The Long Day Closes (film)

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The Long Day Closes
The Long Day Closes FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Terence Davies
Produced by Olivia Stewart
Written by Terence Davies
Starring Marjorie Yates
Leigh McCormack
Anthony Watson
Cinematography Michael Coulter
Edited by William Diver
Release date
22 May 1992
Running time
85 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The Long Day Closes is a 1992 British film directed and written by Terence Davies. It stars Marjorie Yates, Leigh McCormack and Anthony Watson. It was entered into the 1992 Cannes Film Festival.[1]


The film is set in Liverpool in mid-1950s. The story concerns 11-year-old Bud and his loving mother and siblings. He lives a life rich in imagination, centred on family relationships, church, and the struggles of a shy boy at school. Music and snatches of movie dialogue allow him to enrich his narrow physical environment. "Together these fragments", wrote Stephen Holden in the New York Times, "evoke a postwar England starved for beauty, fantasy and a place to escape."[2]


  • Marjorie Yates - Mother
  • Leigh McCormack - Bud
  • Anthony Watson - Kevin
  • Nicholas Lamont - John
  • Ayse Owens - Helen
  • Tina Malone - Edna
  • Jimmy Wilde - Curly
  • Robin Polley - Mr. Nicholls
  • Peter Ivatts - Mr. Bushell
  • Joy Blakeman - Frances
  • Denise Thomas - Jean
  • Patricia Morrison - Amy
  • Gavin Mawdslay - Billy
  • Kirk McLaughlin - Labourer / Christ
  • Marcus Heath - Black Man


The film uses 35 pieces of music, many of them in their entirety.[3] Critic David Thomson in his April 2007 review of the film in the British Film Institute's Sight & Sound magazine draws attention to the music that was used in the film, in particular "at the end of the film ... that mackerel sky and Sir Arthur Sullivan's 'The Long Day Closes' itself"[4] sung by Pro Cantione Antiqua.[5]


On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 82% approval rating based on reviews from 11 critics, with an average rating of 7 out of 10.[6] On Metacritic, the film received a weighted average score of 85/100 based on 15 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[7]

A 2009 appreciation said:[8]

Working with the most basic and most ethereal of cinematic materials — time and memory — Mr. Davies has devised a mosaiclike film language. Childhood recollections are consecrated as moments out of time and assembled into a symphonic collage, guided more by emotional logic than by plot or chronology. The working-class milieu that tends to be associated with the drab naturalism of the British kitchen-sink school, here comes swaddled in sensory delights: stately tracking shots and overhead angles, gusts of Mahler and Nat King Cole. The overall effect is one of muted rapture, a swelling ecstasy held in check by a constant tug of sadness.

Critic Armond White stated that "If asked to name the greatest gay film ever made, I’d say, with no hesitation, The Long Day Closes."[9]


  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Long Day Closes". Retrieved 15 August 2009. 
  2. ^ Holden, Stephen (28 May 1993). "Turning a Gloomy World into a Sunny One". New York Times. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  3. ^ IMDb The Long Day Closes (1992) - Did You Know?
  4. ^ David Thomson: Sound and Fury:Terence Davies, Sight and Sound, April, 2007.
  5. ^ allmusic: Pro Cantione Antiqua - Biography
  6. ^ "The Long Day Closes". Rotten Tomatoes. 16 May 2015. Retrieved 19 February 2016. 
  7. ^ "The Long Day Closes Reviews". Metacritic. 16 May 2015. Retrieved 19 February 2016. 
  8. ^ Lim, Dennis (9 January 2009). "Remembrance of Liverpool Past". New York Times. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  9. ^ "Armond White: The Long Day Closes Is The Greatest Gay Film Ever Made". Advocate. 16 May 2015. Retrieved 19 February 2016. 

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