|Bringing Out the Dead|
Original film poster
|Directed by||Martin Scorsese|
|Produced by||Barbara De Fina
|Screenplay by||Paul Schrader|
|Based on||Bringing Out the Dead
by Joe Connelly
|Music by||Elmer Bernstein|
|Distributed by||United States/Canada
Buena Vista International
|Release date(s)||October 22, 1999|
|Running time||121 minutes|
Bringing Out the Dead is a 1999 American neo-noir drama film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Paul Schrader, based on the homonymous novel by Joe Connelly. It stars Nicolas Cage, Ving Rhames, John Goodman, Tom Sizemore and Patricia Arquette. The film was a flop at the box office but received very positive reviews from critics. It was also the last North American title to be released on Laserdisc.
Frank Pierce (Cage), is a burnt-out paramedic, in the early 1990s. Frank is a Manhattan medic working the graveyard shift in a two-man ambulance team. Usually exhausted and depressed, Frank sees ghosts walking the streets, particularly that of a young woman he failed to save six months before. Over three days, he is assigned a shift per day, each with a different partner: Larry (Goodman), Marcus (Rhames), and Tom (Sizemore). While working with them, he befriends the daughter of a cardiac arrest patient he brought in, Mary (Arquette), an ex-junkie. Between rounds, Frank battles against the massive effects of a new form of heroin that is hitting the streets, as well as his own psychological demons.
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The film was part of a trio of films in the late 1990s starring Nicolas Cage that were co-productions of Paramount Pictures and Touchstone Pictures, with Face/Off (1997) with John Travolta and Snake Eyes (1998) with Gary Sinise. Bringing Out the Dead was one of the last titles to be released on the Laserdisc format.
The opening song on the movie is "T.B. Sheets", a lengthy blues-influenced song, about a young girl who lies dying in a hospital bed, surrounded by the heavy smell of death and disease. It was written by Van Morrison and included on his 1967 album, Blowin' Your Mind!. The song was originally going to be used in Taxi Driver.
The film was well received by critics and holds a 71% 'Fresh' rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 104 reviews. Roger Ebert gave it a perfect four star rating, writing, "To look at Bringing Out the Dead--to look, indeed, at almost any Scorsese film--is to be reminded that film can touch us urgently and deeply".
Bringing Out the Dead debuted at No. 4 in 1,936 theaters with a weekend gross of only $6,193,052. Produced at a budget of $55 million but generated a revenue of just $16.7 million, the film was a box office bomb.
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