Jim Jarmusch

Dead Man

Dead Man

With Dead Man, his first period piece, Jim Jarmusch imagined the nineteenth-century American West as an existential wasteland, delivering a surreal reckoning with the ravages of industrialization, the country’s legacy of violence and prejudice, and the natural cycle of life and death. Accountant William Blake (Johnny Depp) has hardly arrived in the godforsaken outpost of Machine before he’s caught in the middle of a fatal lovers’ quarrel. Wounded and on the lam, Blake falls under the watch of the outcast Nobody (Gary Farmer), who guides his companion on a spiritual journey, teaching him to dispense poetic justice along the way. Featuring austerely beautiful black-and-white photography by Robby Müller and a live-wire score by Neil Young, Dead Man is a profound and unique revision of the western genre.

Film Info

  • Jim Jarmusch
  • United States
  • 1995
  • 121 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.85:1
  • English
  • Spine #919

Special Features

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION:

  • New 4K digital restoration, supervised and approved by director Jim Jarmusch, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
  • New Q&A in which Jarmusch responds to questions sent in by fans
  • Rarely seen footage of Neil Young composing and performing the film’s score
  • New interview with actor Gary Farmer
  • New readings of William Blake poems by members of the cast, including Mili Avital, Alfred Molina, and Iggy Pop
  • New selected-scene audio commentary by production designer Bob Ziembicki and sound mixer Drew Kunin
  • Deleted scenes
  • Jarmusch’s location scouting photos
  • PLUS: Essays by film critic Amy Taubin and music journalist Ben Ratliff

Purchase Options

Special Features

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION:

  • New 4K digital restoration, supervised and approved by director Jim Jarmusch, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
  • New Q&A in which Jarmusch responds to questions sent in by fans
  • Rarely seen footage of Neil Young composing and performing the film’s score
  • New interview with actor Gary Farmer
  • New readings of William Blake poems by members of the cast, including Mili Avital, Alfred Molina, and Iggy Pop
  • New selected-scene audio commentary by production designer Bob Ziembicki and sound mixer Drew Kunin
  • Deleted scenes
  • Jarmusch’s location scouting photos
  • PLUS: Essays by film critic Amy Taubin and music journalist Ben Ratliff
Dead Man
Cast
Johnny Depp
William Blake
Gary Farmer
Nobody
Lance Henriksen
Cole Wilson
Michael Wincott
Conway Twill
Mili Avital
Thel Russell
Iggy Pop
Salvatore “Sally” Jenko
Billy Bob Thornton
Big George Drakoulious
Jared Harris
Benmont Tench
Crispin Glover
Train fireman
Eugene Byrd
Johnny “The Kid” Pickett
Michelle Thrush
Nobody’s girlfriend
Jimmie Ray Weeks
Marvin (older marshal)
Mark Bringelson
Lee (younger marshal)
Gabriel Byrne
Charlie Dickinson
John Hurt
John Scholfield
Alfred Molina
Trading-post missionary
Robert Mitchum
John Dickinson
Credits
Director
Jim Jarmusch
Written by
Jim Jarmusch
Producer
Demetra J. MacBride
Director of photography
Robby Müller
Edited by
Jay Rabinowitz
Music composed and performed by
Neil Young
Production designer
Robert Ziembicki
Costume designer
Marit Allen
Coproducer
Karen Koch
Casting by
Ellen Lewis
Casting by
Laura Rosenthal

From The Current

“Perfect Imperfection”: Neil Young Improvises Dead Man
“Perfect Imperfection”: Neil Young Improvises Dead Man

Jim Jarmusch filmed Neil Young recording the score for his 1995 revisionist western. Watch a bit of the never-released footage here.

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Dead Man: Earth, Wind, and Fire
Dead Man: Earth, Wind, and Fire

Improvising to Jim Jarmusch’s film in real time, Neil Young created a rich parallel environment that sounds like a force of nature.

By Ben Ratliff

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Dead Man: Blake in America
Dead Man: Blake in America

What do we mean when we say a narrative film is poetic? The answer lies in this visionary western from director Jim Jarmusch.

By Amy Taubin

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A Frontier Fever Dream in Kansas City

A gorgeous new restoration of Jim Jarmusch’s surreal western Dead Man plays at Tivoli Cinemas tonight.

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David and Nathan Zellner’s Top 10
David and Nathan Zellner’s Top 10

Austin-based duo David and Nathan Zellner, whose new film Damsel is now in theaters, share a list of favorites that run the gamut from genre provocation to lyrical humanism.