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The Dead [DVD]

Anjelica Huston , Donal McCann , John Huston    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
Price: £5.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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The Dead [DVD] + Dancing At Lughnasa (1998) [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Anjelica Huston, Donal McCann, Dan O'Herlihy, Donal Donnelly, Helena Carroll
  • Directors: John Huston
  • Format: PAL, Colour, Widescreen
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 10 April 2006
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EWOO4C
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,431 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


John Huston's final film, an adaptation of a James Joyce novella, takes place at Christmas in turn-of-the-century Dublin. To mark the occasion, two spinsters (Helena Carroll and Cathleen Delany) throw a party, inviting, amongst others, their nephew Gabriel (Donal McCann) and his wife Gretta (Anjelica Huston). During the course of the evening, a haunting rendition of an Irish lament has an overwhelming effect on Gretta, who is moved to remember a long-suppressed romance in her earlier years.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A many layered piece. 17 Feb 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Nothing happens. All of life happens. This is a wonderful adaptation of the James Joyce short story. It beautifully captures the atmosphere of the Epiphany party in turn of the 20th century Dublin. The whole cast are marvellous. I cringed with embarrassment for sad, drunken Freddie, felt great pity for the two elderly, party giving sisters and their niece as they see their way of life begin to fade and held my breath as Gabriel's self image dips as he realises there are things about his wife he has never known. The scene where Greta (Anjelica Huston) comes down the stairs at the end of the party and pauses to listen to a singer in another room is simply haunting.
If you like action movies, give this a miss. If you want to be transported to another time, another life, here's your film
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Certainly one of the greatest and most beautiful films ever made, and this is also one of the most outstanding films of modern movie making - and quite remarkable in that it was made as recent as 1987!

This gem opens like a Christmas Card, and has the appearance and style of a movie that could have been made many years ago! I remember seeing this for the first time when the only way to get to see a new movie was to rent it from a Video Store (before you could buy them) My mother and I had selected this title - not knowing why. We watched it together and you could hear a pin drop! I couldn't wait to purchase it when it came on general release!

So many of the cast is outstanding that it is difficult to name who is the best here (the poignancy of course being that now, just twenty years on, so many of this wonderful cast are now gone...) but Helena Carroll in particular is outstanding - not to mention of course Anjelica Huston. I believed at the time (and still do) that only one other actress I know of could have played the role of 'Gretta' as well, and I had the sheer delight of being able to tell her so myself, and that is Meg Wynn Owen (Hazel Bellamy - Upstairs, Downstairs) There are so many close-ups in this, and these kind of shots are extremely hard to do, but Meg is an expert at this kind of thing.

This is one Party I would have loved to have attended - the simple welcoming of the 'three graces' (as 'Gabriel' went on to name them some time into the story in his speech) who are all so loveable, and the singing, dancing, drinking and eating - wonderful!! Freddy is by far one of the most entertaining characters - marvellously played by Donal Donnelly, who has some humorous dialogue with the handsome 'Mr.
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful adaptation of Joyce's short story 13 May 2006
By Jason Parkes #1 HALL OF FAME
The Dead was John Huston's final film, shot in California as he directed with the aid of oxygen. It's a film very much in minor key, which is suited to its source- the final short story in James Joyce's masterful collection, Dubliners.

It's wonderfully shot, sort of the missing link between Kubrick's Barry Lyndon (1975) and Scorsese's The Age of Innocence (1993) in terms of lighting and the way it captures the sisters party on twelth night in Dublin, 1904. The cast are excellent, from leads Donal McCann (as Gabriel) and Anjelica Huston (as Greta) & such actors as Colm Meaney, Rachel Dowling & Donal Donnelly. The film itself is basically a meal set on Twelth night by hosts the Markham sisters and their niece- we cut between various characters, & the film moves from dancing to poetry to singing to the meal itself; there are also moments of great comedy, particularly centred around drunken Frank. The film, like its literary source, makes reference to Irish politics (eg West Briton, Republican union meetings, Irish traditions, Parnell) & art- notably opera, which features in a brilliant scene focused on Anjelica Huston. It's a minor key film, no major melodrama and just under 80 minutes in duration, but the end- where Greta tells Gabriel about her teenage paramour who died young (reminding me of the traditional Irish song 'I am Stretched On Your Grave')& how Gabriel didn't really know his wife. Dublin is wonderfully captured under a rain of snow & the final scenes, when Gabriel- on a night of celebration and union, notes that death is looming & we see images surrounding Dublin and snow, of graveyards, and of Aunt Julia's future death- moves into the poetic- the mise-en-scene offering an image for every one of Joyce's transcendental lines.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Irish Aunts and a deceptively simple tale 22 Dec 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Like all great stories, and great films for that matter, THE DEAD is anything but simple. The layers are seemingly endless, like the skin of an onion. Filled with richly drawn and beautifully played characters, the late John Huston's last film is a fitting tribute both to Ireland and to James Joyce, whose story is translated to the screen with the kind of sensitivity that is not too often to be found in the cinema.

Taking as its central point an annual party given by Miss Kate and Miss Julia, two elderly Dubliners, this is a gentle drama of small folk, their lives and loves, their triumphs and tragedies.

No incident in the film changes the world, but the people in it are those who are for all time, and anyone viewing 'The Dead' cannot fail to be moved by it.

(A recent reviewer on the radio regretted that she had first seen the film before she was old enough fully to appreciate it. Older and wiser now, she was in raptures over the recent re-release.)

This minimalist classic, similar in many ways to my own personal favourite, 'Babette's Feast', must surely rank high in the list of movie greats.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 23 days ago by Rosemarie Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wonderful evocative piece
Published 25 days ago by Maebh O'Regan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
marvellous film
Published 26 days ago by Charles Mark O'Neill
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very pleased. Thank you.
Published 1 month ago by Dolleen MacLennan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Nicely produced to create the period and the atmosphere of the story.
Published 2 months ago by O. McGonagle
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Published 3 months ago by Susie
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving tale captured perfectly
This is a poignant rendition of a splendid short story from James Joyce's 'Dubliners' collection. Reading the original, and watching this adaptation, make you realise why Joyce is... Read more
Published 3 months ago by 'Fountain Pen'
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving depiction of a relationship which is beginning to founder set...
A wide range of characters all well acted form the backdrop to the main character's gradual realisation of the emptiness of his life or of Life
Published 5 months ago by Sheila MacKenzie
1.0 out of 5 stars The Dead
The DVD was unplayable as it was aUS import which could not be used on my DVD player.
This possibility should ,I feel, have been pointed out to me before I bought it.
Published 7 months ago by vincent burke
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film
See my review of The Dubliners which I mistakenly thought was for this DVD. Whole range of vinettes of Dublin life in last century still worth reading today. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Plain Jane
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