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  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$69,074, 20 December 1987, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,370,078
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD edition)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Huston was too ill to film in Dublin and all the Irish scenes were filmed by the second unit. 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 »


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

Wonderful period piece!
15 November 2004 | by See all my reviews

This is a wonderful evocation of a previous age. True, it is slow moving but that is definitely part of its charm. Stately and elegant - a fitting tribute to an iconic director! Not many films can boast such a unique form. Top marks to the director for having the bravery to create such a work of art that may have seemed commercially non-viable. I doubt very much a piece like this would be given the green light in today's action-driven, dumbed-down movie environment. Does a good job of adapting the James story and also brings a little something extra to it as well as all truly good art should - it is not enough merely to emulate. Wonderful film and not to be missed!


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