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Director: Jay Russell     Starring: Joaquin Phoenix John Travolta
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Learn more about Ladder 49:

Format: DVD
Sku: 40703405
UPC: 786936242638
UPC 14: 00786936242638
Category Keywords: Heroes  Theatrical Release
Rating: Game Rating Code
See more in Action/Adventure
Jack, a baltimore firefighter copes with the risky job that often shortchanges his wife and kids. He relies on the support of his 2nd family - the men of the firehouse. When he becomes trapped in the worst blaze of his career, the men of ladder 49 learn that the greatest fight will be saving one of their own.

"...a good, honest cry.  Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
"What an exciting powerful film - a terrific movie!  Larry King
"...awesome flames and pyrotechnic scenes of crisis...  Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

Editor's Note
Joaquin Phoenix is great in this saga of Baltimore firefighter Jack Morrison, whose life starts flashing before his eyes when he becomes trapped in a blazing high rise. Flashbacks chronicle his memories of being a rookie at his Baltimore fire company. He remembers fighting his first fire, bonding with fellow firefighters, falling in love with a beautiful local girl (Jacinda Barrett), getting married, and having children. He also looks back on forming a close relationship with the fire chief (John Travolta) and learning to face the danger and heroics of life on the job. This film manages to wring plenty of well-earned tears from its subject matter--as well as spine-tingling thrills--which are the result of solid performances, characterization, and good naturalistic dialogue from screenwriter Lewis Colick. Barrett is great as Jack's worried wife; she and Phoenix exhibit strong, earthy chemistry in their scenes together. Travolta makes a fine fire captain who is graceful, sure of himself, and always ready to give up the spotlight to the younger actors. Other firemen include Morris Chestnut, Balthazar Getty, and Robert Patrick. The addition of a soundtrack of contemporary Irish and Irish-American folk and rock keeps the melancholia just a whisper away. The heroics of 9/11 are subtly honored here, but never directly mentioned, which is to the film's credit.


Video Features DVD, Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 1.85:1, Dolby Digital (5.1), French, Dubbed & Subtitled, Spanish, Subtitled

Technical Info

Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Video Release Date Release Date: 12/24/2011
Video Play Time Running Time: 115 minutes
Video CategoryId Catalog ID: 35938
Video UPC UPC: 00786936242638
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 1

Audio & Video
Video Original Language Original Language: English
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks: English [CC], English, French Dubbed
Video Subtitle Available Subtitles: French, Spanish

Aspect Ratio
Video Aspect Ratio Widescreen  1.85:1

Cast & Crew

Video Cast Info Jacinda Barrett
Video Cast Info Joaquin Phoenix
Video Cast Info John Travolta
Video Cast Info Robert Patrick
Video Cast Info Bud Smith - Editor
Video Cast Info Casey Silver - Producer
Video Cast Info James Carter - Cinematographer
Video Cast Info Jay Russell - Director
Video Cast Info Lewis Colick - Writer
Video Cast Info Marty Ewing - Executive Producer
Video Cast Info Renee Kalfus - Costume Designer
Video Cast Info Tony Burrough - Production Designer
Video Cast Info William Ross - Original Music By

Professional Reviews

Entertainment Weekly
"The movie is a quiet salute; it does its job....And it's got quiet, sturdy performances to match." 10/08/2004 p.90

Los Angeles Times
"As a loving tribute to the courage and sacrifice of firefighters, it's first-class." 10/01/2004 p.E8

Chicago Sun-Times
"[An] uncommonly effective film..." 03/04/2005 p.12

James Berardinelli's ReelViews 6 of 10
There's nothing daring about it, but it offers a solid emotional core and there is a touching payoff. The movie's drama is a little on the soggy side, and that's what keeps me from giving a hearty recommendation. Few who see it will regret the experience, but this isn't the sort of movie that cries out to be seen. As diversions go, it's mostly pleasant, and I suppose there's nothing terribly wrong with that.

New York Daily News 8 of 10
There's a lot of flashy acting going, notably by Travolta, who has not been more engaging on-screen in a decade, and by newcomer Barrett, a willowy Aussie who, as a woman living with the specter of death, gives the film's most complete performance. - Jack Mathews

Chicago Sun-Times 9 of 10
Phoenix, Travolta, Barrett and the others are given characters with dimension, so that what happens depends on their decisions, not on the plot. As I said, I was surprisingly affected by the film. After I left the screening, I walked a while by the river, and sat and thought, and was happy not to have anything that had to be done right away. - Roger Ebert

Product Attributes

Product attributeActor:   Travolta,John
Product attributeLabel:   Buena Vista Home Video
Product attributeMusic Format:   DVD
Product attributeVideo Format:   DVD
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