MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 2,258 this week

The Dead (1987)

 -  Drama  -  17 December 1987 (USA)
7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 4,665 users  
Reviews: 61 user | 43 critic

Gabriel Conroy and wife Greta attend a Christmas dinner with friends at the home of his spinster aunts, an evening which results in an epiphany for both of them.

Director:

Writers:

, (story)
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: October

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in October.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 48 titles
created 12 Sep 2011
 
a list of 26 titles
created 22 Oct 2012
 
a list of 26 titles
created 09 Dec 2012
 
a list of 47 titles
created 12 Jul 2013
 
a list of 26 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Dead" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Dead (1987)

The Dead (1987) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Dead.

User Polls

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Against a background of war breaking out in Europe and the Mexican fiesta Day of Death, we are taken through one day in the life of Geoffrey Firmin, a British consul living in alcoholic ... See full summary »

Director: John Huston
Stars: Albert Finney, Jacqueline Bisset, Anthony Andrews
Phobia (1980)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.5/10 X  

A psychiatrist involved in a radical new therapy comes under suspicion when his patients are murdered, each according to their individual phobias.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Paul Michael Glaser, Susan Hogan, John Colicos
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A professional hit man and hit woman fall in love.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Kathleen Turner, Robert Loggia
Fat City (1972)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two men, working as professional boxers, come to blows when their careers each begin to take opposite momentum.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Stacy Keach, Jeff Bridges, Susan Tyrrell
Certificate: M Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

In a story set during the Hundred Years War, a student who has abandoned his studies in Paris, pairs with a young noblewoman with whom he has fallen in love.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Anjelica Huston, Assi Dayan, Anthony Higgins
The Dead (1960)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
Director: Stan Brakhage
Stars: Kenneth Anger
Adventure | Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

China Valdes joins the Cuban underground after her brother is killed by the chief of the secret police, Ariete. She meets and falls in love with American expatriate Tony Fenner. Tony ... See full summary »

Director: John Huston
Stars: Jennifer Jones, John Garfield, Pedro Armendáriz
Freud (1962)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

This pseudo-biographical movie depicts 5 years from 1885 on in the life of the Viennan psychologist Freud (1856-1939). At this time, most of his colleagues refuse to cure hysteric patients,... See full summary »

Director: John Huston
Stars: Montgomery Clift, Susannah York, Larry Parks
Certificate: M Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A network of older spies from the West recruits a young intelligence officer with a photographic memory to accompany them on a mission inside Russia. They must recover a letter written by ... See full summary »

Director: John Huston
Stars: Bibi Andersson, Richard Boone, Nigel Green
Wise Blood (1979)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Southerner--young, poor, ambitious but uneducated--determines to become something in the world. He decides that the best way to do that is to become a preacher and start up his own church.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Brad Dourif, John Huston, Dan Shor
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A member of British Intelligence assumes a fictitious criminal identity and allows himself to be caught, imprisoned, and freed in order to infiltrate a spy organization and expose a traitor.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Paul Newman, Dominique Sanda, James Mason
Sinful Davey (1969)
Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Davey Haggart is quite certain of his paternity (even if nobody else is) and determined to emulate his father, a notorious rogue and highwayman. This includes breaking a man out of Stirling... See full summary »

Director: John Huston
Stars: John Hurt, Pamela Franklin, Nigel Davenport
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Helena Carroll ...
Cathleen Delany ...
Ingrid Craigie ...
Rachael Dowling ...
Marie Kean ...
Frank Patterson ...
Maria McDermottroe ...
Sean McClory ...
Mr. Grace
...
Miss Furlong (as Katherine O'Toole)
Maria Hayden ...
Miss O'Callaghan
Bairbre Dowling ...
Miss Higgins
Edit

Storyline

John Huston's last film is a labor of love at several levels: an adaptation of perhaps one of the greatest pieces of English-language literature by one of Huston's favorite authors, James Joyce; a love letter to the land of his ancestors and the country where his children grew up; and the chance to work with his screenwriter son Tony and his actress daughter Anjelica. The film is delicate and unhurried, detailing a Christmas dinner at the house of two spinster musician sisters and their niece in turn-of-the-century Ireland, attended by friends and family. Among the visiting attendees are the sisters' nephew Gabriel Conroy and his wife Gretta. The evening's reminiscences bring up melancholy memories for Gretta concerning her first, long-lost love when she was a girl in rural Galway. Her recounting of this tragic love to Gabriel brings him to an epiphany: he learns the difference between mere existence and living. The all-Irish cast and careful period detail give the piece richness and ... Written by Russ W. <russwlkr@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A vast, merry, and uncommon tale of love.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

17 December 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Huston's The Dead  »

Box Office

Gross:

$4,370,078 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD edition)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The final shot is not of Ireland, but of snow falling in Joshua Tree National Park, California. See more »

Quotes

Molly Ivors: I didn't think you were a West Briton!
Gabriel Conroy: And what do you mean, a West Briton?
Molly Ivors: Someone who looks to England for our salvation instead of depending on ourselves alone.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Zomergasten: Episode #7.5 (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

"For He's a Jolly God Fellow' (uncredited)
Traditional American and British song
Sung by Donal McCan and guests to his aunts and cousin at Christmas table
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Absolutely superb
7 August 2001 | by (Nicobar Islands) – See all my reviews

This is truly a remarkable movie. "The Dead" shows us a turn-of-the-century Irish dinner party attended by a host of lost souls. It is a snapshot of people who either loved and lost, or never got to love at all. Everyone here longs for love -- not just ordinary fondness, but a condition where one almost sees God in the other person. (Those who have not experienced this will deem it maudlin.) For example, in the story, Anjelica Huston's character refers to one "Michael Fury" whose love for her had burned so intensely that he allowed himself to freeze to death in a river because he could not be hers. Such actions strike the idle passerby as pathetic (savage Americans would label Michael Fury a "loser"). But years later, when this kind of passion is deemed the only thing that matters, people privately develop a more respectful take on such things.

At dinner, tenor Frank Patterson sings for the guests, his lovely voice stealing through the walls like the scent of a garden into a tomb. Beauty like this makes us want to find someone, open our jugular vein, and urgently bleed into them. We feel that somewhere burns an unseen, silent, and impossibly distant Light. If only we could share that Light with someone, or at least share a quest for it. But how? Alas, we can only stand at the bedroom window alone, watching the snowfall like Anjelica Huston's husband (Donal McCann) does at the movie's end. Many characters in the movie spend their whole lives at that bedroom window. Others are like Michael Fury, dying in a freezing river as he stares at the house where his Beloved conducts her affairs, unresponsive to him. At one point, after a guest recites a moving poem, one of the female guests laments, "Imagine being loved like that." She means a devotion so intense as to rearrange our psyches. But her chance for love is gone, crushed beneath layers of dashed hopes now piled high like the snows of Ireland in the movie. No rose sprouts in these drifts; only long-buried yearnings that waft like a vapor around headstones.

This movie hints at secrets that are akin to something one experiences as a child who, lying awake and alone one night, spies a star outside the window and for an instant glimpses the Unspeakable. The child makes no mention of this to anyone - who would understand? ("That's nice, dear.") But the longing to share that glimpse with someone, or to share someone else's glimpse, burns until death. At the end of "The Dead," Anjelica Huston's husband realizes that he has shared no such glimpse with his wife, no such love. His wife has sobbed herself to sleep on the bed and remains silent as he looks out the bedroom window in the wee hours. Great stories have great dialogue, but the greatest have characters whose silence points to the realm of boundless could-be's. We hear the husband's lamenting thoughts as exterior night scenes melt into one another. Fields, starlit graveyards, wizened trees -- all hushed as "snow is gently falling all over Ireland, and falling gently."

No routine tale of collision between desire and proscription this; no melodramatic costume-struggle between attraction and social propriety. "The Dead" speaks to each person's Star of Bethlehem, glimpsed once and then repressed until something like this dinner party shakes it loose. On the morrow the guests will tell themselves that they simply had too much wine at the party, and will thereby seal Heaven into their mental cellar once more. Their pain will continue as always.

Sensitive and understated, I give this one top marks across the board. Bravo to John Huston. A fitting last effort by a great director.


30 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Poem in The Dead santabfm
Guinness Ad epp2
What does the BOX SAY??? onlybegottenson88
DVD FINALLY out in the US!!! robert-1222
The Dead + Brokeback Mtn redheadedfool
DVD RELEASE roxyqs26
Discuss The Dead (1987) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?