The Adventuress (***)
A feisty Irish lass is persuaded to help a German agent during WW 2 - because it will hurt her sworn enemies, the British. Well made, low key film. Aka I See A Dark Stranger
Starring Deborah Kerr,Trevor Howard,Raymond Huntley,Liam Redmond
1946 - 98min B/W
Stephen Burke's debut film focuses on the period in and after 1968's Civil Rights movement in Northern Ireland. This story is told form the wry perspective of an illegitimate teenage girl who observes her Catholic mother's increasing involvement in the struggle, while commenting on her Protestant father's refusal to assume responsibility for the sexual alliance that produced her.
(1993) 26 min
The Ambassador (1998)
Harriet Smith (Pauline Collins), the new British ambassador to Ireland, desperately wants to make her mark in this historically difficult posting and try to put the tragic murder of her husband behind her. Harriet wants to be just and fair in her dealings with the Irish government and to try to make the relationship between the two governments less adversarial in nature. However, the situation is made considerably worse for her and her trusted assistant, John Stone (Denis Lawson), by her son Nate who refuses to accept the consequences of her new ambassadorial role and still blames her for his fathers death.
Angel (1982/I) aka Danny Boy (1982) (Canada: English title) Stephen Rea
Saxophonist Danny witnesses the murder of his band manager and a deaf-mute girl after a gig. Questioned by the police, he remembers only the orthopedic shoes of the killers' leader. So begins his quest to avenge her. He seeks an answer to the simple question `Why?' but finds only more, and deeper, questions which resonate with the wider context of `the Troubles', the inter-communal strife gripping the modern-day Northern Ireland which is the film's setting.
Angela's Ashes (1999) ****
An adaptation of Frank McCourt's book which details his early life in the lanes of Limerick and later emigration to America. Because of the perspective of autobiography, this film is free of the typical Irish clich�s. We see life in Limerick through a child's eyes. Though there is poverty, there is also humor and though there is tragedy, there is also triumph.
Cast Emily Watson, Robert Carlyle, Joe Breen, Ciaran Owens, Michael Legge, Ronnie Masterson, Pauline McLynn V DVD
Angels with Dirty Faces (1938) ****
Here we have three Irish stereotypes slugging it out: the Irish gangster, the Irish Priest, and the Irish Cop. These three fight for a different kind of turf in the Bowery. They struggle for the hearts and minds of the community and the world. Who will represent us? Who is the aberration and who is the norm? Of course, we know "it takes all kinds" and that every group has its Cast and bad apples, but being under the microscope makes us all too aware that we are part of the group, the group who is being judged as a whole. The Bowery, though always ethnically mixed, became mythologized into the crucible of the Irish mob.
Cast James Cagney, Pat O'Brian, Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sheridan, George Bancroft, Bobby Jordan V
Art of Salesmanship, The (1997) Comedy Short - 12 min
Ronnie, Stewart and Tracy work the graveyard shift at Burger Wonderland, one of Dublin's worst take-away joints. After their boss, Ricky Bottom, docks yet more money out of their pay packets they bet amongst themselves to see who can sell a festering burger. With all of their money riding on the sale of just one burger it is essential that they utilise their very best sales techniques ... no matter how unorthodox they may be!!!
Connie is a member of the British landowning "Ascendancy" in Ireland after WWI. Through a chance friendship with a British soldier, she learns how sheltered she has been, and chooses to ally herself, in her own way, with the struggle for Irish independence.
Aslan - Made in Dublin (1999) Documentary 155 min
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945) ****
This movie was Elia Kazan's first feature, and it was fair notice of the masterpieces that were to come from this great director. Both scene-by-scene and cumulatively, it is hard to imagine a more moving or involving film than this one. The story of Francie Nolan, a young Irish-American girl growing up in 1915 Brooklyn, is exquisitely poignant and bittersweet, and it is filled with the sort of performances which only a master director can obtain. Peggy Ann Garner is unforgettable as Francie, as are James Dunn, Dorothy McGuire, Joan Blondell and Lloyd Nolan as various family members and neighbors.
Cast Dorothy McGuire, Joan Blondell, James Dunn, Ted Donaldson, Lloyd Nolan, James Gleason, Peggy Ann Garner B/W V
An Gobán Saor (1994)
In my view this film shews some of the conflicts of real life as it occurs within the "Gaeltacht" the Irish speaking world and give just an inkling of the richness that is tucked away in one of the oldest undiluted cultures of Europe; a culture which is under threat but from which we can gain fresh literary insight by viewing this and other similar films made in a minority language such as Irish. I hope it will inspire others to examine the humour and pathos of Irish Culture and the richness of a truly descriptive and emotive language. - Mike Boyle
Ballroom of Romance, The (1982)
A lonely farmer's daughter hopes to find love at the village ballroom.
Barry Lyndon (***1/2)
Starring Ryan O'Neil,Marisa Berenson,Patrick Magee,Hardy Kruger
Exquisite, meticulously detailed period piece stars O'Neil as Thackeray's 18th century Irish rogue-hero who covets success but lets it go to his head. Directed by Stanley Kubrick
1975 - 183min V
Before I Sleep (1997) Short - 29 min
"Before I Sleep" is one man's odyssey through Dublin city. It is a crowded hectic film, unmistakably Dublin, yet with one constant character - John Harte, a recently umemployed middle class man in a state of quiet anxiety.
Bells of St. Mary's (****)
Starring Bing Crosby,Ingrid Bergman
Father O'Malley (Crosby) is sent to a new parish school in this sequel to Going My Way. Strict Sister Benedict has her own way of doing things. Sentimental and utterly charming.
1945 - 126min
Beyond the Pale (1999)
Dublin Born Patrick Clarke, co-wrote, produced and starred in this amiable independent feature about some familiar aspects of the Irish-American experience. Clarke plays a young Irishman who enters the US illegally with his wayward friend Seamus (Conn Horgan). Landing in New York the pair start out with dreams of striking it rich but soon find themselves in dead-end jobs and drifting apart. As Seamus pursues various get rich schemes, the more cautious Patrick finds himself devoting time to looking after Tom (played by Irish-American legend Malachy McCourt), an Irish author down on his luck and courting Helen (Beverley Elder)a Struggling actress caught in sordid relationship with a much older man.
Blarney (1926/I) Comedy
Jimmy O'Dea finds a briefcase of stolen jewels, mistaking it for his own bag. The two sergeants vie with each other to capture the thieves and the local inn-keepers daughter. The thieves are captured in the end and the cross-border hatchet is buried in the process
Blind Flight (2003)
Keenan and McCarthy spent 4.5 years confined together, held underground for much of their captivity, at times chained to each other and to the walls of their prisons. The two men, who could easily have found themselves at opposite ends of a gun barrel in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, instead forged a relationship which transcended all that appeared to divide them. "Blind Flight" tells the story of this compelling relationship as they both resurrect their deepest memories, feelings, fears and loves. In their near biblical journey they uncover many of the forces which made them blind and captive human beings prior to their physical captivity. They finally discover a compassion for their captors which makes the film a 'love story' in the fullest and most humanistic sense.
Bloody Sunday (****)(2002)
Documentary-style drama showing the events that lead up to the tragic incident on January 30, 1972 in the Northern Ireland town of Derry when a protest march led by civil rights activist Ivan Cooper was fired upon by British troops, killing 13 protesters and wounding 14 more.
Bloom (2003) aka Ulysses (2002) (Ireland: English title) Stephen Rea, Angeline Ball, Hugh O'Conor
Adapted from James Joyce's Ulysses, Bloom is the enthralling story of June 16th, 1904 and a gateway into the consiousness of its three main characters: Stephen Dedalus, Molly Bloom and the extraordinary Leopold Bloom.
Blown Away (1994) **
Many Irish have fled to Boston over the years. Irish cops, fireman, and politicians remain ubiquitous even 150 years after the potato famine. In this film the Irish immigrant cop uses skills he learned growing up in Belfast during the "Troubles." Though this claims not to be about the IRA, it still associates the Irish using explosives to make a point.
Cast Jeff Bridges, Tommy Lee Jones, Suzy Amis, Lloyd Bridges, Forest Whitaker V DVD
Book That Wrote Itself, The (1999) Liam O Mochain
Vincent Macken has written his magnus Opus but nobody will publish it. To prove to the publishers and his detractors that his novel is great, he decides to live out the story of his novel. He hires a filmmaker to help him document his experiences on video. When he has documented most of his novel on video, he decides maybe it should be a movie instead.
Boondock Saints (1999)
Irish brothers Connor & Murphy McManus live and work in Boston. Feeling that God's will to rid Earth from all human Evil was given to them as a mission, they set out to do their divine deed. A public outcry is never heard, and even FBI agent Paul Smecker, who follows their trace of bloodshed, admits that the boys are doing exactly what he secretly always has wished to happen. Risking their lives for their beliefs of Veritas (truth) and Aequitas (justice), the Boondock Saints are hyped by the public, for they are doing good, which only few dare to admit.
Bossanova Blues (1992)
At the height of the troubles in Northern Ireland, bombs began to go off in Guilford, Birmingham and London as Irish republican discontent flared up. A number of Irish people were wrongly imprisoned for these bombings and served long sentances. They were jailed simply because they were Irish and in the wrong place at the wrong time. 'Bossanova Blues' tells the fictional story of how three innocents could have become the victims of such a miscarriage of justice. It's a romantic road movie with dire consequences.
The Boxer 1997 (****)
Starring Daniel Day Lewis
The story focuses on Danny Flynn (Day-Lewis), a promising boxer who had been imprisoned at age 18 for associating with IRA terrorists. After serving a 14-year sentence, he returns to his Belfast neighborhood at a time when local IRA leader Joe Hamill (Brian Cox) is attempting to negotiate a peace treaty with the British. Despite having no further interest in IRA rivalries, Danny finds himself at the center of political and emotional turmoil when he is reunited with his former girlfriend Maggie (Emily Watson) who, in Danny's absence, married another IRA man who is now in prison. A strict, unwritten law forbids relationships with the wives of IRA prisoners, but as the former boxer channels his energy into reviving a neighborhood boxing gym, the attraction between Danny and Maggie proves irresistible. This gives a strategic advantage to a militant IRA rival who opposes the peace treaty, drawing Danny back into the bitter and potentially deadly struggle between warring IRA factions. Emphasizing the emotional complexities that arise between Danny and Maggie, this powerful, superbly acted drama demonstrates a sharp understanding of the deep-rooted fears and loyalties that fuel the "troubles" in Ireland.
Cast Daniel Day-Lewis, David McBlain, Emily Watson V DVD
The Boys & Girl from County Clare aka Great Ceili War (2003)
The Boys from County Clare (original title)
The All-Ireland Traditional Music Competition attracts the best musicians from all over the country -- and a few from beyond the shores of the Emerald Isle as well. As John Joe and his band prepare to capture the band trophy with their County Clare jigs and reels, Irishman Jimmy bends his Liverpudlians away from jazz toward the time-honored strains of Celtic music. As the musicians make their way towards the competition, trouble rears its head for both sets of challengers: the Liverpool Shamrock Ceilidh Band and the defending champions from Clare, and at the heart of this adversity lie the vengeful interventions of two estranged brothers, Jimmy and John Joe. Written by Sujit R. Varma
Starring: Colm Meaney
Starring Julie Harris
Harris flies solo as Charlotte Bronte in this noble, if stagey attempt at recreating the great writer's life. An unusual one woman film shot on location in Ireland.
1983 - Irish - 88min
Broth of a Boy (****)
Starring Barry Fitzgerald, Harry Brogan
Quiet,insightful tale of a TV exec trying to do a story on the birthday of the world's oldest man, with the sly senior citizen wanting his share of the spoils. Intelligent story with quaint Irish locale.
1959 - Irish - 77min
The Brothers McMullen (***)
Starring Michael McGlone,Edward Burns,Jack Mulcahy,Shari Albert,Maxine Bahns
Painless comedy about the title characters,a trio of Irish-American losers who are struggling through their relationships with women. Oldest (Mulcahy) seems happily married but thinking of cheating; middle brother (director Burns) is ne'er-do-well who is pondering the idea of commitment; youngest (McGlone) is tormented by his Catholic guilt.
1995 - 98min
Bushwhackers, The (1952)
Confederate veteran Jeff Waring (John Ireland) arriving in Independence, Missouri shortly after the Civil War, and intending never again to use a gun. He finds that rancher Artemus Taylor, an arthritic despot, and his henchies, Sam Tobin (Lawrence Tierney) and Cree (Jack Elam), are forcing out the settlers in order to claim their land for the incoming railroad. The plot nearly predates "The Great Train Robbery" in age but the gritty execution and well-acted performances take it out of the norm...way out, in a couple of instances. Brassy Myrna Dell is on hand as Taylor's independent daughter, only slightly less meaner than her father, and the always welcome Dorothy Malone is the pretty school marm on the side of good. Needless to say, Ireland's passive outlook on life changes
The Butcher Boy (1998) ***
In a small town in Northern Ireland in the early 1960's, 12-year-old Francie Brady retreats into a fantasy world and has visions of the Virgin Mary. Freud is quoted as saying "the Irish are the only people who cannot be helped by psychoanalysis." This film shows us a boy who cannot shed his hated for another boy. Francie's alcoholic father and long-suffering mother are only the beginning of his troubles. He lives in a world of "haves" and "have nots," and when confronted by those he perceives as haves, he cannot control his rage. Unable to be helped by family or the clergy (who don't understand him and cannot even solve their own problems) Francie descends into violence and madness.
Cast Eamonn Owens, Alan Boyle (II) V
Starring Helen Mirren,John Lynch,Donal McCann,John Kavanagh,Ray McAnally
Intelligent drama of modern-day Northern Ireland,with Lynch,19,falling for older widow Mirren - despite his IRA involvement with her husband's murder.
1984 - Irish - 102min V
Captain Boycott (***1/2)
Starring Stewart Granger,Kathleen Ryan,Alistair Sim
Rousing historical drama stars Stewart Granger as the leader of a group of late 19th-century Irish farmers who rebel against the cruel tactics of the local earl's landlord, whose name became synonymous with their treatment of him. With Robert Donat, Kathleen Ryan, and Cecil Parker as Boycott. 94 min.
1947 - British - 92min
Captain Lightfoot (**1/2)
Starring Rock Hudson,Barbara Rush
The 19th century Irish Rebellion as seen through the eyes of one of its heroes. Masterful cinematography and exquisite scenery perk up a less than enthralling tale.
1955 - 91min
The Cardinal (***)
Starring Tom Tryon,John Houston,Romy Schneider,Carol Lynley,Burgess Meredith,Raf Vallone, Ossie Davis,John Saxon
Preminger's film chronicles the rise of a humble Irish-American Catholic priest to a high position in the College of Cardinals.
1963 - 175min V
Case of Majella McGinty, The (1999)
Eight year old Majella puts 2 and 2 together and gets 5 when her innocent game of Charlie's Angels spills over into what she imagines to be an elaborate real life murder case. She takes refuge in her small red suitcase for hours on end when life gets too complicated in 1970's Derry, Northern Ireland.
The Catholics (****)
Starring Trevor Howard,Martin Sheen,Raf Vallone,Cyril Cusack
An isolated Irish monastery clings to old ways.Sheen plays the Vatican emmisary sent to modernize them; Howard their recalcitrant abbot. Strong if talky drama.
1973 - 86min - TVM V
Closing the Ring (2004)
Set in Belfast Northern Ireland during WWII. When a B-17 crashes near the city, the dying rear gunner asks a local to return his ring to his girlfriend back home. Half a century later, a young Belfast man finds the ring, learns its history and tracks down the old girlfriend in North Carolina, who it turns out has married the gunner's best friend .
The Commitments (***1/2)
Starring The Commitments
Enormously satisfying tale of an ambitious young Dubliner who takes on the challenge of assembling and managing a band made up of other working class Dubliners who sing 60's style soul music. A real treat!
1991 - Irish - 117min V
Courier, The (1988) Gabriel Byrne
When a courier at the D-Day Courier Service mistakenly finds a pile of money in his regular delivery, he does some digging only to discover that the messenger company is a front for a drug ring. A reformed drug user himself, he sets out to crack the lethal ring.
Crashing the Wake (2004) Comedy
Frank McCabe is dead. His son, George, has decided to hold an open wake where people can come and pay their respects. Among these people is Jerry, Frank's former employee, who knows a thing or two about George and Frank, which other people don't. Jerry has been cut out of the will and is determined to use any means necessary to get back at both George and Frank.
Criminal Affairs (1997)
An escaped convict takes a couple hostage.
Crooked Mile, The (2001)
An Irish road movie shot on location in Jersey and Dublin featuring the journeys of two characters, Elliot a twenty something medical school drop out and Anna a nine year old adult. Fast tractors, flash cars, Ferris wheels, a gold fish with an odd name and the search for a 50's movie icon in Tramore.
Starring Martin Sheen, William Hickey, Matt Clark, Hugh O'Conor,Barnard Hughes,Doreen Hepburn
Sheen returns home to his native Ireland for his father's funeral, which triggers a series of remembrances of his irrascible "da". It is a touching account of a father-son relationship that isn't interrupted by death. Filmed mostly on location in Ireland.
1988 - 102min V
Dancing at Lughnasa (1998)
The large Irish family is a Gold mine for those studying birth order. Siblings, rather than being alike, adopt widely different personalities. This is thought to be an unconscious survival technique. Here five, very different, sisters trapped by the very roles they've chosen, forbid their sister Rose to marry. Christine, the youngest, will not leave though her lover (the father of her son) begs her. When the change they've resisted so long finally comes, it threatens to tear the family apart.
Cast Meryl Streep, Michael Gambon, Kathy Burke, Sophie Thompson, Brid Brennan, Catherine McCormack V DVD
Danny Boy (****)
Starring Stephen Rea,Veronica Quilligan,Donal McCann
A saxaphonist (Rea) witnesses a double slaying and becomes obsessed with avenging it. Packing a gun he goes on a manhunt through the hills and dales of county Armagh. Jordan's stunning directorial debut, packs a wallop. Director: Neil Jordan
1984 - Irish - 92min V
Darby O'Gill and the Little People (***1/2)
Starring Albert Sharpe,Janet Munro,Sean Connery,Jimmy O'Dea
Outstanding Disney fantasy about an Irish caretaker (Sharpe) who spins so many tales that no one believes him when he says he's befriended the King of the Leprachauns. An utter delight, with dazzling special effects - and some truly terrifying moments along with the whimsy.
1959 - 90min V
The Dawning (***1/2)
Starring Anthony Hopkins, Jean Simmons,Trevor Howard,Rebecca Pidgeon,Hugh Grant
In the 20's Ireland, a naive young woman (Pidgeon) becomes involved with an IRA man (Hopkins) on the run. Slow-paced drama is beautifully and hauntingly shot. Top notch cast, with Howard's last film appearance.
1988 - British - 92min V
The Day They Robbed the Bank of England (****)
Starring Aldo Ray, Elizabeth Sellers, Peter O'Toole, Hugh Griffith
Irish loyalists plan to rob the largest bank in England in 1901. Entertaining crime drama.
1960 - British - 85min
The Dead(1987) ****
This is the last short story in James Joyce's "Dubliners." Set at a party in 1904 Dublin during the early days of Sinn Fein, the story subtly exposes the hypocrisy of those Irish, who except for their catholic religion, talk, dress, and behave exactly like the British, all the while decrying the "West Britons" as traitorous to Ireland. The party takes place on the day of Epiphany in the Christian calendar. Look closely for an epiphany in the characters.
Cast Anjelica Houston, Donal McCann, Helena Carroll, Cathleen Delaney, Ingrid Craigie, Rachael Dowling, Frank Patterson, Colm Meaney Director John Houston V
December Bride (****) 1993 - Irish - 90min
In Ulster (early 1900's) only first born protestant males could own land. Here a resourceful woman refuses to marry the landowner-father of her child and take his name. Perhaps she hopes the father's land will pass on to the son in her name. The landowner's younger brother has little hope of a good marriage without land for himself. Together they form a family in defiance of the church and their neighbors, which lasts until the weight of society threatens her daughter's prospects.
Cast Donal McCann, Saskia Reeves, Ciar�n Hinds, Patrick Malahide, Brenda Bruce, Michael McKnight V
In 1973, John DeLorean was most likely going to be the next president of General Motors, when he turned his back on his $650,000 a year job and focused on a grander dream... to build his own car company (the first new American car company since 1925). In 1978, DeLorean built the most advanced auto factory in the world in under 18 months, from the ground up in a small suburb of Belfast, Northern Ireland. When British Television (ATV) asked us to make a film about John DeLorean, out great automotive adventure began, an adventure that took us to the auto show in Geneva, where DeLorean and his wife showed his new car for the first time to the excited world of car buffs; to car designer Guigiaro's huge studio-factory in Italy where full-size wooden replica's of Lotuses, Ferraris and DeLoreans were locked away in secret vaults; and to DeLorean's Belfast assembly plant which was financed by the British government in an attempt to ease tensions between Protestants and Catholics by bringing them together in a working environment. Here workers from both sides built the car that became the legend of the movie "Back to the Future." When you see how close it all came to working you wonder how it could go so wrong.
The Devil's Own (1997)
Harrison Ford and Brad Pitt star in this thriller about an IRA gunman who draws an American family into the corssfire of terrorism. Frankie McGuire (Pitt) is one of the IRA's deadliest assassins. But when he is sent to the U.S. to buy weapons, Frankie is housed with the family of Tom O'Meara (Ford), a New York cop who knows nothing about Frankie's real identity. Their surprising friendship, and Tom's growing suspicions, force Frankie to choose between the promise of peace of a lifetime of murder.
Divorcing Jack (1998)
Black romantic comedy set around the troubled "peace process" and its effect on a cynical Belfast hack. A married drunk (Thewlis) hooks up with the ex-girlfriend of a viscious local criminal (Isaacs). He gets booted out of home for his infedelity, has a murderer on his tail, and must try to write the story of his life in order to save his journalism job. He gets help from a stripper dressed as a nun (Griffiths) and goes undercover dressed as Shaggy from Scooby Doo. He finds a drinking buddy in an American fellow journalist.
Dublin in Brass (1935)
In Dublin, Ireland, Danny O'Neill attends Casey's Police School in hopes of becoming a member of the New York City police department. He arrives in America on St. Patrick's Day and takes part in the city's parade (footage of an actual parade is inserted here). At a local police precinct, he discovers that his diploma from the Irish police school is worthless. However, his singing voice gets him a job offer he wasn't expecting.
Dublin Story, A (2003) Short - 14min
Set in contemporary Dublin, this is a timeless urban tale about "Clocker" and "Sanga", two young street kids whose innocence is starkly contrasted by the harsh environment in which they both live. Over the course of a day and in their interactions with various characters in central city locations, Clocker and Sanga learn much about each other and themselves as the start of their friendship develops.
Durango (1999) (TV) aka A Rose for Annie (Australia)
In 1939 Ireland, a young man (Matt Keeslar) decides to lead a 40 mile cattle drive rather than selling his cattle to an unscrupulous local buyer. Brenda Fricker appears as Keeslar's aunt and Mark Lambert is an army deserter, who signs up for the drive.
Easy Come, Easy Go (1947)
A film that possibly held the record for the most Irish-descent players in an American-produced movie before "The Quiet Man" was shot on location in Ireland, and that includes "The Informer." Barry Fitzgerald is a rapid fan of following the ponies (but none too good at picking the winners)and owns a shabby boarding house east of NYC's Third Avenue. Mostly, he never works, follows his hunches, philosphizes through most of the 77 minutes and changes the life course for most of those around him. His dependence upon his daughter (Diana Lynn) keeps him interfering with her romance with a returning WW II sailor (Sonny Tufts, just before Paramount finally gave up on him.) And he will stretch the truth beyond accepted boundaries. Fitzgerald's real-life brother Arthur Sheilds plays his brother who he has built up to be a rich man, but who is really a diver working for the police department. Could have been a ten if there had been a leprechaun or two or Pat O'Brien in the cast.
Eat the Peach
(Comedy) Two young Irish men are watching an old Elvis Presley movie in which a carnival cyclist performs an act called the Wall of Death. Transfixed, they decide to put together their own "Wall of Death."
Eliminator, The (1996)
Set in Northern Ireland of the future, Computer genius O'Brien is working hard to build the VIPER, a military supercar. He is captured, and the computer codes to the car are stolen. The subsequent fight by O'Brien and friends to retrieve theses codes involves explosions, car chases, treachery, death, zombies and the resurrection of St Patrick.
Eureka Street (1999) (mini)
The story of a group of people from Northern Ireland, trying to make their way in life in the face of sectarian and political polarization. Chucky is an overweight 30-year-old who has yet to find a purpose for his life, but when he comes up with a business idea, things begin to change in an almost miraculous manner for him. His friend Jake is an unusually sensitive repossession man, and his life too begins to change when he meets Aoirghe, a woman from the other side of the sectarian divide.
Evelyn (2002) *****
Pierce Brosnan, Stephen Rea, Aidan Quinn
Desmond Doyle is devastated when his wife abandons their family on the day after Christmas. His unemployment and the fact that there is no woman in the house to care for the children, Evelyn, Noel and Brendan, make it clear to the authorities that his is an untenable situation. The Catholic Church and the Irish courts decide the Doyle children put into Church-run orphanages. Although a sympathetic judge assures Desmond that when his financial situation reverses, he will be able to get his children back; money is hard to come by. During that time, Evelyn and her brothers suffer the abuses of living in orphanages while Desmond struggles to secure finances. Now he must battle the courts to get his children back.
Everlasting Piece, An (2000) Comedy ***
Colin (Barry McEvoy) is a Catholic and George (Brian O'Byrne) is a poetry-loving Protestant. In Belfast in the 1980s, they could have been enemies, but instead they became business partners. After persuading a mad wig salesman, known as the Scalper (Billy Connolly), to sell them his leads, the two embark on a series of house calls--always in neighborhoods that are dangerous for one or the other partner. Then they find out they may lose their exclusive wig distributorship to competitors. Through a series of comic twists, the pair are given large orders for wigs by both sides of the Protestant/Catholic conflict. Should they compromise their principles in order to keep their business? Will it destroy their friendship? Could one of their wigs in the hands of the IRA actually put one or both of them in jail or even get them killed?
An Irishman (Paul Ronan) emmigrates to New York during the most heated point of the tensions in Northern Ireland in 1991. However, escaping the conflict in his home country does not free him from the strife. Soon he finds himself in the middle of a gun running operation involving his cousin (Ronan Carr) and two hot-headed friends (Paul Clarke, Mickey McGloine). And things get further complicated when the Irishman gets involved with the long-suffering wife (Jenny Conroy) of one of the gun-runners.
Falling for a Dancer (1998) (TV)
Romantic drama set in rural Ireland of the 1930s. The story begins when 19-year-old Elizabeth has a brief fling with an actor and falls pregnant. Community pressure forces her to marry a dull middle-aged man, but maybe there is hope on the horizon.
Far and Away (1992) **1/2
Scrappy, dirt-poor Irish tenant farmer hooks up, in unlikely fashion, with the equally feisty daughter of a wealthy landowner, and together they sail for America to seek their ultimate destiny in the 1893 Oklahoma land rush. Ideal vehicle for Tom and Nicole, who are both beautiful and engaging; problem is a dire lack of story to fill the lulls between fight scenes. Expanded for network TV showing. Filmed in Ireland and Montana.
Cast Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Thomas Gibson, Robert Prosky, Barbara Babcock, Brendan Gleeson Director Ron Howard V DVD
Father Ted (1995)
Have mercy on poor Father Ted Crilly. He has so much to contend with when it comes to dealing with the folks of Craggy Island, Ireland. There's Father Dougal McGuire, who is as dimwitted as they come; and then there is Father Jack Hackett who lives for the simple pleasures of life (sleeping, drinking, and swearing). Ted tries to bring stability to his congregation as well as the surreal townspeople of Craggy Island.
Felicia's Journey (1999)
A lonely middle-aged catering manager (Bob Hoskins) spends all of his time studying tapes of an eccentric TV chef (Arsinee Khanjian). Meanwhile, a young woman (Elaine Cassidy) is making her way from Ireland to find her boy friend (Peter McDonald), who moved to England to get a job in a lawn-mower factory. On arrival, she makes an early contact with the caterer, who recommends a boarding room to her. Slowly, it is revealed that the caterer has in fact befriended and subsequently abused more than a dozen young women. He, of course, now sets his site on this woman. Much of the story is told in flashbacks, revealing how each of the characters grew to the point where they now find themselves. However, the drama of the character interaction is more important to director, Atom Egoyan, than the potential horror of the situation.
The Field (1990) ****
Set in the rugged west coast of Ireland where the land is rocky and infertile, this film explores the land lust of those left behind when the rest of the inhabitants went to seek "greener pastures." Filled with righteous indignation and contempt for the emigrants, the people of the west struggle to regain and keep their land though from it they can barely scratch out a living. Prominent to the story are the Tinkers or Travelers, those who wander Ireland in caravans. They serve as a stark reminder that there is another way.
"Bull" McCabe's family has farmed a field for generations, sacrificing endlessly for the sake of the land. And when the widow who owns the field decides to sell the field in a public auction, McCabe knows that he must own it. But while no one in the village would dare bid against him, an American with deep pockets decides that he needs the field to build a highway. The Bull and his son decide to convince the American to give up bidding on the field, but things go horribly wrong.
Cast Richard Harris, John Hurt, Tom Berenger, Sean Bean, Brenda Fricker, Brendan Gleeson V
Fifth Province, The (1997) Timmy Sugrue is a persecuted guesthouse keeper and writer who lives with his mad mother in a very rainy part of the Irish midlands. His only consolation are his visits to Dr. Drudy, a psychiatrist whom he can tell about the love of his life - the President of Ireland. A new motorway puts Timmy's guesthouse off the map. a strange Spanish pilot called marcel comes to visit and create havoc in the guesthouse. Timmy goes to a scriptwriters' conference where only fast, urban and up-beat stories are expected, nothing like Timmy's own story. Uneasy in any of the four provinces of Ireland, he desperately tries to reach the Fifth Province, the province of magic, of passion, of possibility.
Fighting Father Dunne (**1/2)
St. Louis, 1905: Parish priest Father Dunne (Pat O'Brien) becomes aware of the plight of the city's newsboys, living on pennies and often homeless, and resolves to help them. Through inspired finagling and the gift of the blarney, he organizes a sort of "co-op" orphanage for increasing numbers of boys. Then he's faced with the tougher problem of stopping the escalating violence in inter-paper rivalry for "good corners"...
Starring Pat O'Brien, Darryl Hickman
1948 - 93m
The Fighting O'Flynn (**1/2)
O'Flynn, soldier of fortune, returns to Ireland during the Napoleonic wars just in time to save Lady Benedetta from robbers. But they pursue her to ruinous Castle O'Flynn, after secret papers she carries which would reveal Napoleon's plans to invade Ireland. The Napoleonic agents (and British traitors) will stop at nothing to gain their ends, but the swashbuckling exploits of the O'Flynn may be a match for them all.
Starring Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Richard Greene
The Fighting Prince of Donegal (***)
Setting - Ireland 1587. Hugh O'Donnell, inherits the title of The O'Donnell, the prince of Donegal, and tries unite Ireland to make war on England. But then Hugh is kidnapped and imprisoned by the Viceroy of Ireland and held ransom for the Clans' good behavior. And Hugh must escape prison and the Viceroy's villainous henchman, Captain Leeds, before he can fight.
Starring Peter McEnery, Susan Hampshire, Tom Adams, Donal McCann, Gordon Jackson
1966 - 112m - V
The Fighting 69th (**1/2)
Starring James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, Alan Hale
Details the exploits of the famous Irish regiment in WWI.
1940 - 90m B&W - V
Five Minutes of Heaven (*****)
In February, 1975, in Northern Ireland, the seventeen year-old UVF member Alistair Little kills the catholic Jimmy Griffin in his house in Lurgan in front of his younger brother Joe Griffin. Alistair is arrested and imprisoned for twelve years while Joe is blamed by his mother for not saving his brother. Thirty-three years later, a TV promotes the meeting of Alistair (Liam Neeson) and Joe (James Nesbitt) in a house in River Finn expecting the truth and the reconciliation of the murderer and the victim that actually seeks five minutes of heaven.
Starring: Liam Neeson, James Nesbit
The Flying Irishman (**)
Starring Douglas Corrigan, Paul Kelly, Robert Armstrong
Routine biography, largely fictional, dealing with the life of Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan
1939 - 72m B&W
Flight of the Doves (1971)
This British-made film cast from the Disney mold has a brother(Jack Wild) and younger sister fleeing their loutish stepfather in England to find their grandmother in Ireland. Along the journey they are assisted by a motley assortment of colorful characters, and are pursued by a menacing relative who believes their appearance will deprive him of an inheiritance. The uncle, played by Ron Moody, affects a series of disguises to trick the kids, but always gets the shaft. A beautiful soundtrack score enhances the film. Not readily available, so catch it if you can on television.
Fools of Fortune (1990)
A Protestant Irish family is caught up in a conflict between Irish Republicans and the British army.
Forbidden Quest (1993)
1931: in Ireland, a film maker hears of an aged ship's carpenter who knows the fate of the Hollandia, a Norse ship that set sail in 1905 and vanished. The old salt has canisters of film to prove his tale. We see the footage as he narrates. They sail south in June, 1905, with scores of Siberian huskies aboard, meeting no living soul, the crew ignorant of the trip's purpose, until they reach Antarctica. A mysterious Italian paces the deck; a polar bear appears, and the Italian, possessed, hunts it down. That night, the boatswain explains to the crew how an Arctic bear could be at the South Pole and why the Hollandia has come. Visitors arrive, and the Gothic tale plays out.
Frankie Starlight (1995) ,br>This is a story of a man (Walker), suffering from dwarfism, who writes an autobiographical account of his life. In flashbacks, we see how he was conceived to a woman (Parillaud) at the end of WWII as she attempts to smuggle herself to America on a troop ship. Caught, she is put ashore back in her homeland of Ireland where she struggles to bring up her dwarfed child. Then comes an ongoing affair with a man (Byrne) who becomes a surrogate father to the boy, teaching him about the stars and planets... and calling him "Frankie Starlight." After that affair she meets with a man (Dillon) who takes her and the boy to America, but they are misfits in the prairie lands of the West and soon return home to Ireland where the boy grows to manhood as a writer.
General, The (1998)
The real-life story of Dublin folk hero and criminal Martin Cahill, who pulled off two daring robberies in Ireland with his team, but attracted unwanted attention from the police, the IRA, the UVF and members of his own team.
The Gentle Gunman(***)
Starring Dirk Bogarde, John Mills
IRA member Terry modifies his violent views after working undercover in wartime London. As a result he see to it that his co-conspirators are arrested, while ensuring his brother Matt escapes back to Ireland. Terry follows and the local group have to decide what to do about him and about their imprisoned colleagues being shipped to Belfast.
1952 - British -86m
Starring Errol Flynn, Jack Carson, Ward Bond, Alan Hale, Alexis Smith
Biography of the polished boxer Jim Corbett in fight game's early days. Flynn is dynamic in title role, supported by colorful cast.
1942 - 104m B&W - V
The Ghost and the Darkness (1996)
Based on a true account, this film tells the story of Col. Patterson an Irish engineer who traveled to Africa to build a trestle bridge in 1896. Under British authority, the colonel must shoulder the responsibility (and blame) for the project. It's the old, "you have to be twice as good to be half as accepted" routine. An account of the lion attacks depicted can be found in Peter Capstick's, "Death in the Silent Places."
Cast Michael Douglas, Val Kilmer, Tom Wilkinson, John Kani, Bernard Hill, Brian McCardie, Emily Mortimer V DVD
Gloriana (1984) (TV)
The Earl of Essex, Robert Devereux, is hot-blooded and jealous of anyone who might win the Queen's favour. He provokes a fight with the tournament victor, Charles Blount, Lord Mountjoy, but then the Queen and her entourage arrive. She orders the two men to make up, but later she discusses the rivalry of Mountjoy and Essex with her chief adviser, Sir Robert Cecil. She admires Essex, but Cecil warns her of the political dangers of showing affection for him. He also reports that a new Armada may be on the way. Essex comes in and requests permission to go to Ireland to suppress the Tyrone rebellion. He accuses Cecil and Sir Walter Raleigh of intriguing against him. The Queen resists and sends him away. Essex complains to his wife Frances about the way Elizabeth thwarts his desire to go to Ireland. Lady Essex gives a ball at which she dresses extravagantly and looks finer than her queen, but when the ladies return from changing their dresses after a dance, Lady Essex says that her dress was stolen, and it is clear that the larger woman, Queen Elizabeth, is wearing it. Essex is furious about his wife's humiliation, but the Queen says he will be appointed Lord Deputy in Ireland. In the final act, however, Essex has failed to put down the Irish rebellion. Though Elizabeth likes him, she cannot approve his failure or his paranoia and political battles at court. The Queen orders him imprisoned, and some citizens sympathize with Essex though others declare him a traitor and call for his death. Queen Elizabeth must now ponder her relationship with Essex in order to come to the best decision.
Going My Way (****)
Starring Bing Crosby, Barry Fitzgerald
Sentimental story about down to earth priest, Father O'Malley (Crosby) winning over aging superior (Fitzgerald) and sidewalk gang of kids is hard to resist.
1944 - 130m B&W V
Gold in the Streets (1996)
Liam moves away from Ireland to USA, where he settles in Bronx. There he works in a little bar owned by Italian Mario and lives with other illegal immigrants who are afraid that they'll get thrown out of the country and are not sure of their place in his new life, including his cousin Des
The Great John L (**1/2)
Starring Greg McClure, Linda Darnell, Wallace Ford
Not bad bio of the rise and fall of the famous boxer, his two loves and unhappy end.
1945 - 96m B&W
The Green Years (1946) Charles Coburn, Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy
Guard, The (2011) **** Crime Drama
Sergeant Gerry Boyle is a small-town Irish cop with a confrontational personality, a subversive sense of humor, a dying mother, a fondness for prostitutes, and absolutely no interest whatsoever in the international cocaine-smuggling ring that has brought straight-laced FBI agent Wendell Everett to his door.
Starring Brendan Gleason, Don Cheadle, Michael Strong
'H3' is a universal story of endurance and courage set inside Europe's most secure prison, the Maze prison in Northern Ireland. Here, in H3 - the bleakest of all the H-blocks - a group of young republican prisoners hold out for what they believe in, refusing to be labeled as criminals or co-operate with prison authorities. However, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is determined that these Republican prisoners will be treated like all the other common criminals in British jails, ending a special regime which allowed the inmates political status to organise life inside the jail along POW lines. The republican prisoners immediately start a 'no-wash' protest, refusing to wear prison-issue clothes or perform work duties, a protest which results in their being locked in their cells for hours on end without exercise, recreation, reading materials and with only blankets to wear for heat. After four years on this protest, morale is at an all time low and everyone knows that something desperate is called for to break the deadlock... Although 'H3' portrays bleak prison conditions and tough moments, it also shows the camaraderie and craic, (Gaelic for fun) as inmates learn Jailic, (the particular brand of Gaelic learned inside the prison), sing songs, spin yarns and keep an eye out for each other. As each prisoner is forced to confront his own demons, the film shows us the triumph of humanity, friendship, loyalty and courage over the prison administration's crude efforts to break their will. The hunger strikes irrevocably altered the political landscape in the north of Ireland, preparing the ground for the current peace process which was born of the tremendous sacrifices made by the protagonists of this extraordinary yet true film.
Hangman's House (1928)
Set in Ireland and notable today as the first movie in which John Wayne is clearly visible, a spectator at the steeplechase. He knocks the fence down and leads the other spectators toward the winning horse.As "Hanging Judge" James O'Brien approaches death, he prepares for his daughter's welfare by arranging her marriage to the wealthy John Darcy, whom she despises. Meanwhile, an exiled patriot named Hogan returns to Ireland to kill the man who caused his sister's suicide. That man is Darcy.Victor McLaglen, an exile Irish patriot, risks his life by returning to Ireland and helping a young couple. John Wayne
Happy Ever After (1954)
The whole village mourns when General O'Leary (A.E. Matthews), owner of a hunting estate in South Ireland, is killed in an accident. His nephew, Jasper O'Leary (David Niven), takes over the state and soon has aroused the displeasure of all, with the exception of Serena McGluskey (Yvonne De Carlo), as much a schemer as he is a cad. Led by Thady O'Heggarty (Barry Fitzgerald), the villagers plot to drive Jasper away. They use the occassion of "O'Leary Night", when the ghost of the first O'Leary walks the halls, to create general chaos.
Harry's Game (1982) (TV)
Harry is an undercover agent for the British army sent to Northern Ireland to infiltrate the IRA and find (and terminate) the assassin of a British Cabinet Minister. Harry is alone, the army hasn't been told he is being put in place, his wife is fed up with him and his job, and his one new friend, an Irish woman who falls for him will be consumed by his relentless search for the assassin.
Headrush is a crime comedy about two disillusioned youths, struggling through a haze of cannabis, who hope to solve all their problems by smuggling a consignement of drugs for a local gangster. It's set in the present day in Dublin, Ireland against the backdrop of the end of the Celtic Tiger: the bursting of the bubble of this economy boom that's supposed to have done wonders for us all
Hearts of Humanity (1932)
Genial Irish NYC policeman Tom O'Hara (J.Farrell MacDonald) is looking forward to the arrival of his wife and their young son, Shandy (Jackie Searl)from Ireland. Several days before the ship is to dock, O'Hara gets a radiogram informing him that his wife has died at sea. That night a burglar breaks into the Antigue & Second Hand Shop ran by Sol Bloom (Jean Hersholt), directly below O'Hara's flat. The burglar shoots O'Hara, who has rushed to his friend's aid, and, with his last breath he asks Sol to take care of Shandy. When Shandy arrives, Sol immediately makes him a member of the family, which also consists of a very mischievous motherless boy named Joey Bloom (Dick Wallace), whose pursuits consist of stealing oranges from fruit-dealer Tony (George Humbert), and playing hookey from school.
Starring Rod Steiger, Lee Remick, Richard Johnson, Trevor Howard
Interesting but unbelievable thriller about Irish man whose wife and child are killed in Belfast violence, stirring him to plan the bombing of Parliament on opening day when the Royal Family attends.
1975 - British - 102m
Hidden Agenda (1990) (****)
Conspiracy theories make great film subjects. It would seem there is far more behind the "Troubles" than we thought. A team from the International League of Civil Liberties finds out who is pulling the political strings in Northern Ireland and why. It is frightening to think just how vulnerable we all are to propaganda and counter intelligence campaigns.
Cast Frances McDormand, Brian Cox, Brad Dourif, Mai Zetterling, Maurice Roeves, Robert Patterson DVD
His Family Tree (1935)
When his son doesn't respond to his many letters, Patrick Murphy decides to leave Ireland and visit his son in America. But upon arriving in Center City Patrick discovers that his son, who is running for Mayor, has changed the family name to Murfree. After his daughter-in-law makes it clear that the old gent's Celtic influence isn't welcome at the Murfree home, Patrick realizes that it is up to him to restore his son's pride in his Irish heritage.
Hobson's Choice (1954)
Henry Hobson runs a successful bootmaker's shop in nineteenth-century Salford. A widower with a weakness for the pub opposite, he tries forcefully to rule the lives of his three unruly daughters. When he decrees 'no marriages' to avoid the expensive matter of settlements, eldest daughter Maggie rebels and sets her sights on Will Mossop, Hobson's star bootmaker. Maggie and Will leave to start up in competition, and she then turns her mind to helping her sisters marry their chosen partners.
House of the Damned (1996)
Will and Maura, despite their marital problems, decide to come to Ireland and live on Maura's ancestral estate, bringing with them their daughter Aubrey. But soon weird happenings around the house lead a local priest to confess that Maura's ancestors practiced black magic, and Maura's own insecurities threaten to bring her into the evil fold.
The Importance of Being Earnest (1952) Michael Redgrave
Jack Worthing lives in the country with his pretty ward Cecily Cardew. But in the city, he goes by the name of Earnest and is in love with Gwendolyn Fairfax. Miss Fairfax's cousin is Algernon Moncrieff, who, also using the name Earnest, goes to the country and falls in love with Jack's ward Cecily. When they all come together, we have two men who claim to be Earnest and aren't and two girls who are love with men named Earnest who aren't Earnest.
In America (2002) Directed by Jim Sheridan (***)
An Irish immigrant family adjusts to life in the United States.
In Bruges (2008) **** Crime, Dark Comedy
Guilt-stricken after a job gone wrong, hitman Ray and his partner await orders from their ruthless boss in Bruges, Belgium, the last place in the world Ray wants to be.
Starring Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleason
The Informant (1997)
Starring Timothy Dalton
A young IRA member is forced to turn informant on his comrades when he is caught in an assassination attempt on a judge.
The Informer (****)
Starring Victor McLaglen, Heather Angel, Preston Foster, Margot Grahame, Wallace Ford, Una O'Connor
Masterpiece study of human nature tells of hard-drinking McLaglen, who informs on buddy to collect reward during Irish Rebellion. Powerful drama, based on Liam O'Flaherty's novel, with a memorable Max Steiner score. Remade as Up Tight.
1935 - John Ford - 91m - B&W
Intermission is an urban love story about people adrift and their convoluted journeys in the search for some kind of love. When the desperately insecure and emotionally inarticulate John (Murphy) breaks up with Deirdre (Macdonald) to 'give her a little test' his plan backfires leaving her broken-hearted and him alone and miserable. Through chance and coincidence, their break-up triggers a roller coaster ride of interweaving escapades in the lives of everyone around them.
In The Name of the Father (1993) ****
Here we see Irishmen as victims of British oppression. This is the story of the "Guildford Four" who were wrongly convicted of bombing an English pub in 1974. Believed to be members of the IRA, the four were railroaded into confessing and sent to prison. Their families and the press kept hope alive for years until the convictions were overturned.
Cast Daniel Day-Lewis, Pete Postlethwaite, Emma Thompson V DVD
Into the West (1993) ***
A family of Travelers (Irish gypsies) tries to make a go in modern-day Dublin only to find the landlord doesn't take to horses boarded in the flat. Depicts the struggle between the old and new ways as Ireland takes its place in the modern world.
Cast Gabriel Byrne, Ellen Barkin, Colm Meaney V
Irish Destiny (1926)
When the notorious "Black and Tans" arrive at his village of Clonmore, IRA man Denis O'Hara discovers a plan to raid a secret IRA meeting, and he races to Dublin to warn his colleagues. He reaches the city, but is shot and captured by British soldiers. Denis is imprisoned in Kildare, but manages to escape along with his fellow prisoners. Believing him to be dead, his mother goes blind from the shock, and his girlfriend Moira is abducted by fellow villager Beecher, who is in league with the Tans. Denis arrives back in Clonmore just in time to rescue Moira. With the burning of the Customs House in Dublin, the War of Independence is soon over and a truce is reached with the British.
Irish Empire, The (2000) (Documentary)
From the origins of the "scattering" of the Irish over the centuries, to the dreams of a mythical home nurtured by so many Irish migrants today, The Irish Empire is a lively exploration of the ups and downs of the Irish experience abroad - as seen by themselves, and as they are perceived by others. Episode One: The Scattering describes the astonishing diversity and scale of Irish migrations, how the Irish established themselves in far corners of the world and where they succeeded and how they failed. Episode Two: Building the World "Rome wasn't built in a day - but then the Irish weren't on that job." Trace the journey from slave to plantation owner, convict to politician and the Irish shaping the world. Episode Three: A World Apart is the untold story of Ireland's women emigrants: more women than men left Ireland - and fewer returned. Episode Four: Keeping the Faith tells how the Irish emigrants brought their religious beliefs - and their differences - with them, wherever they went in the world. Episode Five: Dreams of Hope addresses how the reality of today's Ireland differs from the imagined Ireland preserved by the emigrants and their descendants.
Irish Eyes Are Smiling (**1/2)
Starring June Haver, Monty Wooley, Dick Haymes, Anthony Quinn, Maxie Rosenbloom
Colorful film about composer of famous Irish songs, with pleasant cast and familiar tunes.
1944 - 90 min
Irish in America: Long Journey Home, The (1998) (Documentary - PBS)
This series surveys the history of the people of Ireland concerning their impact on the United States of America. For centuries, Ireland suffered under the heel of England and endured hardship that forced thousands to leave. For most, America was the place to go, and this series tells their story from the first colonization efforts to Irish independence in the 20th century.
The Irish In Us (**)
Starring Pat O'Brien, James Cagney, Olivia de Havilland, Frank McHugh
Comedy about rivalry between prizefighters and policemen, with good cast to hold one's interest.
1935 - 85min - B&W
The Irishman (1978)
A lost Australian epic.
Irish Rovers, The (1971) (Documentary)
The Irish Rovers were formed, first as a duo, by George Millar & his friend Jim Ferguson in Toronto in 1963. Both boys haled from Ireland. In 1994, George's cousin, Joe Millar emigrated to Canada & was immediately seized for the group. They were joined by George's brother, Will Millar later that year in Calgary & the group was on its way. After working successfully in California, where they intr�duced the song 'the Unicorn', the team returned, eventually to Canada where they began a variety show of Irish folk songs. Will Millar left the group in 1995 & Jim Ferguson died in 1997. The Rovers now consist of six members including the original founder & his cousin.
Irish Whiskey Rebellion (**)
Starring William Devane, Anne Meara, Richard Mulligan
Pedestrian tale of Irish rum running during America's Prohibition era hoping to raise money for IRA struggles back home. Strong performances by all.
1972 - 92min
I See a Dark Stranger (1946)
Determined, independent Bridie Quilty comes of age in 1944 Ireland thinking all Englishmen are devils. Her desire to join the IRA meets no encouragement, but a German spy finds her easy to recruit. We next find her working in a pub near a British military prison, using her sex appeal in the service of the enemy. But chance puts a really vital secret into her hands, leading to a chase involving Bridie, a British officer who's fallen for her, a German agent unknown to them both, and the police...paralleled by Bridie's own internal conflicts.
It's Now or Never (1996)
A lonely sheep farmer in his fifties employs the services of a matchmaker to find a wife. Out in his small country farm-house in the super green fields of Ireland with his dog "Rowd," he makes up his mind and spruces up his life for new love.
Johnny Nobody (1961)
When the atheistic ranting of Irish-American author James Mulcahy upsets the inhabitants of the Irish village to which he has retired, a mob threatens him. But moments after he has dared God to strike him dead, a stranger appears and does so. The man, dubbed "Johnny Nobody" by the press, claims no knowledge of Mulcahy or even of himself. He asks the help of the village priest, Father Carey, in his upcoming trial for Mulcahy's murder. While the amnesiac Johnny goes to trial, Father Carey mulls questions of belief raised by the case. And then, the good father learns a little more about Johnny Nobody...
Juno and the Paycock(1930) **1/2
During the Irish revolution, a family earns a big inheritance. They start leading a rich life forgetting what the most important values of are. At the end, they discover they will not receive that inheritance; the family is destroyed and penniless. They must sell their home and start living like vagabonds. (B/W) Alfred Hitchcock Starring Barry Fitzgerald
Kathleen O'Moore returns to her home in rural Ireland and becomes torn between the affections of Michael Rooney, a poor but honest man, and the wealthy squire with the power to make her dreams come true.
Knute Rockne,All American (***)
Starring Pat O'Brien, Gale Page, Donald Crisp, Ronald Reagan
O'Brien stars as famous Notre Dame football coach and Reagan as star player George Gipp makes this one memorable. Important note: several scenes, including famous "win it for the Gipper" moment, are cut from all TV prints due to legal complications, so don't blame your local station.
1940 - 84m B&W Originally 98 min
The Last Hurrah (****) 1958 - John Ford - 111m
Starring Spencer Tracy, Jeffrey Hunter, Diane Foster, Basil Rathbone, Pat O'Brien, Donald Crisp, John Carradine
Taken from the Edwin O'Connor novel, this film is loosely based on the life of Boston's long-time mayor, James Curley. Mayor Skeffington (Curley) is the son of Irish immigrants whose mother worked as a maid for a wealthy Boston family. Through his endearing charm and personal style he rose to prominence in local politics. A "man of the people," Skeffington attends funerals, hands out money, and kisses babies. But his real work is getting the cooperation of the old establishment who keep him as an outsider by any means they can. Top notch cast makes this film sparkle - 1977 version doesn't hold a candle to this one.
Cast Spencer Tracy, Jeffrey Hunter, Dianne Foster, Pat O'Brien, Basil Rathbone Director John Ford B/W V
Last of the High Kings, The (1996)
Gabriel Byrne, Colm Meaney, Stephen Rea
It is 1977, Dublin rocks to the music of Thin Lizzy and the world is stunned by the death of Elvis Presley. Frankie, caught between acne and adulthood, has just completed his final exams in school. Convinced he will fail, he survives the summer organising a beach party, having lustful thoughts about two girls he believes are unobtainable and fending off the advances from a visiting American family friend, all whilst coping with his oddball family.
The Last September (2000) ** 1/2
Based on the book by Elizabeth Bowen, who was born in Dublin in 1899 and saw, first hand, the changes brought about by the Irish fight for independence in the early twentieth century. The Anglo-Irish upper classes struggled to find an identity while the Irish rebels and British soldiers competed for control of Ireland. The Irish upper crust were a mixture of those who, centuries before, had left Catholicism and allied with the Queen of England and British gentry sent from England to occupy captured territory. By the 1920s, they had became obsolete, relics of a doomed era.
Cast Maggie Smith, Jane Birkin, Fiona Shaw, Michael Gambon, Lambert Wilson, Keeley Hawes V DVD
Lily of Killarney Musical (1949)
The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne 1987
Judith Hearn is a middle aged spinster earning a living by giving piano lessons in the Dublin of the 1950's. She falls in love with a shady hotel owner who, in turn, decides to exploit her as far as he can.
Long Days Journey Into Night (1962) ****
Though an Irishman may have found financial success in his new country the past is always with him, his thoughts and ways were shaped by the old country. This film shows us a man who cannot relax and enjoy life in America because of fears rooted in the past. Because his father went back to Ireland leaving the family destitute, he is stricken with an uncontrollable desire to "make it" in America. He and his family suffer because every available dollar goes to buy land or on some get rich scheme. And his sons cannot understand his miserly ways and resent him, tearing the family apart. Opportunity is no guarantee of success. Some Irish did not make it in America.
Cast Katharine Hepburn, Ralph Richardson, Jason Robards, Dean Stockwell, Jeanne Barr Director Sidney Lumet Script Eugene O'Neill B/W V
The Long Gray Line (***)
Starring Tyrone Power, Maureen O'Hara, Robert Francis, Ward Bond, Donald Crisp, Betsy Palmer
Lengthy sentimental drama of West Point athletic trainer Power and his many years at the Academy. O'Hara is radiant as his wife.
1955 - John Ford - 138min
Each week Patrick Sean Flaherty tracks down the different lucky winners of the Intersweep lottery. Eric Rush of the IRS tags along to make sure that Uncle Sam gets his share. The stories center around the ordinary people who have all of a sudden become millionaires and how it changes their life.
Love Divided, A (1999)
A Love Divided is the moving and dramatic love story of a marriage between a Catholic and a Protestant in 1950's Ireland. The events of their lives made international news headlines. Based on a true story A Love Divided is essentially a love story about a brave and passionate couple whose love was severely tested but was strong enough to survive - against all the odds. 'This story is about having the nerve to stand outside of your own tribe and make your decisions in the face of your history and upbringing. It is about having control over your own lives - that is Sheila and Sean's love story'. Syd Macartney - Director
The Luck of Ginger Coffey (1964)
Robert Shaw is brilliant as Ginger. He is the quintessential immigrant convinced that life in Canada will be the bright future he deserves. His wife, Vera (Mary Ure) is the terrified woman who has followed her husband's dream, but longs for home. The story of one man's struggle in the New World is not unique; Brian Moore's belief in the essential optimism of the Irish character lifts this small tragedy to a greater good.
Mackintosh Man, The (1973)
Joseph Rearden takes the fall for a robbery and winds up in the Scrubs. From there he escapes in the company of a convicted spy and is taken to a remote manor at an unknown location where he is kept isolated. He overpowers his guard and flies, but nothing is quite what it seems in this drama of intrigue as Rearden pursues his quarry from Ireland to Malta.
Mad About Mambo (2000) Comedy
A catholic high school student in West Belfast, Ireland dreams of playing professional soccer. But first, he has to perfect his timing. He starts taking dance classes, and there he meets Lucy McCloughlin, and falls in love...
Making Ends Meet (1999) Comedy
Welcome to the world of the petty Dublin criminal. There's Massive, Mags, the Byrne brothers and then there's Cal, a small-time crook who always has time to help the elderly even when he's robbing the local post office. Cal's number one fan is his young son David, who's following in his father's footsteps, to the great dismay of his mum. The principal of his school is looking for a reason to expel him, the guards are on his trail, and a rival gang want his luminous sneakers. When they all meet up in the principal's office, something has to give.
A Man of No Importance (1995) ****
This film wonderfully depicts the Irish with their light easy character on the surface and their sexual repression hidden underneath. Oscar Wilde, a symbol of sexual freedom, was born in Dublin. Yet, the local parish theater group can scarcely draw up the courage to perform his play 'Salome.' Set in 1960's Dublin, the Irish here would seem to be behind the times, especially considering the sexual revolution occurring in America. Yet, all in all, the Irish are a tolerant lot who prefer their sex and their sexuality in the dark.
Cast Albert Finney, Brenda Fricker, Michael Gambon, Tara Fitzgerald, Rufus Sewell V
The Manions of America
The March Hare(1955)
Starring Peggy Cummins, Terence Morgan, Martita Hunt, Cyril Cusack, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Derrick de Marney
Story set in Ireland about a racehorse that receives encouragement from a magic word delivered by the "Little People".
The Matchmaker (1997) ****
Marcy is an assistant to Senator John McGlory, who is having problems with a re-election campaign. Desperate for Irish votes, McGlory's chief of staff Nick sends Marcy to Ireland to trace McGlory's relatives or ancestors. Marcy arrives at the village of Ballinagra when it is preparing for an annual Matchmaking Festival. A well-dressed, handsome and single young lady, she becomes the center of attention for two professional matchmakers, Dermot and Millie, as well as for bartender Sean.
Cast Janeane Garofalo, David O'Hara, Milo O'Shea, Denis Leary, Paul Hickey, Maria Doyle Kennedy V DVD
Michael Collins (1996) ****
This film covers Ireland's struggle for independence from 1916 to 1922. After the disastrous Easter Rebellion against British troops, Michael Collins, an Irish nationalist leader of Sinn Fein, transformed the Irish army into guerrilla fighters, which later became the IRA. The film clearly shows the ambivalence of the nationalists, many of whom wanted independence but would accept no compromise. It was a war that was not a war, yet, Collins and his men, through perseverance, brought about a treaty with England and the establishment of the Irish Free State.
Cast Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn, Julia Roberts, Alan Rickman V DVD
Mickybo and Me (2004) (****)
Based on the play of the same name the film tells the story of two boys who become friends at the start of the Troubles in 1970. The boys share an obsession with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, with the consequence that they run away to Australia.
The Mighty Celt (2005) ****
Cast: Gillian Anderson, Robert Carlyle
Donal (McKenna) is a 14-year old who develops a passion for greyhound racing. He works in a kennel, which is owned by Good Joe (Stott). Good Joe promises Donal ownership of Donal's favourite greyhound, The Mighty Celt, if the animal wins three races in a row. Meanwhile, Donal's mother, Kate (Anderson), must adjust her life when O (Carlyle), a man from her past, returns. The political climate of Ireland serves as the backdrop of this story.
Miller's Crossing (1990) ***
Moody, stylish, and pretentious take on gangster films by the Coen brothers (Joel directed and cowrote with producer-brother Ethan). Byrne plays a black-hearted Irish mobster with a code of ethics known only to himself, and a vow of loyalty to crime kingpin Finney. Dense and dour, it's almost doggedly off-putting at first, but gets more involving as its serpentine story unfolds. Some bravura moments, as you'd expect from the Coens, along with Barry Sonnenfeld's compelling cinematography.
Cast Gabriel Byrne, Albert Finney, John Turturro, Jon Polito, Marcia Gay Harden V
Miracle, The (1991) Directed by Neil Jordan
The two teenagers Jimmy and Rose spend their vacation at the small Irish sea-resort Bray. Out of boredom they observe other people and imagine wild stories about them. One day they observe the blonde Renee, and Jimmy is immediately fascinated by her and even follows her home. She, too, seems to like him, but for a mysterious reason keeps him at a distance.
Monument Avenue (1998) ***
Set in Charlestown, Massachusetts, (on the outskirts of Boston) where the mean-streets lifestyle of the Irish-Americans that never made it out of the Irish ghetto still exists. When the Irish arrived in the US many flocked to Irish neighborhoods where they "looked after their own." As time passed and ethnic patterns changed most Irish assimilated into mainstream America. Yet in New York, Chicago, and Boston, pockets of Irish (usually with some connection to organized crime or the Irish mob) live the lifestyle fashioned when discrimination against the Irish was rife and the Irish ghetto was the only place to find work and acceptance.
Cast Dennis Leary, Colm Meaney, Martin Sheen, Billy Crudup, Jason Barry, Ian Hart, Famke Janssen, John Diehl, Greg Dulli, Jeanne Tripplehorn
The Molly Maguires (***)
Starring Sean Connery, Richard Harris, Samantha Eggar
Well crafted film about secret society of Irish mine workers in Pennsylvania, circa 1876. Connery is leader, and Harris plays the newcomer, working as informer. Vivid atmosphere and good performances.
1970 - 123min - V
Mountains of the Moon (1990)
The Irish of British descent were treated second-best by the British according to Bram Stoker, a contemporary of our subject, Sir Richard Burton. Burton was born in Ireland of an Anglo-Irish father and a Scottish mother. He traveled to Africa to find the source of the Nile with a more 'proper' Englishman (in both senses of the word) John Hanning Speke. This film deals with the story and controversy of who should get credit for their discovery.
Cast Patrick Bergin, Iain Glen, Richard E. Grant, Fiona Shaw, John Savident V DVD
My Brother's War (1997)
The IRA have declared a ceasefire, but a small splinter group has decided to continue the armed struggle. A CIA guy is asked to track down the leader of the splinter group with the help of the brother of the leader. He reluctantly agrees.
My Friend Joe (1996)
During the course of one summer, a young Irish lad named Chris befriends an American boy named Joe. The two couldn't be more different, yet they become inseparable. Things turn horribly wrong however, when Chris discovers his new best friend isn't a he, but a she. The sadness only begins as Chris learns why Joe's gender must be kept a secret.
My Left Foot (1990) ****
Based on the autobiography of Christy Brown the Dublin-born writer and painter. Brown suffered cerebral palsy from birth, yet lived to be one of the 13 surviving children out of 22 of this poor Irish Catholic family. The details of life, such as sleeping four to a bed, give the audience a real appreciation of what life is like in such a large family. Though Brown wrote of his isolation from society, he always found acceptance with his family who refused to place him in a home. Without this acceptance and support he may never have become a writer or even learned to write at all.
Cast Daniel Day-Lewis, Brenda Fricker, Fiona Shaw, Ray McAnally, Owen Sharp V DVD
A black comedy about two old-time conmen who pretend to be able to communicate with the dead.
Ned Kelly (1970) *
Unable to support his family in the Australian outback, a man turns to stealing horses in order to make money. He gets more deeply drawn into the outlaw life, and eventually becomes involved in murders. Based on the life of famed 19th-century Australian outlaw Ned Kelly. Starring Mick Jagger
Ned Kelly (2003) ***
This film is based on "Our Sunshine" by Robert Drew, a novel based on the life of Australian bushranger and icon, Ned Kelly. It tells of his life as a bushranger in north-west Victoria, where he lived all his life. He, his brother Dan, and two other men, Steve Hart and Joe Byrne, formed a gang. These four robbed a bank and hijacked an entire town for 3 days. They killed three policemen who were hunting them. They then took over a pub in Glenrowan, where they basically held a party, waiting for a train full of police to derail at a part of the track that they tore up. However a school teacher warned the train, so the gang and all the others in the pub ended up in a shootout with scores of policemen. Starring Heath Ledger, Orlando Bloom, Naomi Watts
The Nephew (1998) ***
Twenty years ago, Tony Egan's sister went to America. Nobody ever heard of her again. But now, the message of her death arrives in her town of birth. Only days later, her only son Chad arrives, too. Obviously, his mother took a black husband. Soon, Chad falls for Aislin, who has a bit of a crush on him too. But there is an old conflict going on between her father and Chad's uncle. This conflict resurfaces and begins to draw circles, wider and wider. Cast includes Niall Toibin, Sin�ad Cusack & Pierce Brosnan.
The Night Fighters (**1/2)
Starring Robert Mitchum, Anne Heywood, Dan O'Herlihy, Cyril Cusack, Richard Harris
Sporadically action full tale of Irish Revolution, with Mitchum joining the cause against his will. Original title: A Terrible Beauty
No Surrender(Comedy) (1985)
A scheduling mixup means two groups of old-timers have reserved the same bar for a party on the same night. The situation is trickier than expected since the bar is in Liverpool, and one group are Protestant die-hards while the other consists of Catholics hard-liners.
November Afternoon (1996)
It takes four characters through an emotional odyssey over a supposedly friendly weekend in Dublin when the married sister comes home to visit her brother and his new girlfriend. As the jealousy and possessiveness of the sibling lovers spills over into their barely established romantic, the feelings of the second partners and the consequences of the continuing incestuous liaison are called into question. Everyone is forced to confront their feelings and each other and though a resolution is demanded, none is really given.
Odd Man Out (****)
Starring James Mason,Robert Newton,Kathleen Ryan,Robert Beatty,Cyril Cusack,Denis O'Dea,Dan O'Herlihy
Johnny McQueen (Mason), leader of a clandestine Irish organization, has been hiding in the house of Kathleen and her mother, planning a hold-up that will provide his group with the funds needed to continue its activities. During the hold-up, things go sour: Johnny is wounded, cannot make it back to the hideout, and disappears in the back-alleys of Belfast. Immediately, a large-scale man-hunt is launched, and the city is tightly covered by the constabulary, whose chief is intent on capturing Johnny and the other members of the gang. Kathleen sets out in search of Johnny. Watch this one!
1947 - 115min B/W
Omagh 2004 (TV) (****)
Cast: Gerard McSorley, Michele Forbes, Patsy Gallagher, Brenda Fricker
Plot Outline: An examination of the aftermath of the 1998 Real IRA bombing that killed 29 people in Omagh, Northern Ireland.
OMAGH focuses on Michael Gallagher (veteran actor Gerard McSorley), a quiet mechanic thrust into the media spotlight following his decision to pursue the shadowy figures who murdered his 21 year old son Aiden (along with so many others) on that dreadful afternoon. From the outset, the movie unspools with documentary precision, using hand-held cameras to enhance the sense of realism: The principal 'characters' are introduced in piecemeal fashion, via quick cuts from one scene to the next, but there's very little specific dialogue in the build-up to the explosion, in which 29 people died and hundreds were injured (primarily because the terrorist's vaguely worded tip-off led police to guide people directly into the bomb's immediate orbit), and the aftermath is reproduced in vivid detail.
One Man's Hero (1998) ***
Few Hollywood films broach the subject of the 'Great Hunger' of the 1840's that brought 2 million Irish to the shores of America. During the famine, many young Irishmen were offered passage to America and citizenship if they enlisted in the army. This is the story of the San Patricios or Soldiers of St. Patrick who left Ireland for a chance to live, only to die in Mexico fighting another man's war.
Cast Tom Berenger, Joaquim de Almeida, Daniela Romo, Mark Moses, Stuart Graham V DVD
Only the Lonely (1991)
There is a long-standing tradition in some Irish families that one son stays home to take care of Mamma. This son sacrifices his ambitions for the betterment of his family. And, as we see in this film, he may not know he is playing this role until it is too late to create a life of his own. The son is a Chicago cop who wishes to marry. In this worst-case scenario, the mother uses her tungsten-steel apron strings to manipulate every situation, making it even more difficult for the son to break away. Anthony Quinn, famous for playing Zorba the Greek, plays another Greek character here. Mr. Quinn was half Mexican and half Irish, hence the Irish name.
Cast John Candy, Maureen O'Hara, Anthony Quinn V
O'Shaughnessey's Boy (**1/2)
Starring Wallace Beery, Jackie Cooper, Spanky McFarland
Sentimental tale of Beery searching for his son, taken from him by his cruel wife.
1935 - 88min - B&W
Oscar Wilde (***)
Starring Robert Morley, Phyllis Clavert, John Neville
Morley is ideally cast as the famous 19th century playwright and wit, in film that focuses on his traumatic trials and eventual conviction for sodomy. Released at the same time as The Trials of Oscar Wilde starring Peter Finch.
1960 - British - 96min
The Other Eden
The Outsider (***)
Starring Craig Wasson, Patricia Quinn, Sterling Hayden
A young American raised on his grandfather's stories of fighting "the Tans" in Ireland, goes there to join the IRA--and is used for political and public relations purposes. No-frills narrative, authentic and interesting. Filmed on location.
1979 - 128min
Starring Milo O'Shea, Des Cave, Dearbhla Molloy, Judy Cornwell, Donal LeBlanc
Irish lover Cave tries to juggle various sexual encounters with uninspired home life in ordinary comedy-drama.
1970 - Irish - 97min
Paddy O'Day (1935)
Withers is an immigrant who learns on arrival in the U.S. that her mother is dead. Friends help her survive as an entertainer, and success is a good argument against the immigration officials.
Patriot Games (1992) ***
In this film, Ryan and his family are on vacation when Ryan saves a member of the British royal family from attack by Irish terrorists. The next thing he knows, the Ryan clan has been targeted by the same terrorists, who invade his Maryland home. The film can't shed all of Clancy's lumbering prose, or his techno-dweeb fascination with spy satellites and the like. But no one is better than Ford at righteous heroism--and Sean Bean makes a suitably snakey villain. --Marshall Fine
Cast Harrison Ford, Anne Archer, Patrick Bergin, Sean Bean, Samuel L. Jackson V DVD
Philadelphia, Here I Come (1975)
Based on Brian Friel's play. Donal McCann puts in a once-off great performance as Public Gar, the repressed antagonist who is manifested openly on screen by his extroverted (but unseen to others) alterego- Private Gar. Eamonn Kelly also plays an excellent "screwball" whose inability to communicate his feelings is matched only by Gar.
The Playboy of the Western World (1962)
A quiet little village, and especially a pretty young woman, falls under the spell of a charming, somewhat roguish stranger who suddenly appears one day.
The Playboys (1992)
A young woman, Tara Maguire (Robin Wright) scandalizes her provincial Irish village in the 1950s by having a baby out of a wedlock, and refusing to name the father. She has a rare beauty and every man in town desires her, especially Sergeant Hegarty (Albert Finney). The arrival of a dramatic troupe stirs things up even more, especially when she falls in love with one of the "Playboys", Tom Casey (Aidan Quinn).
The Plough and the Stars
Starring Preston Foster, Barbara Stanwyck, Barry Fitzgerald
Dreary theatrical filmization of O'Casey's play with Foster as Irish revolutionary leader and Stanwyck as his long suffering wife fearful for his life.
1936 - John Ford - 78m - B&W
A Portrait of An Artist as a Young Man (1979)
This autobiographical view of one of Ireland's most famous writers dwells on his youth in turn of the century Dublin. Here we see the origins of his two most troublesome inner conflicts: politics and religion. Joyce's father, who dabbled in politics, incensed him with what he thought was the pointless and sudden abandonment of Parnell and his plies for Ireland's home rule, from which he developed a disappointment of his fellow Irishmen. Joyce's education by priests created in him a love/hate relationship with Catholicism. He would later abandon both.
Cast Bosco Hogan, Luke Johnston, Brian Murray, Niall Buggy, Leslie Lalor, Rosaleen Linehan V DVD
A Prayer for the Dying (1987)
Martin Fallon is an IRA bomber who tries to blow up a troop truck but instead kills a bus load of school children. He loses heart and quits the movement and goes to London trying to leave the U.K. and start a new life. The IRA wants him back (he knows too much) and the local crime boss, Meehan, will only help him if he performs one last hit, on a rival crime boss. When Fallon does perform the hit, he is seen by a catholic priest. He refuses to kill an innocent again and must find a way to escape the police without killing the priest who can identify him.
P.S. I Love You (2007) ****
A young widow discovers that her late husband has left her 10 messages intended to help ease her pain and start a new life.
StarringHilary Swank, Gerard Butler, Lisa Kudrow, Gina Gershon, Kathy Bates, Harry Connick Jr.
Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx (1970)
Gene Wilder, Margot Kidder
In Dublin, a working class family has been unsuccessful in convincing their son to get a real job: the son prefers his job of scooping up horse's dung and selling it for flower gardens. An American exchange student almost runs him over and gets to know him. The dung man has ignored warnings from his family and suddenly the horses have been banned from Dublin. His new love is leaving for America and he must find a way to cope with the new reality.
The Quare Fellow (***1/2)
Starring Patrick McGoohan, Sylvia Syms, Walter Macken, Dermot Kelly
Irish adaptation of Brendan Behan play deals with new prison guard, well played by McGoohan, who changes his mind about his views on capital punishment. Finely acted, excellent script.
1962 - Irish - 85m
The Quiet Man (****)
Starring John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara,Barry Fitzgerald, Victor McLaglen, Ward Bond
American boxer Wayne returns to his native Ireland and falls in love with a spirited lass (O'Hara) - but has to deal with local customs (including the payment of a dowry) and the young woman's bullheaded brother (McLaglen). Beautiful scenery and music. Directed by John Ford.
1952 - 129min
Railway Station Man (1992)
Julie Christie, Donald Sutherland
Julie's husband died tragically. She's seeking her satisfaction somewhere in a little Irish village. She begins to paint again and meets with a restorer, who works on the local railway station building. They fall in love "very slowly" but their pasts shade this close connection ...
Starring John Gregson, Muriel Pavlow, Barry Fitzgerald, June Thorburn
Sprightly tale of Irish sanitation worker, Gregson, with an eye for the girls, trying to avoid marriage; Fitzgerald is a bedridden geezer whom Rooney helps.
1958 - British - 88min
Ryan's Daughter (**1/2)
Starring Robert Mitchum, Trevor Howard, Sarah Miles, Christopher Jones, John Mills, Leo McKern
Simple love story blown up to gargantuan proportions in Northern Ireland, where young girl (Miles) marries simple plodding, school teacher (Mitchum) and has an affair with a British soldier (Jones) stationed in town. Mills won Oscar in supporting role as hunchback Directed by David Lean.
1970 - 176min
Scarlett (1994) (mini)
Atlanta, 1873. It's another day (Melanie's funeral, in fact), and Scarlett is determined to win back Rhett (who's spending a lot of time with Belle Watling). First, she goes to Tara and spats with Sue Ellen over Tara. Then she goes to Charleston, presenting herself to Rhett's mother and friends, to Rhett's dismay. But when she's caught in a compromising position with Ashely, she retires to her mother's people in Savannah, and her overbearing grandfather Robelard, while Rhett courts a new bride. Scarlett also seeks out her O'Hara relatives and meets her cousin Colum, a priest (and gunrunner). And knowing them, she goes to Ireland. There she meets the handsome Earl of Fenton, who owns Ballyhara, the ancestral home of the O'Haras. And when Scarlett buys it from him, she becomes the financial and spiritual head of the family. But her newfound happiness is short-lived as disasters strike, and she must rely on Rhett's love for her to save her from the gallows.
The Secret of Roan Inish (1995) ****
Between the story of the working fisherman and the myth of the selkies is captured the mood and climate of the West of Ireland. From the book The Secret of the Ron Mor Skerry this film weaves two stories together, one of life today and one of life before, when the West was still fairly populated. Some believe the myth of the selkie, the seal that becomes human, sprung from the children with big dark eyes like seals that resulted from mixing with the stranded Spaniards of the Armada.
Cast Jeni Courtney, Mick Lally, MiJohn Lynch, Eileen Colgan, Richard Sheridan V DVD
Shake Hands with the Devil (1959)
Starring: James Cagney, Don Murray, Dana Winter, Glynis Johns, Michael Redgrave
In 1921 Dublin, the IRA battles the "Black & Tans," special British forces given to harsh measures. Irish-American medical student Kerry O'Shea hopes to stay aloof, but saving a wounded friend gets him outlawed, and inexorably drawn into the rebel organization...under his former professor Sean Lenihan, who has "shaken hands with the devil" and begun to think of fighting as an end in itself. Complications arise when Kerry falls for a beautiful English hostage, and the British offer a peace treaty that is not enough to satisfy Lenihan.
B/W 111 min
Shamrock Hill (1949) Musical
The Snapper (1993) ****
Wonderful adaptation of Roddy Doyle's novel about a working-class Irish family, and the teenage daughter who finds herself pregnant--with the circumstances too embarrassing to discuss. Vivid, funny, and believable, sparked by good performances--especially Meaney as the bewildered (but basically good-hearted) father; he also appeared earlier in THE COMMITMENTS, the first of Doyle's Barrytown trilogy. Followed by THE VAN.
Cast Colm Meaney, Tina Kellegher, Ruth McCabe, Fionnuala Murphy, Karen Woodley, Pat Laffan V
Some Mother's Son (1996) ****
Perhaps the best way to show the devastating effect of war is through the eyes of the soldier's mother. In 1981, the height of the war in Northern Ireland, a crack down on IRA activities landed many young Catholics in British jails. Through two mothers we are shown, blow-by-blow, the events that lead up to the hunger strikes of Bobby Sands and his compatriots as they insisted on being treated as prisons of war and not as criminals.
Cast Helen Mirren, Fionnula Flanagan, Aidan Gillen, David O'Hara, John Lynch V
Song O' My Heart (1930)
The plot is melodramatic - created just for the purpose of capturing the singing of John McCormack on film.
The story includes some brief "bits" of Irish humour and features the film debut of Maureen O'Sullivan.
The story of a middle-aged teacher living in a small Irish village who just happens have a world-class singing voice and is willing to give it all up to care for the children of his recently childhood sweetheart is too much to be taken seriously even for the very early 1930s.
Southie (1999) ***
While the world changes around them, the Irish of this old quarter of Boston are trapped in the ghetto created as a refuge for the displaced Irish. Long ago when signs prominently displayed "No Irish need apply" the Irish stuck together in crowded neighborhoods and bonded together in political parties, unions, and yes, even in organized crime. Jimmy Cummings (a Southie native) shows us those left behind when the rest of Irish-America moved on to the suburbs and respectability.
Cast Donnie Wahlberg, Rose McGowan, Anne Meara, Jimmy Cummings, Amanda Peet, Will Arnett, Lawrence Tierney V DVD
So You Think You've Got Troubles (1991)
Ivan Fox, a Londoner and non-practising Jew, is sent by his boss to Northern Ireland to run the Belfast branch of Drummond's Tobacco Co. Here he is confronted with age-old Catholic and Protestant attitudes. As a self-proclaimed Atheist, Ivan cannot relate and is dismayed when everyone attempts to categorize him by religion. Ivan is sought after by George Nathan,"The Jew-finder General", who is "singlehandedly trying to repopulate the Jewish community in Belfast." George's family is a good, solid Jewish one with one exception; his daughter is dating a Catholic ex-convict. On the work-front, Ivan must decide if he will hire some Catholics at the all-Protestant Drummond's. This is met by opposition from his Works Manager, Charlie Adamson...
State of Grace (1990) ****
Three strong actors play Irish-American mobsters (inspired by real-life gang, the Westies) contending with the police, the Mafia, and Yuppie gentrification in N. Y. C. 's Hell's Kitchen (a neighborhood now known as Clinton!). Combination of moody stylishness and extreme violence nearly succeeds, but script is more meandering than incisive. This is basically Cagney terrain with a Scorsese-De Niro spin; Oldman and especially Harris sear the screen.
Cast Sean Penn, Gary Oldman, Ed Harris, Robin Wright, John Turturro
Studs Lonigan (1960) (not available on video)
This is the story of young men growing up in a 1920's Chicago Irish ghetto. The original novel, by James T. Farrell, gives numerous details of the Irish-American customs, habits and prejudices. The film, however, concentrates on the young men's inner lives: the fears that they may be no better of than their fathers, the belief that they have missed out on the American dream. The pursuit of happiness has degraded into the race for cheap trills before you're too old to enjoy them. And finally, set adrift from society and feeling hopeless, they turn to crime.
Cast Christopher Knight, Frank Gorshin, Jack Nicholson, Venetia Stevenson, Carolyn Craig
The Sullivans (***)
Starring Anne Baxter, Thomas Mitchell, Ward Bond, Selena Royle, Bobby Driscoll, Addison Richards
Patriotic drama from the true story of five brothers serving during WWII whose devotion to each other took precedence over all else.Well acted film is unrelentingly sad. Also titled The Fighting Sullivans.
1944 - 111m
This is My Father (1999)
Burned-out Chicago schoolteacher (Caan) travels to his ancestral home in Ireland, with his teenage nephew in tow, to unlock the mystery of his father's identity. Played both in present-day and flashback, the film aims high but doesn't succeed, despite good performances and period flavor. A labor of love for first-time writer-director Quinn; brother Aidan stars, brother Declan photographed it, and sister Marian appears briefly. All three brothers executive-produced.
Cast James Caan, Aidan Quinn, Jacob Tierney, Colm Meaney, Moya Farrelly, Fran�oise Graton, Stephen Rea V DVD
This Other Eden (1959)
A small town plans to erect a monument in memory of a IRA rebel during the 1920's. The son of the English Colonel who killed the rebel objects.
Top O' the Morning(1949)
Bing Crosby, Barry Fitzgerald, Ann Blyth
One bright morning, the villagers near Blarney Castle, Ireland hear terrible news: the famed Blarney Stone has been stolen. Enter Joe Mulqueen, singing insurance investigator from New York. The lovely daughter of police sergeant McNaughton soon catches Joe's eye, and oddly enough Joe fulfills an ancient prophecy of who her lover will be. Meanwhile, Joe does find time to do a little investigating...
The Trials of Oscar Wilde(1960)
Peter Finch, James Mason, Lionel Jeffries
At the height of his fame (his plays being much celebrated in London in the 1890's), Oscar Wilde angers the Lord Queensbury by having what is whispered and gossiped as a romantic relationship with Queensbury's son, twenty years Wilde's junior. When Queensbury slanders Wilde, the arrogant artist decides to take the matter to court, and brings about his own downfall.
"Under Pressure" is nimbly directed by Raoul Walsh, the best director this team ever had. McLaglen is the foreman of a team of sandhogs who are digging an underwater tunnel from Brooklyn to Manhattan, although McLaglen's leadership seems to consist mostly of snarling things like "Get yer backs into it, you mugs!" while his men are already at the brink of exhaustion. Meanwhile, another team of sandhogs (led by Charles Bickford, very hissable), are digging the other end of the tunnel from Manhattan to Brooklyn.
Dublin; June 16, 1904. Stephen Dedalus, who fancies himself as a poet, embarks on a day of wandering about the city during which he finds friendship and a father figure in Leopold Bloom, a middle-aged Jew. Meanwhile, Bloom's day, illuminated by a funeral and an evening of drinking and revelry that stirs paternal feelings toward Stephen, ends with a rapprochement with Molly, his earthy wife.
U2: Rattle and Hum (1988) A documentary of Irish rock group U2's Fall 1987 tour of North America.
Van, The (1996) Colm Meaney (***)
The third installment of Irish author Roddy Doyle's 'Barrytown Trilogy' depicts the hilarious yet poignant adventures of Bimbo. Upon being fired from his job at the bakery, Bimbo and his best mate go into business for themselves and purchase a chipper (a fish and chips van); but will the pressures of financial success sour their friendship forever?
Veronica Guerin (2003) Cate Blanchett (****)
Based on a true story, this is about the Irish journalist Veronica Guerin (Cate Blanchett), a reporter for The Sunday Independent, who exposed some of Dublin's most powerful crime barons and drug lords in 1996. But later that year she was gunned down by assasins hired by the same criminal drug lords she exposed.
Waking Ned Devine(1998) (****)
When local wag Jackie O'Shea (Ian Bannen) discovers that one of his neighbors in the village of Tulaigh Mohr is a lottery winner he sees a chance to share in the wealth. Things get complicated when Jackie and his pal Michael O'Sullivan (David Kelly) discover that the winner, Ned Devine, died of shock at the very moment he learned of becoming a millionaire. Undaunted, Jackie and Michael dispose of the lucky stiff and hatch a plot to impersonate him and claim the prize. Soon the whole village is involved and the plot rapidly thickens.
Cast Ian Bannen, David Kelly, Fionnula Flanagan, Susan Lynch, James Nesbitt, Maura O'Malley V DVD
War of the Buttons (1995) ***
Two groups of children from rival Irish villages fight it out to see who is best. The class distinction between the groups is obvious, but perhaps there is deeper meaning. The clash begins with nothing more than one-upmanship, but ends in violence and destruction.
Cast Greg Fitzgerald, Gerard Kearney, Darag Naughton, Brendan McNamara, John Coffey, Paul Batt, Karl Byrne
The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006) *****
Ireland, 1920. Damien and Teddy are brothers. But while the latter is already the leader of a guerrilla squad fighting for the independence of his motherland, Damien, a medical graduate of University College, would rather further his training at the London hospital where he has found a place. However, shortly before his departure, he happens to witness atrocities committed by the ferocious Black and Tans and finally decides to join the resistance group led by Teddy. The two brothers fight side by side until a truce is signed. But peace is short-lived and when one faction of the freedom-fighters accepts a treaty with the British that is regarded as unfair by the other faction, a civil war ensues, pitting Irishmen against Irishmen, brothers against brothers, Teddy against Damien
Director: Ken Loach, Cast: Cillian Murphy, Padraic Delaney, Liam Cunningham, Orla Fitzgerald, Mary O'Riordan
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) ***
George M. Cohan was an American institution rising from song-and-dance man in Vaudeville, to actor, writer and producer on Broadway. He had as many as three shows running simultaneously on Broadway. Some of his songs are still popular today. And he was given the Congressional Medal of Honor by Franklin D. Roosevelt during the WWI for composing: "Over There" and "You're a Grand Old Flag." This son of Irish immigrants was proud to be an American.
Cast James Cagney, Joan Leslie DVD
Young Cassidy (***)
Starring John Ford, Rod Taylor, Julie Christie,Maggie Smith, Michael Redgrave
Taylor in an excellent role as the earthy intellect, Sean O'Casey, set in 1910 Dublin, filled with atmosphere and fine supporting players.
1965 - British - 110min
List last updated 1/24/2013
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