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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Literature > Irish > The Dead (1987/Lionsgate DVD)

The Dead (1987/Lionsgate DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C-     Film: C+



Despite the acclaim and the distinct look and feel the final film of the great john Huston had, I was not the biggest fan of The Dead (1987), his award-winning film based on the work of James Joyce.  It is a good film with a good story and good cast, yet I always found the film uneven and not eventually hitting the mark.  We do get great performances from Angelica Huston, Donal McCann, Dan O’Herlihy (the year he made Robocop), Helena Carroll, Cathleen Delany, Rachael Dowling, Sean McClory and Frank Patterson among others.


It is also yet another authentic, interesting Irish discourse cinematically and in that is alone an achievement, but there may be come part so fit that collide.  It wants to be writerly and readerly.  It wants to be a period piece but also a comment on the period.  It wants to remember the forgotten, but leaves itself open to being alive when Huston intends to live up to the theme of the title.  At least it is a film people still talk about and for Huston, he proved to be a formidable artist to the end.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is a little soft, partly from styling by Huston and Director of Photography Fred Murphy (currently working on the series Fringe) is very authentic and has a believable density, but this is still from an older transfer.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo was a Dolby A-type analog theatrical release and is not bad here, but surro8unds are weak and this is a quiet film.  Trailers for other Lionsgate releases are the only extras.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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