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12 Irish Movies to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

Posted by Billy Gil, March 14, 2016 04:55pm | Post a Comment

You don’t have to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or appreciate great Irish films. Here’s a list of 12 releases we love, in no particular order. (At Amoeba Hollywood, find our St. Patrick’s day movies and music in a special section near the stairs.)

Once (2007)

This Irish musical/romantic drama stars stars Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova as struggling musicians in Dublin who bond musically and fall in love. The film became so beloved that it was adapted in a Tony Award-winning play. If you’re in L.A., you can win tickets here to the show’s closing night at the Pantages Theatre March 20.

 

The Secret of Roan Inish (1994)

This fantastical drama from John Sayles tells of a young girl sent to live with her grandparents in a small Irish village near the island of Roan Inish, where selkies — seals that can become human — are rumored to reside. This combination of heart and Irish folklore makes the film a family-friendly winner.

 

Brooklyn (2015)

Brooklyn stars Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan as a young Irish immigrant in 1950s Brooklyn. Though Eilis finds love in her new home, she’s called back to Ireland and must choose between her new and old home, only complicated by meeting a new man back in Ireland.

 

In America (2003)

This drama stars Samantha Morton and Djimon Hounsou in the story of an Irish immigrant family’s struggles while moving to New York City in the ’80s. The touching and dreamlike film was nominated for three Academy Awards. (Look for it used in-store.)

 

Calvary (2014)

Brendan Gleeson stars in this critically acclaimed, darkly comic drama as a priest in a small Irish town whose parishioner tells the priest in confession that he is going to murder him, in retaliation against the church for his having been molested by another priest as a child. The priest must face his troubled daughter and continue to comfort the needy as he decides what to do about the impending threat on his life.

 

Waking Ned Devine (1998)

In this comedy, two elderly best friends attempt to discover who in their small Irish village has won the lotterly, in hopes that they’ll be generous. Shenanigans ensue when the reclusive winner is found dead, holding the ticket with a smile in his hand. Gotta love that Irish humor! (Find it used in-store.)

 

Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959)

This charming Disney comedy stars a strapping young Sean Connery in a tale of an Irishman in a battle of wits with leprechauns.

 

U218 Videos (2006)

Well, it's not a movie, per se, but what’s St. Patty’s Day without a little U2? This DVD collects music videos of Bono and co.’s greatest hits as well as live performances.

 

My Left Foot (1989)

The story of Christy Brown, the Irish writer and artist who had cerebral palsy and composed his works with only the use of his left foot. The film won Daniel Day-Lewis the first of three Oscars, for his role as Brown.

 

In the Name of the Father (1993)

Another Daniel Day-Lewis movie! It’s also directed by Jim Sheridan, who directed Day-Lewis in My Left Foot and another film on this list, In America. The drama is based on the true story of the Guildford Four, four people falsely accused of the 1974 IRA’s Guildford pub bombings. The drama was nominated for several Oscars, including best actor for Day-Lewis and best picture.

 

The Commitments (1991)

This story of working-class Dubliners who make a soul band became an audience favorite and remains a sensation — its soundtrack was just reissued on LP this year and also can be found on CD.

 

Leprechaun (1993)

A certain “Friend” would probably like to forget that this movie exists. But while not as “great” a film as the others on this list, the campy horror flick about a murderous leprechaun nonetheless became a cult favorite and spawned several ever-more-ridiculous sequels (e.g. Leprechauns in Space, Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood). All of your gory leprechaun gold can be found on Leprechaun: The Complete Movie Collection.

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