The Long Day Closes


1h 22m 1992

Brief Synopsis

Autobiographical film based on the director's happiest years of childhood; a time spent amid the love of his mother, sister and brothers, prior to the struggle he experienced in adapting to a new school.

Film Details

Also Known As
El Largo dia acaba, Largo dia acaba, Long Day Closes, la tombee du jour, A
MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Biography
Period
Release Date
1992
Distribution Company
ALLIANCE RELEASING/SONY PICTURES CLASSICS; Sony Pictures Classics
Location
London, England, United Kingdom; Liverpool, England, United Kingdom

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 22m

Synopsis

Autobiographical film based on the director's happiest years of childhood; a time spent amid the love of his mother, sister and brothers, prior to the struggle he experienced in adapting to a new school.

Crew

Fred E. Ahlert

Music Composer

Cecil Frances Alexander

Theme Lyrics

Jim Atkins

Transportation Manager

Nat Ayers

Music Composer

Ronnie Barlow

Carpenter

Irving Berlin

Music Composer

Ralph Blane

Music Composer

Luigi Boccherini

Music Composer

Jeff Bowen

Location Manager

Mark Brown

Music Conductor

Seymour Brown

Music Composer

Moya Burns

Sound Recordist

Robert Burns

Music Composer

Rick Butland

Electrician

George Butterworth

Music Composer

Christine Campbell

Assistant Editor

Hoagy Carmichael

Music Composer

Peter Cheesman

Carpenter

Henry Chorley

Music Composer

Simon Clarkson

Carpenter

Nat King Cole

Song Performer

Tristam Cones

Camera Trainee

Deryck Cooke

Music Composer

Mick Coulter

Director Of Photography

Harriet Cox

Camera Operator

Catherine Creed

Assistant Editor

Stewart Cunningham

Props

Terence Davies

Screenplay

Doris Day

Song Performer

William Diver

Editor

Hugh Doherty

Carpenter

Walter Donaldson

Music Composer

Dave Dreyer

Music Composer

Kevin Edland

Electrician

Terry Edland

Gaffer

Marianne Elliot

Casting Associate

Ray Evans

Music Composer

Kathleen Ferrier

Song Performer

David Firman

Music

Gordon Fitzgerald

Property Master

Sarah Fitzgerald

Photography

Tracey Gallacher

Assistant Art Director

Judy Garland

Song Performer

Henry J Gauntlett

Music Composer

Ben Gibson

Executive Producer

David Gilchrist

Assistant Director

Catherine Goodley

Scenic Artist

Tommy Gormley

Assistant Director

Albert Grassi

Carpenter

Clifford Grey

Music Composer

Pat Harkins

Props

David Harrison

Other

Chris Harvey

Production Manager

Alan Hausmann

Carpenter

Bob Hilliard

Music Composer

Tom Hilton

Photography

Christopher Hobbs

Production Designer

Arthur Holmes

Song

Monica Howe

Costume Designer

Joe Jaffe

Music Composer

Piero Jamieson

Props

Ben Johnson

Production Assistant

Al Jolson

Music Composer

Doreen Jones

Casting Director

Heather Jones

Makeup

Jeremy Kelly

Photography

Jeremy Kelly

Other

Jimmy Kennedy

Music Composer

Jason Kent

Visual Effects

Robert L King

Music Composer

Bob Last

Music Supervisor

Bob Last

Music

Sheryl Leonardo

Production Accountant

Jay Livingston

Music Composer

Robert Lockhart

Music

Frank Loesser

Music Composer

Colin Maccabe

Executive Producer

Andrew Macdonald

Location Manager

Alex Mackie

Sound Editor

Gus Maclean

Assistant Director

John Macmillan

Construction Manager

Gustav Mahler

Music Composer

Hugh Martin

Music Composer

Charles Mcmillan

Carpenter

Bill Meal

Other

Kate Mellor

Other

Kave Naylor

Art Director

Alfred Newman

Music Composer

Susan Nicholson

Production Accountant

James C Norton

Assistant

Dennis O'connell

Electrician

Patrick O'neill

Dialogue Editor

Mitchell Parish

Music Composer

Chris Pleven

Other

Chris Plevin

Photography

June Prinz

Boom Operator

Ben Pulsford

Production

Richard Rogers

Music Composer

Gary Romaine

Grip

Billy Rose

Music Composer

Kevin Rowe

Visual Effects

Mariana Russell

Production Assistant

Conrad Salinger

Music Arranger

Peter Seater

Carpenter

Aileen Seaton

Makeup

Carl Sigmond

Music Composer

Geoff Stainthorp

Carpenter

Lesley Stewart

Production Coordinator

Olivia Stewart

Producer

Sir Arthur Sullivan

Music Composer

Robin Thistlethwaite

Construction Manager

George Thomas

Art Department

Carol Thompson

Continuity

Jim Thompson

Carpenter

Terry Thomson

Carpenter

Henry Tobias

Music Composer

Roy Turk

Music Composer

Dave Tyler

Electrician

Larry Vincent

Music Composer

Karen Wakefield

Props Buyer

Ned Washington

Music Composer

David Watson

Other

Alan Weeks

Carpenter

Marion Weise

Wardrobe

Patrick Wheatley

Wardrobe Supervisor

Lynne Whiteread

Scenic Artist

William Whittaker

Other

Aad Wirtz

Sound Mixer

Stuart Wood

Carpenter

Victor Young

Music Composer

Film Details

Also Known As
El Largo dia acaba, Largo dia acaba, Long Day Closes, la tombee du jour, A
MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Biography
Period
Release Date
1992
Distribution Company
ALLIANCE RELEASING/SONY PICTURES CLASSICS; Sony Pictures Classics
Location
London, England, United Kingdom; Liverpool, England, United Kingdom

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 22m

Articles

The Long Day Closes on Criterion Blu-ray


Terence Davies, an actor turned filmmaker who directed his first short film in 1976, has made a mere six features since 1988, when he released his debut feature Distant Voices, Still Lives. Like his earlier shorts, Distant Voices was an autobiographical film about growing up in Liverpool in the 1950s, beautiful but somber and almost heartbreaking in its portrait of a family living in fear of its angry, alcoholic father.

The Long Day Closes, released four years later in 1992, isn't a sequel in any literal sense of the term - none of the actors return and the names of the characters are all changed - but it nonetheless carries on the story of Davies family after the death of his father with the focus on a character absent from the earlier film. 12-year-old Bud (Leigh McCormack) is the youngest in a loving family looked over by an affectionate widowed mother (Marjorie Yates). A sweet, quiet schoolboy in love with the movies, he's Davies' stand-in in a film that offers a fictionalized reflection on what Davies described as the happiest days of his life.

Just like Bud, The Long Day Closes is in love with the movies. After a still life of an opening credits sequence that plays like an elegant tribute to the title sequences of films from the 1940s and 1950s, the familiar 20th Century Fox fanfare takes us into a rainy Liverpool alley plastered in posters. The fanfare segues into Nat King Cole singing "Stardust" as the camera glides down the alley at a graceful stroll. The imagery is simple and dense, on the one hand a dreary, drizzly English evening in a trash-strewn alley, on the other a dreamy moment of remembrance lit up by the promises of the posters, the smooth, soft resonance of Cole's voice cradled in the lush arrangement of the song, and the glow of studio lights that romanticizes even the drab, dirty brick walls and grimy street scene and gives the rain a glint of movie magic. It sets the culture and the tone of the film, a portrait of a working class neighborhood of post-war Liverpool stirred with the popular culture of the era and warmed by the director's happy memories.

It also sets Davies style. There's no traditional story to speak of here, no dramatic conflict to send the characters off on a goal or motivating action to set a series of events in motion. Rather, Davies offers cinematic snapshots capturing privileged moments of Bud's life with pop songs and clips of movie soundtracks connecting the slivers of scenes. Davies' camera seems to float through the scenes and drift from one moment to another, as if one memory fading into another, and the effect is of time and space dissolving together. Bud takes in everything: watching his brothers and sister, all young adults or on the verge of adulthood, with adoring eyes as they work and josh and sing popular standards together in the family home; gently prodding his ma for enough pocket change to buy a matinee ticket and watching her melt into an indulgent smile as she opens up her purse; enjoying the strange adult world of affectionate insults and joking remarks as neighbors gather for a holiday celebration in their tiny kitchen.

This remembrance of 1955 Liverpool has been recreated in a studio, where Davies' control has enabled an idealized recreation of his past, designed and art directed to a perfection possible only through the glow of memory. The quality of light throughout is astounding, from the change of seasons to the passing of the day, the temperature shifting through changing weather, and the beams catching dust in the air, whether through a window in a room or the beam of a film projector in a theater.

But such childhood cannot last forever. Bud graduates to a new Catholic school he finds himself in a more hostile social environment where he's immediately targeted by bullies (Bud is among the smallest boys of the class) and disciplinarian teachers are quick to use a ruler on the hand for any infraction. Seen through his eyes, religion is about punishment and control, and his troubled relationship is evocatively captures with his fascination with and fear of the carved effigy of the crucified Christ hanging above the altar of his church, at once a beautiful sculpture and a brutal portrait of suffering. In contrast to the warm glow and relaxed atmosphere of family scenes, school is cold and regimented, with the occasional daydream bringing a brief moment of grace to the experience. It's no coincidence that the beam of light that picks Bud out of the rows of school desks as his mind drifts to happier thought echoes the flickering beam over Bud's head at his matinee screenings. The light of art and culture and family gatherings is Bud's idea of the Holy Spirit.

Davies had a troubled childhood as he struggled with the realization that he was gay in a time when homosexuality was not only considered deviant, it was quite literally illegal in Britain. There is a hint of Bud's difference from others in the final scenes of The Long Day Closes but the overriding tone is one of celebration. The exacting textures and delicate moods, sustained in heavenly beams of light and the reflection of warm memories, gives the film a glow I've never seen in another film. For 85 minutes, Davies suspends us in the cradle of family and community and comforting memory. The specifics belong to Davies and his childhood in mid-fifties Liverpool but the evocation of comfort and affection and innocence in the thrall of movies and music and loving family is not beholden to any particular time or culture.

Never before on disc in the U.S., Criterion releases the film on a Blu-ray+DVD Dual Format edition, mastered from a restored 2K film transfer supervised by Davies and director of photography Michael Coulter. Much of the film's experience comes through the quality of light and the texture of his recreations and this transfer brings them all to life. The colors are muted, like they've been aged, but warm and the image clean and clear and sharp even when his palette suggests the hazy glow of memory.

Both discs feature a commentary track by Davies and Coulter recorded in 2007 and a 1992 episode of the British arts TV program The South Bank Show that profiles Davies and The Long Day Closes as he was being hailed one of Britain's great new directors. Both programs give Davies opportunity to reflect back on his childhood and his love of movies. Also features new video interviews with executive producer Colin MacCabe and production designer Christopher Hobbs. The accompanying booklet features an essay by Criterion's house writer Michael Koresky, who is currently finishing a book on Terence Davies. His essay is less about the film in particular than on Davies' distinctive approach to cinema and his use of autobiography.

By Sean Axmaker
The Long Day Closes On Criterion Blu-Ray

The Long Day Closes on Criterion Blu-ray

Terence Davies, an actor turned filmmaker who directed his first short film in 1976, has made a mere six features since 1988, when he released his debut feature Distant Voices, Still Lives. Like his earlier shorts, Distant Voices was an autobiographical film about growing up in Liverpool in the 1950s, beautiful but somber and almost heartbreaking in its portrait of a family living in fear of its angry, alcoholic father. The Long Day Closes, released four years later in 1992, isn't a sequel in any literal sense of the term - none of the actors return and the names of the characters are all changed - but it nonetheless carries on the story of Davies family after the death of his father with the focus on a character absent from the earlier film. 12-year-old Bud (Leigh McCormack) is the youngest in a loving family looked over by an affectionate widowed mother (Marjorie Yates). A sweet, quiet schoolboy in love with the movies, he's Davies' stand-in in a film that offers a fictionalized reflection on what Davies described as the happiest days of his life. Just like Bud, The Long Day Closes is in love with the movies. After a still life of an opening credits sequence that plays like an elegant tribute to the title sequences of films from the 1940s and 1950s, the familiar 20th Century Fox fanfare takes us into a rainy Liverpool alley plastered in posters. The fanfare segues into Nat King Cole singing "Stardust" as the camera glides down the alley at a graceful stroll. The imagery is simple and dense, on the one hand a dreary, drizzly English evening in a trash-strewn alley, on the other a dreamy moment of remembrance lit up by the promises of the posters, the smooth, soft resonance of Cole's voice cradled in the lush arrangement of the song, and the glow of studio lights that romanticizes even the drab, dirty brick walls and grimy street scene and gives the rain a glint of movie magic. It sets the culture and the tone of the film, a portrait of a working class neighborhood of post-war Liverpool stirred with the popular culture of the era and warmed by the director's happy memories. It also sets Davies style. There's no traditional story to speak of here, no dramatic conflict to send the characters off on a goal or motivating action to set a series of events in motion. Rather, Davies offers cinematic snapshots capturing privileged moments of Bud's life with pop songs and clips of movie soundtracks connecting the slivers of scenes. Davies' camera seems to float through the scenes and drift from one moment to another, as if one memory fading into another, and the effect is of time and space dissolving together. Bud takes in everything: watching his brothers and sister, all young adults or on the verge of adulthood, with adoring eyes as they work and josh and sing popular standards together in the family home; gently prodding his ma for enough pocket change to buy a matinee ticket and watching her melt into an indulgent smile as she opens up her purse; enjoying the strange adult world of affectionate insults and joking remarks as neighbors gather for a holiday celebration in their tiny kitchen. This remembrance of 1955 Liverpool has been recreated in a studio, where Davies' control has enabled an idealized recreation of his past, designed and art directed to a perfection possible only through the glow of memory. The quality of light throughout is astounding, from the change of seasons to the passing of the day, the temperature shifting through changing weather, and the beams catching dust in the air, whether through a window in a room or the beam of a film projector in a theater. But such childhood cannot last forever. Bud graduates to a new Catholic school he finds himself in a more hostile social environment where he's immediately targeted by bullies (Bud is among the smallest boys of the class) and disciplinarian teachers are quick to use a ruler on the hand for any infraction. Seen through his eyes, religion is about punishment and control, and his troubled relationship is evocatively captures with his fascination with and fear of the carved effigy of the crucified Christ hanging above the altar of his church, at once a beautiful sculpture and a brutal portrait of suffering. In contrast to the warm glow and relaxed atmosphere of family scenes, school is cold and regimented, with the occasional daydream bringing a brief moment of grace to the experience. It's no coincidence that the beam of light that picks Bud out of the rows of school desks as his mind drifts to happier thought echoes the flickering beam over Bud's head at his matinee screenings. The light of art and culture and family gatherings is Bud's idea of the Holy Spirit. Davies had a troubled childhood as he struggled with the realization that he was gay in a time when homosexuality was not only considered deviant, it was quite literally illegal in Britain. There is a hint of Bud's difference from others in the final scenes of The Long Day Closes but the overriding tone is one of celebration. The exacting textures and delicate moods, sustained in heavenly beams of light and the reflection of warm memories, gives the film a glow I've never seen in another film. For 85 minutes, Davies suspends us in the cradle of family and community and comforting memory. The specifics belong to Davies and his childhood in mid-fifties Liverpool but the evocation of comfort and affection and innocence in the thrall of movies and music and loving family is not beholden to any particular time or culture. Never before on disc in the U.S., Criterion releases the film on a Blu-ray+DVD Dual Format edition, mastered from a restored 2K film transfer supervised by Davies and director of photography Michael Coulter. Much of the film's experience comes through the quality of light and the texture of his recreations and this transfer brings them all to life. The colors are muted, like they've been aged, but warm and the image clean and clear and sharp even when his palette suggests the hazy glow of memory. Both discs feature a commentary track by Davies and Coulter recorded in 2007 and a 1992 episode of the British arts TV program The South Bank Show that profiles Davies and The Long Day Closes as he was being hailed one of Britain's great new directors. Both programs give Davies opportunity to reflect back on his childhood and his love of movies. Also features new video interviews with executive producer Colin MacCabe and production designer Christopher Hobbs. The accompanying booklet features an essay by Criterion's house writer Michael Koresky, who is currently finishing a book on Terence Davies. His essay is less about the film in particular than on Davies' distinctive approach to cinema and his use of autobiography. By Sean Axmaker

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

The United Kingdom's official entry, in the category of European Film of the Year, for the 1992 European Film Awards.

Released in United States Summer May 28, 1993

Released in United States July 2, 1993

Released in United States on Video March 30, 1994

Released in United States 1992

Released in United States September 1992

Released in United States October 1992

Released in United States September 1996

Shown at Montreal World Film Festival (out of competition) August 27 - September 7, 1992.

Shown at Toronto Festival of Festivals (Contemporary World Cinema) September 10-19, 1992.

Shown at Valladolid International Film Festival (in competition) October 23-31, 1992.

Shown at Vancouver International Film Festival (closing film) October 2-18, 1992.

Began shooting April 29, 1991.

Completed shooting June 21, 1991.

Released in United States Summer May 28, 1993

Released in United States July 2, 1993 (Los Angeles)

Released in United States on Video March 30, 1994

Released in United States 1992 (Shown at Montreal World Film Festival (out of competition) August 27 - September 7, 1992.)

Released in United States September 1992 (Shown at Toronto Festival of Festivals (Contemporary World Cinema) September 10-19, 1992.)

Released in United States October 1992 (Shown at Valladolid International Film Festival (in competition) October 23-31, 1992.)

Released in United States October 1992 (Shown at Vancouver International Film Festival (closing film) October 2-18, 1992.)

Released in United States September 1996 (Shown in New York City (Anthology Film Archives) as part of program "Best of the Indies" September 5-15, 1996.)