IMDb > The Dead (1987)
The Dead
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The Dead (1987) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.3/10   4,674 votes »
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Up 49% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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View company contact information for The Dead on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 December 1987 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A vast, merry, and uncommon tale of love.
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Absolutely superb See more (60 total) »

Cast

  (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
(in alphabetical order)
Tony Huston 
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
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
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 J.L. Smith .... director of studio operations (uncredited)
Melissa J.L. Smith .... sales and marketing coordinator (uncredited)
Melissa J.L. 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 »
Runtime:
83 min | Spain:79 min (DVD edition)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Company:

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:
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:
Soundtrack:
Arrayed for the BridalSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
30 out of 39 people found the following review useful.
Absolutely superb, 7 August 2001
Author: quatloos from Nicobar Islands

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.

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