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The Queen Is Dead (1986)

Three song clips by The Smiths ('The Queen is Dead', 'There is a Light that Never Goes Out' and 'Panic'), all directed with an artistic and conceptual vision by the late Derek Jarman. The ... See full summary »


Derek Jarman, Richard Heslop (co-director) | 1 more credit »

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Director: Derek Jarman
Stars: The Smiths


Uncredited cast:
Craig Gannon Craig Gannon ... Himself (uncredited)
Mike Joyce Mike Joyce ... Himself (uncredited)
Johnny Marr ... Himself (uncredited)
Morrissey ... Himself (uncredited)
Andy Rourke Andy Rourke ... Himself (uncredited)


Three song clips by The Smiths ('The Queen is Dead', 'There is a Light that Never Goes Out' and 'Panic'), all directed with an artistic and conceptual vision by the late Derek Jarman. The result is the junction of the powerful lyrics and melodies by Morrissey and Marr combined with Jarman's expressive images. Written by Rodrigo Amaro

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Music







Release Date:

September 1986 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Basilisk Communications See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Featured in The Smiths: The Complete Picture (1992) See more »


The Queen Is Dead
Written by Morrissey and Johnny Marr
Performed by The Smiths
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User Reviews

Jarman + The Smiths = pure art. Louder than bombs
16 July 2015 | by Rodrigo_AmaroSee all my reviews

One of the greatest rock n'roll bands of all time meets one of the most creative and talented artists of all time, and their reunion resulted in the distinctively and vibrant gathering presented here: the sound of The Smiths and the images of Derek Jarman.

Clips in question: "The Queen Is Dead", "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" and "Panic" (the inclusion of this one in this set is a mystery to me since it wasn't included in "The Queen Is Dead" album, it was a single that later was part of "Louder Than Bombs", and such album also has "Ask", which was also directed by Jarman but isn't included in this gathering. Such a cute clip, by the way, the one from "Ask").

Thoughts on the videos: I'm looking from the body of work perspective. Jarman heard the tracks and provided his insights, his vision on the lyrics and imagery brought by Morrissey plus the fast, energetic and hard sounds and melodies presented by Johnny Marr, Mike Joyce, Andy Rourke and Craig Gannom. Most of what is presented isn't news in terms of what Mr. Jarman has done, if you know extensively his works, specially the short films: avant-garde style; superimposed images; fast editing; clips without narrative.

It's all intriguing and suitable, specially for a band like The Smiths, who actually despised following trends, being cool and find massive mainstream success with videos getting heavy airplay on MTV - remember, this was in the 80's and being on MTV meant something - and that's one of the reasons why they were never that big in U.S. in several terms. People valued what they could see first, instead of listening. That's why "Thriller" was a gigantic phenomenon with John Landis directing the video while "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" is slightly obscured. The fore-mentioned latter example got a clip with images that barely moves, a girl's long hair mixed with tall grass; limited colors in its palette but the lyrics and sound...oh boy, that's the way you sell a clip by making into art, let the viewer absorb something deeper from the blurred images and the melancholy of Moz's voice, open minds and hearts will get something out of it. Wasn't cool for that particular era, works beautifully now.

Desite the experiment, always creative to see the creator of "Sebastiane" doing other things with the visual media, in reality Jarman was only going with the clips (not just Smiths but Wang Chung, Bryan Ferry and others as well), only in it for the money, which is always handy when you're an artist trying to conceive the works you want to provide for the world, the ones that really matters. Even though not wanting to be there, he excelled by making a minor art to provide for the greater arts which is a lot better than my idealists in Hollywood end up doing, by doing big budget wrecks to produce great indie stuff. Jarman wins. 8/10

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