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Best Irish movies to watch on St. Patrick’s Day

Best Irish movies to watch on St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is a widely celebrated holiday that is commemorated every year on March 17th. It is a time for people to celebrate Irish heritage and culture, and one way to do this is by watching Irish movies. Ireland has a rich history and a vibrant film industry, and there are plenty of movies to choose from that are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day. In this article, we will explore the best Irish movies to watch on St. Patrick’s Day.

The Quiet Man (1952)

When Irish-born retired boxer, Sean Thornton (John Wayne), returns to his ancestral home in Ireland to reclaim his family’s farm, he finds that he is in competition with Squire “Red” Will Danaher (Victor McLaglen) who is also interested in acquiring the old property. While waiting for the property owners final decision, he meets and falls in love with a fiery Irish woman, Mary Kate Danaher (Maureen O’Hara), but their courtship is complicated by her overprotective brother. Wanting to ensure they can get married, Sean reluctantly agrees to fight Will in order to obtain Kate’s dowry, as per Irish customs. The Quiet Man is a classic Irish romantic comedy that captures the beauty of the Irish countryside and the charm of Irish culture. The film is directed by John Ford and also stars Barry Fitzgerald, Ward Bond, and Mildred Natwick.

The Commitments (1991)

The Commitments follows Jimmy Rabbitte (Robert Arkins) as he gathers a group of working-class Dubliners whose love for music is as deep as his in order to form a soul band called The Commitments. The band gets off to a rocky start when Jimmy is unable to find the right musicians for the band. Ultimately he decides to put the band together with his friends and some people he happens to encounter. Once formed, the band, struggles and triumphs are set against the backdrop of 1980s Dublin. The movie ultimately put out two soundtracks, with the first one going doble platinum and the second going gold. The Commitments is a fun and upbeat movie that showcases the vibrant music scene in Ireland. The Commitments is a musical comedy directed by Alan Parker and based on the novel by Roddy Doyle.

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The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006)

One of the more heartbreaking films on this list, The Wind That Shakes the Barley tells the story of two brothers who join the Irish Republican Army during the Irish War of Independence. While the brothers my have joined the IRA with the  purpose of aiding Ireland in gaining their independence from Britain, it was ultimately the ideal that drew them apart. The movie explores themes of nationalism, sacrifice, and betrayal, and it depicts the brutal violence that characterized the conflict. The Wind That Shakes the Barley is a powerful and emotional movie that provides insight into the struggle for Irish independence. The Wind That Shakes the Barley is a historical drama directed by Ken Loach and starring Cillian Murphy.

Brooklyn (2015)

Directed by John Crowley and starring Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn tells the story of a young Irish woman named Eilis who emigrates to New York in the 1950s with the help of a friend and a priest. Her voyage across the sea wasn’t a smooth one, suffering from seasickness and only getting aide from a fellow Irish woman who is traveling back to the United States. After arriving in New York, Eilis is able to find work through the help of the Priest that aided her travel. While in New York, she falls in love with an Italian-American named Tony, but her life is upended when she is called back to Ireland. Brooklyn is a beautifully shot movie that captures the immigrant experience and the emotional turmoil of leaving one’s homeland.

The Guard (2011)

The Guard is a dark comedy directed by John Michael McDonagh and starring Brendan Gleeson. Set in Conamara, a region on the Atlantic coast of western County Galway, The Guard follows a small-town Irish policeman named Sergeant Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleeson) who is forced to team up with FBI agent Wendell Everett (Don Cheadle) to investigate a drug smuggling ring. After teaming up with the FBI, Sergeant Boyle and his newest subordinate are investigating a murder, only to have the subordinate Aidan McBride be murdered himself during a traffic stop. Now, determined to catch not only the drug trafficker’s, but also his subordinates murderer, The Guard is here to take you on one crazy ride. The Guard is a quirky and irreverent movie that showcases Brendan Gleeson’s talent for comedic timing. It also features a great supporting cast that includes Mark Strong, Fionnula Flanagan, and Liam Cunningham.

Michael Collins (1996)

Michael Collins is a biographical drama directed by Neil Jordan and starring Liam Neeson. The movie tells the story of Michael Collins (Liam Neeson), one of the leaders of the Irish War of Independence and the subsequent civil war. At the close of the 1916 Easter Rising, Patrick Pearse, Thomas MacDonagh, Michael Collins, Harry Boland, and Éamon de Valera were arrested for their parts, with many begin executed as a result. After only two years of incarceration, Collins and de Valera are freed and subsequently elected into high ranking positions within the Irish War of Independence. Throughout Michael Collins we watch as Collins himself faces political and personal struggles as he fought for Irish independence. Michael Collins is a well-acted and emotionally powerful movie that provides a fascinating look at a pivotal moment in Irish history.

What are your Thoughts?

With every holiday you can find any number of films that we can call a classic. From A Christmas Story at Christmas, to Trick-R-Treat for Halloween, or The Passion of the Christ for Easter, it was only natural that there would be several to choose from for the good old Irish holiday. The 6 films on our list are by far the best in our opinions, but there are still others that could very well be have been included. We’d love to hear your thoughts on our social channels. Do you agree with our list? What are your favorite Irish films to watch on St. Patrick’s Day? 

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