The Living and the Dead (2006)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Horror, Mystery  |  23 September 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 1,827 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 44 critic

A descent into Hell is triggered when "Ex-Lord" Donald Brocklebank finds that he must leave Longleigh House for London to find a way to pay for the medical treatments for his wife Nancy. ... See full summary »



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Credited cast:
James Brocklebank
Donald Brocklebank
Kate Fahy ...
Nancy Brocklebank
Sarah Ball ...
Nurse Mary
Neil Conrich ...
Richard Wills-Cotton ...
nurse Mike
Alan Perrin ...
nurse Bob
Richard Syms ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hilary Hodsman ...
Auntie Pat


A descent into Hell is triggered when "Ex-Lord" Donald Brocklebank finds that he must leave Longleigh House for London to find a way to pay for the medical treatments for his wife Nancy. Alone, his over-protected, delusional, adult son, James, fancies himself in charge of the manor house with his terminally ill mother, and barricades the two of them into the house for a series of ever more panicked home treatments, mistakenly protecting her from the arrival of Nurse Mary and any outside help. Written by Bob Lee

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Terror by good intentions.


Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

23 September 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Entre vivos y muertos  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


£650,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(European Film Market)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film is dedicated to the memory of Sheila and David Rumley, parents of director Simon Rumley. Three months after his father had passed away from a heart attack, his mother was diagnosed with cancer. She died three months later. See more »


[first lines]
Donald Brocklebank: [answering phone] Hello? Hello? Yes, yes I know. No, I didn't know that. No, that's not good at all. No, she doesn't know. Hmm. Hmm. Exactly. Okay, goodbye.
James: They going to make it?
Donald Brocklebank: No, they're not.
James: Can I look after mummy this time.
Donald Brocklebank: I'm not going away.
James: But you always say that, you always do.
James: [knocking] Some one's at the door!
[starts running]
Donald Brocklebank: Stop James, I said stop!
See more »

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User Reviews

Brave showing by a director with potential
23 June 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Ignore the previous comment by 'perisho', but I would take something from the others thereafter, both positive and negative.

Firstly the negatives - yes there are gaping holes in the plot, seemingly situations that wouldn't happen, possibly too long for its plot subject. Right, the positives - great acting, good use of dialogue (often repetitive and therefore affecting), good use of ambiguity (which helps convey the mental health issues that the family have) and possibly explain the seemingly apparent plot holes (is all we see really occurring?), brilliant cinematography, and it's a brave attempt at a all too often patronised subject matter.

Furthermore, it is made on a tight budget in Britain. A rare commodity nowadays. Only a handful of directors in the UK work outside of the mainstream, and Rumley's effort should be applauded. Even the film factory that is the Hollywood machine can't achieve this level of skill (A Beautiful Mind, Rainman...please!). Only say Keane, Devil & Daniel Johnston and Julien Donkey Boy have we seen schizophrenia in the manner with which we see here. Yes, not everything works, but when it does, this film is powerful and touching as anything else in cinema dealing with mental illness.

Well done to the director and may your second feature be as strong.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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