Waking Ned Devine

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Details At A Glance

Category Comedy/Drama Main Menu Audio
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Interviews-Cast & Crew
Featurette-Making Ned Devine (8:01)
Theatrical Trailer
Year Released 1998
Running Time 87:10
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 4 Director Kirk Jones
Tomboy Films 
Universal Pictures Video
Starring Ian Bannen
David Kelly
Fionnula Flanagan
Susan Lynch
James Nesbitt
Case Transparent Amaray
RPI $36.95 Music Shaun Davey

Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
Macrovision ? Smoking Yes
Subtitles None Annoying Product Placement Yes, a little
Action In or After Credits No

Plot Synopsis

    Waking Ned Devine is an unusual movie in many ways. Firstly, its leads are two older, but still very sprightly, men. That in itself is a rarity unless your name is either Walter Matthau or Jack Lemmon. Secondly, it is a comedy, but more in the sense of it being a ripping yarn rather than a contrived and slapstick situation comedy. Thirdly, what the men and indeed the entire village gets up to is wrong, but it is so cheekily done that you cannot help but cheer for them, especially when the phone booth gets its just deserts. Waking Ned Devine won't have you rolling in the aisles with laughter, but it will have you chuckling frequently and delighting in the characters that inhabit this movie.

    Tully Moor is a small Irish village of 52 inhabitants. They are all honest country folk with nary a care in the world. It is pretty big news when Jackie (Ian Bannen) and his lifelong friend Michael (David Kelly) discover that one of their fellow villagers has won the State Lottery. Jackie, Michael and Jackie's wife Annie (Fionnula Flanagan) set about determining who the winner is, so that they can get in their good books. With only 52 possibilities, it shouldn't be too hard, now should it?

    It turns out that it is Ned Devine who has won the lottery. Ned lives on his own and has no family whatsoever. Unfortunately, Ned died from the excitement of winning the lottery, and Jackie discovers him stone cold dead in front of his television, still with his winning lottery ticket in his hand and still with a huge grin on his face.

    Who'd let such a prize go to waste? The only problem is that Ned has written his name on the back of his winning ticket, and so a scheme needs to be concocted quick-smart so that his winnings do not revert to the state, which is what would occur if the State Lottery official finds out that Ned is dead.

Transfer Quality


    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.

    The image is generally clear and reasonably sharp, within the limitations of the original source material. Shadow detail tends to be lacking, with many dark shots being impenetrably black. However, what needs to be seen in these scenes is seen, so this appears to be as much a result of the original cinematography as anything else. The opening few scenes were somewhat grainy, but this grain settled down once the movie really got going.

    The colours were somewhat variable, with the lower-lit scenes tending towards oversaturation while the more brightly lit scenes were more pleasingly rendered. Greens were surprisingly muted in this transfer, when I would have expected to see really lush and vibrant greens. Nonetheless, the colouration of many of the scenes was still gorgeous, just not as eye-poppingly vibrant as I expected.

    No MPEG artefacts were seen. Aliasing was not a problem, and film artefacts were inconsequential.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There is only the one audio track on this DVD; English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded.

    Dialogue is always clear and usually easy to understand, subject to the limitations of the sometimes quite strong Irish brogue. Audio sync was never a significant problem, although the earlier part of the movie may have been very subtly out of sync at times.

    The music was composed by Shaun Davey. As you would expect, it prominently features rustic Irish themes and figures. It is by no means omnipresent, but does nicely add to the scenes in which it can be heard.

    The surround channel had only limited use with this soundtrack. In essence, this was mainly a monophonic soundtrack. Music and the occasional special effect was limited to the front soundstage except for the storm scenes and the helicopter scenes, which were the only two sequences to feature any surround presence of any significance. By the time the storm sequence begins, you are so used to the front soundstage of this movie that the heightened rear presence comes as quite a surprise!

    The subwoofer lay dormant for almost the entire movie save for some nice, and unexpected, support given to the dream sequence.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Main Menu  Audio

Cast & Crew Biographies

Cast & Crew Interviews

Featurette - Making Ned Devine (8:01)

    Even though this is simply your standard Electronic Press Kit featurette, it is a lot better than most of its ilk. This one is at least worth watching.

Theatrical Trailer

R4 vs R1

    The Region 1 version of this DVD misses out on;     I can get by without my biographies. I can get by without my interviews. I can get by without my featurette. I cannot get by without my 16x9 enhancement. The R4 version is the clear winner here.


    Waking Ned Devine is a movie that grows on you. You know what the characters are up to is wrong, but it is done with such cheekiness that you cannot help but barrack for them, chuckle with them and share in their experiences. The DVD is nothing special, but there is nothing wrong with it, either.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Michael Demtschyna (read my bio)
21st November 2000

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
Display Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Denon AVD-1000 DTS AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials and the NTSC DVD version of The Ultimate DVD Demo Disc.
Amplification 2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
Speakers Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Hsu Research TN-1220HO subwoofer