The Dead

The Dead

The Dead (1987)

1987, Color, 82 minutes.

Directed by John Huston
Screenplay by Walter Anthony Huston
Cinemotography by Fred Murphy
Music by Alex North
Produced by Wieland Schulz-Keil & Chris Sievernich

Cast (in order of credits)

Angelica Huston . . . Gretta Conroy
Donal McCann . . . Gabriel Conroy
Dan O'Herlihy . . . Mr. Browne
Donal Donnelly . . . Freddy Malins
Helena Carroll . . . Aunt Kate
Cathleen Delany . . . Aunt Julia
Ingrid Craigie . . . Mary Jane
Rachael Dowling . . . Lily
Marie Kean . . . Mrs. Malins
Frank Patterson . . . Bartell D'Arcy
Maria McDermottroe . . . Molly Ivors
Sean McClory . . . Mr. Grace
Catherine O'Toole . . . Miss Furlong
Maria Hayden . . . Miss O'Callaghan
Bairbre Dowling . . . Miss Higgins
Lyda Anderson . . . Miss Daly
Colm Meaney . . . Mr. Bergin
Cormac O'Herlihy . . . Mr. Kerrigan
Paul Grant . . .1st Young Gentleman
Paul Carroll . . . 2nd Young Gentleman
Patrick Gallagher . . . 3rd Young Gentleman
Dara Clarke . . . Young Lady
Brendan Dillon . . . Cabman
Redmond Gleeson . . . Nightporter

 Video Box

I will reprint the blurb from the back of the videocassette case. (I own a copy, having permanently "borrowed" it from the English department at the school where I taught chemistry. Heh. Maybe I should've replaced it with a copy of "Zinc: Your Metallic Friend"?)

In this, his final film achievement, legendary director JOHN HUSTON brings the magic of James Joyce to the screen with an evocative drama, a profound elegy to his cinematic career. Huston leads an award-winning production team, an acclaimed cast of Irish players, and directs his daugter, ANGELICA HUSTON, for the first time since their Academy Award-winning collaboration in PRIZZI'S HONOR.

From an Academy Award-nominated sreenplay by TONY HUSTON, THE DEAD takes place in turn-of-the-century Dublin, at a holiday feast vibrant with food and spirit. A young couple at the party, Gretta and Gabriel Conroy, seem to have everything to be grateful for. But that night, a tenor's voice recalls poignant memories, and Gabriel learns of his wife's unforgotten young love. Her secret past is a shattering revelation as he finally sees himself, and indeed, the world of "all the living and the dead."

"Two thumbs up!"
--Siskel & Ebert

"An exquisite film. To be treasured always."
--New York Post

The Brazen Head's Review
A personal review will one day grace this page, I promise! It was a great movie -- I'll just be a bit more specific than that, I suppose....

Ordering Information
John Huston's The Dead has recently been deleted from the VHS catalog. Hopefully The Powers That Be will see the error of their ways, and re-release it on DVD! Until then, you can usually find a used copy from the link below.

John Huston's The Dead
Vestron Video, 1988, VHS, deleted.

John Huston and the Dubliners
Part of Kino Video's "Behind the Screen" series, this documentary details the making of The Dead. I have placed a copy on order and I will review it when I have watched it.

John Huston and the Dubliners
Huston, Mccann
Kino Video, 1989, VHS, $29.95

Additional Information

IMDB's "The Dead" Page -- The Internet Movie Database's page on The Dead.

Roger Ebert's Review -- Roger Ebert's review, as posted in the Chicago Sun Times on 18 December 1987. Ebert delivers a very compassionate, respectful, and honest review.

Hal Hinson's Review -- Hal Hinson's review, as posted in the Washington Post on 18 December 1987. Mr. Hinson gives a very positive and quite detailed review.

Desson Howe's Review -- Desson Howe's review, as posted in the Washington Post on 18 December 1987. It is remarkable primarily for the reviewer's superficial understanding of Joyce's story!

--Allen B. Ruch
12 June 2003

BLOOM: (His eyes closing, quails expectantly.) Here? (He squirms.) Again! (He pants cringing.) I love the danger. -- Send email to the Great Quail -- comments, suggestions, corrections, criticisms, submissions . . . all are welcome!

Return to the Joyce Film Page.