Movies for St. Patrick’s Day

Here’s a list of what I think are some of the best Irish-themed movies for St. Patrick’s Day:

The Quiet Man (1952)

John Ford’s love song to Ireland. Its cast includes most of the members of the Ford repertory company (John Wayne, Ward Bond, Maureen O’Hara, his son-in-law Ken Curtis, his brother Seamus, etc.).

Top O’ the Morning (1949)

A charming romantic comedy vehicle for Bing Crosby. I presume that a Scot like Bing identified as Irish because of his Irish-American mother—ethnic identity tends to run in the maternal line.

Luck of the Irish (1948)

Tyrone Power visits Ireland and comes back with a leprechaun in tow.

Young Cassidy (1965)

From Sean O’Casey’s autobiography, with the lead played by Rod Taylor.

The Fighting 69th (1940)

The story of New York City’s Irish-American regiment during World War I. It features most of Hollywood’s “Irish mafia”, e.g. Jimmy Cagney, Pat O’Brien, Alan Hale, Frank McHugh, etc. They were the Rat Pack before the Rat Pack.

The Informer (1935)

John Ford’s version of the novel by Liam O’Flaherty about the Irish war of independence, starring Victor McLaglen. It has one of the most heart-rending endings in cinema. Ford won an Oscar as director and McLaglen as actor in this film.

My Left Foot (1989)

Daniel Day-Lewis does an incredible acting job as Christy Brown, a young Irishman born with cerebral palsy.

Waking Ned Devine (1998)

Ned Devine has won the Irish Lottery but Ned is dead. The movie is about the shenanigans as Ned’s neighbors attempt to claim his winnings.

The Siege of Jadotville (2016)

This movie is about an action during the UN peacekeeping mission in Congo, one of the few times (if not the only time) the Irish Army has faced combat.

This is not an encyclopedia. There are many, many Irish-themed movies, some good, some awful. Since I’m sure someone will mention them, there’s a group of horror movies with vaguely Irish themes (leprechauns, ghosts, banshees, Celtic paganism, etc.) Most are execrable.

8 comments… add one
  • TastyBits Link

    The Quiet Man (1952)

    You will be condemned to the deepest level hell by the Social Justice Warriors. See you there.

    My favorite part is when he is dragging her back to the brother-in-law, and the old lady tries to give him a stick to beat her with. Another one is when the Catholic priest tells the crowd to cheer like Protestants.

  • PD Shaw Link

    Had family over yesterday for a birthday, and the question was posed to the wee little ones, what was their favorite Disney movie. The popular animation features were well represented, and I interjected, what about “Darby O’Gill and the Little People”? Blank stares.

    I think its a fun movie. I also like:

    The Secret of Kells
    The Commitments
    The Secret of Roan Inish

  • “Here’s foine big stick to beat the lovely lady with.”

    The Secret of Roan Inish and the The Secret Book of Kells are good movies. I only thought that The Commitments was so-so.

  • I should probably watch Darby O’Gill and the Little People again. I’ve only seen it once—in the theater when it first came out. I was too mature to enjoy it and not mature enough to enjoy it if you know what I mean.

  • Andy Link

    Since wokeness is all the craze, I’ll mention “The Crying Game.”

  • PD Shaw Link

    When watching Darby O’Gill, its useful to set your special fx interpreter to 1959.

  • Over the weekend I watched several episodes of the ITV television sci-fi/fantasy/horror series Sapphire & Steel starring David McCallum and Joanna Lumley streaming on Amazon Prime. It was ghastly. I had to set my special fx interpreter to BBC 70s which I presume would be even worse. That didn’t help much.

  • sam Link

    The Irish RM is charming. It streams on Acorn. Peter Bowles plays the RM.

Leave a Comment