Bringing Out the Dead (1999)

Bringing Out the Dead (1999)
  • Time: 121 min
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama | Thriller
  • Director: Martin Scorsese
  • Cast: Nicolas Cage, John Goodman, Patricia Arquette, Ving Rhames


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 different partner: Larry, who thinks about dinner, Marcus, who looks to Jesus, and Tom, who wallops people when work is slow. Frank befriends the daughter of a heart victim he brings in; she’s Mary, an ex-junkie, angry at her father but now hoping he’ll live. Frank tries to get fired, tries to quit, and keeps coming back, to work and to Mary, in need of his own rebirth.

One comment

  • In the late 90’s, Nicolas Cage made it his dream to emerge as a bonafide action star. When Martin Scorsese got on board to helm his latest flick, the former Oscar winner decided to take a short break. Bringing Out the Dead is a nightmarish drama about anxiety ridden, Manhattan ambulance paramedics. If you’ve viewed most of Scorsese’s work, you’ll know that his best films are ones that don’t have much of a plot. This claustrophobic caricature of a movie truly hammers that notion home. It has the blatant feel of Marty’s most comfortable attributes. All the essential trademarks are evident (unique camerawork, stellar soundtrack, rapid editing) and Cage (as health care professional Frank Pierce) delivers a performance that suggests that he’s tailor made for his role. One of the top ten best films of 1999.

    Rating: 3 out of 4 stars

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