Dead Man

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1

Content: -2

It's the late 1800s and Bill Blake (Johnny Depp), an average citizen from Cleveland, Ohio, is traveling by train to the town of Machine, somewhere out west. He has been promised a job as an accountant at Dickinson Metalworks by the owner, Mr. Dickinson (Robert Mitchum). Blake, despondent over his parents' recent deaths and a broken engagement, is anxious to leave Ohio and start over. It takes all of his meager savings to get to the distant town of Machine. He is devastated upon his arrival to learn the position has been filled. To make matters worse, Blake becomes a wanted outlaw when he's suspected of shooting a man who turns out to be Mr. Dickinson's son. Suffering from a bullet wound, the fugitive has no choice but to wander through the desert where he is befriended by an Indian named Nobody. DEAD MAN, filmed in black and white, moves so slowly and has so little dialogue it leaves viewers hoping for the film to end swiftly to ease their suffering.

DEAD MAN's opening sex scene is tasteless and disturbing as a couple are engaged in unconventional sex, although fully clothed. Two other sex scenes occur, one with female rear nudity and one with near nudity. Homosexuals, one dressed as a woman, argue over who will be Blake's lover. Typical western movie violence includes gunfights, a fatal blow to a man's head, and a slit throat. A painful bullet extraction with a knife is difficult to watch. Even more disturbing is Blake's encounter with Nobody who teaches anti-Christian views and frequently performs tribal rituals. He is preparing Blake for death without teaching true salvation, making death a depressing and hopeless event. In the 1800s, chances of hearing anyone use the s- or f-words were very slim indeed, so why do the writers include so many of them? DEAD MAN's graphic sex scenes, abundance of crude and obscene language and 26 profanities hardly qualify it for quality viewing.

Preview Reviewer: Sandy Nalley
Miramax Films, 18 E. 48th St., NY, NY 10017

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (17) times - Mild 10, Moderate 7

Obscene Language: Many (20) times S-word 7, f-word 13

Profanity: Many (26) times - Regular 24 (GD, JC), Exclamatory 2

Violence: Many times - Moderate (gunfights, man's throat slit with knife, man killed by gun hit to head, knife used to extract bullet)

Sex: Three times (graphic unconventional sex once, no nudity; couple in bed, partially clothed; and once with female rear nudity)

Nudity: Once (female rear nudity in sex scene)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: American Indian anti-Christian philosophy and rituals presented positively

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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