The Dead
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The final film of legendary director John Huston was based on the closing story of James Joyce's Dubliners. Anjelica Huston is top-billed as Gretta Conroy, the niece by marriage of turn-of-century Irish spinsters Kate Morkan (Helena Carroll) and Julia Morkan (Cathleen Delany). At the home of these two curious ladies, Gretta is prodded into remembering her long-dead lover. She tearfully reveals to her husband (Donal McCann) that the deceased boy may well have died on her behalf. Her tale of woe bespeaks the sentiment shared by James Joyce: no matter how long in their graves, the dead will… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"There's also a rather awesome and unpretentious directness as well as calmness about the way that Huston contemplates his own rapidly approaching death."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"That Huston should have dared search for the story's cinema life is astonishing. That he should have found it with such seeming ease is the mark of a master."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"The film is a masterpiece, both a worthy translation of James Joyce's story and a wonderful summation of John Huston's career."
‑ Joe Leydon, The Moving Picture Show
"a finely polished jewel and a wonderful way to remember a great director."
‑ Don Willmott,
"[A] deeply reverent, deeply affecting adaptation."
‑ Jamie Russell,
"A well-crafted miniature, this dramatization of the Joyce story directly addresses the theme of how the 'shades' from 'that other world' can still live in those who still walk the earth."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"There's a certain disarming sweetness to the film. The scenes are lit in amber warmth and Joyce's Dublin fable of lost hopes and living memories is treated with respect. But the acting pool is only adequate."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"A personal film for John Huston, starring daughter Anjelica and adapted to the screen by son Tony, this very last work evokes beautifully the mood and texture of James Joyce's lyrical story."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"What redeems Huston's last gasp is the observational framing and agile editing with which the Morkan sisters' soiree is captured."
‑ Joseph Jon Lanthier, Slant Magazine
"Entirely filmed in a Californian warehouse, The Dead features the greatest Irish cast ever assembled on screen."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"A beguiling chamber piece."
‑ Dave Calhoun, Time Out
"The movie was Huston's last and it's a great culminating work. As such, it couldn't be more perfect."
‑ Hal Hinson, Washington Post
"... a small masterpiece, a film of exquisite grace and understated power."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Turner Classic Movies Online
"One of cinema's best literary adaptations."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Fine performances from everyone, and a self-effacing, enigmatic star turn from Anjelica Huston herself."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
More reviews for The Dead on Rotten Tomatoes