“It Will Stand The Test Of Time”


  • Nicolas Cage believes that Bringing Out The Dead is one of his best movies and deserves another look.
  • The film was misunderstood and misinterpreted due to its misleading marketing as an action movie, when it was actually a moving character analysis.
  • Despite its poor box office performance, Bringing Out The Dead received favorable reviews and could benefit from a new lease of life.

Nicolas Cage reminisces about his overlooked psychological drama film Bringing Out The Dead. Based on Joe Connelly’s novel of the same name, this Martin Scorsese-directed movie follows Frank Pierce, a burnt-out Manhattan ambulance paramedic who battles depression and insomnia following the stress of constantly rescuing lives and witnessing deaths. Nicolas Cage plays Pierce, and he’s joined by other names like Patricia Arquette, John Goodman, Ving Rhames, and Tom Sizemore. Following Bringing Out The Dead’s theatrical release in 1999, it only grossed $16.8 million worldwide, against a production budget of $55 million, ending up as a box office flop.

In an interview with Deadline discussing the well-received Dream Scenario, Cage also reflects on Bringing Out The Dead, claiming it was misunderstood at the time of release. The veteran actor explains that he’s looking forward to doing a sit-down interview with director Martin Scorsese, in hopes that it revives the underrated psychological drama. Read his full comments below:

Yeah, I love that movie, and I think it will stand the test of time. I watched it again recently. I think Paramount+ has it. It hasn’t gone to a high-def digital format yet, but I’m looking forward to maybe doing an interview for the movie with Martin Scorsese for Paramount+, because I think the movie is worth another look. I really believe that that is one of my best movies. I was in-between Snake Eyes and National Treasure, and I thought it was the most unusual style of filmmaking.

It was perhaps the most abstract I’ve seen Martin Scorsese get with his style, and for me as well. But I think it was misinterpreted. The movie was marketed in such a way — probably because I had been making adventure films — that people thought it was going to be an ambulance action/adventure movie. Well, that’s not what it was. It was a very painful character analysis of a burned-out paramedic, based on a very good book by Joe Connelly. But it was misunderstood, and I think that movie, maybe when it goes to high definition, will get another breath of life.

Why Was Bringing Out The Dead Underrated?

Nicolas Cage and Patricia Arquette standing outside a hospital in Bringing Out The Dead

Even though Nicolas Cage has appeared in several great movies that have won countless awards and are globally recognized as classics, the Golden Globe winner still holds the unsung Bringing Out The Dead in very high regard. Cage was previously asked about his best movies. In addition to Leaving Las Vegas and Pig, Cage also listed Bringing Out The End, stating “I have to say that might be the best movie I ever made.”

The assumption that Scorsese and Cage made an action movie was a far cry from the moving drama reflected in the final product.

As Cage stated, one of the major reasons why Bringing Out The Dead bombed at the box office and remains underrated to this day is because of the movie’s marketing at the time of release. Cage has starred in a variety of movies, with several at the time of release focusing on action and adventure, which was reflected in the lead-up to the movie. The assumption that Scorsese and Cage made an action movie was a far cry from the moving drama reflected in the final product.


Every Martin Scorsese Movie Ranked, Worst To Best

Martin Scorsese has one of the most astounding careers in Hollywood history. Here’s a complete ranking of Martin Scorsese’s movies from worst to best.

Despite Bringing Out The Dead raking in pennies on the dollar, bringing in less than half of its production budget after its official theatrical release, it received fairly favorable reviews from critics. Per the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the drama holds an approval rating of 73%, with several critics praising the movie’s style and subject. As Cage opined above, a new lease of life could be great for Bringing Out The Dead, as it’ll refocus people’s attention on one of his most misunderstood and miscategorized films.

Source: Deadline

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