The Last of the High Kings (1996) Movie

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Ratings / Votes
6.2/ 10 (1179 Votes)

MPAA Ratings
Rated R for sexuality, brief language, and some drug use

Production Company
Irish Film Board [ie] - (funding)
Nordisk Film [dk]
Northolme Entertainment
Parallel Film Productions [ie]
Radio Telefís Éireann (RTÉ) [ie]

Production Designer

All Producers

All Directors


Release Date
(UK) - 6 December 1996
(Germany) - 16 October 1997
(Australia) - 6 November 1997
(Finland) - 5 December 1997
(USA) - 10 April 1998

Running Time

When school ends... and life begins.

abbey-theatre-dublin, absent-father, actor, actress, adultery, american, apology, aquarium, asphyxiation, bare-breasts, based-on-novel, beach, beach-party, bicycle, bikini, birthday, birthday-present, book, bouncing-a-ball, boyfriend-girlfriend-relationship, brain-damage, british, broken-rule, brother-brother-relationship, brother-sister-relationship,

Technical Support
RAT:1.85 : 1

Related Pictures

Pictures of The Last of the High Kings (1996) Movie not found

Full Cast

  1. Barry, Jason (I) as [Nelson Fitzgerald] <8>
  2. Brady, Gabriel as [Television Reporter] <23>
  3. Braiden, Des as (as Des Braden) [Teacher] <13>
  4. Byrne, Gabriel as [Jack Griffin] <4>
  5. Fitzgerald, Ciarán (I) as (as Ciaran Fitzgerald) [Noelie Griffin] <11>
  6. Hayden, Karl (I) as [Hopper Delaney] <10>
  7. Hayden, Luke as [Fireman] <33>
  8. Keating, Peter as [Ray Griffin] <15>
  9. Leto, Jared as [Frankie Griffin] <2>
  10. Lynch, Jack (III) as [Returning Officer] <29>
  11. Maguire, Oliver as [Billy] <31>
  12. Meaney, Colm as [Jim Davern] <6>
  13. Monks, Darren as [Davy Dudley] <14>
  14. O Regan, Mark as [Father Michael] <30>
  15. Presley, Elvis as (archive footage) (uncredited) [Himself]
  16. Rea, Stephen (I) as [Cab Driver] <5>
  17. Russell, Kevin (I) as [Figgis Twin #1] <19>
  18. Savino, Joe (I) as [Bus Conductor] <28>
  19. Walsh, Vincent as [Bobby Gallo] <18>
  20. Whyte, Mal as [Mr. Figgis] <21>
  21. Wilkinson, Graham (IV) as [Henchman] <32>
  22. Wycherley, Don as [Peter Colcannon] <26>
  23. Creighton, Kay as [Mrs. Figgis] <22>
  24. Haughey, Alexandra as [Dawn Griffin] <17>
  25. Mortimer, Emily as [Romy Thomas] <9>
  26. O Hara, Catherine as [Cathleen] <1>
  27. Pilkington, Lorraine as [Jayne Wayne] <7>
  28. Reid, Clodagh as [Mo] <24>
  29. Ricci, Christina (I) as [Erin] <3>
  30. Russell, Lisa (I) as [Figgis Twin #2] <20>
  31. Shun, Amanda as [Rainbow] <27>
  32. Stewart, Emma as [Jo] <25>
  33. Weldon, Renee (II) as [Maggie Griffin] <12>


  1. Comedy
  2. Drama

Full Plot

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. Anonymous Plot not found

Movie Certificate

13 (Argentina)
M (Australia)
14 (Chile)
K-12 (Finland)
PG (Singapore)
13 (Spain)
15 (UK)

Music Composers

  1. Convertino, Michael (I)


  1. Heinl, Bernd

Dress Designers

  1. Zophres, Mary


First Independent Films [gb]
Gativideo [ar] - (Argentina) (video)
Laurenfilm [es] - (Spain)
Miramax Films [us]
New Films International [us]

Film Editors

  1. Lovejoy, Ray


  1. Creaven, Kieran (licensing and research)
  2. Duncan, Jon (I) (assistant accountant)
  3. Graham, Irene (I) (location manager)


Frankie: Ah, look at them. Jane 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 "Jane," whichever one I happen to be dancin' with. No, I'm lookin' at a life sentence. Solitary confinement. What am I gonna do? Frankie: [Frankie wakes up hungover after partying to celebrate the end of classes] Seventeen years I've been waitin' for this day. Freedom. The oyster of my life about to open. Instead, it feels like a badger died in my stomach. And I've an awful feeling that nothing will ever change. [His mother enters the boys' bedroom] Cathleen: 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, and, and the smell of ya! You'd never think of helpin' out around the place, not in a million years. 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 findin' under your bed? Stained with what, I'd like to know? [She indicates his younger brother in the bed opposite] Cathleen: 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 growin' up. Shoulda had you put to sleep. Jack Griffin: [Frankie knocks on his father's door] Come in. I know this is an important summer for ya, Frankie, and, uh, I'm sorry that I'm gonna miss it. I don't even know if I'm gonna be back for your birthday. So, so just in case, I, uh... [He presents Frankie with a goldfish swimming in a bowl] Jack Griffin: Happy birthday, my boy. Frankie: [Frankie takes the bowl] Thanks. Jack Griffin: You're welcome. Now, you're goin' to University, and you're gonna need spendin' money. So here's what I suggest. You get yourself a summer job. Frankie: Da. About University. I don't think my exams went all that well. Jack Griffin: Ah, Frankie, you'll be fine, you'll be terrific. I know it! Frankie: I been thinkin', maybe I should go away, see the world or something. Jack Griffin: Oh, no, Frankie. Let the world wait for you! Frankie: Why do *you* always get to go away? Jack Griffin: Well, this is something that's very important to me, Frankie. There's even, there's even talk about a film. Frankie: What I'm tryin' to tell ya is that I probably won't even get into college! Jack Griffin: Ah, you know, Frankie, I remember, when I was your age, I felt, I felt exactly the same as you. Frankie: So, how did you do? Jack Griffin: Oh, I did, I did, I did great. Great. Well, in English. Frankie: Da, please. I'm serious! Jack Griffin: I know ya are, son. Look, um, do you have anything special lined up for the summer? Do you have, um, a girlfriend, maybe? [He laughs a little. Frankie doesn't answer and looks away in annoyance] Jack Griffin: Look, Frankie, "these few precepts in thy memory keep. This above all: to thine own self be true, for it follows as the day the night, thou canst not be -" Frankie: [Frankie finishes the quote from Hamlet:] "not be false to any man." Jack Griffin: Yes. [He looks defeated, but looks up as Frankie turns to leave, and he says urgently:] Jack Griffin: Frankie! There's special instructions for feedin' that fish! You can't over-feed him, or, or he'll burst! Frankie's mom: Did you commit sex with a Protestant? Frankie's mom: There are plenty of good Protestants. Frankie: Yeah? Frankie's mom: Yea. It's a shame they're all dead Frankie's mom: Up with the Republic! Up with the Republic! Cathleen: Have you forgotten about the Famine? Dawn Griffin: [trying to get his attention, as his mail has arrived] Frankie? Cathleen: How the Brits starved millions of our innocent people just so they could make cakes for that fat bitch Queen across the water? What about 1916? They shot down thousands of innocent Irish revolutionaries! Think of Parnell and Wolfe Tone and poor old Robert Emmet! And now you, you've become a Proddy lover! Dawn Griffin: [still trying to get his attention] Frankie. Frankie: [Frankie finally gets angry with his Ma's lecture and shouts] Most of the Irish revolutionaries were Protestant! Emmet, Parnell, Wolfe Tone - all Protestant! Half of the so-called heroes who you think of as havin' noble blood were Protestant! [She looks astounded. She looks over to Father Michael for help, but he nods apologetically. Frankie is right] Cathleen: [trying to rally her own spirits] I suppose Pearse was a Prod. And DeValera! Frankie: No. DeValera was American. That's how he missed gettin' shot in 1916! [repeated line] Nelson Fitzgerald: Nothing's ever gonna be the same. Cathleen: Romy Thomas. Her and the other one she runs around with. All hair and legs. Frankie: At least they aren't hairy legs. Cathleen: Ha. Watch it, mister. You know what those two girls are? Protestants! You stay away from them. There's an international conspiracy between Communists and Protestants, and I'm not havin' you in the middle of it! [Cathleen Griffin furiously confronts her next-door neighbor after he shoo'ed her youngest daughter off their adjoining wall] Cathleen: You! You! Yes, you with the head on ya! Get over here! How dare you order my child down from her own family wall! Mr. Figgis: Mrs. Griffin, I have no desire to be confrontational... Cathleen: This is our wall and my children have every right to walk on it whenever they wish! Mr. Figgis: All I'm saying is that my wife and family deserve a little privacy. This little girl is walking the wall, making gestures at my children. Now, surely you can see that this is... Cathleen: Let me tell you something. These are Griffin children. Pure Irish blood, descended from the High Kings of Ireland! They can walk their Celtic wall any time they want, day or night! We're a free people now! No thanks to the likes of you. Why don't you hump off back to Britain! Mr. Figgis: You seem to be under a misconception as to my nationality. Cathleen: You're a Proddy, aren't you! Mr. Figgis: I am Protestant; I am not British! Cathleen: Well, let me tell you something. My country has been a Republic for nearly thirty years and I'm not about to let our sovereignty be undermined by a bunch of blow-ins. Mr. Figgis: Madam, I was born and raised in Ireland. I am Irish through-and-through. I am not British, and I did not order this little girl down from her precious wall! I merely requested politely that she refrain from spying on my family. Cathleen: Spying! Spying, is it? Mr. Figgis: Well, all I meant... Cathleen: Oh, yes! The Brits accusing the Irish of spying! Well, this is one family you'll never conquer, you Proddy blood-sucker. Frankie: It wasn't like Da was a whole lot of use for anything when he was at home, but it always seemed empty when he was gone. Sorta shook the place. With a wave of his hat, he'd signal that I was once again man of the house. What that really meant was absolutely nothing. [Da returns to the cab to travel to New York. He flourishes his hat and misquotes a Shakespearian stage direction] Jack Griffin: And he exits, pursued by a bear. [Ray has finished reading to the family a Western story he'd himself written. Da stands, and while orating he leans to pick up a toy dog with hideous orange wheels] Jack Griffin: Silence! As Foreman of this year's Jury, I have great pleasure in presenting you with the Golden Dog for Literature Par Excellence. Outstanding. Congratulations. Dawn Griffin: Bleedin' stupid. Jack Griffin: It is not stupid. Cathleen: The boy's a genius, that's all there is to it. Frankie: When I was a kid, I used to wish for an ordinary family. Sometimes I still do. The only normal one is Noely, who has permanent brain damage from an illness when he was a baby. His body will grow up, but not his mind. He's the only one who doesn't drive me nuts. My Da's an actor. Always goin' abroad for some play somewhere, always lookin' for his big break into films. The rest of them share varying degrees of incurable insanity. It's amazing I turned out okay. [Da, Frankie's father, returns home by having the cab driver smash through the front gate. He steps out of the car, lifts a bugle to his lips, and delivers a small toot. He calls in a Shakespearian manner] Jack Griffin: Come forth, my family, come forth! And see what treasures thy father has brought thee. [He begins pulling presents from the back seat of the car and tossing them as the kids run to him: a large orange bouncing ball, a costume hat, and the like] Jack Griffin: By the way, somebody has to fix the gate. Frankie! Thou looks perplexed. Place upon thy cranium this hat and go forth. Not fifth. [Frankie carves lines on his bedroom wall like a prisoner in a cell, counting the days] Frankie: Today's the thirtieth of June. My exam results should come on the 18th of August. God, it's not long. Forty-nine days, then I'm dead. If I was a *real* rebel, I wouldn't give a damn. [first lines] Frankie: I had it all planned. College. A place of my own. Hang out all day in cafes with beautiful girls, with legs and blonde 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 the Fourteenth? Absolutely no idea. Ah, 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!

Other Titles

  1. L'ultimo dei grandi re (1996) (ENG)

  2. Summer Fling (1998) (ENG)
    (USA) (video title)

Shooting/Filming Locations

  1. Cape Breton Highlands, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada
  2. Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland
  3. Howth, Fingal, County Dublin, Ireland
  4. Seattle, Washington, USA


- Director 'David Keating (I)' (qv) met with hundreds of young actors and conducted casting sessions in Ireland, England and America to find the right actor to play Frankie.