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!
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