man, accountant William Blake (Johnny Depp) encounters a strange Indian named "Nobody" (Gary Farmer) who prepares him for his journey into the spiritual world.

Okay, we have an amazing cast here: Lance Henriksen, Billy Bob Thorton, Crispin Glover, Iggy Pop, and Robert Mitchum's final role. That automatically counts for something. And we have the whole thing shot in glorious black and white, which is all too uncommon since the 1960s. That is another point.

Now, on the other hand, commercially, the movie lost a boatload of money (making only about 10% of what it cost) and ranks as the most expensive of Jarmusch's films.

And critically, it has mixed reviews. Roger Ebert was not a fan of the film, giving it less than two stars and saying, "Jim Jarmusch is trying to get at something here, and I don't have a clue what it is." He calls it "a strange, slow, unrewarding movie" and says the score "sounds like nothing so much as a man repeatedly dropping his guitar." Others, such as Jonathan Rosenbaum and A. O. Scott, have called it one of the best films of the 1990s.

I happened to like it, though I did not fully appreciate the William Blake references (as well as Tom Petty references). But that is my loss, not Jarmusch's fault. And I am not sure I got the message, if there is one. And I still like "Broken Flowers" better... but there is still much to love here.

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