Bringing out the Dead

Scorsese’s Bringing out the Dead from 1999 is one to see, its low grade Marty but it’s based on a nice novel by Joe Connelly, features some good performances and has a good script by Paul Shrader, who again finds some Bresson influences towards the end.

Ving Rhames is great, and Tom Sizemore is a treat and Patricia Arquette is lovely. What I want to really write about is that during this film and Casino in particular I started to realise that Scorsese was in fact making musicals.

The soundtrack to this film is so integral to the plot it could be a film by Stanley Donnen. Scorsese and his editor cut the film to the beat of the Clash and the Rolling Stones. The music weaves through the plot and controls the mood as much as the actors, writer and director. This is a musical.

This trait becomes even more obvious in Casino which moves through a longer time period and the music also acts as chapters in the novel like script. So Scorsese, who admits that he loved musicals as kid, is single handedly sneaking the musical back into mainstream film – or at least he was during the 90s.

The trailer is below. It’s one of the few films where Nic Cage’s personality and oddness fit well with the character…

Matthew Cooper has been a script writer for hire for over 20 years. He’s written for most of the UK soaps, including writing award winning episodes of Emmerdale, Eastenders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs. Matthew was winner of the first ever Lloyds Bank Channel Four Film Challenge, the Oscar Moore Screenplay Prize and has been BAFTA shortlisted and Royal Television Society nominated as a script writer. You can find some of his broadcast credits on the IMDb. You can get in touch with Matthew on