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    Five Great Movies to Watch on St. Patrick’s Day

    Five Great Movies to Watch on St. Patrick’s Day

    Sláinte agus táinte!

    Today is St. Patrick’s Day. If you don’t have plans to go out for a pint tonight, you may want to just watch a movie at home. There are lots of great films that would fit this list but I’m limiting it to five of my favorites.

    All of these films are available on Netflix so pick up some Guinness on the way home, I recommend pub draft in cans, and watch a movie.

    5. The Quiet Man

    This 1952 classic stars John Wayne as Sean Thornton, an American ex-fighter who moves to Ireland in hopes of reclaiming a family farm. He falls in love with a local woman played by Maureen O’Hara. They marry but the honeymoon is cut short as Thornton finds himself caught in a feud between his new wife and her brother.

    There are plenty of funny moments along with a great love story and a drunken brawl to boot. It won two academy awards for direction and cinematography. The film is unrated and is safe fun for the whole family.

    4. The Field

    This sleeper from 1990 stars Richard Harris as Bull McCabe, whose family has cared for a field for generations. When an American man shows up in the village and wants to buy the field, things go downhill quickly.

    The story explores very serious themes of family, religion, cultural divides and crime. It’s rated PG-13 but isn’t a good pick for kids. It’s also not the movie to watch if you need cheering up.

    However, Harris and the rest of the cast turn in top notch performances. It’s also a brilliantly crafted story based on a play of the same name by Irish playwright John B. Keane.

    3. The Commitments

    This 1991 comedy centers around a group of working class friends in Dublin who form a soul band.The ensemble cast is great. There are plenty of laughs and the songs – while not Irish – are outstanding as well.

    This is an excellent choice if you’re looking for something fun. Rated R for strong language.

    2. Angela’s Ashes

    Angela’s Ashes is a 1999 film adaptation of a memoir by Frank McCourt. It follows his family’s life from extreme poverty in the slums of Limerick to his eventual chance for a better life.

    Along the way, we see the departure of his alcoholic father and the struggle of his mother to hold their family together. Be forewarned, this is not a happy movie. It is however a well made film which offers an honest depiction of life among the poor in 20th century Ireland. Rated R for nudity, adult themes and language.

    1. Waking Ned Devine

    This 1998 comedy is set in a tiny Irish village which attempts to cash in on a lottery ticket when the ticket’s original buyer is found dead from the shock of winning.

    Lots of laughs ensue in the process. It’s a fun story of community and family as well. Rated PG.

    If I left out one of your favorite Irish films, leave your title in a comment.

    Otherwise, have a happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day!

    Featured image via YouTube.


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    Tom Servo | March 17, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Glad you put in “The Quiet Man” – to me, that is the quintessential John Wayne film, even though it is much different in tone than his work in westerns. Fans of John Ford will recognize a host of Ford regulars making up the cast of the Quiet Man, and Maureen O’Hara sparkles in what may be her best performance.

    One amusing note from the Wiki stub about John Ford and the studio: “One of the conditions that Republic placed on Ford was that the film run under two hours. However, the finished picture was two hours and nine minutes. When screening the film for Republic executives, Ford stopped the film at approximately two hours in, on the verge of the climactic fistfight. Republic executives relented and allowed the film to run its full length.”

      tom swift in reply to Tom Servo. | March 17, 2017 at 1:09 pm

      Unfortunately The Quiet Man is one of the movies I thought Ford ruined, in a Disney/Spielberg sort of way, when his technical manipulation became too obvious to ignore. Once noticed, it’s as obvious as if Leonardo had painted Mona Lisa with a big yellow smiley face. At some point, it becomes too difficult for the audience to go along with that whole “illusion of reality” thing, which is what makes movies, well, movies, rather than mere light shows.

      And, for those who haven’t noticed what I’m going on about, I won’t say. If you haven’t noticed, go ahead and enjoy the movie.

        harkin in reply to tom swift. | March 17, 2017 at 5:54 pm

        Lighten up Francis, everyone saw Duke’s toupee slip a few times.

        One thing I especially like about TQM is that Ford had Maureen O’Hara whisper “I’ll be wanting the penis now” in Duke’s ear for the last shot.

    scaulen | March 17, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    All those movies are fine and dandy for the elders but it’s a good night to watch either The Boondock Saints, or In the Name of the Father.

    mariner | March 18, 2017 at 1:12 am

    I like The Secret of Roan Inish.

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