Movie Night: 7 Great movies to watch on St. Patrick’s Day

Dia dhaoibh ar maidin (Good Morning in Irish Gaelic) Welcome back to all the geek enthusiast and nerd aficionados. On this day many of us like to use it as a reason to go out and have a few drinks, generally of beer or whiskey.

(As a public service announcement, do yourself a favor and make sure if you going to drink green beer. That the beer is not one of a watered down variety. Just because there’s food coloring in it doesn’t mean it’s a good Irish beer. Read more about this here. We return you to your original article.)

Maybe you’ll order some corned beef and cabbage to eat. You’ll make sure that you are wearing some green. Hoping to avoid being pinched, whilst looking for a reason to pinch others. For those of us that aren’t going out, but love a themed movie night. Let’s talk about some great movies to watch on a St. Paddy’s Day.


Top O’ the Mornin’..

To clarify we are going to be focusing on movies that carry more of an Irish theme to them. Whether the films take place in Ireland or have characters that are considered Irish themselves, either in descent or having traveled from there.

This is set in place to help narrow down the top 7 for me. Why seven? Because it’s luckier then 5 or 10.  There are many great honorable mentions. Due mainly to the factor that a lot of people will lump those having to do with Irish and those having to do with Scottish together. If you must add Scottish into your movie night. Make sure you include the films Highlander, (Just the first one you need not bother with the sequels), and Braveheart. If you have not seen either of these you owe it to yourself to rectify that situation.

Note that I’m not numbering this from worst to best. I believe all these movies are great. Now let’s get to it:

7. Darby O’Gill and the Little PeopleRelated image

Nothing says family movie time like Walt Disney. There is no exception here.Though a little on the corny side, Darby O’Gill deserves to be in the same classic’s discussion as all the great live action films coming from Disney during this era. This would be a great movie to watch before having the kids go to bed. Then you can move on to films with a more grown up theme.

Darby O’Gill and the Little People came out in 1959. This being around the time that Disney was putting out some classic live action films, Old Yeller, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Davy Crockett, Shaggy Dog.  The film stars Albert Sharpe in the title role. With support from Jimmy O’Dea, Janet Munro, and {in one of his earlier film roles} Sean Connery.

Darby O’Gill and the Little People is about a down on his luck old codger that is about to be replaced at his job. During this time he is captured by leprechauns. Then matching wits with the leprechauns, he tricks the king into having to grant him 3 wishes.


6. OnceImage result for Once

Whether you watching movies for St. Patrick’s Day or for a date night in home. This movie is fantastic. The actor’s are phenomenal in their roles. The main song of the movie, “Falling Slowly,” is one that you’ll find hard to get out of your head. I still get the song stuck in my head, even to this day, 10 years after the movie came out.

The movie was released in 2007. It stars Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová in the title roles. Falling Slowly won the Academy Award for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song. As well as being fantastic in their roles, the actor’s are accomplished musicians . They are the actual composer’s and performer’s of the film’s original songs. In reality, they make up the folk rock group The Swell Season

The film also spawned a successful play adaption.

Once is the story of two struggling musician’s in Dublin, Ireland. They are brought together by situation of happenstance. The film tells the story of the one week spent together writing music.

5. In BrugesImage result for in bruges

In Bruges is a dark comedy of the finest caliber. Film’s like Groundhog’s Day and Trapped in Paradise use the comedic effect of being trapped somewhere you don’t want to be. In Bruges does the same, though not as comically on the nose. The interaction between the two main characters and how they react differently to being stuck in the Belgian city of Bruges is what makes for a good watch.

The film was released in 2008. It stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in the title roles.  Ralph Fiennes plays a supporting role. The film was nominated at the Golden Globes for Best Movie – Comedy or Musical, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musically -both for Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson- which Farrell won the award.

After a job gone wrong, two Irish hitmen, Ray and Ken, are sent to the city of Bruges, Belgian. They are to stay put in the city until they receive further instructions from their boss. While Ken finds the city enjoyable, Ray finds it to be the last place on Earth he wants to be.

4. Waking Ned DevineImage result for waking ned devine

Waking Ned Divine ( aka Waking Ned original release name) is a quaint comedy following an Irish village and the efforts they go through to take care of each other. Filled with a cast of faces you may have seen here or there, the biggest of them being James Nesbitt. The film has its moments of laughter while letting you see how things are in a small Irish town.

The film was released in 1998. It stars Ian Bannen, David Kelly, Fionnula Flanagan, Susan Lynch, and James Nesbitt. It was nominated for SAG awards in Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role – David Kelly and Outstanding Performance by a Cast.

When two elderly best friends find out that someone in town has won the Irish National Lottery. They set out to find out who it is. Upon learning that the winner has passed and has no family to claim the winnings. They put in a plan to claim the winnings themselves. The entire town comes together to help deceive a claim inspector from the National Lottery in an attempt to win the money.

3. Far and AwayImage result for far and away

While being another movie that would be classified in the date night area of films. Far and Away has something for everyone. A romance film that sprinkles in adventure, bare knuckle boxing, and a pinch of comedy. This is far and away, pun intended, one of your better date movies. This movie is definitely the biggest in scope on our list. With an A+ caliber of talent attached, it’s hard not to be a fan of the film.

The movie was released in 1992. Starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman in the title roles. It has a large supporting cast due to the change of scenery throughout the film. The film was directed by Ron Howard. The music for the film was composed by John Williams {Thought I’d throw that in for good measure.}

In hopes of making something of themselves. A young Irish man and his landlord’s daughter come to America after problems arise with her family. Their plan to own their own land in the big give-away of 1893 in Oklahoma. Things not being as easy as assumed, they do everything it takes to achieve their goals.

 2. The CommitmentsRelated image

The Commitments is considered one of the best Irish films “Ever” made. Filled with a fantastic ensemble cast and a great soundtrack to boot. It contains one of, if not the best, versions of the song “Mustang Sally.” Using fresh faces for the actors, casting focused instead on the actor’s musical background and their looks compared to the character’s they played in the book. This film helped pave the way for future films like Once, this being the only other film that Glen Hansard starred in. This is another movie that shows the daily livings of life in Ireland and what it takes to go after your dream.

The film released in 1991. The film was nominated at the Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical. The soundtrack for  the film was on the Billboard 200 for 76 weeks. Topping out at 8 in the peak position.

When Jimmy Rabbitte, who has a love for soul music, decides he wants to start and manage a soul band.  He puts out an advertisement in the newspaper to hold auditions. After disastrous results, he instead uses friends and acquaintances to help create “The Commitments”

1. The Boondock SaintsImage result for boondock saints

A film that went from being nothing to a HUGE cult classic. This is where many of us really took notice of Norman Reedus. Long before he was playing Darryl on the Walking Dead. The movie was only released in five theaters. Instead, this was the movie that your friends asked ” Have you seen Boondock Saints?” They were shocked and appalled when you said “No” and made it an effort to get that fixed immediately. The dialog and story make for a great foundation. The action and comedy are a great structure. The acting is the cherry on top.

The movie gained such a following that it garnered a special release engagement in theaters nation wide, 10 years after initially being made. It spawned a sequel because the fans asked for it, and according to Reedus the third one is coming.

The film released in 1999. It stars Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus in the title role. With support from Willem Dafoe, David Della Rocco, and Billy Connolly.

Now do me a favor go watch the movie and get me a bagel.

After a run in with two Russian mafia members, who two fraternal twins kill in self defense. The twins decide to become vigilantes and rid Boston of the crime and evil that has become evident. At the same time they are being hunted down by the FBI for the killings.

Honorable Mentions:

Blown Away Image result for blown away

Circle of FriendsImage result for circle of friends

Gangs of New YorkImage result for gangs of new york

The DepartedImage result for the departed

Don’t be green with envy if your favorite St. Patrick’s Day film was not on the list. Instead let us know what you think should be on the list in the comments below. Take a look at all our other articles dedicated to St. Patrick’s Day and may the luck of the Irish be with you.

MEST5150 – Contributer

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