The Secret Scripture

Synopsis: Roseanne McNulty must vacate the soon-to-be demolished mental institution in Roscommon, Ireland that she's called home for over 50 years. The hospital's psychiatrist, Dr. William Grene, is called in to assess her condition. He finds himself intrigued by Roseanne's seemingly inscrutable rituals and tics, and her fierce attachment to her Bible, which she has over the decades transformed into a palimpsest of scripture, drawings, and cryptic diary entries. As Grene delves deeper into Roseanne's past, we see her as a young woman, whose charisma proves seductive. We learn that she moved to Sligo to work in her aunt's café, fell in love with a dashing fighter pilot), and that a local priest fell tragically in love with her.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Jim Sheridan
Production: Apollo Media
  1 win.
Rotten Tomatoes:
108 min

My name is Rose McNulty.

I did not kill my child.

My name is Rose McNulty.

I did not kill my child.

Stephen, don't forget,

you'll need the deeds.

- Do you have the keys?

- When I get back tonight.

I'll be sure to pop around

on the weekend.

People say this is where

she killed the child.

Now, we just

need this woman

to be reassessed

so we can move her

to the new facility.

Once you meet her,

I believe you'll have her

signed out by lunchtime.

I'm not sure why they

needed to send someone

as eminent as you, Dr. Grene.

Come in.

Good morning, Florence.

I've brought a young man

to see you here.

Roseanne Florence Clear?

No. Roseanne McNulty.

I'm the wife

of Michael McNulty.

We have a son.

Can you tell me, Roseanne,

what age are you?

That's no question

to ask a lady.

What age are you?

Hello, Mrs. Magpie.

How's your husband?

One for sorrow,

two for joy.

Which are you?

Number two.

Dr. Grene.

Dr. Grene.

You can't stay here forever,

can you, Roseanne?

I will, thank you.

You're real.

We might have to move

you to a new facility.


I'm staying here.

- Until when, Roseanne?

- Until I want to leave.

We're turning this place

into a hotel and a spa.

Then I will stay

in the hotel.

I'm finished speaking now.

Caitlin, how many are ready

for the bus tomorrow?

Eight, doctor.

I thought there was nine.

One passed, doctor.

Her friend Joe Grady

from ward five.

- Oh, that's sad.

- Tell me, doctor is...


She has ears that can

hear through walls.

Eyes in the back

of her head.

She's seeing stuff

all over the place...

visions, apparitions.

She just can't function

in the real world.

Ah, the real world.

Tell me what direction

that is again, Dr. Hart.

Ward three.

Ward three.

I must remember that.

Okay, thank you, Audrey.

So, these are the plans here.

As you can see,

quite an extensive thing.

And they're going to build

a walk all the way around.

Oh, watch this.

Wait until you see this.

Watch this.

And she'll stop...

...and proceed.

She's living in her own

little purgatory.

I'm not saying

the new facility is heaven,

but it's time to tick

the box, doctor.

Here we are.

It's sad, I know.

That's it, you're sad.

Yeah, that's it.

Sure, I know, yeah.

But we're grand.

We're grand.

Ah, there's Margaret.

I know.

Throw that out.


Oh, my Lord,

what are you doing?

What are you doing?

They're my things.

Oh, my Lord.

Oh, my God.

What have you done

with my Bible?

Those are my books.

Give them back to me.

- What are you doing?

- I'm only doing my job.

Nurse Caitlin?

Nurse Caitlin?

Nurse Caitlin!


What on earth?

What on earth.

- Nurse Caitlin!

- Calm down!

Stop! Stop!

Please, please.

My things are in there.

- Please don't drive...

- Rose, what's going on?

- My diaries.

- She took the keys.

- Everything in my scripture.

- Hey, get back in the truck.

- My scriptures.

- Rose, what's wrong?

That's me in there.

Me. My life.

What's going on, Florence?

- What's going on?

- Keep away from me.

Don't let him

come near me.

- Don't let him come near...

- Go back to your work, nurse.

- Calm down.

- Go back to your work.

- I'm sorry?

- I said go back to your work.

- She's looking for her diaries.

- I know. I know.

- She's fine, she's fine.

- Leave her alone.

- Let her go.

- This is a medical matter.

Isn't that right,


- This woman's hysterical.

- Why did you throw

- her stuff out?

- Because she has to leave,

that's why.

She has to leave.

Isn't that right, Florence?

There you go.

All right,

this'll calm you down, okay?

There you go.

There you go.

- Here.

- Thank you.

Can you lower the skip,


All right.

Keep your feet up now.

That was a medical matter.

Nothing to do with you,

do you understand?

Nothing to do with you.

Nurse, looking in skips

has got nothing

to do with you.

I'll make it part

of my evaluation then.


Are you saying

you're going to take


for this patient?


All right, well,

in that case, nurse!


Don't leave the patient,

do you understand?

Make up your mind, doctor.

You have until Friday,

Dr. Grene.

- Get all this stuff out.

- Right, yeah.

Hey, hey, hey.

That's her Bible.

Give it here.

Get all this stuff...

All this stuff up to her ward.


How do you feel?

Like someone took my soul.

You see,

they took my cross.

Your cross?


I'm sorry, Rose.

Rose, will you read it?


So, that Dr. Grene

can reevaluate you.

Oh, does that mean

I can stay?

It means you won't

have to leave tomorrow.

Oh, tomorrow?

I've been here

for 40 years.

My child

was born out there.

Who will remember my baby?

I want to hear

your story, Rose.

Do you have ears

to listen?

The undertaker

doesn't need his ears.

He should rent them out.

Who is the undertaker?

- The other doctor.

- Oh, right.

"January 4th, 1942.

I write these words

in secret,

in fear, and in terror.

I need to find

a relative to claim me,


I am here forever,


to a living death.

My childhood was happy.

I was happy in County Sligo. "

I got my music

from my dad.

I loved my dad.

When my dad died,

my mother's heart

died with him.

She stayed in

her mourning clothes

mourning night and day

until they took her away.

Stayed in her mourning

clothes night and day

until they took her

from me.

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Sebastian Barry

Barry is thoroughly Irish, born in Dublin and whose mother was the late Irish actress, Joan O'Hara. He attended Catholic University School and Trinity College, Dublin, where he read English and Latin. Barry's literary career began in poetry before he began writing papers, plays and novels. He was also editor of Icarus, the Trinity College student magazine. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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