7.4/10
5,804
63 user 47 critic

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")
Reviews

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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

The last 24 hours in the life of Geoffrey Firmin, a lonely, depressed English consul who retreats to alcohol for solace.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Albert Finney, Jacqueline Bisset, Anthony Andrews
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
Phobia (1980)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 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
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
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
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A major heist goes off as planned, until bad luck and double crosses cause everything to unravel.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, Jean Hagen
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A defrocked Episcopal clergyman leads a bus-load of middle-aged Baptist women on a tour of the Mexican coast and comes to terms with the failure haunting his life.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Richard Burton, Ava Gardner, Deborah Kerr
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Truncated adaptation of Stephen Crane's novel about a Civil War Union soldier who stuggles to find the courage to fight in the heat of battle.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Audie Murphy, Bill Mauldin, Douglas Dick
Edit

Cast

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

Details

Country:

| | |

Language:

Release Date:

18 December 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Huston's The Dead  »

Box Office

Gross:

$4,370,078 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD edition)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The character Mr. Grace does not appear in Joyce's original story. He is an invention of John and Tony Huston's, and was chiefly included so as to permit a reading of the eighth-century Irish poem Donal Og ("Young Donal"). Although it represents a departure from Joyce's text, the poem is nonetheless appropriate to the story's themes: like the song "The Lass of Aughrim" that follows it, "Donal Og" deals with the suffering that love can bring to young women...just as it has for Gretta. See more »

Quotes

Gabriel Conroy: Who was he?
Gretta Conroy: He was something at the Gasworks.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in C.H.U.D. II: Bud the Chud (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

The Lass of Aughrim
Traditional Irish ballad
Sung by Frank Patterson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A small, almost perfect, gem
8 April 2007 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

So many literary adaptations are disappointments. There are many reasons for that, but usually it is the need to cut down a complex novel to the size of a screenplay. The Dead is unusual - it had to be 'padded', as the short story itself is a tiny, relatively short gem. It may in fact be the finest short story in the English language. In beautifully spare language it tells of the realization of Gabriel Conroy that his life, and the lives of so many around him are controlled by memories of the dead. Even his own wife of many years loved a man now dead more than him.

To bring such a short story to the cinema was always going to be tricky. John Huston did a magnificent job. He never gave in to temptation to play it up or use fancy technique to expand on the story. It is simple and true, with outstanding acting. The only slight miss-step is the use of music to accompany the devastating final soliloquy.

Its rare indeed for a movie version of a literary masterpiece to be itself a masterpiece, but I think its fair to use this term for this movie. Its not a bravura piece of film making, but it is simple and pure - I always think of Ozu's movies when i think of The Dead, its at that level of purity and simplicity and deep wisdom.


26 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?