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The Living and the Dead
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The Living and the Dead (2006) More at IMDbPro »

The Living and the Dead -- A manic depressive man holds his ill mother captive in her home


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Terror by good intentions.
A descent into Hell is triggered when "Ex-Lord" Donald Brocklebank finds that he must leave Longleigh... See more » | Add synopsis »
7 wins & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Unbearable and exhausting for all the right reasons, The Living and the Dead was a bolt from the blue that gripped me. See more (33 total) »


  (in credits order)

Leo Bill ... James Brocklebank

Roger Lloyd Pack ... Donald Brocklebank
Kate Fahy ... Nancy Brocklebank
Sarah Ball ... Nurse Mary
Neil Conrich ... Policeman
Richard Wills-Cotton ... nurse Mike
Alan Perrin ... nurse Bob
Richard Syms ... Vicar
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hilary Hodsman ... Auntie Pat

Directed by
Simon Rumley 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Simon Rumley 

Produced by
Mark Foligno .... executive producer
Elliot Grove .... executive producer
Paris Leonti .... line producer (as Barry Leonti)
Steve Milne .... executive producer
Nick O'Hagan .... producer
Simon Rumley .... producer
Carl Schönfeld .... co-producer
Uday Tiwari .... executive producer
Original Music by
Richard Chester 
Cinematography by
Milton Kam 
Film Editing by
Benjamin Putland 
Casting by
Joyce Nettles 
Production Design by
Will Field 
Art Direction by
Alasdair McKay 
Costume Design by
Alice Wolfbauer 
Makeup Department
Jacqueline Fowler .... makeup designer (as Jackie Fowler)
Robin Pritchard .... special makeup technician
Production Management
Lucy Teire .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Simon Downes .... second assistant director
Mick Ward .... first assistant director
Art Department
Elliott Stallion .... art department assistant
Sound Department
Michael Kneafsey .... boom operator (as Mike Kneafsey)
Keith Tunney .... production sound mixer
Hilary Wyatt .... supervising dialogue editor
Camera and Electrical Department
Alex Brown .... sparks
Cherry Carmen .... assistant camera
Ewan Cassidy .... gaffer
Thomas English .... Steadicam operator
Alex Hudson .... key grip
Mihalis Margaritis .... focus puller
Susanne Salavati .... sparks (as Susanne Willett)
Annika Summerson .... sparks (as Annika Holm)
Brian Udoff .... assistant camera
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Vida Wolfbauer .... costume assistant
Editorial Department
Andrew Dearnley .... digital intermediate technician
Connan McStay .... on-line editor
Nic Smith .... digital intermediate technician
Jonathan Yau .... assistant digital colorist
Other crew
Lucienne Browne .... production runner (as Lucie Phillips Browne)
Helene Oosthuizen .... script supervisor
Aidan Williams .... production assistant
Aidan Williams .... production coordinator
Lulu O'Hagan .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Argentina:83 min | Germany:83 min (European Film Market)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The Longleigh House location was once a World War I hospital, the Hawtreys School for young men, and then was run as a drug rehabilitation clinic. Local reports are that at least three ghosts, an old woman, a soldier, and a child who fell 75 feet while sliding down the banisters, still inhabit the Tottenham House near Savernake, England.See more »
[first lines]
Donald Brocklebank:[answering phone] Hello? Hello? Yes, yes I know. No, I didn't know that. No, that's not good at all. No, she doesn't know. Hmm. Hmm. Exactly. Okay, goodbye.
James:They going to make it?
Donald Brocklebank:No, they're not.
James:Can I look after mummy this time.
Donald Brocklebank:I'm not going away.
James:But you always say that, you always do.
James:[knocking] Some one's at the door!
[starts running]
Donald Brocklebank:Stop James, I said stop!
See more »


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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
Unbearable and exhausting for all the right reasons, The Living and the Dead was a bolt from the blue that gripped me., 18 April 2010
Author: johnnyboyz from Hampshire, England

I think it would be fair to say The Living and the Dead had me held in some sort of blind terror for more often than not. The film is so outrageous in the places it goes and the manner in which it acts when it gets there, that it's impossible to merely put aside the watching experience having seen it. The film is a freak-show, yes, of characters; visual tricks and constructed scares, but a calculated and carefully constructed one: one that I think will tap into a nerve within, whether you're a veteran of many-a horror films or not. The film is something like a little under an hour and half long, but when it had ended, felt as if it had clocked in at something like three hours; such is the grip of terror and unease I was in. Like a hypnosis session in which you're out for the count for all of about thirty minutes, but the deep-rooted places you may have been to during that time unearthing such discomfort and a sense of feeling, that the whole process feels like half a day's gone by.

The film's premise sees it set up a perilous exchange between a middle aged mother and her twenty-something son in a large, pre-modern and isolated house in the country. She's physically unwell, suffering from some sort of extreme form of M.E. whilst he's a scatty, eccentric schizophrenic whose mannerism; movements and vocal tone is wildly inconsistent and unnerving. The mother is Nancy (Fahy), the son is James (Bill) and the family name is Brocklebank; something that I think instills a certain amount of pride into the household as father and husband of the piece Donald (Lloyd-Pack) seems to furiously defend them and their right to house there by way of a number of conversations over the phone with someone. It's this someone Donald must leave the property to venture out and see, and it's from here that most of the trouble unfolds.

The film's tone is unbearably downbeat, beginning in the present tense with a greyed out Donald covered in injuries as he observes an ambulance advance down his property's long, lonely driveway towards him. His face is glum, rueful and regretful and a perfect teeing up for the events the film covers in instilling a sense that something's up: he's thinking that leaving that final time was a big mistake. In flashing back to better times, certainly the best times either of these characters find themselves in throughout the film, it's revealed Donald cared for both his wife and son accordingly; with the early exchanges coming across as calm and methodical in their feeling and construction what with static camera work and long takes. This is in stark contrast to when James takes over as the self proclaimed "man of the house", a title actor Leo Bill does well in his character's mixture of pleading and exclaiming, in what is a desperate attempt to try and prove to his parents that he's able to take on responsibility. The danger signs in this lie within the fact his strict medication diet of various pills and vaccine shots sit uneasily with the fact he's commanded by his father to hide from visitors and avoid the newspaper, instilling a certain child-like sensibility to him and acting as triggers to stoke a fire of warning.

Leo Bill plays James as a sort of pastiche of Rik Mayall's character from popular 1990's British TV show 'Bottom', only rendered schizophrenic and far more mentally ill. Early on, I wondered if the man had an agenda; whether or not he was at all homicidal and indeed hated his mother which added to an intense element of unease. As the film switches perspectives in carer, a gradual shift in emphasis onto James becomes apparent in the conventions writer/director Simon Rumley applies. In switching from a mainly static camera complete with long takes which took prior precedence, Rumley then throws sped-up footage; bizarre angles; editing as well as distorted sound effects which amalgamate to form odd music into the mix, getting across a sense of chaos and somebody seriously ill-suited for the task. Rumley's tactics of applying a disorientating and off the wall aesthetic to most of the scenes James' acts as carer beautifully but disturbingly conflicts in a highly effective manner with this large, decrepit, centuries old manor house with which you do not associate the given conventions.

There are killings in the film; somebody gets knifed and there's a fair degree of blood running on a premise that sees it bed down in one place as terror and uncanniness plays out, but don't let that lead you to think this is a Halloween sequel or some similarly underwhelming slasher film. One sequence which goes a long way in highlighting this odd combination of techniques and conventions to actually form something half-decent occurs nearer the end when, isolated and on their own, a young female supporting character creeps through the dark passages and corridors of the home unaware of what lurks around them but knowledgeable that there's a male lead, somewhere, who could very well react negatively if he sees or finds her. The whole thing is constructed like an age-old sequence in a slasher-sub genre flick, but the film sets a bar far higher. Roger Lloyd-Pack does a superb job, banishing any lingering memory you might have of him in a prior comedic role as we observe his envisaging of what might very well have gone on during his absence. Rumley's film is not all about shocks and scares; a sequence later on in which many family members have gathered in the house's main area is shot from high on up in the rafters, the camera just too embarrassed or ashamed to go to ground level and capture these people's expressions and reactions. I found The Living and the Dead to be a smart and affecting film.

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