Dustin Manley comes from a long line of fishermen.

"My grandfather was a very important figure in the fishing industry for sure," he said. "He was a scalloper out of New Bedford for 40 years. His whole life. That's all my family does."

If you've ever visited the marina on Pope's Island in New Bedford, you may have seen a memorial to his grandfather, Martin Manley.

"I have a big family," Dustin said. "There are tons of Manley fishermen down there. If anybody knows the last name Manley, they know us from down at the waterfront."

There's no doubt about it.

A Loving Tribute

Dustin remembers his grandfather fondly. And he clearly remembers the catchphrase the old scalloper would use. It was a phrase so often spoken by his late grandfather that when Dustin decided to get his first tattoo in his grandfather's memory, he included it:

"Finest Kind."

Courtesy of Dustin Manley
Courtesy of Dustin Manley
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"His saying was always, 'Oh, that's the finest kind,'" Dustin said. "He'd say it when he saw something he liked. A woman, a nice car, anything nice. Anything really nice, that was 'the finest kind.'"

When Dustin got the tattoo with his grandfather's name on it, he knew he just had to include the phrase.

Finestkind: From Skin to Screen

He never would have dreamed that years later that phrase would become the working title of a major motion picture scheduled to begin filming here on the SouthCoast this month. The movie, Finestkind, will star Academy Award winner Tommy Lee Jones, among others.

"I was really surprised," Manley said about the movie title. "Somebody shared the Fun 107 article with me and said, 'Hey, doesn't your tattoo say that?' I was like, 'Wow!'"

Could Manley Be The Origin of Finestkind?

With Academy Award-winning writer and director Brian Helgeland hailing from New Bedford, one has to wonder if he may have interviewed a fisherman or two who knew of Martin and his catchphrase, a term long-known in mariner circles but which Manley certainly seems to have popularized around the city's waterfront.

There's a chance Helgeland may have met the old scalloper himself, considering that he wrote the movie 20 years ago.

One thing is for sure.

Somehow, Helgeland was exposed to the "finest kind" phrase and it stuck with him.

What remains to be seen is if Finestkind will indeed be of the "finest kind."

Read More about the Finestkind filming in New Bedford and Fairhaven

  1. A list of where and when Finestkind will be filmed in Fairhaven
  2. How to appear in the movie Finestkind and get paid.
  3. Fairhaven Restaurant feeding the stars of Finestkind.
  4. Movie Could Bring Stars to New Bedford This Spring

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