22 April 2020
By Roger Jones
This year most of us missed St Patricks Day, because festivals were cancelled due to the ongoing virus situation. So here in Ireland, we didn’t get the enjoyment of seeing parades, and over in the USA the stereotypical jokes about Lepracauns finding a pot of gold by the end of the rainbow were never used.
There are still plenty of things you can do to remind yourself of your Irishness, and all from the comfort of your own home. I am not referring to watching old GAA matches, instead, I’m talking about movies with an Irish connection. If films aren’t enough to get you into the spirit of the occasion, there are plenty of internet slot sites out there which have an array of Irish themed games to play on. From Leprechauns and pots of gold to four-leafed clovers and rainbows, some sites also provide games based around the movies in this list, giving you even more entertainment value.
Gangs of New York, 2002
The Gangs of New York x-rays life in 19th century New York, and it starred Cameron Diaz, Daniel Day-Lewis, and the popular Leonardo DiCaprio. The crux of the movie is about the rivalry and struggle for supremacy between the Americans and some Irish immigrants. The movie was directed by the almighty Martin Scorsese, and because of the excellence in the film making, it got several nominations and awards. At the Oscars, the movie took home the Best Picture prize. So, any movie lover that is in search of a history movie laced in amazing performances and characterization will get their fill from this movie.
The Boondock Saints, 1999
It seems that the Boondock Saints captivated most of the men out there. In this movie, Norman Reedus of Walking Dead and Sean Patrick Flanery starred as Murphy and Connor McManus. It focuses on the fraternal twins of Irish American origin and how they murdered two members of the Russian mob while they were celebrating the St. Patrick’s Day and later turned into vigilantes. This gave them the impetus to go after the evil and corrupt people of Boston and they kept snuffing the life out of them one after the other. Those who love Daril will cherish this movie, and it is one of the most interesting in the series.
The Departed, 2006
This is another award-winning Irish themed movie from Martin Scorsese, and it is one of the most recent in the list. The movie is also set in Boston and the storyline involves an undercover cop, who doubles as a mole in an Irish gang. In the film, you will enjoy a cast that will blow your mind. The likes of Martin Sheen, Mark Wahlberg, Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, plus the amazing Leonardo DiCaprio and many others are the stars to watch here. Of course, when you have a movie with this retinue of A-list acts, you don’t expect it to miss the Oscars. This flick brought home 4 Oscar prizes, including the coveted Best Picture prize.
Far And Away, 1992
This is the one where Tom Cruise does a dodgy Irish accent, be gosh, and begarra!
Of all the movies we have listed, none of them comes with enough romance scenes. So, those who would want to spend their St. Patrick’s Day enjoying a movie that has some element of romance in it should go for the Far and Away. It is directed by Ron Howard, and the stars include the great Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. The theme of the movie is about two immigrants from Ireland who are exploring ways of getting rich in the United States of the 1890s. Cruise started off as a boxer with bare hands immediately they settled in, and from that moment, they encountered a lot of troubles. If you are thinking about a date night on St. Patrick’s Day, use the far and away. If you love Tom Cruise, you shouldn’t miss this.
Now, if you want an Irish related movie at home, filled with horror and laughs, this stands tall. It is one of the oldest in the list, as it came in 1993. However, the fun it brings is evergreen. It was in the movie that Jennifer Aniston debuted, and it takes you on a story of a blood thirsty evil leprechaun. While in search of his pot of gold, this leprechaun went about killing people. While this is a movie that only strong-hearted people can handle, there are also some funny aspects to it. You can enjoy it with your friends or use it for a party.
While some of these movies have a tenouos Irish connection they are – we must be frank – how many people outside of Ireland will learn something about the history of the Irish people, so we cannot blame American’s in particular for having a cliched view of the Emerald Isle.