Released in 2001 and directed by Jeff Probst, Finder’s Fee is a North American film centred on a man who finds a wallet containing a lottery ticket worth six million dollars, and the consequences of his decisions regarding the ticket.
The Plot of Finder’s Fee
The story of Finder’s Fee revolves around a man named named Tepper, played by Erik Palladino. Tepper lives in a small village in Greenwich, and spends his days assisting his elderly neighbour Mrs. Darmsetter, as well as going out to play poker with his friends, Quigley, Bolan, and Fish. Tepper has a girlfriend, Carla, whom he loves dearly and plans to propose to.
As Tepper and his friends spend much of their time playing poker together, they have all vowed to not check the winning numbers of any of the lottery tickets that they add to their total ante for poker games. Whoever wins the final five man standing poker game wins the entirety of the pot, and it is this rule that creates the premise of the rest of the film.
While on his way to Carla one night, Tepper comes across a wallet lying on the street. Upon inspecting the wallet, he is unable to discover the owner of the wallet, and decides to do what he can to identify the owner. Not long after, he finds a lottery ticket hidden in the wallet, and after checking the numbers, realises the ticket is worth $6 million.
Tepper finds himself at a loss, as the money would help set his life up with Carla, but at the same time, he does not wish to break the vow he made with his friends. He then discovers that the wallet and its contents belong to a fireman named Avery, who is also a regular poker player at their games night. Tepper decides to swap the ticket with the ticket of his own before arriving at the poker game, and realises that Avery will be joining them for the poker. The rest of the night Tepper goes through a range of emotions, such as the guilt of what he’s done, and the suspicion that Avery has figured out what he has done. His own suspicions of Avery continue to grow as Avery exhibits strange behaviour, as well as the fact that the local police are searching for a man of Avery’s description.
Despite all this, Tepper decides to play poker anyway, hoping to win the pot and the lottery ticket. By the end of the game, Tepper realises that he has the winning hand, but decides to fold, meaning that nobody ends up winning. Soon, Tepper’s friends begin to learn the truth of what has happened, and a small fight breaks out, leading to Avery being injured. Tepper then decides that the ticket rightfully belongs to Avery, and gives the ticket back to him, after which Avery leaves. Not long after, there is a knock at the door which Tepper answers, and behind the door is the real Avery, and Tepper realises that they were all fooled by the fake Avery.
Finder’s Fee Verdict
Finder’s Fee is an interesting take on the way people can be manipulated and lead on beyond the Poker table, and the surprise ending makes it worth a watch.