Jim Jarmusch’s hypnotic, parable-like, revisionist Western follows the spiritual rebirth of a dying 19th-century accountant (Johnny Depp) named William Blake (no relation to the poet . . . or is there?). Guiding Blake through a treacherous landscape of U.S. Marshals, cannibalistic bounty hunters, shady missionaries, and cross-dressing fur traders is a Plains Indian named Nobody (Gary Farmer), one of the most fully realized Native American characters in contemporary cinema. Dead Man doubles as a barbed reflection on America’s treatment of its indigenous people and a radical twist on the myths of the American West. Jarmusch’s metaphysical masterpiece features Robert Mitchum in one of his final roles, as a gun-toting, cigar-smoking factory owner.
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