From Ireland With Love | Must See Irish Films

For years film-makers and directors have flocked to Ireland to use its beautiful scenery as a backdrop for some of its productions. All you have to do is watch the latest installment of the Star Wars franchise and you’ll catch a glimpse of the impressive Skellig Michael, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And there has been a long tradition of the Irish in Hollywood, with talent such as Maureen O’ Hara, Liam Neeson, Saoirse Ronan and Cillian Murphy to name but a few. But Ireland has also produced some of its own cinematic gems that have influenced many to visit this fair isle and some that are just a must see.

The Secret Of Kells (2009)

I love animated film. Some lend themselves so well to the story that’s being portrayed and The Secret Of Kells is one such film. You’re transported back to the Land of Saints and Scholars to the fictional story of how the Book of Kells came to be. This film is beautifully animated and reflects an important aspect of our Irish heritage. The Book of Kells is an important manuscript containing the Four Gospels, dating back to the 9th century. It’s celebrated for its intricate artwork and is on public display at Trinity College, Dublin.

kells

Source

The Snapper (1993)

Based on the novel by Irish writer Roddy Doyle and starring Colm Meaney, Brendan Gleeson and Tina Kellegher, The Snapper tells the story of the Curley family and their domestic adventures. Young Sharon Curley falls pregnant and  she’s the talk of the town. While the town suspects her best friend’s father, Sharon goes around telling tall tales that it was a Spanish sailor who got her pregnant. This film will have you in stitches laughing at the Irish wit and humour, if you can understand the Dublin accent.

the snapper

Source

Once (2007)

Written and directed by John Carney and starring Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, Once tells the story of two struggling musicians to the backdrop of Dublin City. ‘Falling Slowly’ won the 2007  Academy Award for Best Original Song. The film has since been adapted for stage as a musical, first opening in New York and has won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical in 2012.

once

Source

Breakfast On Pluto (2005)

Breakfast On Pluto is directed by Neil Jordan and is adapted from Patrick McCabe’s novel of the same name. It’s a dark-comedy starring Cillian Murphy as ‘Kitten’ Braden, a transgender foundling. Having been abandoned as a baby on the doorsteps of the local parochial hall, she goes in search of her long lost mother in small town Ireland and London.

breakfast

Source

The Quiet Man (1952)

Well I couldn’t leave out this classic as I work in The Quiet Man Museum and I’ve grown to love this charming film. It always tops the list of best loved Irish films. It was directed by John Ford and stars John Wayne and Maureen O’ Hara. Set in 1920s Ireland, The Quiet Man tells the tale of Sean Thornton (Wayne) who returns home to the fictional village of Inisfree to escape his past, falls in love with the feisty Mary-Kate Danaher (O’ Hara)  and ends up having a fight with her brother. Filled with Irish wit and charm, Ford gives a romantic view of Ireland and portrays the beautiful scenery of Ireland as another character in the film. It’s a popular film with many Americans of Irish ancestry. It’s a testament to Ford’s vision how it remains a cult classic, with people still visiting the picturesque village of Cong and the region of Connemara to see the film locations 65 years later. Many visitors have told me how they fell in love with Ireland thanks to The Quiet Man.

quietman

Source

Have you seen any of these films? Are there any other Irish films you would add to the list?

Marteen x

Ireland has been a destination for many films and there has been a strong tradition of the Irish in Hollywood. These Irish films will make you fall in love with the Emerald Isle!

69 thoughts on “From Ireland With Love | Must See Irish Films

  1. These are super interesting films I’ve never heard of but I am interested in watching The Snapper and The Secret of Kells. I don’t know much about Irish Folklore and such so it looks awesome. I also wonder if in The Snapper, the father is the best friend’s father.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “The Quiet Man” is my grandfather’s favorite film, so that one always ranks highly for me. I haven’t seen “Once” yet because I keep holding out that I’ll see the Broadway show first!

    I’ve always loved “The Secret of Roan Inish” about the legend of the selkies, mythical creatures that can shift from humans to seals (sounds weird, but it’s quite charming in that Irish folklore way).

    “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” is a more recent film that chronicles the Irish War of Independence in the 20s and it made me appreciate and understand 20th-century Irish history even more.

    I just love Irish film and literature! I could go on all day. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that The Quiet Man is your grandfather’s favourite film! It’s so cool how a film can make you fall in love with a country. I’ve seen Once but would love to see the musical! I haven’t seen The Secret of Roan. We have a lot of wonderful myths and legends. I thought The Wind That Shakes The Barley was excellent. It also goes into the Civil War. It’s sad how family members turned against each other at that time.

      Like

  3. Of these I’ve only seen Once, but it’s a truly beautiful film! I love singing the songs from it on road trips. I’ll have to add the others to my list to watch – like I need any other reason to fall in love with the idea of visiting Ireland 😉 Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A lot of Americans say they watch it Christmas also. For me it’s a St. Patrick’s Day film but it’s definitely a good one to watch any time of the year 😊

      Like

  4. I love this post and am going to look up some of these films to see if they are on Netflix later. I would most like to watch The Quiet Man and Once I think. I love Ireland but I think that’s probably because it’s in my genes. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A few Americans have told me they can get The Quiet Man on the American version of Netflix. You’ve some Irish in you?

      Like

      1. It is? I thought the UK and Ireland had the same selection of films and programmes. I must search and see if I can get it. Thanks for letting me know 😊 Cork is such a beautiful county! I love Cork 😊

        Like

    1. Oh Circle of Friends is one you don’t hear of very often. It’s great being inspired to travel by watching films 😊

      Like

    1. They’re all in English, that’s our main language. But they’re Irish films in the sense that they’re set in Ireland and about Irish culture 😊 You might find The Snapper difficult to understand because the Dublin accent is very strong. Even I have difficulty understanding it sometimes.

      Like

  5. The only one of these I’ve seen is Once, and I love it. Such a beautiful movie. And of course, the more mainstream ones like PS I Love You and Leap Year. I studied abroad in Ireland so I definitely want to check these out. I’m sure I’ll get quite nostalgic!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay! Oh you’ll love The Quiet Man. It’s one of the few Irish films that doesn’t make me cringe. Some play up to the Irish stereotype too much!

      Like

  6. I have not seen any of these films. But I am not that much of a movie buff. I think I will look for the Secret of Kells though. Sounds very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So I’m embarrassed to say that I haven’t seen or even heard of any of these movies before. I think I’ve been too sheltered movie-wise. I’ll have to definitely take a look and give them a try. Thanks for the list.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Those movies will get you in the mood for Ireland for sure! I have not seen any of them yet, but the animation movie about the book of Kells sounds lovely. I visited the library and fell in love with the old vibe. Would love to go watch that movie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m ashamed to say that being Irish I haven’t seen the book in TCD. I must take a trip to Dublin and take the tour 😊 The library is supposed to be amazing!

      Like

  9. Not seen any of these films I’m afraid, but like others have said above, I’ve heard that ‘Once’ is definitely one to check out, either on stage or on screen 🙂

    One I would add to this list is one that probably isn’t a great tourist advert for Ireland but a very enjoyable movie all the same – Intermission. Found it very funny, and had a great cast – Cillian Murphy, Colin Farrell, Colm Meaney, Kelly McDonald and Shirley Henderson in the lead roles.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Good list, great shout on The Secret of Kells. I’d have made it 10 though and left off The Quiet Man (not a fan of JW playing anything other than cowboys). I’d add in no particular order:
    The Secret of Roan Inish
    Hear My Song
    The Wind That Shakes the Barley
    Bloody Sunday
    The Commitments
    Into the West

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I loved The Secret of Kells. I haven’t seen some of the films you’ve mentioned but I must watch them and make this post into a 10 😊 Yes John Wayne still acts like a cowboy in The Quiet Man but being a tour guide in The Quiet Man Museum and giving walking tours of some of the film locations I couldn’t leave it out 😊

      Like

  11. Great list!
    I would have to add THE FIELD (1990) starring Richard Harris, Sean Bean, Brenda Fricker and John Hurt. Powerful film with, in my opinion, Harris’ finest performance. It’s dark and brooding to be sure but still a film I think every one should see.
    Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To be honest I haven’t seen Ryan’s Daughter. It’s such a shame the village they used in Dingle to film it was demolished.

      Like

  12. The Quiet Man is an amazing film. Wonderful actors and just brilliant work on their part. I always wondered if Maureen O Hara was ever hurt when he was dragging her along. Was pretty rough on her. BEAUTIFUL scenery and such a great film. I watch it whenever it plays on TCM (Turner Classic Movies).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you love The Quiet Man Joy ☺ I’m extremely lucky to be working in The Quiet Man museum and to be giving tours of the locations that were used in the film. It’s a testament to John Ford and the actors that people are still visiting the village of Cong where it was filmed 66 years later.

      Yes she did hurt her back when John Wayne was dragging her across the fields. John Ford and John Wayne played a trick on her in that scene. They threw a load of sheep dung into the field before shooting. Maureen and one of her brothers found out about it and organised for the dung to be removed but the two Johns managed to get it back in again before shooting that scene. So she was dragged through sheep dung in that scene.

      Do you remember the scene where Michaeleen drops Sean off to the cottage he was born in. It was a stormy night and when he goes inside he sees someone has been cleaning up. He frightens Mary Kate out of hiding. She goes to leave but he drags her back and she slaps him in the face. Well Maureen broke her wrist slapping him. John had annoyed her on set earlier that day and he knew this scene was coming up and that she’d want to get him back. She really wanted to belt him one. So when she hits him he blocks her blow with his hand, her fingers hit his hand and really bend back and she broke her wrist. According to Maureen in her autobiography she was so happy with the scene she didn’t want to let on she was pain incase they’d have to do a retake ☺

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s