My favorite Irish movies

The Quiet Man poster (Picture via Wikipedia)

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When John Ford brought Maureen O’Hara and John Wayne together in The Quiet Man, he did Ireland a great service, but also stereotyped Ireland. Don’t get me wrong here! I love the movie, I own it on DVD and we watch it about three times a year. Well my husband is a devoted John Wayne fan, so I am coerced to watch it two out of three times per year.

The Quiet Man is a lovely Irish film, but don’t stop there if you want to watch a good Irish movie. There are plenty more thought-provoking and funny Irish movies to give a broader and more authentic view of Ireland and the Irish people. Here are a few that I love to watch. But before we go there, let me take you here; my favorite scene in The Quiet Man. Yes it is “twee” but what’s the harm in an occasional cup of twee?

Top of the list for honesty and authenticity for its depiction of urban Irish life is The Commitments. It is all good here; the Dublin accent, the music,the comparison of the Irish being the blacks of Europe, a group of Irish starting a soul band, and did I mention the music?

In second place for depicting the importance of ownership of land among the rural Irish is The Field.Was there ever a more brutal Irish man than Richard Harris as the Bull McCabe in this movie?

The third Irish movie that I highly recommend is In Bruges. The great Brendan Gleeson says one of my favorite lines of all times in this movie. Colin Farrell asks him if he believes in heaven and has he killed anyone. Gleeson answers, “Well I’ve killed a few people, mind you they were bad people.” Ralph Fiennes gives one of his best performances in this film.

Finally and this brings me right back to a cup of “twee,” I really do like Waking Ned Devine. Stellar performances from all involved. Having watched my mother scrutinize her lottery ticket every drawing, I can tell you that there is more truth to this movie than you might believe.

Well, there they are. You don’t have to wait until March 17th, Saint Patrick’s Day to watch them! They are all good. I’d throw in My Left Foot, but I need it to get around. There is also Agnes Browne, but I have to be honest and say that this one is very Irish, I don’t know if it would make connections with broader audiences. Also, The Guard, filmed in my part of the country, Galway, is a black comedy, my favorite, with probably the funniest opening scene I have ever seen. Brendan Gleeson is a very funny guy, that’s all I am saying.

That’s all I can think of right now. If you have any suggestions let me know!

OK, the husband reminded me that I’m a “gobshite.” I forgot The Snapper and The Van. And Liam Neeson’s early work, really good stuff, Lamb. My niece in Australia likes Into The West with Gabriel Byrne……can I just swoon a bit. Thanks very much, I’m fine now.


7 thoughts on “My favorite Irish movies

  1. Good memories of “The Quiet Man.” I grew up with that movie. I’ll never forget the “bup, bup, bup, bup, bup, bup, da da da da…” of the horn in the soundtrack. Great selection of films. Gonna have to pull out John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara (with her “mercenary heart”) and watch that film again. Thanks for putting it back on my radar.
    Just started “The Great Hunger.”
    Have a great week Loretto!

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