Love and Death on Long Island (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes

Love and Death on Long Island (1998)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

John Hurt gives a career performance in this wry, offbeat comedy about a stodgy British novelist whose sudden infatuation with an American pop star (Jason Priestley) gives his life a dangerous and exhilarating twist.

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John Hurt
as Giles De'Ath
Jason Priestley
as Ronnie Bostock
Sheila Hancock
as Mrs. Barker
Elizabeth Quinn
as Mrs. Reed
Linda Busby
as Mrs. Abbott
Pat Ann Reid
as Maureen
Danny Webb
as Video Assistant
Robert McKewley
as Video Salesman
Tusse Silberg
as Abigail's Mother
Jean Ainslie
as Ticket Seller 1
Nigel Makin
as Ticket Seller 2
Jonathan Stratt
as Taxi Driver
Magnus Magnusson
as Quiz Master
Shaun Seymour
as Quiz Show Contestant
Marguerite McNeil
as Irv's Customer 1
Andrew Smith
as Irv's Customer 2
Tommy Hurst
as Mailman
Lex Gigeroff
as Cab Driver 1
Michael Pellerin
as Cab Driver 2
Cecil Wright
as Cab Driver 3
Charlie Rhindress
as Fax Assistant
Benita Ha
as Weather Reporter
Nancy Marshall
as Corey's Mother
Elizabeth Murphy
as The Stomper
Jeremy Akerman
as Father Bryson
Christine Jeffers
as Sitcom Mother
Morrissey Dunn
as Sitcom Father
as Strider
as Mrs. Reed's Dog
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Critic Reviews for Love and Death on Long Island

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (7)

Unfortunately, Hurt is so good that almost everyone around him pales in comparison. Priestley just doesn't have the acting chops to play in the same scenes with him.

Full Review… | May 27, 2012
Sin Magazine

Funny and unexpectedly touching.

Full Review… | January 13, 2004

A movie about an older man stalking an B-movie actor that he has become obsessed with. It is a funny, odd, and also very sad portrait of a lonely man. A very good, original movie.

May 2, 2003
KFOR Channel 4 News

Hurt's magnificent and sensitive performance...makes the whole scenario unexpectedly poignant and sweetly sad.

Full Review… | January 10, 2003
Nick's Flick Picks

...a slight film, but it's extremely well-acted and darkly funny.

December 16, 2002
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

This is John Hurt's movie and he makes the most of a memorable role.

Full Review… | January 27, 2002
Old School Reviews

Audience Reviews for Love and Death on Long Island

Fascinating and moving low-budget film with a very well judged performance from John Hurt as a novelist and widower out of touch with the 'modern world' (such as it was in the 1990s), who finds himself attracted to a Hollywood star of terrible films (Jason Priestly on good form). The film charts Gerald De'ath's initial attraction to borderline obsession as he flies to Long Island in the hopes of meeting with the object of his affection, with by turns funny, warm and sad results. Love and Death on Long Island has an admittedly televisual feel and a small scope but remains an impressive film and has a fascinatingly enigmatic ending.

Daniel Parsons
Daniel Parsons

Super Reviewer

(from The Watermark 04/26/98) Love and Death on Long Island stars John Hurt as an aging English author, who has a maid to take care of his personal life, and a publisher to manage him professionally. For the most part, he is uninterested by and quite detached from the outside world at large. (For the subtlety impaired, his character's last name is De'Ath.) But his life is suddenly changed when he accidentally stumbles into a wrong movie theater and is captivated by a young actor in the film (Jason Priestley). Slowly this old codger awakes, buying teen magazines to learn about Priestley, collecting every photo he can find of him, and purchasing a television set and VCR to rent Priestley's other films. His interest eventually becomes obsession, until he actually goes to Long Island, intent on finding Priestley. The film intentionally keeps the nature of Hurt's obsession vague. Is it sexual? Is widower Hurt discovering he's gay? Strangely enough, that is what keeps it interesting. When Hurt finally proclaims his love to heterosexual Priestley, it is apparent that the film is not about this relationship as much as it is about a soul finding he has the capability to love another person. Seasoned pro Hurt turns in an affecting performance and excels at finding both the humor and the transformation in his character. Priestley was a smart move in stunt-casting: He is basically playing himself, while also poking fun at some of his own less-than-stellar movies. The only negative to be found is the ending. A spurned Hurt writes a lengthy letter to Priestley and arrogantly tells him that he would, in fact, someday regret denying Hurt his love. For a character to open up and broaden his horizons as much as this, one would think he would come to some realization about himself that he could articulate and reflect upon - after all, isn't he a writer?

David Almeida
David Almeida

Hurt is superb.

Steve K
Steve K

Super Reviewer

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