Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead (1995)

Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead
Type Feature Film
MPAA Rating R
Runtime 2hr 4mins.
Genres Drama, Crime, Comedy, Thriller
Keywords N/A
Status Released
US Release Date
  • High Fidelity Review

    "What came first," Rob Gordon (John Cusack) desperately wants to know, "the music or the misery?" Over-stimulated by the sounds coming out of his outsize headphones, morose Rob is seizing the moment of his breakup with Laura (Iben Hjejle) to reflect on "the thousands of hours of heartache, rejection, pain, misery and loss" he experienced while exposing himself to wave after wave of popular music. "Did I listen because I was miserable," he wonders, "or was I miserable because I listened?" Further proof of how funny we can be when we're at our most despondent, "High Fidelity" is a sharp and satisfying romantic comedy about the difficulty of commitment that utilizes Stephen Frears' incisive direction and some very knowing and sophisticated writing to give actor Cusack one of the best roles of his career. That is saying something, because Cusack, talented as well as shrewd about what he gets himself into, doesn't go in for weak material. Rob Gordon, a part Cusack had a hand in writing, is specifically tailored to his everyman persona, to his gift for intimacy with the audience and his ability to humanize characters who are difficult and potentially off-putting. The last time out for Cusack and writing partners D.V. DeVincentis and Steve Pink was "Grosse Point Blank," in which the actor played a hit man with a career crisis; "High Fidelity" presents them with a character who faces a less lethal kind of challenge. (Scott Rosenberg of the glib "Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead" and "Con Air" also gets a writing credit.) The Cusack pack had the advantage of starting from Nick Hornby's fine novel, a delightful book that is very savvy about the vagaries of relationships, especially from the male point of view. It's Rob, using either voice-over or direct talk to the camera, who preserves the book's first-person quality as well as chunks of its dialogue. "High Fidelity" presents him as someone who's his own worst enemy, a tortured and grumpy eternal adolescent who doesn't have to hide his weakness for being a real jerk to gain our sympathy. Given his opening rant about the pernicious effect of lyrics, it's not a surprise that Rob's life is pop music. He owns Championship Vinyl, a Chicago establishment (smoothly moved from the novel's London) that's a shrine to old-fashioned phonograph records and mecca to obsessive geeks who "spend a disproportionate amount of their time looking for deleted Smiths singles and 'ORIGINAL NOT RERELEASED' underlined Frank Zappa albums." This universe's two biggest geeks, Dick and Barry, a.k.a. "the musical moron twins," just happen to work for Rob, and as played by Todd Louiso and Jack Black are the comic center of the film. Dick is the sensitive flower while Barry is rowdy, abrasive and downright hilarious. They join Rob in insulting the customers, making abstruse jokes about the Beta Band and Ryuichi Sakamoto and constructing an endless number of all-time Top 5 lists, from Top 5 dream jobs to Top 5 songs about death ("Leader of the Pack," "Dead Man's Curve," "Tell Laura I Love Her," etc). Though the Championship Vinyl store (magnificently created for the film by a crew that includes production designers David Chapman and Therese DePrez, art director Nicholas Lund, set decorator Larry P. Lundy and property master Timothy W. Tiedje) is real enough to be a character in its own right, it's not the best place for empathy, and that's what Rob needs after his break with Laura. Initially he faces the split with bravado, yelling at her that she doesn't even make his all-time Top 5 list of memorable split-ups (yes, he has one), but that fighting spirit is not fated to last. As the pain of Laura's absence (and her possible connection with someone else) sinks in, Rob is forced, for perhaps the first time, to think about his life and confront his difficulty with romance and commitment. "What's wrong with me? Why am I doomed to be left?" he wonders plaintively and, in an attempt to find out, thinks back on that list of all-time memorable ruptures, amusingly reconsidering liaisons with Catherine Zeta-Jones, Lili Taylor and others. * * * Director Frears, who is noticeably good with realistic relationships that have a touch of comedy in them ("The Snapper," "My Beautiful Laundrette"), knows his way around this scenario. Under his guidance, Cusack's painful but funny reexamination leads to a getting of wisdom that is no less welcome for coming years later than it should have. Cusack, with his ability to project glowering desperation and a sense of aggrieved entitlement, is perfect for this role. As Laura, the woman he can't live with or without, Danish actress Hjejle (recently seen as a prostitute-turned-housekeeper in that country's "Mifune") displays both faultless English and a formidable sense of integrity that allows her to more than hold her own in fairly heady company. For it's a tribute to how well "High Fidelity" has been written (and to the respect other performers have for Cusack and Frears) that the film employs quite a number of excellent actors in small roles. In addition to Taylor and Zeta-Jones, there are parts for Tim Robbins, Joan Cusack, Lisa Bonet, Sara Gilbert and Natasha Gregson Wagner. The film's music (more than 50 songs are listed in the credits, with artists ranging from Aretha Franklin to Stereolab) is expertly chosen, and there's even a cameo by Bruce Springsteen, giving sage romantic advice. Of course Rob needs it, but whether he can take it is, obviously, quite another story. * MPAA rating: R, for language and some sexuality. Times guidelines: contemporary profanity and some sexual scenes. es: Brockovich is a torrent of profanity.

Name Credit Credited as Role Id Sort Order
Keii Johnston Stunt Player n/a 121025 19000023
Bob Stuart Stunt Player n/a 121025 19000022
Thomas J Huff Stunt Player n/a 121025 19000021
Big Daddy Wayne Stunt Player n/a 121025 19000024
Lee Roy "Ed" Bower Carpenter n/a 529 21000001
Morris Laslo Carpenter n/a 529 21000004
Scott "Huevos" MacLachlan Carpenter n/a 529 21000003
Thomas Cooper Carpenter n/a 529 21000002
Eric Stabenau Stunt Player n/a 121025 19000020
Glory Fioramonti Stunt Player n/a 121025 19000019
Richard Epper Stunt Player n/a 121025 19000013
Benny Moore Stunt Player n/a 121025 19000012
Ousaun Elam Stunt Player n/a 121025 19000011
Brad Orrision Stunt Player n/a 121025 19000014
Jon Epstein Stunt Player n/a 121025 19000015
Robert Sims Stunt Player n/a 121025 19000018
Dane Farwell Stunt Player n/a 121025 19000017
Dennis Scott Stunt Player n/a 121025 19000016
Ricky L Morning Carpenter n/a 529 21000005
Lanny Durbin Carpenter n/a 529 21000006
Mark B Ashby Construction Coordinator n/a 276 21000018
Steven Fidler Construction Foreman n/a 277 21000017
Larry Lee Carpenter n/a 529 21000016
Douglas A Womack Construction Coordinator (Los Angeles crew) 276 21000019
Reg Krueger Craft Service n/a 120903 22000001
Tim Drnec Special Effects Supervisor n/a 545 23000001
Kathy Gerwig-Fisher Catering assistant caterer 120954 22000003
Jim Gerwig Catering caterer 120954 22000002
John M Pouncey Carpenter n/a 529 21000015
Rene K Widener Carpenter n/a 529 21000014
Brett A McCormick Carpenter n/a 529 21000009
Ty R Holland Carpenter n/a 529 21000008
Kevin H Holland Carpenter n/a 529 21000007
Garry Moore Carpenter n/a 529 21000010
Marc Sapienza Carpenter n/a 529 21000011
Anthony N Naples Carpenter n/a 529 21000013
Brett Tuttle Carpenter n/a 529 21000012
Dwayne McGee Stunt Player n/a 121025 19000010
Oscar Dillon Stunt Player n/a 121025 19000009
Dave McMillan Electrician n/a 450 15000012
Robert Dowling Electrician n/a 450 15000011
Robert Cheung Electrician n/a 450 15000010
Dan Riffel Electrician n/a 450 15000013
Jon McNulty Electrician n/a 450 15000014
Cranston Gobbo Dolly Grip key/dolly grip(Los Angeles crew) 264 15000017
Tim Collins Dolly Grip n/a 264 15000016
Dane Peterson Electrician n/a 450 15000015
Mark "Pierre" Cane Electrician n/a 450 15000009
Adam Jones Gaffer (Los Angeles crew) 268 15000008
Richard Mall Key Grip n/a 263 15000003
Christopher Gerding Rigging Gaffer n/a 120937 15000002
Philip Berardi Rigging Gaffer n/a 120937 15000001
Dave Burns Grip n/a 365 15000004
Skyler Tegland Grip n/a 365 15000005
Dino Parks Gaffer n/a 268 15000007
Steve Frohardt Grip rigging grip 365 15000006
Thomas Crawford Best Boy Grip n/a 265 15000018
Weston Lant Best Boy Grip (Los Angeles crew) 265 15000019
Rick Barker Stunt Player n/a 121025 19000003
Charlie Picerni Stunt Coordinator (Los Angeles crew) 120804 19000002
John Branagan Stunt Coordinator n/a 120804 19000001
Melvin Jones Stunt Player n/a 121025 19000004
Tom Cottrell Stunt Player n/a 121025 19000005
Rusty McClennon Stunt Player n/a 121025 19000008
Monty Cox Stunt Player n/a 121025 19000007
Henry Kinji Stunt Player n/a 121025 19000006
Billy Rose Legal Services legal services provider 120857 18000001
James T Linville Assistant Production Accountant n/a 120902 16000006
Eileen McGuire Production Accountant n/a 282 16000001
Buddy Wilson Best Boy best boy electric(Los Angeles crew) 120885 15000021
Ric Delgado Best Boy best boy electric 120885 15000020
Ira Friedlander Production Accountant (Los Angeles crew) 282 16000002
Don Mink Accountant post production accounting services 120802 16000003
Kent Hamilton Production Insurance insurance provider 120949 16000005
Ann Wiggins Accountant post production accounting services 120802 16000004
Scott Thompson Special Effects Foreman n/a 250 23000002
Robert Olson Special Effects special effects technician 168 23000003
David Walden Jr. Driver n/a 273 25000042
Anna Maxwell Driver n/a 273 25000041
Tony Mihalopoulos Driver n/a 273 25000040
Gene Ward Driver n/a 273 25000043
Danny Romo Other tatoo artist 120795 26000001
Gregg "Cowboy" Sanders Other gang boss 120795 26000004
Jeff Wallace Other gang boss 120795 26000003
Rebeca Scott Other project coordinator 120795 26000002
Matthew J Kessler Driver n/a 273 25000039
Paul Kowalczyk Driver n/a 273 25000038
Greg Bauer Driver n/a 273 25000032
Sharon Begley Medic n/a 120966 25000031
Cheryl Lincoln Medic n/a 120966 25000030
Philip Caputo Driver n/a 273 25000033
Skip Steffens Driver n/a 273 25000034
Joseph L Dugan Driver n/a 273 25000037
Tony Wolverton Driver n/a 273 25000036
Robert Dingle Driver n/a 273 25000035
Jimmy Simeone Other foreman 120795 26000005
Randy J Holland Other foreman 120795 26000006
Sean Hillyard Other scenic painter 120795 26000018
Raymond E Higgins Other scenic painter 120795 26000017
Tanya Elaine Hamilton Other scenic painter 120795 26000016
Steve A Barash Other picture car coordinator 120795 26000019
Don Harris Other police coordinator 120795 26000020
Susan Trembly Unit Publicist n/a 231 29000001
Kim Jacobsen Other travel services provider 120795 26000022
Kurt Woolner Other completion bond provider 120795 26000021
Jamie A Curl Other buyer(Denver crew) 120795 26000015
Victoria Stasica Other buyer(Denver crew) 120795 26000014
Daniel Naiman Other draftsman 120795 26000009
Kristie Pfeffinger Other scenic painter 120795 26000008
Mike Daigle Other lead scenic 120795 26000007
Kevin R Kansy Other payroll clerk 120795 26000010
Gregg M Busch Other payroll clerk 120795 26000011
Kristi Dinner Other buyer(Denver crew) 120795 26000013
Lorin Flemming Other chef 120795 26000012
Doug Smith Medic n/a 120966 25000029
Sandra Ohlfest Medic n/a 120966 25000028
Kelly Macmanus Assistant (to Cary Woods) 120820 25000003
Elizabeth Allen Assistant (to Cary Woods) 120820 25000002
Mo Milligan Assistant (to Marie Cantin) 120820 25000001
Gina Mingacci Assistant (to Cathy Konrad) 120820 25000004
Erin Simon Assistant (to Gary Fleder) 120820 25000005
Jim Rossow Jr. Production Assistant n/a 275 25000008
Joe Drago Assistant (to Andy Garcia) 120820 25000007
Rose F Fahey Assistant (to Andy Garcia) 120820 25000006
Batia Grafka Property Master n/a 120805 24000003
Monte French Assistant Props prop assistant 120904 24000002
Brian Cox Special Effects Assistant n/a 514 23000006
David Waine Special Effects (Los Angeles crew) 168 23000005
John Hartigan Special Effects (Los Angeles crew) 168 23000004
David Matherly Effects Assistant (Todd Masters Company) 120922 23000007
Scott Patton Effects Assistant (Todd Masters Company) 120922 23000008
Cesar Diez Alava Assistant Property Master n/a 120969 24000001
Joshua Patton Effects Assistant (Todd Masters Company) 120922 23000009
Nellie Adami Production Assistant n/a 275 25000009
Dana S Kroeger Production Assistant n/a 275 25000010
Sarah K Thiessen Production Assistant post production assistant 275 25000022
Leon Watkins Production Assistant n/a 275 25000021
Jennifer L Platt Production Assistant n/a 275 25000020
Ken Woodburn Production Assistant post production assistant 275 25000023
Morgan Jones Transportation Captain n/a 272 25000024
Allison Fell Production office intern 120824 25000027
Jason Belsky Transportation Coordinator n/a 271 25000026
Rogert Menapace Transportation Captain n/a 272 25000025
Laissa Michieli Production Assistant n/a 275 25000019
Patty Long Production Assistant n/a 275 25000018
Stephanie Poole Production Assistant n/a 275 25000013
Jolie Von Suhr Production Assistant n/a 275 25000012
Ivan Martin Del Campo Production Assistant n/a 275 25000011
Rebecca Crespi Production Assistant n/a 275 25000014
Bryan Booth Production Assistant n/a 275 25000015
Kelli Bright Production Assistant n/a 275 25000017
Melanie Lambert Production Assistant n/a 275 25000016
Mary Jo Devenney Sound Mixer (Los Angeles crew) 230 14000006
Jim Steube Sound Mixer production sound mixer 230 14000005
Cary Woods Producer n/a 3 3000001
Gary Fleder Director n/a 2 2000001
Danny Romo Actor Montirez Brother 1 1000050
Marie Cantin Executive Producer n/a 174 3000002
Bob Weinstein Executive Producer n/a 174 3000003
Scott Rosenberg Associate Producer n/a 171 3000006
Cathy Konrad Co-Producer n/a 170 3000005
Harvey Weinstein Executive Producer n/a 174 3000004
William Denis Actor Businessman 1 1000049
Phil Boardman Actor Gym Teacher 1 1000048
Bill Erwin Actor 70 Year Old Man 1 1000042
Susan Merson Actor Woman with Cancer 1 1000041
Bill Bolender Actor Stevie's Dad 1 1000040
Nate Ingram Actor Alley Hood 1 1000043
Jacob Bergener Actor Alley Hood 1 1000044
Selina Mathews Actor Cynthia 1 1000047
Ruthay Actor Receptionist 1 1000046
Larry Curry Jr. Actor Black Youth 1 1000045
Scott Rosenberg Screenplay n/a 120778 4000001
Marie Cantin Unit Production Manager n/a 182 5000001
Desmond Cannon Post-Production Coordinator post production coordinator 120842 5000013
Elizabeth Ludwick Script Supervisor n/a 191 5000012
Bill Doyle Location Manager (Los Angeles) 193 5000011
Heidi Arnold Post-Production Coordinator post production coordinator 120842 5000014
Carolyn Crittenden Production Coordinator n/a 162 5000015
Bonnie Grossblatt Assistant Production Coordinator n/a 192 5000018
Karen L Sirota Assistant Production Coordinator n/a 192 5000017
Nancy Rosing Production Coordinator (Los Angeles crew) 162 5000016
Scott Allen Logan Location Manager key location manager 193 5000010
Donald Sparks Assistant Director (Los Angeles crew) 163 5000009
Josh King Assistant Director n/a 163 5000004
Jeffrey Downer Production Supervisor (Los Angeles crew) 307 5000003
Laura Greenlee Production Supervisor n/a 307 5000002
Marcei A Brubaker Assistant Director n/a 163 5000005
Diana Williams Assistant Director 2nd assistant director 163 5000006
Michael Zimbrich Assistant Director (Los Angeles crew) 163 5000008
Denise G Denver Assistant Director 2nd assistant director(Denver crew) 163 5000007
Harriet Medin Actor Old Woman 1 1000039
Archie Smith Actor Mr Jergen 1 1000038
Marshall Bell Actor Lt Atwater 1 1000013
Bill Cobbs Actor Malt 1 1000012
Michael Nicolosi Actor Bernard 1 1000011
Glenn Plummer Actor Baby Sinister 1 1000014
Don Stark Actor Gus 1 1000015
David Stratton Actor Alex 1 1000018
Willie Garson Actor Cuffy 1 1000017
Harris Laskawy Actor Ellis 1 1000016
Christopher Walken Actor The Man With the Plan 1 1000010
Gabrielle Anwar Actor Dagney 1 1000009
Bill Nunn Actor Easy Wind 1 1000004
William Forsythe Actor Franchise 1 1000003
Christopher Lloyd Actor Pieces 1 1000002
Treat Williams Actor Critical Bill Dooly 1 1000005
Jack Warden Actor Joe Heff 1 1000006
Fairuza Balk Actor Lucinda 1 1000008
Steve Buscemi Actor Mr Shhh 1 1000007
Deborah Strang Actor Dodie 1 1000019
Sarah Trigger Actor Meg 1 1000020
Cheree Jaeb Actor Little Girl 1 1000032
Bill Long Actor "The Dead Beat" Man 1 1000031
Tommy "Tiny" Lister Jr. Actor House 1 1000030
Sarah Levy Arbess Actor Girl No 1 1 1000033
Larissa Michieli Actor Girl No 2 1 1000034
Taylor Hale Actor Stevie 1 1000037
Lynn Appelbaum Actor Young Woman 1 1000036
Larry Raben Actor Young Man 1 1000035
Don Cheadle Actor Rooster 1 1000029
Chuck Bacino Actor Accordian Player 1 1000028
Ray Allison Actor Member--House Band 1 1000023
Buddy Guy Actor Member--House Band 1 1000022
Jenny McCarthy Actor Blond Nurse 1 1000021
Scott Holt Actor Member--House Band 1 1000024
Greg Rzab Actor Member--House Band 1 1000025
Joe Drago Actor Maitre D' 1 1000027
Wiley Harker Actor Boris Carlotti 1 1000026
Charlotte Purein Assistant Location Manager n/a 194 5000019
Karen Beard Assistant Location Manager (Denver crew) 194 5000020
Carter J Smith Art Assistant art department assistant 120974 9000024
Ernest R Savage III Art Assistant art department assistant 120974 9000023
D Latrice Soares Art Assistant art department assistant 120974 9000022
Ronnie Yeskel Casting n/a 179 10000001
Nina Kether Axelrod Casting (Colorado) 179 10000002
Richard Hicks Casting Associate casting assistant 160 10000005
Dan Parada Casting n/a 179 10000004
Rick Montgomery Casting n/a 179 10000003
Brian Bird Art Department Coordinator n/a 195 9000021
Michael C Stone Lead Person leadman(Los Angeles crew) 120957 9000020
Loren P Lyon Set Dresser n/a 197 9000015
James Ward Byrkit Storyboard Artist n/a 199 9000014
Jennifer Day Young Set Designer key set designer 202 9000013
Michael Budge Set Dresser (Denver crew) 197 9000016
Tracee Shuler Set Dresser (Los Angeles crew) 197 9000017
Kenneth G Jones Lead Person leadman(Denver crew) 120957 9000019
Steve Husch Lead Person leadman 120957 9000018
Dixie Webster Extras Casting (Los Angeles) 120851 10000006
Lisa Campbell Demaine Supervisor "B" unit supervisor((Denver crew)) 120845 11000001
Todd Masters Prosthetic Makeup special prosthetic makeup effects designer and creator 120936 13000009
Rick Sharp Makeup Supervisor n/a 517 13000008
Steve Artmont Makeup Artist key makeup artist 120801 13000007
Michael Spatola Prosthetic Makeup n/a 120936 13000010
Moe Chamberlain Boom Operator n/a 215 14000001
Walter Charles Gorey Boom Operator (Los Angeles crew) 215 14000004
Rocky Quiroz Boom Operator n/a 215 14000003
David B Diamond Boom Operator n/a 215 14000002
Violet Ortiz Hair Stylist n/a 120799 13000006
K G Ramsey Hair hair supervisor 120794 13000005
Rosie Goodman Advisor medical coordinator 120821 12000003
Francie Brown Dialect Coach Gabrielle Anwar's dialect coach 666 12000002
Thom "Coach" Ehle Consultant Dolby Stereo consultant 120784 12000001
Abigail Murray Costume Designer n/a 169 13000001
Valerie Zielonka Costume Supervisor n/a 120895 13000002
Nancy Bassett Costumes costumer 120828 13000004
Scott Barr Tomlinson Costumes costumer 120828 13000003
Ryan Wilson Swing Gang n/a 434 9000012
Richard A Sloan Swing Gang n/a 434 9000011
Timberlake Lewis Assistant Camera Operator assistant camera(Los Angeles crew) 120849 6000012
David J White III Assistant Camera Operator assistant camera(Los Angeles crew) 120849 6000011
Renee Treyball Assistant Camera Operator assistant camera 120849 6000010
Kimberly Wright Photography still photographer 120835 6000013
Anthony B Richmond Photography (Los Angeles crew) 120835 6000014
Richard Marks Editor film editor 172 7000001
Peter Martin Nelson Camera Assistant camera intern 120867 6000016
Dan Muscarella Color Timer n/a 120921 6000015
Chris Lamardi Assistant Camera Operator assistant camera 120849 6000009
Atalanta Powell Camera camera loader(Los Angeles crew) 120798 6000008
Robert Seaman Camera Operator "B" camera operator 239 6000003
Aaron Schneider Director of Photography "B" unit director of photography((Denver crew)) 120780 6000002
Elliot Davis Director of Photography n/a 120780 6000001
Rory Robert Knepp Camera Operator (Los Angeles crew) 239 6000004
Aaron Schneider Camera Operator (Los Angeles crew) 239 6000005
Raymond S Milazzo Camera camera loader 120798 6000007
John Nuler Steadicam Operator n/a 232 6000006
Eva Gardos Editing n/a 120901 7000002
Erik Digney Avid Editor Avid technician 120898 7000003
Steven Piacenza Swing Gang n/a 434 9000005
Burton Rencher Art Director n/a 183 9000004
Kurt Meisenbach Set Decorator (Los Angeles crew) 165 9000003
Chance Robertson Swing Gang n/a 434 9000006
Kordon Baker Swing Gang n/a 434 9000007
Paul T Rawley Swing Gang n/a 434 9000010
John Perry Swing Gang n/a 434 9000009
Kirk Lane Hockinson Swing Gang n/a 434 9000008
Anne D McCulley Set Decorator n/a 165 9000002
Nelson Coates Production Designer n/a 164 9000001
Elizabeth Wendel Music Coordinator n/a 206 8000002
Michael Convertino Composer score composer 120836 8000001
Mary Nelson-Duerrstein Negative Cutting negative cutter 120852 7000004
Peter Afterman Music Supervisor n/a 120872 8000003
Happy Walters Music Supervisor music supervision 120872 8000004
Bobby Muzingo Original Music n/a 120838 8000006
Pilar McCurry Music Supervisor music supervision 120872 8000005
Andy Garcia Actor Jimmy "The Saint" Tosnia 1 1000001
Retired gangster Jimmy the Saint has been living the quiet life in Denver until, out of the blue, he is summoned to visit his ex-boss, The Man With The Plan. As Jimmy learns, The Man has both a plan and an offer he can't refuse: a lot of money to pull off a simple "action," scaring off the kid who's romancing The Man's dim-witted son's ex-girlfriend. Jimmy decides to round up his former cronies to share in the spoils. This group of misfits includes: Franchise, Pieces, Critical Bill, and Easy Wind. Along the way, he also falls for the alluring Dagney, the only girl in town who makes his saintly heart go "thump." But, on the night of the "action," the whole plan goes maddeningly awry. Suddenly, the gang's quiet life isn't so quiet anymore... they become the objects of a bounty hunt by diabolical hired assassin Mr. Shhh. It's all dumb luck for Jimmy, who's fallen in love the same week he's been dealt a death sentence.