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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:

John Huston

Writers:

James Joyce (short story from "Dubliners"), Tony Huston (screenplay)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Helena Carroll Helena Carroll ... Aunt Kate
Cathleen Delany Cathleen Delany ... Aunt Julia
Rachael Dowling Rachael Dowling ... Lily
Kate O'Toole Kate O'Toole ... Miss Furlong (as Katherine O'Toole)
Bairbre Dowling Bairbre Dowling ... Miss Higgins
Maria Hayden Maria Hayden ... Miss O'Callaghan
Cormac O'Herlihy Cormac O'Herlihy ... Mr. Kerrigan
Colm Meaney ... Mr. Bergin
Ingrid Craigie ... Mary Jane
Dan O'Herlihy ... Mr. Brown
Anjelica Huston ... Gretta
Donal McCann ... Gabriel
Sean McClory ... Mr. Grace (as Seán McClory)
Frank Patterson Frank Patterson ... Bartell D'Arcy
Marie Kean ... Mrs. Malins
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Storyline

On the lightly snowy evening of January 6, 1904 in Dublin, elderly spinster sisters Kate and Julia and their niece, Mary Jane - all music teachers or performers, past or present - are hosting their annual Epiphany party and dinner, and, with the exception of Mary Jane's new crop of students and the young gentlemen tasked with keeping them company, most of the guests have attended in previous years. Kate and Julia's nephew Gabriel and his wife Gretta hold integral roles for the evening, Gabriel, who, in addition to being Freddy Malins caregiver if he gets too drunk as is often the case, is to carve the dinner goose and provide the evening's main toast, while Gretta is to present the pudding. With the added unexpected excitement provided by Irish nationalist Molly Ivors for Gabriel, the party basically goes according to script. As most of the guests have departed and just before Gabriel and Gretta are to do the same - this year they staying in a downtown hotel instead of making the long... Written by Huggo

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:

UK | Ireland | USA | West Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 December 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

John Huston's The Dead See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$69,074, 20 December 1987

Gross USA:

$4,370,078
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"The Dead" (1914) is the final short-story in source Irish poet and novelist James Joyce's "Dubliners" (1914) collection anthology. See more »

Quotes

Mary Jane: Are you an ornithologist as well?
Bartell D'Arcy: An amateur. I suppose being a singer makes me susceptible to other creatures that sing. Birds are the most beautiful singers of all. Just think of the widow warbler and the wren.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Ten minutes of the film have been omitted from the 2009 DVD release. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (2010) 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
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A wonderful look at Dublin in the "The Rare Auld Times"
6 April 2001 | by WHF41See all my reviews

The entire movie, an artful adaptation of one of Joyce's "Dubliners" stories, takes place on the night of January 6 (Epiphany), 1906. Most of the film takes place at an annual party given by three spinsters (two sisters and their niece), where a group of upper-class Dubliners gather for an evening of music, recitations and dinner. While there is very little plot per se, the interaction and conversation among the group reveals much about Dublin in the early 20th century when the stirrings for independence were just beginning. The cast, all talented Irish stage actors with the exception of Anjelica Huston, are universally wonderful, and one actually feels he is a guest at the gathering himself. The poignant final scene, between Ms. Huston and the amazing Donal McCann, reveals much about the marriage of the characters. There is poignancy mixed with humor and insight, and for those who like quiet, thoughtful movies, "The Dead" is highly recommended. My wife is from Dublin, we make a ritual of watching this wonderful movie every January 6th. After many viewings it never fails to move me, and each time I glean something that I've missed before.


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