7.4/10
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The Dead (1987)

PG | | Drama | 18 December 1987 (USA)
Gabriel Conroy and wife Greta attend an early January dinner with friends at the home of his spinster aunts, an evening which results in an epiphany for both of them.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story "Dubliners")
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Helena Carroll ...
Cathleen Delany ...
Aunt Julia
Rachael Dowling ...
Lily
...
Miss Furlong (as Katherine O'Toole)
Bairbre Dowling ...
Miss Higgins
Maria Hayden ...
Miss O'Callaghan
Cormac O'Herlihy ...
Mr. Kerrigan
...
Mr. Bergin
...
...
Mr. Brown
...
...
...
Mr. Grace (as Seán McClory)
Frank Patterson ...
Marie Kean ...
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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 an early January 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... 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 »
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Details

Country:

| | |

Language:

Release Date:

18 December 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Huston's The Dead  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$69,074 (USA) (20 December 1987)

Gross:

$4,370,078 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD edition)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Third and final collaboration of father and son, director John Huston and Tony Huston, respectively, with the latter penning the screenplay for this film, and previously working on John Huston's earlier films, as an uncredited second assistant director on Wise Blood (1979), and as a billed actor on The List of Adrian Messenger (1963). Each of the three films was made in a subsequent decade, one each in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. See more »

Quotes

Mary Jane: Well, isn't it for the honor of God, Aunt Kate?
Aunt Kate: I know all about the honor of God, Mary Jane.
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Connections

Referenced in Criminal Minds: Demonology (2009) 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
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User Reviews

 
They just don't make them like this anymore!
17 January 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

An exquisite film. They just don't make them like this any more! We eavesdrop on an upper middle class family in Dublin in the early part of the 20th century. They are hosting an after Christmas dinner for their friends and relatives. Their table talk is just idle chatter but it is so well written that one is engrossed. Away from the dinner table some fine piano playing helps to create an intimate atmosphere as if one were there as one of the guests. Perhaps a bit too perfect for an amateur player, the odd mistake here and there would have added to the magic of this film. No real story but real entertainment and an object lesson for up and coming film makers.


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