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A timid accountant (Johnny Depp) is escorted through the weird and wild West by a mysterious Native named Nobody (Gary Farmer) in Jim Jarmusch's offbeat, mystical revisionist western.
An offbeat, mystical revisionist western from Jim Jarmusch (with a score by Neil Young), Dead Man is a sardonic vision of a frontier already ravaged by the encroachments of Western intruders. William Blake (Johnny Depp), a timid accountant newly arrived in the hellish frontier town of Machine, has to go on the run after killing (in self-defense) the son of a tyrannical, half-mad industrial magnate (Robert Mitchum). Pursued by three ferocious killers, and with a bullet lodged perilously close to his heart, Blake meets a mysterious Native man named Nobody (Gary Farmer), who believes Blake to be the reincarnation of the great English poet who is his namesake. Guiding Blake on a journey ever further into the wild and weird West, Nobody seeks to prepare and deliver the confused, already dead man to the fate he cannot escape. A hypnotic allegory that compellingly combines Western and Native American mysticism, Dead Man is one of the most well-informed, sympathetic and respectful depictions of First Peoples ever made by a non-Native director; as critic Jonathan Rosenbaum claims, its large proportion of unsubtitled dialogue in the Cree and Blackfoot languages makes it perhaps the only film by a non-Native director to implicitly acknowledge the existence of Native viewers.