7.0/10
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48 user 51 critic

Love and Death on Long Island (1997)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 6 March 1998 (USA)
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2:18 | Trailer
Giles De'Ath is a widower who doesn't like anything modern. He goes to movies and falls in love with film star Ronnie Bostock. He then investigates everything about the movie and Ronnie. ... See full summary »
4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Hurt ... Giles De'Ath
Jason Priestley ... Ronnie Bostock
Fiona Loewi ... Audrey
Sheila Hancock ... Mrs. Barker
Harvey Atkin ... Lou
Maury Chaykin ... Irving Buckmuller
Gawn Grainger Gawn Grainger ... Henry
Elizabeth Quinn Elizabeth Quinn ... Mrs. Reed
Linda Busby Linda Busby ... Mrs. Abbott
Bill Leadbitter Bill Leadbitter ... Eldridge
Anne Reid ... Maureen (as Ann Reid)
Danny Webb ... Video Assistant (as Daniel Webb)
Andrew Barrow Andrew Barrow ... Harry
Dean Gariss Dean Gariss ... Rob
Robert McKewley Robert McKewley ... Video Salesman
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Storyline

Giles De'Ath is a widower who doesn't like anything modern. He goes to movies and falls in love with film star Ronnie Bostock. He then investigates everything about the movie and Ronnie. After that he travels to Long Island City, where Ronnie lives, and meets him, pretending that Ronnie is a great actor, and that's why Giles admires him.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language, thematic elements and some sexual content | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 March 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Amour et mort à Long Island See more »

Filming Locations:

Bedford, Nova Scotia, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£62,191 (United Kingdom), 5 July 1998, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$78,151, 8 March 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,542,264, 7 June 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Goofs

When the mailman delivers mail to Ronnie Bostock's mailbox,he raises the mailbox flag, presumably to signal to the resident that mail has been delivered. (Ronnie's girlfriend, seeing the mailbox flag has been raised, seems to interpret the signal accordingly.) Although it may be the convention for mail delivery wherever the director/writer is from, it is not the case on Long Island, where it is the custom for the resident to raise the mailbox flag to alert the mailman that mail is in the mailbox waiting to be picked up. Once the mail has been picked up, the mailman lowers the flag - the opposite of what occurred in the film. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Giles De'Ath: It is so difficult to know where I should begin, especially when, unlike you, I already know the ending. But let us say that this story began with end of another.
See more »

Connections

References Private Lessons (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

Ultimately, a slow, witty work with one outstanding feature.
15 December 1998 | by walshioSee all my reviews

"A puerile romp without a single redeeming feature."

That's what an imaginary Sight and Sound review gives the trashy teenage exploitation film Hotpants College 2. However, for "erstwhile fogey" and famous English writer Giles De'Ath (John Hurt) this Porky-esque flick, which he watches purely by accident (he meant to see an E.M Forster adaptation) has one very redeeming grace. It contains the love of Giles' life – Ronnie Bostock (Jason Priestley).

This witty and poignant film, which divides itself between London and Long Island, may have faltered badly if it had been left in lesser hands than John Hurt. However, Hurt is simply mesmerising. He is one of the few actors who never shies away from making the audience utterly ill at ease – watch 1984, the monster shooting out of his stomach in Alien or The Elephant Man for confirmation.

Self-exiled from the modern world in his stuffy flat, with a picture of his recently deceased wife by his writing desk, and a fussy maid (Sheila Hancock) tending to his every whim, Giles' emotions are thoroughly repressed. Until, that is, fate lends a hand and exposes Giles to, amongst other things, terrible American teenage movies, video stores, fax machines, One Man and His Dog, and, finally, to his own sexual desires.

Love and Death in Long Island is brimming with quirky cameos, including weirdo diner owner Irv (Maury Chaykin), a motel manager (Elizabeth Quinn) reminiscent of Shelley Winters in Lolita, and a surprisingly good Priestley (lampooning his "bimbo" soap background much like Maxwell Caulfield in The Real Blonde).

However, it is ultimately a "warts and all" performance from Hurt that holds our gaze. Dignified, perplexed and slightly tragic, Hurt makes Giles one of the most touching "stalkers" in film history. Much like James Mason's Humbert in Lolita, Giles is a man of culture finding beauty in youth, in coarseness - in "all that I myself have never been."

Ultimately, a slow, witty work with one outstanding feature.


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