The Last of the High Kings

Synopsis: It is 1977, Dublin rocks to the music of Thin Lizzy and the world is stunned by the death of Elvis Presley. Frankie, caught between acne and adulthood, has just completed his final exams in school. Convinced he will fail, he survives the summer organising a beach party, having lustful thoughts about two girls he believes are unobtainable and fending off the advances from a visiting American family friend, all whilst coping with his oddball family.
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director(s): David Keating
Production: Miramax
  1 nomination.
104 min



I had it all planned.

[Mid-tempo music plays]

College, a place of my own...

hang out all day in cafes

with beautiful girls with legs

and blond hair

that you could talk to about

The Stranglers and Hemingway

and who you could spend loads

of time in bed with.

Instead, I've blown my exams.

How absolute was Louis XIV?

Absolutely no idea.

Oh, God.

I've ruined my life

before it's even started.

They might as well take me out

and shoot me.

If I fail,

I'm gonna have to get a job.

I'm not cut out for that.

I'm too young to work.

Your time is up.

Now, put down your pens.


Look at them... Jayne Wayne

and Romy Thomas,

the fruit of the gods.

I'm never gonna slow dance

on a moonlit beach

and whisper, "I love you,

Romy... or Jayne,"

whichever one I happen

to be dancing with.

No, I'm looking

at a life sentence,

solitary confinement.

What am I gonna do?

[Introduction to Thin Lizzy's

"Jailbreak" plays]

[All shouting]



# Tonight there's gonna be

a jailbreak #

- # Somewhere in this town #

- [All shouting]

# See, me and the boys,

we don't like it #

# So we're gettin' up

and goin' down #

- # Hidin' low,

lookin' right to left #

- [Laughter]

# If you see us comin',

I think it's best #

# To move away,

do you hear what I say? #

# From under my breath #

- # Tonight there's gonna be

a jailbreak #

- [All shouting]

# Somewhere in the town #

# Tonight there's gonna be

a jailbreak #

# So don't you be around #

# Tonight there's gonna be

trouble #

# I'm gonna find myself in #

# Tonight there's gonna be

trouble #

# So, woman,

stay with a friend #


# You know it's safer #



# Breakout! #

- [Guitar solo]

- [Sirens wailing]


talking indistinctly]



[Girls giggling]

[Wailing continues]

Get down!

Come on, get down!


Hey, lads,

come on, get down.

Now, lads, boys.

Come on, get down.

Now, boys, come on.

Come on!



[Wailing continues]

Hey, lads, come back!

Come back!

[Sea gulls crying;

soft, soothing music plays]

[Sea gulls crying;

soft, soothing music plays]

[Dog barking]

17 years I've been waiting

for this day.


The oyster of my life

about to open.

Instead, it feels like

a badger died in my stomach.

[Footsteps approaching,

door opens]

And I have an awful feeling

that nothing will ever change.

[Echoing] You,

Frankie Griffin, are

a useless article.

You don't do

a hand's turn

from one end of the day

to the other.

Look at the state of ya...

eyes fallin' out of your head

with the drink.


And the smell off ya.


You'd never think of helping

out around the place,

not in a million years.

- [Floorboards creak]

- What do you think?

You think your shirts and

trousers get washed by magic

and march down the path

and throw themselves

up on the line?

Do you?!

And what about these socks

I keep finding under your bed?

Stained with what,

I'd like to know.

[Discordant notes play]

Ray's the only one

of you with any decency!

I was too soft to use

the wooden spoon on your arse

when you were growing up.

I should have had you

put to sleep.

[Hinges creak]

[Door slams]

Today's the 30th of June.

My exam results should come

on the 18th of August.

God, that's not long.

49 days, then I'm dead.

If I was a real rebel,

I wouldn't give a damn.

[Horn honking]

[Honking continues]


It's Da.

[Emergency brake engages]

[Birds chirping]

[Horn blares]

- Come forth, my family.

- Da!

- Come forth...

- [Laughter, dog barking]

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Gabriel Byrne

Gabriel James Byrne (born 12 May 1950) is an Irish actor, film director, film producer, writer, cultural ambassador and audiobook narrator. His acting career began in the Focus Theatre before he joined London's Royal Court Theatre in 1979. Byrne's screen debut came in the Irish soap opera The Riordans and the spin-off show Bracken. He has appeared in over 35 feature films, including Excalibur (1981), Miller's Crossing (1990), The Usual Suspects (1995), Stigmata (1999), End of Days (1999), Spider (2002), Jindabyne (2006), Vampire Academy (2014), The 33 (2015), and Hereditary (2018), and co-wrote The Last of the High Kings (1996). Byrne has also produced several films, including the Academy Award–nominated In the Name of the Father (1993). One of Byrne's most identifiable roles is that of Paul Weston in the HBO drama In Treatment (2008–2011), for which he won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for two Emmy Awards and two Satellite Awards. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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