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Bringing Out the Dead: Screenplay

Bringing Out the Dead: Screenplay

A Book by

The screenplay for Martin Scorsese's most recent film, starring Nicolas Cage, a work of stunning power aobut a burned-out New York paramedic who is hooked on the addictive thrill--and terror--of saving lives.

In this "surprisingly funny and very moving" (San Francisco Chronicle) film, based on Joe Connelly's acclaimed novel, Martin Scorsese once again explored the dark streets of New York and the desperate lives of its inhabitants that he and screenwriter Paul Schrader had first confronted in their classic film Taxi Driver. This time the focus of Schrader's blistering writing is a paramedic named Frank Pierce, a man who has seen so many people die that he is caught between his compulsion to save lives and his fear and terror of losing them. Haunted by the ghost of a young girl he inadvertently killed, Frank and one of his partners bring an old man back to life, even though they both know they should have let him die rather than prolong his agony. While Frank is forced to watch the comatose man slowly fail, he is drawn to the dying man's daughter, Mary, a sometime addict, who first sees Frank as a possible savior before, ultimately, seeing him as a kind of killer.

Hard-edged yet insightful, angry yet full of compassion for the fatally flawed, Bringing Out the Dead is another tour de force by Schrader, in which the harsh realities of urban life-and one man's struggle with it-are conveyed with an immediacy and force that are both riveting and deeply moving.

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