Irish Film Institute -International Film Directory – Film Listing

The Dead

    • Director

      John Huston

    • Credits

      Producers: Chris Sievernich, Wieland Schulz-Keil. Writer: Tony Huston

    • Principal Cast

      Anjelica Huston, Donal McCann, Donal Donnelly, Rachael Dowling

  • Category


Always the most literary and philosophical of the great Hollywood directors, Huston used this adaptation of the James Joyce story to furnish a portrait of his own artistry as an old man, turning the film into a serene song of farewell to Ireland, to the cinema, to life itself. As they have done for years, friends congregate at a New Year’s party, anxious that one of the guests, Freddy Malins (Donal Donnelly), might be drunk and hard to control. The faint sense of disharmony that steals over the proceedings comes from another source entirely, however: a remembrance of things past. Everything will gather to the moment when Gretta (Anjelica Huston), watched uncomprehendingly by her husband Gabriel (Donal McCann), stops on the stairs to listen to a song that will stir anguished longings she had thought forgotten. The Dead is a comic and compassionate study of life’s disappointments. Notes by Neil Sinyard.

83 minutes, Ireland/UK/USA, 1987, Colour

The IFI is supported
by The Arts Council

Arts Council of Ireland