[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Dead_Man.jpg]]

->''"It is preferable not to travel with a dead man."''
-->-- '''Henri Michaux'''

''Dead Man'' is an acid/existential {{Western}} written and directed by Creator/JimJarmusch, released in 1995. The protagonist, played by Creator/JohnnyDepp, is an out-of-work accountant from Cleveland named William Blake, though the name is purely coincidental. He goes to a frontier town on the promise of a job, but once there finds the position already taken. He gets briefly mixed up in a love triangle, kills the son of the most powerful man in town in self-defense and is forced to run for his life with a bullet in his chest.

While trying to evade the bounty hunters and marshals who are after him he meets Nobody, a solitary and erudite Native American who- upon hearing his name- believes him to be the wandering spirit of the English poet.

Not to be confused with the Creator/DCComics character of the [[ComicBook/{{Deadman}} same name]], and ''not'' to be confused with [[DeadmanWonderland that one really]] {{Gorn}}y {{anime}} about an amusement park prison.

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!!Contains examples of:

* TheAllegedSteed: Mr. Dickinson's Pinto, which he wants back in addition to wanting his son's killer dead. The others, quite naturally, mock him behind his back for it.
* AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence: [[spoiler:This is what Nobody expects William Blake to do, whether he wants to or not]].
* ArcWords: "Have you got any tobacco?"
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: Mr. Dickinson, the boss of Machine. He seems to carry a shotgun around with him at all times, and even uses it to threaten the three baddest bounty hunters in the west into taking his assignment. This was Robert Mitchum's final role.
* BannedInChina: The Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification banned the film initially, considering a brief (i.e. 4 seconds) scene where a woman is being held at gunpoint while fellating a man to be gratuitous sexual violence. The distributors then delivered a prompt "what the fuck, idiots?" to the review board, who passed it with the R18+ rating.
* BilingualBonus: Uses Cree and Blackfoot without subtitles. Cree has some choice insults.
* BladeOfGrassCut
* BountyHunter: Three of them, all insane to varying degrees and [[spoiler:killed off in inverse order to the height of their insanity]].
* CatchPhrase: Nobody's is, "Stupid fucking white man!" He even [[ActorAllusion gets to say it]] in [[Creator/JimJarmusch Jarmusch]]'s next film ''Film/GhostDogTheWayOfTheSamurai''.
* CitySlicker: The protagonist is a quintessential tenderfoot. At first.
* DeadAllAlong: [[spoiler:Nobody fits this trope.]]
* DeliberatelyMonochrome: Shot in beautiful black-and-white, like an Ansel Adams photo.
* DerailedFairyTale: See page listing.
* DontThinkFeel: Much of Nobody's dialogue in the film. "You don't stop the clouds by building a ship." His favorite poet is Creator/WilliamBlake and [[Creator/JimJarmusch Jarmusch]] felt that many of Blake's aphorisms sounded similar to Native American spiritualism.
* DownerEnding: Shouldn't come as a surprise given the film's title and the fact that the protagonist is mortally wounded by the end of the first act.
* {{Foreshadowing}}
-->'''Trainman:''' I wouldn't trust no words written down on no piece of paper, especially from no [[MeaningfulName Dickinson]] out in the town of [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Machine]]... you're just as likely to find your own grave! (shots ring out)
* EverythingTryingToKillYou
* {{Gorn}}: Deliberately subverted. Scenes of violence are staged as brief, awkward, and nausea-inducing; the camera lingers sadly over the outcome.
* HookerWithAHeartOfGold: Thel is an ex-hooker turned paper flower maker, and takes Blake in when he has nowhere to go. It turns out to be a bad idea for both of them.
* ImAHumanitarian: Cole Wilson.
* InjunCountry: A big theme. Blake looks out on the typical tepee camps of the Plains Indians while aboard the train and eventually travels through the Injun Country of the Northwest, which looks much different from the Plains Indians. The Indians are neither romanticized nor stigmatized.
* InstantDeathBullet: [[spoiler:Thel is shot in the chest by Charlie and she immediately falls over dead without any final death throes.]]
* KillEmAll: [[spoiler:William Blake, Nobody, almost everyone they encounter on their journey, Thel, Charlie Dickinson, and the three bounty hunters all die, leaving only Mr. Dickinson and a few very minor characters alive at the end.]]
* MadOracle: The train fireman.
* MagicalNativeAmerican: Nobody exists in the film to escort a white man on his spirit journey, but this is justified by Nobody's fleshed-out background and beliefs.
* MagicRealism: Blake's trip to the ocean is basicaly a spiritual journey into the afterlife taking place in the real world. Even before Blake gets shot, the film presents a dream-like, otherworldy level of reality.
* MeaningfulName: William Blake, Dickinson, Nobody, etc.
* MindScrew: From the very first scene to the very last moment.
* MutualKill: [[spoiler:Nobody and Cole Wilson]] at the end.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: The town of Machine is just as soulless of an industrial town as you'd imagine.
* NobleSavage: Nobody describes how he was raised and presented in white society as one of these.
* NotInThisForYourRevolution: "Look, I've had it up to here with this Indian malarkey."
* PinkertonDetective: Two of them, both of whom get killed.
* PopculturalOsmosis: Most of the "Indian sayings" Nobody uses are actually quotations from the poet William Blake.
* PopStarComposer: NeilYoung provides a soundtrack that's entirely improvised on electric guitar.
* PsychoForHire: Cole Wilson, the cannibal bounty hunter. He's so bad that [[spoiler:he kills his two infamous colleagues just for annoying him, and eats the second]].
* RiverOfInsanity: The whole trip is a journey into the madness of the American soul. Blake must be put [[LongBusTrip on a boat]] to cleanse him and prepare him for the journey [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence to the afterlife]] as the surroundings get weirder and darker and more dangerous the further he goes into the wilderness. And then to top it off, there's the opening railroad journey, piloted by Crispin Glover:
-->'''Trainman:''' Look out the window. And doesn't this remind you of [[{{Foreshadowing}} when you were]] [[CrypticConversation in the boat]], and then later than night, you were looking up at the ceiling, and the water in your head was not dissimilar from the landscape, and [[SecondPersonNarration you think to yourself]], "Why is it that the landscape is moving, [[MindScrew but the boat... is still?"]] And also... where is it that you're from?
-->'''Blake:''' [describes his journey]
-->'''Trainman:''' Machine! (ScareChord) That's the end of the line!
* TerribleTrio / QuirkyMinibossSquad: The three hunters.
* ThoseTwoBadGuys: The Pinkerton detectives.
* TookALevelInBadass: William starts as a clueless CitySlicker, and becomes a deadly [[TheGunslinger Gunslinger]].
* YourEyesCanDeceiveYou: Nobody steals William Blake's glasses: "Perhaps you will see better without them."
* TheWestern: Acid Western.
* WomenInRefrigerators: [[spoiler:Thel, disposed of after a few minutes of screen time.]]
* WhatASenselessWasteOfHumanLife
-->'''Wilson:''' Looks like a goddam religious icon.
* WorldHalfEmpty: Westernized society is shown to be corrupt and cruel, epitomized by the awful industrial town of "Machine." Unusually, Native society isn't idealized in comparison.
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