Terrific movies with an Irish brogue for a St. Patrick’s Day marathon
While I’m of German and Polish descent, I’ve always been fascinated by the Irish culture, including the delightful lilt of an Irish brogue, Irish music and the history of the country, including “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland.
With St. Patrick’s Day coming up this weekend, I’ve put together a list of my favorite movies with an Irish theme or locale. This list includes dramas, comedies, a drama with music, a movie with Sean Connery singing and, of course, the most popular Irish-themed movie in American film history. In alphabetical order, here is a list of 11 movies that will help you feel both the luck of the Irish and the sorrow of the Irish. (DVR alert: Shake Hands With the Devil at 2:15pm and Young Cassidy at 6pm will be shown on Turner Classic Movies on March 17.)
A romantic melodrama set against the backdrop of the politically charged era of the Troubles. John Lynch stars as a man who is a reluctant member of the IRA involved in the killing of a policeman. He then falls in love with Marcella (Helen Mirren) the widow of said policeman. The cast also includes Ray McAnally and Donal McCann and features a fabulous soundtrack by Mark Knopfler and was directed by Pat O’Connor.
The Commitments (1991)
A delightful comedy-drama with music from Alan Parker (Fame, Midnight Express, Evita, Pink Floyd The Wall) about a group of young Dubliners who have fallen in love with American soul music and decide to form the hardest-working band in Ireland. The soundtrack was more popular in America than the film.
Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959)
This isn’t really a great movie, but it’s priceless for introducing us to Scotsman Sean Connery as a singing Irishman. Plus, I had to include one movie with leprechauns and a pot o’gold didn’t I?
An Irish film in the style of Robert Altman featuring dozens of characters whose relationships are spun together in ways one doesn’t expect, or as the description on imdb.com notes: “A variety of losers in Dublin have harrowingly farcical intersecting stories of love, greed and violence.” The incredible cast includes Colin Farrell, Kelly Macdonald (Boardwalk Empire), Cillian Murphy and Colm Meaney.
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