Dead Man

Synopsis: Dead Man is the story of a young man's journey, both physically and spiritually, into very unfamiliar terrain. William Blake travels to the extreme western frontiers of America sometime in the 2nd half of the 19th century. Lost and badly wounded, he encounters a very odd, outcast Native American, named "Nobody", who believes Blake is actually the dead English poet of the same name. The story, with Nobody's help, leads William Blake through situations that are in turn comical and violent. Contrary to his nature, circumstances transform Blake into a hunted outlaw, a killer, and a man whose physical existence is slowly slipping away. Thrown into a world that is cruel and chaotic, his eyes are opened to the fragility that defines the realm of the living. It is as though he passes through the surface of a mirror, and emerges into a previously-unknown world that exists on the other side.
Director(s): Jim Jarmusch
Production: Miramax
  4 wins & 10 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
121 min

Look out the window.

And doesn't this remind you

of when you were in the boat?

And then later that night,

you were lying, looking

up at the ceiling,

and the water

in your head...

was not dissimilar

from the landscape,

and you think to yourself,

"Why is it that the landscape...

is moving,

but... the boat

is still?"

And also... Where is it

that you're from?

- Cleveland.

- Cleveland.

- Lake Erie.

- Erie.

Do you have any parents

back in, uh, Erie?

They passed on recently.

And, uh,

do you have a wife...

in Erie?


- A fiance?

- Well, I...

I had one of those,

but, um,

she changed her mind.

- She found herself somebody else.

- No.

Yes, she did.

Well, that doesn't explain...

why you've come

all the way out here,

all the way out here to hell.

I, uh,

have a job

out in the town of Machine.

Machine? That's

the end of the line.

- Is it?

- Yes.

Well, I...

received a letter...

from the people at Dickinson's

Metal Works...


Assuring me

of a job there.

Is that so?

Yes. I'm an accountant.

I wouldn't know,

because, uh, I don't read,

but, uh, I'll tell you

one thing for sure:

I wouldn't trust no words

written down on no piece of paper,

especially from no "Dickinson"

out in the town of Machine.

- You're just as likely

to find your own grave.

Look. They're

shooting buffalo.

Government says...

killed a million of 'em

last year alone.

Pardon me, sir. Could you please

direct me towards the office?

Thank you.

Excuse me.

Excuse me.

How do you do, sir?

I'm Bill Blake,

your new accountant from Cleveland.

What the heck

are you doin' here?

Well, uh, I have here

this letter...

which confirms

my position here.

Well, this letter

is postmarked two months ago.

Makes you about

a month late.

This here is Mr. Olafsen.

He's our new accountant.

I'm sorry. I think

there's been some mistake.

- Look, Mr. Black,

- Blake.

I'm a very busy man, and Mr. Dickinson

does not pay me for idle conversation.

Well, I'm sure he doesn't, but

this letter confirms my position here.

Now, I've spent everything I had

left after my parent's funeral

just to get here.

Listen, Mr. Black,

I've got a lot of work to do here,

and this ain't

my business.

I'd like to speak

to Mr. Dickinson.

No, I-I don't think

you want to do that.

I insist on speaking

to Mr. Dickinson, sir.

You insist?

- I insist.

- You insist?

Yes, I do.

Well, go on then, lad.

There's the door.

All right then.

Go on then!

Well, I will.


Mr. Dickinson?

Who the hell are you?

And where did you get

that goddamn clown suit? Cleveland?

Well, actually, yes, sir.

I did, uh, get it

in Cleveland.

What the hell are you

doin' in my office?

Well, I-I-I came

to talk about my job.

The only job you're gonna get in here

is pushin' up daisies from a pine box.

Now get out.

Thank you

very much, sir.

Back to work,

Mr. Olafsen.

Excuse me.

Excuse me.


Pardon me, sir.

Could I get

a bottle, please?

We liked you better

when you was a whore.



Why don't you just

paint my portrait?

I'm sorry.

- Let me help here. One.

- This one's no good. No, it's ruined.

- Two.

- It's no good.

Oh, here. Oh!

Watch yourself.

- You okay? You all right?

- Yeah.

Here. Have a drink.

Would you like a drink?


I'm sorry.

Would you mind walking me

away from here?

- S-Sure. Sure.

- Yeah?

I'll just get

my suitcase.

- It's that way.

- All right.

Oh, sh*t.

I have a sneaking suspicion that that

large man back there was inebriated.

- I was gonna say something, but I

don't wanna cause any trouble.

- No, I think it's best.

That's my room.

Wasn't... expecting

any visitor.

- Like it?

- Yes, it's beautiful.

These flowers. Gosh.

They really

are something.

Yeah. Thank you.

You're welcome.

I made them

from paper.

If I ever get the money,

I'd like to make them

out of cloth.


And I'd put

a drop of perfume...

French perfume...

in each one.

What does it

smell like?

- Paper.

- Well, it is paper.

Hey, Bill.

You got any tobacco anywhere?

- No, I don't smoke.

- Damn.


Oh, watch it.

It's loaded.

Why do you

have this?

'Cause this is America.


You know, Thel,

I never wanted

to go away.

I know we said

it was, uh,

it was all over

and everything, but...

you were always

in my heart, Thel.


I, uh...

I brought you, uh...

Well, it's a present.

A present?

Well, I, uh...

I'm... I'm goin'.

And, uh,

I'm... I'm sorry, Thel,

for, uh,

for intrudin'.

Well, I never really

loved you anyway.

No, Charlie.

- I never stopped lovin' you, Thel.

- Don't!


Here's white man's metal

next to your heart.

I tried to cut it out,

but it's too deep inside.

A knife would cut

your heart instead...

and release the spirit

from within.

Stupid f***ing white man.

Do you have any tobacco?

I don't smoke.

Hey, Wilson,

got any extra tobacco?

Well, of course you wouldn't have

any extra tobacco. How 'bout you?

Sh*t. You ain't even

old enough to smoke.


Mr. John Dickinson.

Last night,

my youngest son, Charlie...

God bless his soul...

was gunned down in cold blood

right here in our own hotel.

The gutless murderer,

one Mr. Bill Blake,

also shot to death Miss Thel Russel,

the fiance

of my beloved son.

Not only that, but he stole

a very spirited and valuable horse,

a beautiful young pinto that belonged

Rate this script:3.0 / 1 vote

Jim Jarmusch

James Robert Jarmusch (born January 22, 1953) is an American film director, screenwriter, actor, producer, editor, and composer. He has been a major proponent of independent cinema since the 1980s, directing such films as Stranger Than Paradise (1984), Down by Law (1986), Mystery Train (1989), Dead Man (1995), Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999), Coffee and Cigarettes (2003), Broken Flowers (2005), Only Lovers Left Alive (2013), and Paterson (2016). Stranger Than Paradise was added to the National Film Registry in December 2002. As a musician, Jarmusch has composed music for his films and released two albums with Jozef van Wissem. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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