The Dead 1987

The Dead

Critics Consensus

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93%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 29

78%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,812

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Movie Info

A festive holiday dinner in Ireland at the turn of the 20th century brings epiphanies for a married couple. At the home of his spinster aunts Kate (Helena Carroll) and Julia (Cathleen Delaney), the socially maladroit Gabriel Conroy (Donal McCann) and his reserved wife, Gretta (Anjelica Huston), reflect on their marriage, Gretta's memories of her first love and what it means both to live and to love. Director John Huston's final film is a faithful adaptation of the James Joyce short story.

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Critic Reviews for The Dead

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (27) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for The Dead

  • Jun 13, 2013
    Irish bourgeois gather for the Feast of the Epiphany in this adaptation of James Joyce's story. When I read Joyce's story in <i>Dubliners</I>, I thought that it was unfilmable. The conflict exists in the passage of time, the inability to really know another, and the inevitability of death -- all themes that can be conveyed but with the subtlety inherent in Joyce's writing. And when I finished John Huston's adaptation of the story, my opinions haven't changed. What emerges in Huston's work is a work of too much subtlety, and I doubt that I would understand the story's point had I not read Joyce's original work. In fact, I think the film is a good "visual Cliff's Notes" of the story. The performances by Anjelica Huston and Donal McCann are both quite strong. I've never seen Huston as vulnerable as she is in the final scene, and her performance gives the film the grace and emotional power it needs. Overall, this is not a bad film; it's just a good attempt at the impossible.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Oct 18, 2012
    It carries a whole universe of emotions.
    Pierluigi P Super Reviewer
  • Apr 18, 2011
    This is a boring watch. However, it is important to keep in mind that it's intentional. The story is supposed to be awkward, so to the audience, the film will assuredly come across as boring. Still, this was a brilliant adaptation of the famous James Joyce novel. Most of the characters were true to the book with only a few flaws here and there. The tone and setting was spot on, though. Overall, watcheable, but not necessarily the most enjoyable film I have seen.
    Jameson W Super Reviewer
  • Dec 24, 2010
    Huston's final brilliant contribution to celluloid among his multi-faceted cinematic ouevre. It has a delightful touch to it. This is not your common watch: it actually reaches the level of Frears' Dangerous Liaisons (1988) and Scorsese's The Age of Innocence (1993) but, above all, this is not your common Huston. Although his classics will always remain as true definitions of a classic, this is way beyond him. This surpasses his abilities, and yet he managed to leave us this charmingly symbolic reunion as his definitive and nostalgic farewell. 86/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer

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