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Waking Ned Devine
© 2000 by Dan Toepperwein

A scene-by-scene analysis of Kirk Jones's 1998 film

Storyline: Scene by Scene
About the writer/director
What makes this film so great?
What is wrong with this film?
Conclusion

Storyline Overview

Someone has won a huge multi-million pound lottery! But when they discover who it is, they also find that he apparently died of a heart attack upon hearing the good news! The remaining 51 inhabitants of this small Irish village hope to pass off one of their citizens as the winner, so that they may claim the prize and divide it amongst themselves.

Storyline: Scene by Scene

I am using some techniques which can be used on anything of literary nature. I first go through the film scene by scene and simply note the observations of each. I then come back and synthesize each scene, adding a title summary and injecting with personal commentary when appropriate. This really helps to get the flow of the plot and especially helps reveal the sub-plots.

Opening Scene

There is a picture of the night sky and a narrator voice-over discussing the lottery. The myriad of stars implies that it is astronomical that you could win such a long shot. He ends by saying that it is of no importance 'but for the winners, those lucky sods!' And so the set up for the plot is in place and the tone of the film is also struck. The whimsical voice communicates clearly that this is not a high action film nor anything 'noir', but it is going to be a light, fun, comedy.

Scene 1 "Annie, where's me ticket?'

The first two characters are Jackie and Annie, a retirement age couple. The scene opens with Jackie watching the Lotto on TV while Annie finishes dinner in the next room. He asks her to bring him his apple tart and she gives him the brush off. As they banter about who will bring in the tart, he excitedly announces that they have the fourth number!

Annie quickly joins him (bringing the tart in hand) as they call the remaining numbers. He acts as if they have won, but after the last number is called, he tears up the ticket. 'Didn't we win then?' she asks in astonishment. "No.. . but it did get me my apple tart!' is the punch line. This is a great scene for several reasons. First of all, the real trick is not played on Annie, but on the audience. Anyone that knows anything about this film knows it is about winning the Lotto. As the numbers are called it is assumed that this is the winning of the lottery. Jackie hasn't fooled just Annie that he is about to win the lottery, but he tricks the audience as well. Secondly, it introduces us to Jackie. He is a trickster... 'liar' would also be descriptive, but would be too harsh at this point. This scene also craftily introduces what will be the fundamental moral dilemma of the story - deception.

Scene 2 "Someone won in Tulaigh Mhor!"

Now we meet Jackie's friend Michael. The scene opens as the two are at the beach. Jackie tells Michael that the newspaper says that someone in the county has bought the winning ticket in the lottery and since the only town in the county is little Tulaigh Mhor where they live, it must be someone they know. They realize that it could be any one of the 49 other residents that are left and so they set out to deduce who it is, so that they might ingratiate themselves to the new rich friend.

Scene 3 "Is that your new red sports car, Flynn?"

[Note that each new scene introduces a new character in sequence of importance to the story line. Jones is very methodical.]

Enter 'Pig' Flynn, the middle aged local pig farmer, and Maggie his love interest and her son Morris (12 yrs +/-). Flynn is driving a new red sports car, much to the surprise of the characters in the scene and once again the writer/director - Kirk Jones - is throwing out a red herring to the viewers as well; for Flynn has not won the Lotto as might be assumed, but has only borrowed the car from his brother.

More importantly, it introduces the love plot - he wants Maggie to marry him, but she answers 'if it wasn't for the smell of them pigs!" Apparently she would marry him except for this one objection. The third person of the triangle will be introduced shortly in order to create some competition and spike the tension, but for now the fundamental love sub-plot is in place.

Scene 4 "I know who's won!"

Jones shows some subtle but effective filmography with the transition from just talking about the 'smell of pigs' in the previous scene to this where Jackie is taking a bath. Jackie announces that Pig Flynn is a suspected winner, just as Flynn stops by to ask Jackie to meet him at the pub so he can ask some advice (about money no doubt!) We just concluded Flynn wasn't the secret winner, but now he is suspect again! These twists of plot are well done and keep you guessing like a good 'who done it' mystery.

Scene 5 "A pint with 'Pig' Flynn"

Again, another scene and another character is introduced - Pat - the third leg of this love triangle. Pat is in the pub and assaults Flynn regarding his mal odor, while he himself claims to smell 'attractive to women' because of his cologne. A bit overdone on the smells theme, but it does readily identify him as the love triangle antagonist. Thinking that he might well be the lottery winner, Jackie and Michael try to ingratiate themselves to Flynn by giving him 'fruity soaps' that will help him with his job related handicap and his favorite 'crisps', but they find it a dead end - he only wanted advice about a sick pig.

Scene 6 "A broken toaster"

Next scene - next new character. Enter the antagonist: Lizzy Quinn is an elderly woman in a wheelchair. Although she will become the chief antagonist later, for now she is simply depicted as a sour old lady who doesn't want to pay for the repair work done on her toaster. This is intended to obviously slant our view of her as a rotten person. [Aside: The small town is really captured here in this scene... how many of us, if our toaster was broken wouldn't just toss it and buy a new one!]

Scene 7 "Green sleeves"

Now the two lovers meet up in the woods by an enchanting stream. Maggie is writing poetry of course (it's a little corny but it strikes the romantic setting) and Flynn introduces his new 'fruity soap' cure. But alas, though we are now convinced that Maggie really is fond of Flynn, she cannot come close because the smell "is still there!" The relationship takes depth and the tension continues.

Scene 8 "The Priest"

Now we introduce the priest, or at least the 'stand in' or 'temporary' priest. The regular priest is away on church business and now we have a meeting of Morris and the temp. Morris begins by asking "Can you play songs about Jesus?" To which the young priest replies "I wish I could." This leads to an interrogation where Morris asks has he seen Jesus, does he get paid well, etc. - obviously trying to find the priests motivation for choosing the 'collar'. The priest picks up on his inquisitiveness and asks if Morris is considering the ministry. Morris states humorously "I don't think I could work for someone I never met and not get paid for it!" So the priest is depicted a sad picture of someone who doesn't know Jesus, but wishes he did and is a dupe for working for someone he's never met and doesn't get paid for doing it. This is one of those scenes where the craft of humor is so well done that the negative image of the priest slips in unnoticed. [I'm reminded of what Dr. Hendricks once said, 'You can ram a lot down someone's throat, while they're laughing out loud.' He meant it in a Bible teaching context, but I think the director has discovered the same technique.]

Scene 9 "Chicken dinner"

Jackie now has a new plan for finding the winner. He gets a list of the regular lottery players and invites them to a dinner where he and Michael and Annie can mingle and feel out who it is. The syncopated music is very upbeat and gives an air of expectation to the scene. The love triangle intensifies as Maggie nestles with Pat making Flynn jealous, even as Jackie asks prodding questions of his guests. Finally Pat tries to catch Jackie off-guard and confronts him with "And what would you do if you had a fortune Jackie?" Never missing a beat Jackie shows himself to be quick on his feet, "Why I'd take what I needed and treat me friends with the rest!" he replies with gusto.

Scene 10 "Comparing notes"

Jackie and Michael discuss who it might be and come up empty, to which Michael concludes it's really Jackie and he is just "putting everybody on!" Jackie in turn accuses Michael. Instead of narrowing the list of suspects, at least for the audience, it is actually wide open now. Even the 'inner circle' of Jackie, Michael and Annie are suspect! This plot of suspects twists and turns like a roller coaster! Finally Annie announces that she has a plate left over. They quickly deduce that it was Ned Devine that didn't come.

Scene 11 "Dead Ned"

Jackie takes the dinner to Ned's only to find as we suspect - Ned is dead. His body is in the easy chair in front of the TV that is still on and he is holding the ticket in his outstretched hand. He heard that he won and the excitement was too much for his heart. King for a day? How about 30 seconds! A bit melodramatic - but I like it! You find yourself smiling and thinking 'at least he died happy!' This also marks the bridge in the plot. Up until now Jackie has only wanted to endear himself to the winner, but Ned is beyond endearing. The way that Ned holds the ticket out there is suggestive in itself. It is as if he is saying 'here take it!'

Scene 12 "Prayers in bed"

Jackie and Annie retire to bed and pray for Ned. "He was the sweetest soul." Annie exclaims. Save this thought. At first we pass it off as a euphemistic reflection on one recently departed, but we know nothing of Ned at this point.

Scene 13 "Dream sequence"

Jackie dreams that he is in a boat on the ocean with Ned. The mournful bagpipe music lends itself beautifully in this scene as it suggests the supernatural meeting with the deceased. Unlike many dream scenes in movies, I feel this one is well thought out. In the same way that our dreams often incorporate details of our day, so here they are incorporated into Jackie's dream. They are together in a boat on the ocean - appropriate because Ned was a fisherman. And what is Ned doing? Why eating his missed chicken dinner of course! There are a few loose or lame metaphors of heading towards the light and Ned saying "the tide will bring us in." They end up stranded on some rocks which appears to be a bad omen, but the real import of the scene is Ned telling Jackie it's OK to take the money - he doesn't mind at all. Evidentially this is necessary to the plot in the mind of the story teller, for it is Ned's money and what he wants to do with it is important for Jackie to have a moral green light to go after it. This is simply the rationalizing of taking the ticket. Jackie's not stealing the ticket, Ned wants him to have it! To take the ticket wouldn't be fraud or theft, it's fulfilling a dead man's desire!

Scene 14 "The clinch"

Jackie and Michael walk to Ned's in the rain as Jackie gives us the final moral rationalization. Ned has no family to leave it to. Jackie exclaims passionately to Michael, "Why think of the anger of his spirit, if we don't take this!"

Scene 15 "His intestines are leaking out!"

This probably the second funniest scene in the whole movie. I watched this film several times, with different friends and it consistently got the laughs. It goes from Michael mistaking an old chicken dinner for Ned's intestines to a slap stick routine of trying to wipe the smile off of Ned's face. His dentures fall out and it ends in a very giggly gross humor the British are fond of using. Evidentially it works on this side of the pond as well.

Scene 16 "Marriage proposition"

Pat comes to ask Maggie's Da' for her hand in marriage. He offers her security and even proposes that she and Morris could still live in the village. It's clear that he doesn't offer any true love, but he is simply ready to settle down. This is a set up scene to be contrasted with Flynn's proposal in a few frames, and it raises the tension bar another notch, for Maggie now has an offer and might slip out of Flynn's grasp forever.

Scene 17 "Stale bread"

Lizzy Quinn returns for a short confrontation over the purchase of bread that has no other purpose than to set her character as a greedy, mean, sour old woman.

Scene 18 "The plunge"

Michael and Jackie call the lottery to claim the winnings in Ned's name and then head to the beach where they will plan their deception so as to get it straight. Jackie will stay the night at Ned's and pose as Ned to the Lottery man when he comes.

Scene 19 "You've done well"

Morris and the Priest again converse. After their last scene together, the priest is wrestling with whether or not he has made a difference while at Tullymore, or if he has done any good at all. Morris tells him he has done well, but doesn't explain how or in what way. Clearly in Morris's and the director's mind, if you aim at nothing you'll hit it every time. There was nothing specifically expected of the church, just an impotent priest who offers no spiritual leadership or guidance and that's OK - or rather it's better than OK - he's done 'well'. This really smacks against the previous scene where the two have agreed to commit fraud and theft of over six million pounds.

Scene 20 "Skinny dippin'!"

A great shot of the two old men with wrinkled backsides heading into the water. There's just something about two naked old men going skinny dipping that makes everyone laugh! Actually I thought this is one of the most telling shots of the film. As you move through this story, one thing that happens is that you become enamored of Jackie and Michael. They have a friendship and a bond of which I am envious. As they tip toe across the rocky shore together, I can see them years ago as youthful boys on this very shore going swimming together. As the two get wet we get a quick shot of an ominous helicopter and the tension begins.

Scene 21 "Flynn's proposal"

Flynn stops by Maggie's' and saves Morris from a small gasoline fire that threatened to get out of control. It is obvious that, in contrast to Pat, he cares for Morris. "He needs his Pa!" Flynn tells Maggie's dad implying that he (Flynn) is the real father. "Your not the father!" her dad insists. Pat drops by for a quick male to male confrontation over the female. If you weren't on Flynn's side before you are now.

Scene 22 "The switch"

The Lottery man arrives by chopper earlier than expected and Michael suddenly becomes the candidate to impersonate Ned.

Scene 23 "The motorcycle"

The funniest scene in the movie. The upbeat Celtic jig music partners well with the frantic race to Ned's house by the naked Michael on the motorcycle. The fact that he has on the helmet adds to the ridiculous picture. This is why you want this on video or DVD - so you can play it over again and again.

Scene 24 "6,894,620 Pounds!"

More situation comedy as they try to get Michael dressed properly and with the ticket in hand that was left at the beach. The Lotto man says he'll be back to make inquiries in town to verify Ned's identity and leaves. Now there is a hitch in their plot to steal the money. According to Annie, Michael is not a good liar.

Scene 25 "Millionaires"

Another going to sleep scene only this time it's not Jackie and Annie, but Jackie and Michael. I suppose they are at Ned's in case the Lotto man comes early. Jackie realizes that they are going to have to let the village in on it or it won't work, so he rationalizes to Michael, "I don't think Ned would have wanted us to be millionaires."

Scene 26 "The pig farm"

Maggie visits Flynn at his pig farm and it intensifies the love connection. Maggie's repeats her confession that if it weren't for the pigs she'd marry him. He pleads his case that he is the true father, but Maggie won't confirm. So, if only there was a way out of pig farming - they could marry.

Scene 27 "Bed scene #3"

Annie was sure that they were going to go to jail, but now she decides to go through with it. The implication is that before when it was just them it was wrong, but if it evolves the whole village it's OK. It wouldn't be right to stand in the way of everyone! This is a prophetic set up for a scene with Lizzy where she will stand in everyone's way. Here the ground work is laid that it isn't right, but you should go along with the crowd.

Scene 28 "True love"

Flynn sings a love song.

Scene 29 "The Pact"

Jackie makes his announcement and everyone lines up to sign and seal it with a shot of whisky.

Scene 30 "The priest and Morris meet again."

The priest almost has an inkling of conscience here. The whole town is prepared to commit fraud for almost 7 million pounds and he wonders if Father Mulligan would approve? "Yes." the boy answers. So even the church turns a blind eye if there's enough at stake and everyone is for it. Then the priest wonders if everyone will leave Tulleymore once they have their winnings. "No," answers Morris, "they'll just spend it at the pub." In other words, you're selling out your moral integrity and the money that results will just be squandered anyway.

Scene 31 "Celebrating early"

Prophetically the celebration has already begun at the pub.

Scene 32 "Showdown with Lizzy"

Everyone has signed except Lizzy, so now the whole town turns out with insulting little bribes to try and persuade her to agree. She is going to hold out and if she reports them she'll get a reward of ten percent. "But we'll all go to jail." they say. "I'm after more than a nest egg!" Lizzy spits back. The real problem here is that Lizzy is painted to be a woman deeply embittered against everyone, but there has never been a reason given why. The only conclusion then is that the director is effectively saying that anyone who would stand in the way of everyone else's happiness must be a rotten kind of person.

Scene 33 "The Dirge"

A beautiful scene where they transport the casket to the church as everyone walks behind. A custom I have seen in a few countries, but never in America. The music and the dirge by the piper playing the penny flute are very moving. Such beautiful scenes as this are a big part of what makes this movie so appealing.

Scene 34 "In the Church"

As they begin the eulogy, the Lotto man enters the church and in order to keep up their deception they have to pretend it is not Ned in the casket, but Michael. Though Jackie delivers a well crafted monologue about how wonderful it would be to tell a friend you love him while he is still with you, still I can't get past the fact that there are no boundaries to their lying - even in a church! Even over the dead man's casket!

Scene 35 "Bull's eye!"

Jackie triumphantly brings the check to the pub and pins it to the dart board and the celebration commences. "Pig Flynn you're stinkin',... stinkin' rich!" sums up the atmosphere.

Scene 36 "The phones are still down!"

But what about Lizzy Quinn? They dismiss her even as she makes her way to an outlying phone box that presumably still works, in order to call the Lotto and blow the whistle. The tension mounts as the director skillfully uses frantic fiddle music to increase the tension - will she make it??? Even as she dials, the Lotto man by chance happens to be driving past that very phone box and almost runs it over, swerving at the last moment. If that's not enough of a chance happening, a van coming from the other way swerves to miss the Lotto man's car and instead it hits the phone box and launches it into a long suspended free fall over the cliff to the sea below. As the phone box goes airborne the fiddler snaps a string and when the box crashes on the rocks below the camera cuts to the people cheering in the pub. The driver gets out...it is the returning priest - Father!

Scene 37 "The real father"

Maggie talks to Jackie and confesses that Ned is the real father to Morris. Jackie tells her to take all the money, but she responds 'He can do without the millions, but he can't do without Flynn.'

Scene 38 "To Ned"

The parting glass is toasted by a seemingly random few of the people who have benefitted from his money. You'd think they would have all turned out or that there would be some significance to those who did.

About the writer/director

The writer/director, Kirk Jones, is a native of Bristol, England and went to film school in Newport in Wales. He then went to London to work in the film industry and concentrated on making commercials. Though some critics have taken a negative view of this background, Jones himself sees it as a benefit because it taught him the importance of keeping the audience's attention and making the story clear, tying up all the loose ends. At the script stage he would go back and read through and if nothing happens for 2 or 3 pages he'd work on that screen. He likes the plot to go in one direction and then suddenly switch to go in another. He was inspired by the old Ealing comedies and if you are familiar with them, you will notice that one of them, 'Whiskey Galore', is very much like this film. Set in World War II, Whiskey Galore focuses on the adventures of an isolated fishing village on the coast of Scotland. The closely knit villagers have a unity that is often only seen in family relationships, and when they conspired to steal a shipwrecked cargo of whiskey, they have no trouble keeping one step ahead of the navy officers who come to investigate. Many of the plot devices in Waking Ned Devine -- a dying old man, a village-wide conspiracy, a crabby town "witch", seaside car chases, comical courtships, alternating gatherings in the pub and church -- are lifted directly from Whiskey Galore.

What makes this film so great?

The filmography is what makes this movie so appealing. The camera shots are well planned and the scenic shots make you want to take a vacation to Tulaigh Mhor. The music is a big part of the filmography as well. From the Irish jigs, to the penny flute played at the funeral, to the frantic fiddle played in the pub, Jones shows great artistry the way that he blends the music with the tempo and pace of the story. This is also one of the funniest movies I've seen in a long time. Too often films use the same old tired gimmicks to get a laugh, but Jones has brought some freshness to the situation comedy. I have viewed this film six times with different friends and most enjoy the scene where they try to rearrange the expression on dead Ned's face, but the scene on the motorcycle is always a big laugh!

Another element that makes this such a pleasure to watch is the wonderful relationship between Jackie and Michael. All through the story it is apparent that they are friends the way friends were meant to be and Jones (as well as Ian Bannon and David Kelly) have done an excellent job of making this a friendship of which most viewers are envious. They skinny dip together like little boys, they share a bed in youthful innocence at Ned's house and they plot together like young boys would. It's as though they were friends as young boys and they have never grown up nor lost the charm of boyhood friendship. It is a romantic sentiment, this idea of having a friend for life, and unfortunately, it is a nostalgia in our fragmented society. This is what the show should of been about - friendship being more valuable and giving true happiness more than money ever could.

What is wrong with this film?

This story contains a number of philosophical or moral issues, some of which are greed, deception, the love between a man and a woman, and the value of the Church and Faith. Regarding greed, the film does and doesn't do a good job of dealing with that. In the beginning Jackie shares his knowledge of the lottery winner with his friend Michael. Again Jackie intends for he and Michael and Annie to split the millions, but when it become apparent that they will need everyone's help he quickly defaults to "I don't think Ned would have wanted us to be millionaires!" Although some may argue that he'll still get a large sum, nevertheless, true greed would have settled for nothing less than all of it!

Still later at the very end, Maggie turns down millions, (although if you do the math - Maggie, Flynn and Morris will have about mil between them!) in favor of Flynn being a father to Morris. If she reveals that Ned is the true father, Morris gets all the money (and thus her), but then Flynn would know he is not the father. The idea that having a father is more important than the desire for more money is a commendable philosophic declaration on greed, but the deception done to Flynn is horrific (this will be addressed in more detail later.) But for now I do commend that family and relationship is portrayed as more important than more money.The flip side is that all of the deception, fraud, lying and collusion is done for the love of money! The moral violation chokes the comedy.

The theme of deception continues with the relationship between Maggie and Pig Flynn. Towards the end of the film Maggie and Flynn agree to marry and she then reveals to Jackie that Ned is the real father of Morris. We know she's been to bed with Flynn at about the time Morris was conceived, because Flynn thinks he is the father of Morris. When you reflect on young Maggie at about 18 years of age engaging in sex with old wrinkled Ned (65 yrs?).... she's really not just a loose woman, but one with no scruples! Still Flynn is under the belief that he is the father and Maggie knows this and yet she feels that it is better to deceive Flynn into thinking that he is the father, so that Morris will have a dad that loves him. This is not a good way to start a marriage!

Another questionable area revolves around the conversations between the 'temporary' priest and Morris. The first sign of questioning the validity of the church comes when the priest is sitting at the piano and Morris asks "Can you play songs about Jesus?" The young priest replies "I wish I could." Though this is perhaps hidden under the supposition that he is asking about the priests' ability at the keyboard, still he does not ask "Can you play?" but includes the barb "songs about Jesus." The implication is that the priest doesn't really know Jesus and is not too sure about his own faith much less being a spiritual leader to others. Morris drives this home later in the scene when the priest asks Morris if he would consider the priesthood and he replies "I don't think I could work for someone I never even met... and not get paid for it!" The priest goes through the story letting the entire town conspire to commit fraud in order to steal millions and he never says a word. He later asks Morris if he is doing a good job, (apparently unsure of what he is supposed to be doing) and Morris responds that he is doing alright. Obviously the expectation of the church is to just keep quiet and turn a blind eye... or rather there is no expectation regarding the church! Most film critics didn't even touch upon the Morris/priest scenes and the few that did seemed to wonder why they were even in the movie.

Conclusion

This film is rated PG, so many would put it on their list of acceptable to watch movies... but should it be? Is the rating that Hollywood gives a film an acceptable guide for what is appropriate? They measure how much violence, sex, and foul language are in a film... is that a reliable grid? This film involves drinking, foul language, an unwed mother, lying and fraud, the gaping face of a dead man, an old witchlike character, two men in a bed together, a man taking a bath, public nudity on a motorcycle, and finally sacrilegious situations and conversations.

If we wanted to we could shoot it down by counting the swear words and the number of times people drink alcohol and we would have plenty of ammunition, but the real questions we have to address is if these kind of things are a necessary part of the story and do they either 1.] Present ungodly values as acceptable and desirable or 2.] show people living according to unrighteous principles and suffering no ill consequences for it. or 3] take a scoffing view of good moral conduct. (In other words, it doesn't have to present a 'Father Knows Best' everything is perfect Christian world view, but if it shows another then it should not deceptively omit the true consequences of such behavior. Seeing a man destroy his life through an illicit love affair says a lot about fidelity.)

A plot is a situation within which there are circumstances that create tension; and the action that the various characters take, and the ensuing result of that action to resolve the tension, is the working out of the moral or ethic statement. The idea that there is a temptation, the opportunity to get a lot of money, is what creates this story. The tension comes into play by making it such that there is a great moral dilemma involved in getting this money. They must commit deception and fraud to get it. Would you?? When there is a storyline such that you can project yourself into the situation and wrestle with the moral decision in your own mind.... That is exactly what makes for a good, suspenseful, and riveting story. The conclusion of any story should reinforce a solid moral position of doing what is right or suffering the consequences for doing wrong. Unfortunately this film glorifies dishonesty, fraud, lying, and deception all done for the love of money and makes a mockery of church and marriage and wholesome relationships in the process, which is a shame because otherwise it is a wonderfully made piece of art. Technically Kirk Jones is a great director, but the poor morality of his story line is his downfall.

This film could have been redeemed by utilizing a different ending. Any ending that would reestablish the morality or at least accuse or exhibit remorse over the moral violation would have set it back on the proper track. Although there could be several solutions, here is one alternate ending to demonstrate how Jones could have redeemed the moral pitfall of his story line.

First of all the townspeople have to think that Quinn has blown the whistle and they have lost the money. This leaves plenty of room for people to repent and express how what they were doing was wrong and that they shouldn't have done it to begin with - "and if they send the lot of us to jail, we'll only be gettin' what we deserve!" one of them would say. This would correct the proposition that it's OK to defraud the government (i.e. the Lotto). In the vein of the old Brother's Grimm story of the lady who sold her hair to buy her husband a watch chain while he sells his watch to buy her a beautiful hair comb, each sacrificially thinking of the other...Maggie decides she loves Flynn enough to marry him even though he smells of pigs, while Flynn has decided that for such a love he would give up his business and "I'll just hafta' find somthin' else ta do!" Each is willing to make personal sacrifice because of love, as opposed to the real story where they are presented as being in love, yet neither will make changes or allowances to be with the other.

Next change would be that as they confess their love for each other she decides they must have a relationship built upon truth, so she comes clean with Flynn regarding the true father of Morris. Though he is a little taken aback to find that he is not the father, still Flynn decides that he loves Morris as his own son regardless and so they marry for true love. To add a little twist at this point, Quinn would next appear in a scene where she is talking to the Lotto man and it turns out that she and Ned were old friends and Ned had confided in her about Morris being his son and he had shown her his will whereby he left everything to Morris. She is blowing the whistle, but only because she feels the rightful heir is being cheated. (She's not really so rotten after all!) When the truth of it becomes public knowledge, the townspeople (with Jackie as the leader!) insist that Morris be declared the true heir and the money put in trust for his future.

Next the Lotto man consults with Morris on whether he wants to pursue legal charges against the town for trying to defraud and cheat him out of his inheritance. (This would reinforce the wrong of what they were doing and show that it was not a 'victimless' crime but one committed against whoever the money should have gone to.) Morris has a spiritual meeting with the substitute priest where they discuss temptation, weakness, and forgiveness; and he then declines pressing charges saying 'After all they didn't really mean any harm. It was just greed got the better of them.' (Thus the priest redeems the spiritual and practical life giving role of the Church in the community. After all, he not only serves as a spiritual counselor to Morris, but he also helps save the town from going to jail!) The theme of Jackie and Michael's wonderful lifelong friendship could be reinforced in a scene where they console each other over the loss of the money....

Setting: Pub

Action: Jackie enters and sees Michael who waves him over. As he sits down the bartender serves him a beer.

Michael : "So, that's that then?"

Jackie : "Yes it seems so... young Morris will be a rich man indeed in about 11 more years when he gets his trust! It's all for the best I recon '. " (Takes a contemplative sip of beer.)

Michael : 'Are you not going to miss havin' all that money then?'

Jackie : "Well I'll tell ye, Michael. When we was in that church and I was talkin' about you like it was you instead of Ned in that coffin, I thought to myself...'Why, I'd give all the money in the world just to have my friend Michael back by my side! (Lifts beer in a toast.) So who's a poor man when he's rich in friends?!!! Here's to friends! (Freeze frame as the two touch glasses and a musical Irish jig crescendoes.)

Last updated: 12 April 2006
Updated by:
Matt Bynum