St. Patrick’s Day brings along with it good cheer, green clothing, and Irish-themed food and drink.
In time for Sunday, March 17, LifeZette has compiled a list of the best films for the holiday.
1.) “The Quiet Man” (1952). John Wayne is the right fit for any holiday. For St. Paddy’s Day, the Duke starred in this film as a former heavyweight boxer traveling to Ireland to reclaim a family farm. While there, Wayne struggles with a neighbor and even falls for a spunky Irish woman, played by Maureen O’Hara (pictured above with Wayne).
Partly shot in Ireland, “The Quiet Man” is one of director John Ford’s most memorable films. It also features one of Wayne’s best and most charismatic performances.
The movie won the Best Director and Best Cinematography Oscars at the 1953 Academy Awards, but many agree it should have walked away with the Best Picture Oscar as well.
For a great love story with some wonderful Irish cinematography, “The Quiet Man” is the film to see. It’s a perfect movie for the holiday as it takes arguably America’s biggest star, John Wayne, and plops him into the middle of the world and culture of Ireland.
2.) “The Luck of the Irish” (2001). St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just for the adults. For a family film, try “The Luck of the Irish.” This Disney Channel movie stars a young Ryan Merriman as Kyle, a junior high school student with a lucky streak. However, that streak begins to run out when he loses his lucky gold coin.
Kyle starts shrinking and seemingly turning into an actual leprechaun. He finds out he’s from a family of leprechauns and needs the gold coin to turn back, so Kyle and his friends decide to go after Seamus, the creature that took Kyle’s luck.
“The Luck of the Irish” doesn’t have the most inspired premise, but it’s a fun movie for the family to enjoy together. Kids will gain positive messages about family and friends from the flick and parents can enjoy a silly, but fun Irish-themed tale.
3.) “Once” (2007). This is a romantic drama with some of the best music any recent film has had to offer. The Irish film takes place over the course of a week and shows two musicians recording, writing, and performing tunes that tell the story of their love.
Filled with wonderful Ireland imagery, “Once” is a beautiful movie with a genuine heart. The film would go on to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song for the tune “Falling Slowly.” It was also later adapted into a popular Broadway play.
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4.) “Far and Away” (1992). Directed by Ron Howard, this film is about two young Irish lovebirds (Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman) who immigrate to America in 1893. The two travel west with the dream of owning their own land in the country of dreams and opportunity.
Full of the couple’s struggles and hardships, the drama is both a testament to America’s history and a fun fish-out-of-water story about two Irish travelers looking to accomplish their dreams in a young America. It’s a great love story and a patriotic film with nods to the character and culture of Ireland.
5.) “The Boondock Saints” (1999). Make sure the kids aren’t up for this one. “The Boondock Saints” is as politically incorrect as they come. Springing from the uber violence-soaked cinema of the ’90s (as kicked off by Quentin Tarantino), “Saints” is full to the brim with action and politically incorrect humor.
However, the film managed to do a few sneaky things. The Irish-born vigilante brothers of the film, who are inspired to start cleaning up their Boston streets, are Catholics who attend church and regularly quote Bible verses.
The movie also has the conservative black-and-white view of crime and those who perpetrate it that films of the ’70s, like “Death Wish” and “Dirty Harry,” had. It’s a fun, albeit brutal, fantasy movie about two Irish brothers fed up with crime on their streets happening and no one doing a thing about it. It even has an opening that takes place on St. Patrick’s Day.
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“It’s St. Paddy’s Day. Everyone’s Irish tonight,” says Murphy McManus at one point in the film — he is played by a young Norman Reedus, now one of the biggest stars in the world thanks to his role as Daryl Dixon on “The Walking Dead.”
“The Boondock Saints” never found an audience when it was first pushed into theaters, but it went on to become one of the best-selling home video releases of all time. It’s a true cult film and it was followed up with a sequel in 2009.
A third movie was always planned, but star Sean Patrick Flanery told LifeZette in an interview that he and Norman Reedus had stepped away from the franchise over reasons they aren’t eager to specifically talk about.
Fans may never get the third film in this Irish-vigilante franchise, but Flanery and Reedus did recently team up for an episode of the AMC series “Ride with Norman Reedus.” The episode acts as a spiritual sequel to the franchise and the stars discuss their experiences on “Boondock Saints” during multiple segments.
Reedus and Flanery even hit a Texas gun range together at one point.
Check out a clip from the episode below:
This LifeZette piece has been updated.