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561 Ratings

The Dead

Directed by John Huston
United Kingdom, United States, 1987


A ballad sung at a Twelfth Night party in Ireland reminds one of the guests of the young boy she loved years before.

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The Dead Directed by John Huston

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1988 | 2 nominations including: Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium

Independent Spirit Awards

1988 | 2 wins including: Best Director

1988 | 3 nominations including: Best Cinematography

Rooted in the concerns and passions of domesticity, the film feels small in scale. In some ways, it serves as a natural chaser to the more grandiose and romantic domestic dramas of classic Hollywood. As a double feature with Vincente Minnelli’s Meet Me in St. Louis or John Ford’s How Green Was My Valley, it would illuminate the beautiful naivety of those visions, reflecting darkly on the souls of the people who might inhabit those period settings.
August 05, 2016
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Huston’s adaptation is exactingly faithful but produces a divergent tone. Joyce’s version was a funereal kiss-off to his homeland, but Huston’s is far more buoyant. It delights in the specificity of the author’s character observations and even finds solace in his devastating conclusion, trading the belligerent farewell of driven youth for the reconciled acceptance saying a longer goodbye.
December 24, 2014
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The mysterious grace of [John Huston’s] final contribution to cinema, the elegiac “The Dead” (1987), made when he was near death from a script adapted from James Joyce by his son Tony Huston, and starring Anjelica Huston, is a reminder of the intelligence and weight at the heart of many of his films.
December 17, 2014
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