"The Dead" Is Released
The Dead is a 1987 film directed by John Huston, starring his daughter Anjelica Huston.
The Dead was the last film that Huston directed, and it was released posthumously.
"Huston directed the movie, at eighty, from a wheelchair, jumping up to look through the camera, with oxygen tubes trailing from his nose to a portable generator; most of the time, he had to watch the actors on a video monitor outside the set and use a microphone to speak to the crew. Yet he went into dramatic areas that he'd never gone into before - funny, warm family scenes that might be thought completely out of his range. Huston never before blended his actors so intuitively, so musically."
It was adapted from the short story of the same name by James Joyce (from his book Dubliners), and nominated for an Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay. It was also nominated for an Academy Award for Costume Design.
The film takes place in early twentieth century Dublin at an Epiphany party held by two elderly sisters. The story focuses our attention on the academic Gabriel Conroy (Donal McCann), and his discovery of his wife Gretta's (Anjelica Huston) memory of a deceased lover.
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 always influence the living. Adding to the film's elegiac quality, it stars Huston's daughter Anjelica and was co-written with his son Tony Huston. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide