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The Dead
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The Dead (1987) More at IMDbPro »

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The Dead -- The final film of legendary director John Huston, based on the closing story of James Joyce's Dubliners.


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Up 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Tony Huston (screenplay)
James Joyce (story)
View company contact information for The Dead on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 December 1987 (USA) See more »
A vast, merry, and uncommon tale of love.
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A faithful screen adaption by a director at the peak of his powers See more (61 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Anjelica Huston ... Gretta Conroy

Donal McCann ... Gabriel Conroy

Dan O'Herlihy ... Mr. Browne

Donal Donnelly ... Freddy Malins
Helena Carroll ... Aunt Kate
Cathleen Delany ... Aunt Julia
Ingrid Craigie ... Mary Jane
Rachael Dowling ... Lily
Marie Kean ... Mrs. Malins
Frank Patterson ... Bartell D'Arcy
Maria McDermottroe ... Molly Ivors
Sean McClory ... Mr. Grace

Kate O'Toole ... Miss Furlong (as Katherine O'Toole)
Maria Hayden ... Miss O'Callaghan
Bairbre Dowling ... Miss Higgins
Lyda Anderson ... Miss Daly

Colm Meaney ... Mr. Bergin
Cormac O'Herlihy ... Mr. Kerrigan
Paul Grant ... Mr. Duffy
Paul Carroll ... Young Gentleman
Patrick Gallagher ... Mr. Egan
Dara Clarke ... Miss Power
Brendan Dillon ... Cabman
Redmond Gleeson ... Nightporter
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Amanda Baird ... Young Lady (uncredited)

Directed by
John Huston 
Writing credits
Tony Huston (screenplay)

James Joyce (story "Dubliners")

Produced by
William J. Quigley .... executive producer
Wieland Schulz-Keil .... producer
Chris Sievernich .... producer
Original Music by
Alex North 
Cinematography by
Fred Murphy 
Film Editing by
Roberto Silvi 
Casting by
Nuala Moiselle 
Production Design by
Stephen B. Grimes  (as Stephen Grimes)
J. Dennis Washington  (as Dennis Washington)
Set Decoration by
Josie MacAvin 
Costume Design by
Dorothy Jeakins 
Makeup Department
Fern Buchner .... makeup designer
Anthony Cortino .... hair designer
Louise Dowling .... hair stylist
Anne Dunne .... hair stylist: second unit
Keis Maes .... makeup artist
Christopher Shihar .... hair stylist
Production Management
Tom Shaw .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Gay Brabazon .... second assistant director: second unit
John 'Joe' Brooks .... second assistant director
Seamus Byrne .... first assistant director: second unit
John Halpin .... trainee assistant director: second unit
Hugh Linehan .... trainee assistant director: second unit
Rosemary Morton .... trainee assistant director: second unit
Tom Shaw .... first assistant director
Art Department
Tommy Bassett .... construction manager: second unit
Maurice G. Beaudoin .... laborer
Robert A. Blackburn .... carpenter foreman
Robert Calvert .... property maker
Richard Cramer .... carpenter
Paddy Dunne .... painter
Cos Egan .... props: second unit
Lee E. Ewing Jr. .... property maker
Candy Flanagin .... construction coordinator
Scott Hall .... set painter
Jaymes Hinkle .... scenic sign painter
Joseph E. Hubbard .... assistant art director (as Joe Hubbard)
Phil Hurst .... property assistant
Philip C. Hurst .... greensman
George Joyce .... carpenter: second unit
Robert Kramer .... plasterer
Sam Mendoza .... property maker
Wayne Moseley .... propmaker foreman
Sunny Mulligan .... property buyer: second unit
Barbara Murphy .... key set painter
William Powley .... paint foreman
Clayton Reynolds .... property maker
Roberto Ruiz .... laborer
Bobby Scott .... painter
Alex Scutti Jr. .... plaster foreman (as Alexander Scotti III)
Tom Shaw Jr. .... property master
Edward Terry .... carpenter
Robert Winiger .... carpenter
Sound Department
John Asman .... sound re-recording mixer
Gregg Barbanell .... foley artist
Chuck Blecka .... assistant sound editor
Margaret Duke .... sound: documentary crew
Robert W. Glass Jr. .... sound re-recording mixer
Marvin I. Kosberg .... sound editor
Marvin I. Kosberg .... supervising sound editor
Walt Martin .... sound: documentary crew
James E. Nownes .... sound editor
Anthony Palk .... foley editor
Ken S. Polk .... sound re-recording mixer
Bill Randall .... second boom operator (as Bill Randall Jr.)
William Randall .... sound mixer (as Bill Randall)
Don Sanders .... sound: documentary crew
David Stafford .... first boom operator
Special Effects by
Candy Flanagin .... special effects
Maurice Foley .... special effects supervisor: second unit
Robert Calvert .... special effects (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Alan Butler .... clapper loader: second unit
Grant Cameron .... assistant camera: Ireland
Louis Conroy .... gaffer: second unit
Paddy Corcoran .... rigger: second unit
Michael Coulter .... camera operator: Ireland
Stuart E. Cropley .... electrician
Noel Cullen .... electrician: second unit
David Dubois .... best boy
David Dubois .... electrician
François Duhamel .... still photographer
Brad Edmiston .... first assistant camera
Todd Griffith .... best boy grip
Derek Hate .... generator operator
Rick Herres .... grip
Pascal Jones .... rigger: second unit
Ian Kincaid .... gaffer
Kim Kono .... electrician
Bill Levins .... electrician: second unit
Walt Martin .... camera operator: documentary crew
Michael McGrath .... still photographer
John Murphy .... camera grip: second unit
Randy Nolen .... camera operator
Paul Prince .... second assistant camera
Lisa Rinzler .... camera operator: documentary crew
Philip Sloan .... key grip
Des Whelan .... focus puller: second unit
Casting Department
Peggy Weber .... extras casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Jennifer Butler .... costumer: women
Delbert Grant .... costumes: in-house
Marilyn Matthews .... ladies' costumer
John McDonald .... costumer: men
Jennifer L. Parsons .... costume supervisor
Maeve Paterson .... wardrobe mistress
Robert Pecina .... costumer: men
Nava R. Sadan .... costumes: in-house
Editorial Department
Ray Morfino .... color timer
Music Department
Tom Boyd .... oboe soloist
Richard Bronskill .... orchestrator
Leonard A. Engel .... music recording engineer (as Len Engel)
Ann Stockton .... musician: solo harp
Dan Wallin .... score mixer
Kenneth Wannberg .... music engineer
Transportation Department
Ronnie Baker .... transportation coordinator
Robert D. Benton .... driver
Tom Brodie .... construction driver: second unit
Colin Duffin .... unit driver
Other crew
Nestor Alban .... head tailor
Sheila Barr .... publicist
Joan Bennett .... production secretary
Mary Carroll .... production secretary
Vicky Dennison .... cutter-fitter: ladies
Bruce Feldman .... publicist
Ciara J. Fenton .... film accountant
Judy Flanagan .... craft service
Tzetzi Ganev .... cutter-fitter: ladies
Paul Gleason .... choreographer
Karen Golden .... script supervisor
Clive Hart .... literary advisor: James Joyce estate
Kathy Knapton .... assistant accountant
Marilyn La Salandra .... assistant: Mr. Huston
Ben Levy .... publicist
Niall McQuillan .... film accountant
Paul Myler .... film accountant: second unit
Eily O'Grady .... piano coach
Ann Shaw .... production coordinator
Molly Shaw .... office assistant
Lilyan Sievernich .... director: documentary crew
Garrison Singer .... production accountant
Ian Abercrombie .... adr loop group (uncredited)
Melissa Smith .... director of studio operations (uncredited)
Melissa Smith .... sales and marketing coordinator (uncredited)
Melissa Smith .... sales department: original staff (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"John Huston's The Dead" - USA (DVD box title)
See more »
83 min | Spain:79 min (DVD edition)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Fifth and final collaboration of actress Anjelica Huston and director John Huston where the latter was a father who directed his daughter. The films include Casino Royale (1967), A Walk with Love and Death (1969), Sinful Davey (1969), Prizzi's Honor (1985) and _The Dead (1987)_. John Huston also co-wrote _Mr North_ in which Anjelica Huston making their output six collaborations in total.See more »
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.
See more »
Movie Connections:
The Lass of AughrimSee more »


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19 out of 24 people found the following review useful.
A faithful screen adaption by a director at the peak of his powers, 15 August 2003
Author: stevens249 from Buckinghamshire, England.

Superlatives really are a dangerous thing. No sooner do we rashly assert something as being unsurpassable, the object of our veneration immediately becomes just that. James Joyce's concluding story in his book 'Dubliners,' entitled, 'The Dead,' was always going to be the exception to that rule. It's been described by a number of critics over the years as the greatest short story in the English language. After seeking the story out many years ago when I was a teenager, I can do nothing but agree whole heartedly with the critics.

The story captured a time, a place, and a romanticism that I've dreamt about all my life. The setting is a house at the turn of the century, filled with guests from all over Ireland, who gather for an evening of dancing, poetry and piano recitals.

Joyce's consummate story telling, is not found in the almost mechanical way most authors put their stories together, but it's revealed in the sheer power and strength of feeling projected by the characters involved; Gabriel's concern about his after dinner speech and the ongoing changes in Ireland, Gretta's secret passion for someone she'd once loved and lost, and now even the mere acknowledgment of such a love threatens to destabilize her relationship with Gabriel, Freddie's inability to rise beyond his drug dependency, the arrogant tenor Mr D'Arcy at the table loudly trying to upgrade his status through his supposed musical superiority, Lilly the housemaid all nervousness and efficiency, the list goes on: each playing their part with absolutely convincing character motivation.

How could John Huston's film ever really of taken on such a literary masterpiece and still proved faithful? Well, to his credit, he comes pretty close.

Of course when we're reading a story, an author often leaves a degree of ambiguity, specific areas in which we're allowed to interpret our own mental pictures from the words cited. Joyce was no different. Here lies the problem: transfering a work of fiction to celluloid is like trying to join up the dots. Not everyone is going to recognize the picture and be happy with the adaptation.

Personally, I loved the film. However, there were a couple of scenes that I knew were going to prove a problem, and they did prove problematic. Firstly, when Gretta defers her descent down the stairs after dinner, because she's filled with thought's of Michael Furey and the love that she'd lost. The memories come flooding back. She can hear his voice superimposed over D'arcy's and it unsettles her. It's such a deep enduring moment. In the film, Huston just looks away dreamily. There's very little to express the full range of thoughts rushing through her head. It's not Angelica Huston's fault. It simply highlights how difficult it is to accommodate the limitless expression of literature to the silver screen, which is why like an earlier commentator on this film asserted, I too strongly recommend that Joyce's story is read first. It really does add a great deal.

The second scene that troubled me was the ending. It doesn't even begin to pack the tremendous power of Joyce's written word. How could it? This is a stream of subconscious thought extracted from the greatest short story in the English language reduced to a simple voice-over.

Ah, well! Still a good film. Overall Rating: 8 out of ten.

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