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Ladder 49 (Widescreen Edition)
Ladder 49
Widescreen Edition
Actors: Joaquin Phoenix, John Travolta, Jacinda Barrett, Robert Patrick, Morris Chestnut
Director: Jay Russell
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
PG-13     2005     1hr 55min

Academy Award(R) nominated stars Joaquin Phoenix (Best Supporting Actor, GLADIATOR, 2000) and John Travolta (Best Actor, PULP FICTION, 1994) ignite the intense action in this heroic tale of ordinary men with uncommon coura...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Joaquin Phoenix, John Travolta, Jacinda Barrett, Robert Patrick, Morris Chestnut
Director: Jay Russell
Creators: Anson Downes, Armyan Bernstein, Casey Silver, Chris Salvaterra, Leigh Simons, Linda Favila, Lewis Colick
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: John Travolta, Family Life, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment / Touchstone
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 03/08/2005
Original Release Date: 10/01/2004
Theatrical Release Date: 10/01/2004
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 55min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 20
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: French, Spanish
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Member Movie Reviews

Suzanne P. from MUNNSVILLE, NY
Reviewed on 3/30/2010...
This movie is nice thriller. It keeps you on the edge of your seat, and then it makes you cry. I like it alot.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Paige R. from NEOSHO, WI
Reviewed on 12/10/2009...
This movie was awesome. It will make you wanted to call any firefighter and tell them "thanks" just knowing there are people so brave and giving there for you someday if you ever need them.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Firefighters' bravery and the unpredictable fires they face
Linda Linguvic | New York City | 11/06/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is a simple story. It's about the brave firefighters in the Baltimore Fire Department. John Travolta is cast as the chief. Joaquin Phoenix is cast as the young fireman. Jacinda Barrett is cast as the young fireman's wife. The film spans a period of 10 years. During this time we see the young couple meet, marry and have some very cute children. We watch the time-worn cliché about how the wife worries about the husband and wants him to stop his dangerous life. Naturally, he doesn't change though and he just gets braver and braver. There's a lot of camaraderie and good-natured horseplay among the men. But they all respect each other and it's a tight-knit group. Eventually, our hero is trapped in a burning building with no way out. The plot is predictable. And the acting is adequate.

But this film is more than just about the plot. It is about the fires. And I must say I sat in that theater absolutely transfixed as I was thrust into what looked like the reality of it all. I've seen other films and also have read about fires. But this film brought me right there. I was inside all the burning buildings depicted in the film. I might not have felt the actual heat of the fires, but I did feel their unpredictability and the randomness in which tragedy can occur. I also have nothing but admiration for the work that firefighters do, especially when they have to actually go into the buildings when everyone else is rushing out. I don't know how the special effects were done and I don't really care. But I admire the filmmakers for bringing to the screen this story what the job of a firefighter is all about.
Sentimental, but Authentic
Donald Gow | Glen Burnie, MD USA | 03/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I grew up in a neighborhood of rowhouses on the edges of Baltimore City. My father spent some 30 years with the Baltimore City Fire Department, and the single word I can use to describe this film is "authentic." I remember watching my father come home in that same blue work shirt with its black and gold patch proclaiming "Pride Protecting People." I remember going into the Engine House with him as a kid, tossing a football or a softball around with the guys and dreading the fact that any moment that bell could ring, that the dinners on the plates in the kitchen could go uneaten, that the baseball gloves could be dropped and the turnout boots thrust on.

This film places the emphasis on why these men party as hard as they do - because every beer might be the last one, and it might as well be the best one."
Whole hearted 5 Stars
Sir Adam of Scots | (please remember to vote!!) | 05/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Maybe am a little Bias, but my family descends from a long line within the fireservice: Great Grandfather, grandfather, dad, mom, brother and myself. Maybe that is why ladder 49
struck such a chord inside me.

Ladder 49 opens with Jaquin Pheonix racing into a burning warehouse with word that somewhere within the inferno are two possible survivors. When the situation shifts for the worst, Pheonix's character is haunted by the memories of a loving family outside the blaze.

What follows in this scene and continues throughout the film, are arguably some of the most intense fire-situations ever captured for a movie. Most people may think of Backdraft, a Ron Howard film, but to me Backdraft had way too many unbelievable flaws to be realistic and ended up being just a good action flick. (Example - to name one - Firefighters racing
into a burning building full of smoke, with nothing but their eye visors flipped down. Reason? They said we, the audience wouldn't be able to tell the difference between actors. Realism...or star power... hm, tough choice. This viewer would rather see intensity of an actual situation, rather than the glitz of a well-makuped actor. What has young Mr Baldwin done since Backdraft again? I keep forgetting.) Climbing off soapbox.

I sometimes catch myself throwing this phrase around loosely, but with this I have no doubt, Ladder 49 is one of the 50 best films I have ever seen in my lifetime. John Travolta gives one of his most sincerest performances as a firechief (as my dad was) trying to protect his men, both at work and home. The supporting cast is excellent and I believed every minute of what I was watching. This coming from someone who has spent their entire life around the fire hall.

The dvd is spectacular. The dolby digital home theater sound mix couldn't be better. Deep rumblings, wisping flames, spewing steam, and violent explosions rain throughout. The only thing keeping me from from the action, was room temperature. What a
great mix! The video quality is excellent as well; deep blacks and bright flames are well defined and skin tones are natural with crisp details staying true to the directors vision.

Ladder 49 is a brilliant and moving film, capturing the brotherhood, heartbreaks, and plentiful adrenaline rushes of
working in the fire industry. I was a dispatcher for 2 years, the real heroes are the remaining members of my family I mentioned above. I wish we could give the pro-athletes 30 grand a year and give the millions to our firefighters and paramedics. They deserve it. ~SAOS~"