St. Patrick's Day playlist- the movies

To steal from An Gadai’s music thread, what about films? They could be Irish, about the Irish, or have a cute Irishman in 'em! :wink:

Here’s a few of mine-
The Irish in Ireland & England-

The Snapper and The Van- basically, Colm Meaney, Roddy Doyle and Stephen Frears having way too much fun.

The Commitments, an Alan Parker/Roddy Doyle film about young musicians in Dublin. Say it with me- “I’m black and I’m proud!”

Waking Ned Devine- great fun, and the most shocking nude scene ever! :wink:
The Irish in Ireland & England (subset, the Troubles)-

Cal, starring John Lynch & Helen Mirren. A young man on the fringe of the IRA falls for the Catholic widow of a Protestant policeman.

Some Mother’s Son, a fictionalized account of the 1981 prison hunger strike led by Bobby Sands. The cast is great- Helen Mirren, Fionnula Flanagan, Ciaran Hinds, John Lynch (small part but worth it) and a bunch of other talented people.

The Crying Game- yeah, I know that the film is infamous for the “big reveal” but it’s also a good little IRA kidnap & revenge film from Neal Jordan, who makes great atmospheric movies.

Michael Collins, another Neal Jordan film, about the failure of the 1916 Easter Rising and the subsequent formation of the Irish Free State. Stars Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn, Alan Rickman and Stephen Rea (and unfortunately, Julia Roberts). Flawed but worth a look.

In The Name of The Father, from Gerry Conlon’s book, about the family wrongly accused in the Guilford pub bombing and their lawyer’s struggle to free them & clear their names. Daniel Day Lewis did a very good job, amply supported by Emma Thompson, Pete Postlethwaite, John Lynch & Tom Wilkinson, among others.

The Irish in America-

The Brothers McMullen, an early tour de force from Edward Burns.

Far and Away- okay, now, stop that snickering in the back. It’s not that bad.

Gangs of New York- the 1860’s persecution of Irish immigrants by descendants of British and Dutch immigrants. Fantastic work by Daniel Day Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio and Liam Neeson, and surprisingly good work by Cameron Diaz.
The music-

If I Should Fall From Grace- the Shane MacGowan Story- stunning look at Ireland’s drunken poet.

Out of Ireland, tracing the growth and evolution of Irish music.
Please feel free to share your list!

The Boys and Girl from County Clare

The King of all Irish movies:

The Quiet Man - John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, Barry Fitzgerald, Ward Bond, Victor McLaglen

The Butcher Boy & Breakfast on Pluto are probably my two favourite Irish films. Both based on novels by Pat McCabe and directed by Neil Jordan.

You can’t mention the Irish in America without including Jim Sheridan’s, uh, In America. A woefully underrated and overlooked classic with an ending that will reduce you to tears. Guaranteed.

Patriot Games - Jack Ryan runs afoul of the IRA when he intervenes in a terrorist attack.
Circle of Friends - A fat Minnie Driver falls in love with Chriss O’Donnell at an Irish prep school
Michael Collins - Liam Neeson actually playing an Irishman for once as the titular character.
The Boxer - Daniel Day Louis flick set in Ireland
The Devil’s Own - Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford star in this movie about a young IRA terrorist who is taken in by an unknowing New York policeman.
The Englishman who went up a hill and came down a mountain - Hugh Grant and Colm Meaney.

Ditto for The Quite Man"

A favorite from when I was a kid - Darby O’Gill and the Little People

If for no other reason than to see Sean Connery (very young!) sing a whole song!! :smiley:

I nominate Inside I’m Dancing, also called Rory O’Shea Was Here. A very poignant movie, fabulously acted, and so essentially Irish in an unusual way. :slight_smile:

Cute movie, but this takes place in Wales, not Ireland.

Not as famous as many others listed, I’d be willing to argue that Carol Reed’s Odd Man Out, starring James Mason as an IRA nationalist on the run after an armed robbery, is better than any other film listed in this thread thus far*.

*I’ll make an exception for The Crying Game

Odd Man Out starring James Mason as a doomed IRA ‘soldier.’ Somewhat forgotten, but utterly fantastic movie about ‘the troubles.’ Also features William Hartnell (the original Doctor from “Doctor Who”) in a small part as a bartender.

I Went Down- two small-time crooks. One has great shoes. The other goes down. Written by Conor McPherson, who is quite a good playwright and whom you may know from ‘The Weir’

Trojan Eddie- Eddie sells things.

Edit: The bar in Odd Man Out is meant to be The Crown in Belfast. It’s just a mockup, but it give you a sense of how beautiful the real pub is.

Not picking on you unnecessarily, msmith537, but:

IMO this is utterly woeful and shouldn’t be on the list.

This is bad for Brad’s accent, and his ability to cross the Atlantic on a tiny little fishing boat, though good for the line, regarding corned beef and cabbage: “Never heard of it”. (It’s bacon and cabbage in Ireland.)

While Mr Meaney is Irish, this is set in Wales, and is nothing to do with Ireland at all.

I second The Quiet Man, and add two Irish gangster flicks: the hilarious In Bruges, and the sadly overlooked but also very funny I Went Down.


The Secret of Roan Inish, written & directed by John Sayles, is chock full of Irish characters, legend & beautiful scenery.

On the other hand, we have High Spirits–a somewhat good film about an impoverished Anglo-Irishman trying to save Castle Plunkett from foreclosure. It’s been a castle-hotel; why not bill it as a Haunted Castle Hotel? Let the faithful retainers (characters all) pretend to be ghosts. Silliness ensues until the real ghosts decide to act up. More silliness ensues.

This could have been a good movie, but things went awry. Still, we have Peter O’Toole as Peter Plunkett, devouring the scenery with great relish. Plus young Liam Neeson as a ghost. And a fine figure of a man he is…

Have you seen The Butcher Boy? A much better film IMHO. I liked Odd Man Out, it looks gorgeous but the mishmash of accents ruined it for me a bit. James Mason sounds almost like he attended Eton and Belfast (or is it Derry?) is treated more like a provincial English city. I know it wasn’t trying to be a documentary but I found these things annoyed me a bit. As far as a film that tells you about Irish culture or facets of it I think The Butcher Boy is far superior.

There is always Ryan’s Daughter, a haunting and tragic movie with a cold blooded scene of a fleeing rebel shot down at long rifle range. I think the outdoor stuff was filmed on the Dingle Peninsula. It is set in the aftermath of the Easter Rising in the rural West.

Once was a great movie.

I came in to mention the Van and The Snapper. Along with The Commitments they comprise the Barrytown Trilogy.

More films that were course favourite:

Into the West- Two young Traveller brothers and a horse, magical realism-ish
Wind That Shakes the Barley- 1916 through to the Irish Civil War. Crushing.
When Brendan Met Trudy- Nice young man meets con artist

The ‘If you’ve read Ulysses’ list:

Bloom- the director claims to have made it for people who haven’t read the book, but it’s confounded every non-reader with whom I’ve watched it.