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Underrated Scorsese film Bringing Out the Dead praised by its editor Thelma Schoonmaker

David Morgan-Brown
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During a recent interview with Den of Geek, Martin Scorsese's long-time editor Thelma Schoonmaker gave praise to one of her and the director's more underrated films, 1999's Bringing Out the Dead, which stars Nicolas Cage as a night-time ambulance-driver in one of the most notorious areas of New York, whose sleep deprivation and guilt over the lives he's lost causes him to go a bit crazy (in the usual Nicolas Cage style).

"It's the only one of his [Scorsese's] films, I think, that hasn't gotten its due," says Schoonmaker. "It's a beautiful film, but it was hard for people to take, I think. Unexpected. But I think it's great." She claims that the film initially was mis-marketed as a car-chase film: "What happened was, that film was about compassion, and it was sold, I think, as a car chase movie. When I saw the trailer I said, "Wait a minute! That's not what the movie's about!" I think people were made nervous by the theme of it, which I think is beautiful. I think it'll get its due."

Hopefully so. She is more confident that it will than in 2013, when in an interview with Uproxx she said "‘Raging Bull’ was a disaster and wasn’t recognized for 10 years. ‘King of Comedy’ was a disaster, now everybody loves ‘King of Comedy.’ This happened to so many of our films. But the one that’s never, ever [going to] come back is ‘Bringing Out the Dead.’"

It'd be very fortunate if Bringing Out the Dead could follow in the foot-steps of other Scorsese films that took time to acquire a fanbase, like The King of Comedy and After Hours, especially for the only Scorsese-Schoonmaker-Cage collaboration. Check out the film's mis-marketed trailer below.

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bringing out the deadmartin scorsesenicolas cageThelma Schoonmaker
Ben de KlosJanuary 8, 2017 6:49 PM

Great book
Great film

wagnerfilmJanuary 8, 2017 8:57 PM

It might be worthwhile giving this one another look. I actually saw it in its original theatrical release, but didn't get it at the time (though stylistically it was bravura filmmaking).

Karen ThompsonJanuary 8, 2017 9:52 PM

I first saw this movie three years ago, and couldn't figure out why I had never heard of it before. If you like Nicolas Cage, then you'll like this movie. I enjoyed the mellow Cage with periodical burst of craziness. Great Cage combo!

ManateeAdvocateJanuary 9, 2017 11:52 AM

Yep.

ManateeAdvocateJanuary 9, 2017 11:53 AM

I've yet to see the mis-marketed trailer and I refuse to at this point. Saw the film sight unseen and it was excellent. I'm glad that it's part of my collection.

arturoJanuary 9, 2017 4:12 PM

This needs a proper Blu-ray release.

guestJanuary 9, 2017 8:15 PM

not underrated to me. its in my collection. love it.

Michael BledsteinJanuary 17, 2017 5:15 PM

I honestly think this is his third best movie behind Goodfellas at #1 and The Departed #2.