7.5/10
2,883
28 user 34 critic

Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988)

The lives of an English working-class family are told out of order in a free-associative manner. The first part, "Distant Voices", focuses on the father's role in the family. The second part, "Still Lives", focuses on his children.

Director:

Terence Davies

Writer:

Terence Davies
10 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The Long Day Closes is the story of eleven-year-old "Bud." A sad and lonely boy, Bud struggles through his days. With cinema as his main source of solace, he haunts the local movie-house. ... See full summary »

Director: Terence Davies
Stars: Leigh McCormack, Marjorie Yates, Anthony Watson
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Davies' film is divided into three segments entitled "Children", "Madonna and Child", and "Death and Transfiguartion". The segments tell the life of Robert Tucker. The first segment looks ... See full summary »

Director: Terence Davies
Stars: Phillip Mawdsley, Nick Stringer, Valerie Lilley
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A filmmaker looks at the history and transformation of his birthplace, Liverpool, England.

Director: Terence Davies
Stars: Terence Davies
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In sepia tones, the film moves back and forth among three periods in Robert Tucker's life: he's an old man, near death, in a nursing home at Christmas time; he's in middle age caring for ... See full summary »

Director: Terence Davies
Stars: Wilfrid Brambell, Terry O'Sullivan, Iain Munro
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Robert Tucker, a sorrowful, solitary man, given to bouts of weeping, tries to balance his life caring for his aging mother, his Catholicism, his homosexuality, and his dull job. One night, ... See full summary »

Director: Terence Davies
Stars: Terry O'Sullivan, Sheila Raynor, Paul Barber
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

While on a train, a teenage boy thinks about his life and the flamboyant aunt whose friendship acted as an emotional shield from his troubled family. This film evokes the haunting quality ... See full summary »

Director: Terence Davies
Stars: Jacob Tierney, Drake Bell, Gena Rowlands
Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A woman risks losing her chance of happiness with the only man she has ever loved.

Director: Terence Davies
Stars: Gillian Anderson, Dan Aykroyd, Eleanor Bron
Children (1976)
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Robert Tucker, a young gay man who is almost without affect, sits in various waiting rooms. As he sits, he recalls events from the year of his childhood when his father dies. He's ten or ... See full summary »

Director: Terence Davies
Stars: Phillip Mawdsley, Nick Stringer, Valerie Lilley
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The story of American poet Emily Dickinson from her early days as a young schoolgirl to her later years as a reclusive, unrecognized artist.

Director: Terence Davies
Stars: Emma Bell, Sara Vertongen, Rose Williams
Sunset Song (2015)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The daughter of a Scottish farmer comes of age in the early 1900s.

Director: Terence Davies
Stars: Ken Blackburn, Mark Bonnar, Stuart Bowman
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A depiction of life in wartime England during the Second World War. Director Humphrey Jennings visits many aspects of civilian life and of the turmoil and privation caused by the war, all without narration.

Directors: Humphrey Jennings, Stewart McAllister
Stars: Leonard Brockington, Joseph Macleod, Bud Flanagan
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The wife of a British Judge is caught in a self-destructive love affair with a Royal Air Force pilot.

Director: Terence Davies
Stars: Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston, Ann Mitchell
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Freda Dowie ... Mother
Pete Postlethwaite ... Father
Angela Walsh Angela Walsh ... Eileen
Dean Williams Dean Williams ... Tony
Lorraine Ashbourne ... Maisie
Sally Davies Sally Davies ... Eileen as a Child
Nathan Walsh Nathan Walsh ... Tony as a Child
Susan Flanagan Susan Flanagan ... Maisie as a Child
Michael Starke ... Dave
Vincent Maguire Vincent Maguire ... George
Antonia Mallen Antonia Mallen ... Rose
Debi Jones Debi Jones ... Micky
Chris Darwin Chris Darwin ... Red
Marie Jelliman Marie Jelliman ... Jingles
Andrew Schofield ... Les
Edit

Storyline

The second film in Terence Davies's autobiographical series ('Trilogy', 'The Long Day Closes') is an impressionistic view of a working-class family in 1940s and 1950s Liverpool, based on Davies's own family. The first part, 'Distant Voices', opens with grown siblings Eileen (Angela Walsh), Maisie (Lorraine Ashbourne) and Tony (Dean Williams), and their mother (Freda Dowie) arranged in mourning clothes before the photograph of their smiling father (Pete Postlethwaite). Soon after, the family poses in a similar tableau, but for a happier occasion - Eileen's wedding. While relatives sing at her reception, Eileen hysterically grieves for her dad, and recalls happy times of her youth. Tony and Maisie's memories, however, are more troubled. Davies intermingles and contrasts scenes like the family peacefully lighting candles in church with the brutal man beating his wife and terrorizing his young children. In 'Still Lives', set (and filmed) two years later, the siblings are settled in life, ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In memory, everything happens to music.

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | West Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 November 1988 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Entfernte Stimmen - Stilleben See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$688,329
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Freda Dowie had already been in Terence Davies' thoughts for the role of the Mother after he had seen her in several TV roles. One day, when looking at potential casting, Davies asked a colleague to throw him a copy of Spotlight for Actresses and it fell open on the floor, at Freda Dowie's page. He considered this a good omen and confirmed the casting. See more »

Quotes

Micky: When they're not using their big stick, they're farting. Aren't men horrible?
See more »

Connections

References Limelight (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh, Mein Papa
(uncredited)
Written by John Turner, Geoffrey Parsons, and Paul Burkhardt
Performed by Eddie Calvert
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
One of the most rewarding and unique films I've ever seen.
2 April 2001 | by homo_superiorSee all my reviews

It's difficult to say exactly what this luminous masterpiece is about. It's a memoir of sorts but a highly stylized one where memories are re-experienced and conveyed through songs, frequently communally sung; painful familial interactions powerfully shot as if the scenes were paintings or sets on a stage. This formal approach resonates simultaneously with richness and alienation, pathos and ecstasy. Difficult to shake.

Not at all what I expected and there's certainly nothing quite like it anywhere in the history of cinema. Powerfully acted and masterfully directed: One of the great works of British movie-making.

I also highly recommend Davies' two other great works: "The Long Day Closes" and the recent, made for Showtime movie starring an amazing Gillian Anderson, "The House of Mirth." I personally didn't care that much for "The Neon Bible."


23 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 28 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed