A dark, bitter commentary on modern American life cloaked in the form of a surrealist western, Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man stars Johnny Depp as William Blake, a newly-orphaned accountant who leaves his home in Cleveland to accept a job in the frontier town of Machine. Upon his arrival, Blake is told by the factory owner Dickinson (Robert Mitchum) that the job has already been filled. Dejectedly, he enters a nearby tavern, ultimately spending the night with a former prostitute. A violent altercation with the woman's lover (Gabriel Byrne), also Dickinson's son, leaves Blake a murderer as well as mortally wounded, a bullet lodged dangerously close to his heart. He flees into the wilderness, where a Native American named Nobody (Gary Farmer) mistakes Blake for the English poet William Blake and determines that he will be Blake's guide in his protracted passage into the spirit world.