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Plot: An Easter story. Frank is a Manhattan medic, working graveyard in a two-man ambulance team. He's burned out, exhausted, seeing ghosts, especially a young woman he failed to save six months' before, and no longer able to save people: he brings in the dead. We follow him for three nights, each with a… Runtime: 121 min Release Date: 22 Oct 1999
As an emergency physician and film buff, this film is one of my favorites. Martin Scorcese utilized excellent film technique with his inventive camera shots integrated with a dark comedic plot check out the triage nurse to create a bright modern cinema masterpiece with rich characters, comedic irony, and a sense of perseverance against overwhelming angst and the dark underbelly of modern urban life. This film is a classic on a par with Harold and Maude, and the King of Hearts. Three thumbs up- I'm dysmorphic ... In any case, this movie deserves to be watched by anyone involved in <more>
This film is grossly underappreciated. This represents director Martin Scorsese and writer Paul Schrader at their best. They gave us classics like TAXI DRIVER, RAGING BULL, and THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST, but they've outdone themselves here. Yeah, it's a masterpiece, but one that's not easily accessible.Nicholas Cage plays Frank an ambulance driver who hasn't saved anyone in months, a man who is feeling guilty and about to break under the weight of the suffering and sorrow he sees in New York City. Scorsese, always working with religious sensibilities, turns this film into <more>
a three day descent into the underworld, with Frank being raised to life on the third day, just like Jesus was.No story to speak of, but then that's the point--the lives of ambulance drivers are largely plotless. It's got the same strengths as other Scorsese classics--visually stunning, uncompromising in its portrayal of the darker side of human nature, and a dead-on portrayal of people at their most desperate. Add to that an almost dreamlike quality that makes the streets of New York look like some metropolitan hell. The thing that sets this film apart, however, is a genuine compassion for its characters. Scorsese's an excellent filmmaker, but he could sometimes be accused of portraying his characters a little coldly. This film is all heart, all the way through. This is the Scorsese of TAXI DRIVER and MEAN STREETS, the Scorsese who takes chances on projects that really mean something, the Scorsese that was missing in GANGS OF NEW YORK.
Bringing out the Dead is the most underrated film ever done by Martin Scorsese. It is one of the most well made films I've ever seen and is one of my favorite dramas of all time.The film focuses on a paramedic called Frank played by Nicolas Cage. The film focuses on 48 hours of Frank's life as a paramedic and all the horrific things he has seen. As well as that Frank is also haunted by spirits of people who he couldn't save, befriends a young women called Mary played by Patricia Arquette and a whole range of strange partners.The actors that Scorsese has chosen are a weird bunch as <more>
they're not really in Scorsese's other films and they're not really big name actors. As well as Nicolas Cage there's also supporting roles from people like John Goodman, Ving Rhames and Tom Siezmore. Everyone does a fantastic jobs even the actors who have much smaller roles than others.This is much more surreal film than most other Scorsese films as we go into Frank's mind.The reasons why this films succeeds is just that you really care about this characters and while the film dosen't really have much of a story it grips you the whole way through.It also has a great soundtrack which includes artists like Van Morrison, R.E.M and the Who.Overall the film is quite different to what you're usually expecting but it grips who the whole way though and it gets a full 5 star rating form me.
Bringing out the Dead, unfortunately, has fewer fans than it deserves. Why? Because this isn't simply a "New York" movie, or a movie about a paramedic, or about euthenasia, despite the ostensible setting and plot points.Instead, Scorsese has created a cinematic myth about how haunted modern existence can be, and what it takes to be "saved" and find grace in a seemingly godless world. His vision of New York is all literate existential comedy, not a window into the rotten Big Apple. Mere satiric commentary on the tragedy of life in New York is for journeyman directors; <more>
Scorsese is doing something else entirely here.In other words, this is that really rare beast--a literate film that is, first and foremost, still a great movie. In the plot and its implications, there's more here of Flannery O Conner or Virginia Woolf than there is here of, say, Tom Wolf. More pariticularly, Bringing out the Dead does with masterful filmmaking what Joyce's The Dead did in prose. This film is a truly eye-opening investigation into how the living exist in the shadow of the dead and dying.The film accomplishes this incredibly difficult task on many levels--the cinematography alone should give you a clue that this is definitely not Taxi Driver or Goodfellas--there's something more sublime here the beauty that American Beauty explains wonderfully is shown everywhere in this film, but Bringing out the Dead is less mundane, simple and "character" oriented . Every shot is right, and the numerous computer effects here--on display almost for their own sake in The Matrix--are here poetically put together by a master director.So, just for it's approach to a subject that few movies or directors would even attempt, this film will be a classic. Oddly enough, one of the few movies it can be compared with is Hitchcock's Vertigo, which confronts the same issues in a different way. Scotty's Jimmy Stewart desire to "raise" the dead is as strong as Frank's, and audiences didn't much like Vertigo when it was released either.The acting, the music, the incredible photography--they're all great, if you realize you are watching a literate, funny, well-plotted as opposed to simply plotted meditation on the ghosts that increasingly inhabit our technocratic dwellings.Too good for a grade: see it on the biggest, best screen you can while you can. BTW--it's better the second time.
After reading the novel by Joe Connelly this movie is based on by the way, the title is a reference to MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL , it seemed a perfect fit for director Martin Scorsese, writer Paul Schraeder, and star Nicolas Cage. After all, this is the mean streets of New York, this is about trying to find salvation and redemption in the pits of despair, and it features a character on the edge. But when things start out, I was disappointed. It seems like all three of them, Scorsese, Schraeder, and Cage, were straining to get the effect of the novel, and it felt disjointed. The <more>
narration by Cage seems to be covering up for what's not being shown, which always means trouble.In lesser hands, this might have been a problem. However, Scorsese has the craft to match his passion, and he soon finds the rhythm. The narration is used less and less as the movie goes on, and Cage is gradually able to show his grief, rather than just talk about it. We still don't feel the impact of the story as much as we do in the novel, but we do feel something, thanks to Cage and Patricia Arquette as the daughter of a patient he saves . Once it gets going, the black humor, courtesy of Ving Rhames and Tom Sizemore as fellow paramedics and Scorsese and Queen Latifah as dispatchers, helps fuel the picture as well. This isn't quite as good as Scorsese's other New York stories, but it is a worthy addition to his canon.
Powerful and engrossing cinema from a truly great team. (by Spikeopath)
Frank Pierce is a member of the Nork York paramedics, serving the Hell's Kitchen district he is witness to some terrible incidents. As he starts to crack under the pressure of the job, and getting no help from a succession of zany partners, Frank may just find solace with an ex-junkie girl who's father he brought in dying of a heart attack.Martin Scorsese can never be accused of not being adventurous, after dabbling in Eastern spiritualism with 1997s Kundun, he returns to New York and tackles a wing of America's tortured heroes. Based on the novel by Joe Connelly, Bringing Out The <more>
Dead is at times a difficult watch in many ways, but it's haunting poignancy is told with brilliantly adroit ease from one of America's famed directors, whilst it has to be said that the humour that is in there is darkly genius in its execution. We are along for the ride with haunted Frank for three days and nights as he and his borderline bonkers partners deal with overdoses, heart attacks, drunks and a notably cynical virgin birth! As Frank starts to see ghosts of people he couldn't save in the past, Scorsese and his team treat us to an adrenalin fuelled nightmare, the editing Thelma Schoonmaker is swift and explosive like, Robert Richardson's cinematography framing certain aspects of this journey with impacting deftness, and then we have the soundtrack.Scorsese is always a man who takes great care in sound tracking his movies, in fact few modern day directors can touch his knack for a perfect soundtrack. Fusing Motown with 70s Punk Rock would seem an odd combination, but all of it works as the paramedics start to feel the strain and in some cases as the mania takes hold. It's rare to hear a New York Dolls track in a movie, to hear a Johnny Thunders solo track is as rare as a dog that speaks Norwegian, and here the use of Thunders' You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory is pitch perfect, impacting so. Such is the use of early Clash standards as our protagonists feed off each others precarious mental conditions, it's a soundtrack to savour basically.Nicholas Cage plays Frank Pierce, and it's a great performance full of restraint and honesty, it's the sort of performance that his detractors tend to forget about such is its emotive simplicity. Tom Sizemore wonderfully manic , Ving Rhames, John Goodman and Patricia Arquette fill out the cast and all do fine work, but I'm sure they would be the first to acknowledge the excellence of Paul Schrader's screenplay. This piece is far from being a masterpiece, but with it's intensity sitting side by side with a paramedics need for coping, it's clear that Scorsese and his talented team have made one of the most astute and undervalued pieces of the 90s. 9/10
One of the boldest movies of the year. ***1/2 out of **** (by Movie-12)
BRINGING OUT THE DEAD 1999 ***1/2Starring: Nicolas Cage, Patricia Arquette, John Goodman, Ving Rhames, Tom Sizemore, Cliff Curtis Director: Martin Scorsese Running time: 120 minutes Rated R for gritty violent content, language, and drug use By Blake French:Martin Scorsese's "Bringing Out The Dead" is one of the only movies I have ever seen that does not remotely glamorize its subject matter. That is something that does not come naturally in the world of film. Movies glamorize almost everything they face matters with; whether it's violence, drugs, sex, or other behaviors. <more>
Movies persuade, advertise, and sell incorrect messages to hungry and excepting pedestrians. Not only is "Bringing Out The Dead" an anti-violence, drugs and glamour film, it also manages to deliver its message through one of the most talented actors in Hollywood clearly and understandably. This is one of the year's most unsettling and uncompromising productions, and also one of the year's best."Bringing Out the Dead" offers no story in its existence. But there is no actual need for a plot here, due to a strong, precise narrative through-line and focused point of view seen through its central character. He is Frank Pierce Nicolas Cage , who narrates the film with a sense of depravity. He and his buddies, Marcus Ving Rhames , Tom Tom Sizemore , and Larry John Goodman , work the evening shift at New York's Hell's Kitchen as Ambulance Drivers for an emergency hospital. They live a life full of stress, sweat, and desperation. Frank often comes to work pleading for his boss to fire him. The opening scene, which properly induces the desperate and gritty lives of the main characters, features Frank and Larry, being called to the home of Mary Burke, whose unhealthy father is having a heart attack. They stabilize him, rush the man to their emergency care facility, and go on with their lives.Now, where many "lesser" movies would have developed a romantic subplot with the Mary character and Frank, "Bringing Out the Dead" is too focused and skillful to do that. There is affection between the two. But Frank is in such a position in his life that he just isn't prone to fall for a woman. Nor does he give in to any of the many hookers standing on the street blocks tempting him to keep them in business. He is on the verge of an nervous break down, and the film never pretends otherwise.While for the most part, this movie didn't give into any major distractions or side-subjects, it did have several flawed and unexplained subplots. The story featuring Frank constantly being haunted by the ghost of a young girl he lost some time ago isn't really explained enough. Nor does an unusually bizarre scene later on payoff featuring Frank saving lost souls in pain beneath the streets of New York. And there seems to be an extremely dangerous drug featured in the movie, which strangely appears at the overdoes scenes where Frank is called to--this isn't detailed enough to pay off either. I do realize the purpose of us not knowing about this medical issue; we don't have the knowledge because Frank doesn't. But I still think there may have been a way to inform the audience on the context of this material, without making the hero look stupid. Also, the film is over narrated by Frank, who sometimes describes his interesting past experiences through words, not flashbacks or visions, which would have been much more intriguing.Scorsese makes no sense of the chaotic, unorganized, unsettling medical experiences patients go through in the emergency room where Frank doctors in. The style he uses to depict the film in is flawless in this justification: the camera angles are mind-warping and fast paced, the atmosphere of the movie is gritty, with blood and vulgarism abound. The characters pace frantically as they travel across one end of the building to the next, not sure to where or whom they are going. The characters also are injected with a deep sense of lifeless scrounge, as they stare and gaze into each other's eyes, only to discover there is nothing in each other. In some aspects, this film is like "Saving Private Ryan": a tantalizing hell.And Nicolas Cage delivers yet another fascinating performance here. His character is empathized with the entire way through, even if narration is used instead of illusion. He manages to depict his character through the torment and emotional damnation required. He pursues profoundness in scenes where his character realizes happiness in itself. "I fell like I saved someone," mutters Frank to himself. Good job, Frank. You saved yourself.Brought to you by Paramount Pictures and Touchstone Pictures.
Surreal, strange, special and very, very good (by MrVibrating)
This surreal portrayal of a stressed-out depressed, alcoholic and generally weird paramedic is a movie you cannot watch just like that. I recommend watching it late at night, but not too tired, since you have to be quite alert to catch everything that's going on.The basic plot is about an ambulance driver Nicolas Cage can act! who hasn't saved anyone for months and begins to doubt he can save anyone anymore. He drinks booze and coffee and the result is a great mess. This is not a "beginning to the end" kind of movie. When the movie ends, nothing is really solved.The acting <more>
is pretty much flawless. Nicolas Cage does his best performance to date, and his paramedic buddies and the people he encounters are all very well portrayed. John Goodman is a fat, sweaty but somewhat likable paramedic, Tom Sizemore ! is a psychotic ambulance driver who has his very own view of the job, Ving Rhames is a delivered Christian who takes the job as an opportunity to save souls, Mark Anthony is an interesting street weirdo, and Patricia Arquette is a weary woman who loses her father.The imagery is very good too. New York whizzes past, full of lights and darkness. It's gritty, it's moody and it's surreal.If you can stand a little unorthodox cinema then you'll like Bringing Out the Dead. But be sure to be in the mood, or the experience will be very different.Oh, and I salute all the paramedics and other health care heroes out there. If your job is anywhere near this movies, you're the greatest.
Dark,mendacious,disturbing,harrowing world of Scorsese's America. (by HiddenVoice)
One can't say enough of this man.And finally having both Scorsese and Schrader collaborate again,you should expect a lot.Scorsese's America is always a dystopian,dead America.Where the streets are filled with urban decay.Where people are looking for light,redemption,looking for a way to get out.And no one knows America better than Scorsese.He knows every street of every city.He knows how to command the lights and cameras to make the roads look perfect.A paramedic is on the verge of killing himself.He's tired,worn out,half-dead,he's dying each and everyday,trying to stay <more>
alive.He's desperate to quit his job,and give up.He wants to go to sleep but can't.Something worse is yet to happen to him.For six months,he's been bringing in the dead.Not a single soul did he save,and he can't go on.He sees ghosts coming to haunt him.He sees all those dead he couldn't save coming after him,especially a girl whom he failed to save and she blames him.And we get deeper into his harrowing life as a paramedic in a dead city for the next three days.Three partners,three nights,all dead people coming in the hospital.He is sucked in by this job and this city.He would consider himself the luckiest man on the planet,if he could save just one person .Not even a baby lives through his hands.What's the worse can one ask for?Worse yet,he gets too close to a patients daughter who seems to have disconnected herself with life.All this and more sums up what a life a paramedic lives.There's never been a proper,focused film about the lives of paramedics.We never know how they feel when they have to get someone injured or near death to a hospital.We never see how they react psychologically and physically when they deliver the dead.What they go through.How disturbed they get.Well,this is one movie you need to watch to believe.One of my all time favorite actors and among the best,Nicholas Cage never lets you down.He's done many kinds of films and roles,and he's been perfect at all of them.His versatility as an actor needs to be admired and followed.And here,he only proves what a powerful actor he truly is.Tom Sizemore,Ving Rhames,John Goodman,Marc Anthony,and Arquette are all effective and memorable.Especially the psychotic idiot character Anthony plays and Rhames Jesus-loving driver.This film is filled with disturbing,dark content throughout.You really get this disgusting feeling when you see the city's decay.You feel horrified to see what these paramedics have to go through,and how they are affected by the situations psychologically.And it just doesn't get any more disturbing than this.This film has a close resemblance to the world of The Taxi Driver.Hell's Kitchen has never been this hellish.And you feel it through Scorsese's camera work,his command of lights and angles.You would never see a city in a way Scorsese would show you.His America is always the most different.It always feels the most different,and looks unique.He really shows his mastery in this film.It's a true piece of art,and he makes it very entertaining.He's got a unique vision.He manages to eliminate the scripts flaws and really proves that a master is always a master,an experienced director always knows the best.I would love to see more collaborations of Schrader's and his.He's really proved he's a true genius,and wonder why they didn't give him a nomination for his work.The cinematography is stunning.It explores the city and creates a weird,fascinating world of its own.It's got pitch-perfect editing.It's a remarkable piece of modern film-making from Scorsese,and Schrader's script is terrific.Although,the film drags and sometimes has no clue what it's doing.It sometimes goes clueless and just plays around.But you feel the effect of its dark subject.And of course,it features a grand soundtrack.A funny but really dark and striking black comedy.Filled with moments of wit and genius.An original piece of work.Definitely Scorsese's most under-appreciated.****/5 B+