Flatliners (1990)

From Television and Film Character Encyclopedia

A group of medical students experiment with death.


Horror, Drama


Nelson - Kiefer Sutherland

Rachel - Julia Roberts

Labraccio - Kevin Bacon

Joe - William Baldwin

Steckle - Oliver Platt

Winnie Hicks - Kimberly Scott

Billy Mahoney - Joshua Rudoy

Rachel's Father - Benjamin Mouton

Young Nelson - Aeryk Egan

Young Winnie - Kesha Reed

Anne - Hope Davis

Uncle Dave - Jim Ortlieb

Young Labraccio - John Joseph Duda

Playground Kids - Megan Stewart, Tressa Thomas and Gonzo Gonzales

Ben Hicks - Afram Bill Williams

Terry - Deborah Thompson

Rachel's Mother - Elinore O'Connell

Bag Lady - Marilyn Dodds Frank

Bridget - Sanna Vraa

Joe's Women - Nicole Niblack, Cynthia Bassham, Sarabeth Tucek, Ilona Margolis, Julie Warner, Iilana B'Tiste, Deborah Torchio, Deborah Goomas, Michelle McKee, Nancy Moran, Dede Latinopoulos

Edna-Ward Nurse - Patricia Belcher

Terminal Woman - Susan French

Housewife - Beth Grant

Near Death Patient - Cage S. Johnson

Young Nelson's Friends - Jared Milmeister and Patrick Gleeson

Man on Crack - John Benjamin Martin

Nurse - Lynda Odums

Doctors - John Fink and Angela Paton

Latin Woman - Evelina Fernandez

Latin Husband - Miguel Delgado

Latin Wife - Ingrid Oliu

Latin Orderly - Raymond Hanis

Waitress - Zoaunne LeRoy

Medical Student - Tom Kurlander

Little Girl - Nili Levi

Beth - Anne James

Jill - K.K. Dodds

Professor - Natsuko Ohama


Character thumbnails with links to profiles

Detailed Synopsis

In Chicago, Nelson states that today is a good day to die. Labraccio and a Doctor are helping a Man on Crack when the Doctor tells him to get help. Labraccio runs to Latin Orderly who is wheeling a Latin Wife as a Latin Husband yells out to a Latin Woman that he has no money. The Latin Orderly says that the Latin Wife is hemorrhaging, probably from a street abortion. Labraccio says they have to operate now and the Latin Orderly asks who is going to do the surgery. Labraccio says that he will and the Nurse says that he will get them all fired. Latin Orderly drags Latin Husband out of the room and Latin Woman follows him. Labraccio starts working on Latin Wife when the Doctor runs into the room and kicks Labraccio out. Another Doctor walks down the hall with Latin Woman and starts yelling at Labraccio. Steckle makes an audio recording diary of his time at medical school. Rachel interviews Housewife about her near death experience in which she describes looking down upon her body and seeing her husband crying. She continues that she started to float towards a light at the end of a tunnel and then a voice told her that it was going to take her baby, but she was going back. Near Death Patient tells Rachel that he was legally dead for over four minutes and didn't see a tunnel or a light. Terry interrupts Near Death Patient and starts telling Rachel about her near death experience. Edna-Ward Nurse asks Rachel why she always asks the patients about death.

While they are in class, Nelson reminds Steckle about their plan for the evening. Joe flirts with Rachel until Nelson pulls her away and asks her about helping out that evening. The Professor tells the class that their upcoming exam grades will be scaled. A Medical Student tells Nelson that Labraccio was given a four month suspension. Nelson goes to speak with Labraccio who is planning on leaving school. Nelson asks him to help him with his experiment, but Labraccio tells him no. Rachel checks on Terminal Woman and tells her that she is doing much better. While Joe is having sex with Bridget while also secretly recording them having sex, Nelson calls him and reminds him to bring his camera. In the evening, Nelson, Rachel, Joe and Steckle come together to test an experiment on life after death. Nelson explains to Joe and Steckle the steps he wants them to take to make him brain dead and then bring him back to life. Joe starts to film as Nelson is given nitrous oxide by Rachel and shortly after, Labraccio walks into the room. They stop Nelson's heart and while he is brain dead, Nelson has a vision of Young Nelson and Young Nelson's Friends running in the woods with Champ and a vision of Billy Mahoney. Nelson is brought back to life and they celebrate the successful experiment.

Nelson tells them the experience was great and tells Labraccio that he can hear the sound of the hum of the street lights and a more subtle dragging sound. Rachel and Joe say they want to go next and Joe wins the bidding war due to the length he is willing to be brain dead. Nelson hears the sound of chains dragging and sees Champ dragging itself and whimpering towards him and then disappear. Nelson has a dream that is similar to his vision, except this time he, Nelson's Friends and Champ are chasing Billy through the woods and Nelson falls from a tree. Joe watches a tape of his engagement party where Uncle Dave wishes Joe and Anne a toast. Joe calls Anne and tells her that he looks forward to seeing her and that if anything should happen, before trailing off and hanging up. Joe does the experiment and sees a light at the end of a tunnel and is then born. He then has images of multiple women of different ages. Joe describes his experience to the others as erotic and the Waitress tells Steckle to watch his language when he cusses and tells them Elvis was in the diner the night before. Nelson challenges Labraccio to go next and Labraccio accepts after taking Rachel's spot. Nelson then asks Joe if there was anything negative about his experience.

As Nelson is walking home, he comes across a Bag Lady mumbling to herself. When he walks by her she tells him in the end, we all know what we have done. He sees Champ crawling and follows Champ into an alley and the spirit of Billy appears before him and beats him. Joe flirts with Terry and brings up that he also had a near death experience. While he is flirting with her, the image on the common room television changes to one of his sex tapes. On Halloween, it is Labraccio's turn to die. He has an image of growing up and then floating through the mountains. He then has images of his school years and of Winnie Hicks who he picked on with other Playground Kids. Labraccio is brought back after some effort and Steckle thinks they should not do the experiment anymore. Nelson tells the others that he wants to go again and Rachel threatens to stop helping if she doesn't go next. As Joe and Steckle are walking home, Joe has another vision of multiple of Joe's Women asking him why he filmed her during sex without telling her. Nelson arrives home and is then beaten by Billy again. Rachel tells Labraccio that she wants to do the experiment to see if people that have died have gone to a good place. Terminal Woman tells Rachel that the voices are telling her to let go and Rachel tells her that the voices are good.

As Labraccio is riding the subway, an image of Winnie appears and starts picking on him and the other passengers start laughing at him. Rachel goes through with the experiment and Labraccio runs into the room and tells them to bring Rachel back. Rachel's vision is of the day Rachel's Father returned from Vietnam. Rachel's vision continues to the day she walked into the bathroom and saw Rachel's Father doing something inside. Rachel's Mother grabs her and tells her she told her not to go in there and Rachel's Father runs out of the house. Rachel and Rachel's Mother run out of the house and the circuit breaker blows as they are trying to bring her back. Rachel's vision continues to her seeing her father dead from suicide in his truck. They manage to bring Rachel back and Labraccio tells the others about seeing Winnie, and Joe tells the others about seeing women from his past and Nelson tells them about Billy. As Rachel is composing herself, she sees an image of Rachel's Father. Nelson puts a large bar across his bedroom door. Labraccio warns Rachel about seeing things from her past. Rachel goes to the university to talk with the Terminal Woman and finds out that she is dead. Nelson, Rachel and Labraccio have more visions of their past. Beth walks up to Joe and starts flirting with him using stereotypical lines, followed by others. He walks into his apartment and finds Anne sitting in front of his television watching his sex tapes. Anne starts to leave his apartment and tells him that she can't trust him and their relationship is over.

Labraccio calls around and finds where Winnie lives and takes Nelson with him. During class, the anatomy body on the table changes to resemble Rachel's Father and she runs out of class. Labraccio goes to Winnie's house and rings the doorbell. Sherry answers the door and Winnie walks to the door and tells Sherry to go inside. He introduces himself to her and she lets him into her house. Labraccio apologizes to Winnie for the way he treated her in school. As they are talking, Ben Hicks walks towards them and asks Winnie if she is okay. Labraccio apologizes to Winnie again and she thanks him. Billy appears in Labraccio's truck and starts beating Nelson with a pick. Labraccio finds Nelson, who is alone, hurting himself. Labraccio drives back to the school and Joe and Steckle tell him about Rachel's incident in class. Labraccio tells Joe and Steckle to help Nelson find where Billy lives. Rachel tells Labraccio how Rachel's Father killed himself after she saw him doing drugs. Labraccio tells her that Rachel's Father wants her to let go. Nelson has Joe stop at a location and then takes the keys and runs off. Joe and Steckle follow him and end up at a cemetery. They then find Nelson standing next to Billy's grave. He tells them that he and Young Nelson's Friends were throwing rocks at Billy who was hiding in a tree when Billy fell out of the tree and and a large branch landed on Champ, mortally wounding them both.

Nelson steals Joe's car and drives away. Rachel wakes up and goes into her bathroom and Labraccio tells her that he has to go pick up Joe and Steckle. Rachel is transported to her childhood home and walks towards the bathroom. She opens the door and this time Rachel's Father apologizes to her and they hug. Labraccio picks up Joe and Steckle and Labraccio figures out that Nelson is going to flatline by himself. Nelson calls Rachel and apologizes to her. Nelson flatlines and in this version, it is Nelson being chased by Billy and Young Nelson's Friends. Labraccio, Steckle and Joe find Nelson and try to bring him back. Rachel arrives and tells them that it has been over nine minutes since he flatlined. Nelson apologizes to Billy and Billy hits him with a rock and Nelson falls out of the tree. Nelson fails to come back no matter what Labraccio tries and everyone tells him that Nelson is dead. Nelson wakes up in his dream and Billy and Champ are staring at him. Billy smiles at Nelson and then walks away with Champ. Nelson then regains conscious and tells Labraccio that today wasn't a good day to die.