For a very small nation, Ireland generates a lot of interest worldwide. As a result, movies and TV shows based in Ireland or about the country are numerous and popular globally!
These productions are very much responsible for outsiders’ views and knowledge of Ireland and what it means to be Irish. Let’s face it, sometimes producers and filmmakers are a tad off the mark and this has no doubt led to many humorous beliefs about us which may not be entirely accurate.
These usually portray the “top o’ the mornin’ to ya” potato loving, leprechaun meeting, Guinness drinking Paddy!
The last time I was greeted with “top o’ the mornin’ to ya” was years ago and it was a tourist who said it! Stereotypical Ireland at its best and I adore the humor. I have a couple of favorites;
Darby O’ Gill and the Little People
Released in 1959, this film is literally the most stereotypical Irish film I’ve seen. The plot sees an old caretaker (fond of a drop of whiskey) trying to outsmart the king of the leprechauns to win a pot of gold.
Alongside the leprechauns, whiskey and a pot of gold, a fiddle and banshee appears, making it the “Full Irish” of the film world. It’s actually very well made, with lots of twists and subplots too, making it a good watch.
I’d imagine most people would know this film as it’s produced by Disney and a very young and handsome Seán Connery stars, which I’m appreciating more and more with every viewing.
If you need some Paddy’s Day costume or character ideas, look no further! – IMDB Link
There is not one person I know, Irish or non-Irish, who has seen Father Ted and not loved every minute of it. It was an Irish sitcom made by the BBC in the mid 90s, based on the life of Father Ted Crilly and his life as a Catholic priest on Craggy Island.
It’s actually not far off the mark when it comes to rural Ireland and I do relate to most of what goes on! The characters really make the show with everyone having a favorite. Dougal, Ted’s dim-witted “sidekick” provides a lot of laughs and Father Jack, another priest living in the same house is something to behold.
Although the show was very successful, sadly Dermot Morgan who played Ted passed away in 1998 bringing an end to the show. Those 12 episodes have influenced Irish culture more than you could imagine, with some scenes, quotes and lines known by practically everyone!
Ireland also has a less “happy-go-lucky” and far darker side too. So many films and shows giving a deeper insight into our people and institutions have been extremely compelling and honest.
The Irish film industry has really come into its own in the past 20 years or so, and has produced some of my favorite movies. These have been critically acclaimed worldwide and starred some seriously big names. – IMDB Link
Based on the memoir of Frank McCourt, “Angela’s Ashes” is as real and harrowing as it gets. It tells the story of Frank and his family’s struggles as they move back to Ireland from the US in the 1930s due to financial problems and his father’s alcoholism.
The movie portrayed the reality of life in Ireland for many families in that era, and is hard to watch at times. There is no escape from the horror of the life they led and the rawness and honesty of the story is what makes the film as engrossing as it is.
The winner of multiple Academy Awards is nothing short of a cinematic masterpiece. – IMDB Link
The TV series based on gangland crime in Dublin is probably the most popular and watched Irish show to be released in years. It follows the lives of young men involved in drug deals, assassinations, prostitution and anything else you could possibly imagine!
It’s one of those shows that you can’t help but get sucked into. Clever writing, amazing acting and so unmistakeably Irish. What’s crazy is that according to writers, the fictional stories are not entirely fictional.
Some are based on real life deals, heists and crimes by some of Dublin’s most notorious gangsters. What’s more is you grow to root for the “bad” guys. My favorite character sells drugs, works as a hitman and threatens people and the infamous “Nidge” is the guy everyone loves to hate; hence the name.
Dublin’s underground was invisible until now… If you choose to watch any of my favorites I’m telling you to watch this series. You’ll be blown away!
Ireland has a lot of sides. I believe it’s important to see all these sides to really get Irish humor and reality. What shines through in practically all Irish based shows and movies is our resilience and ability to laugh through the most difficult of times.
Even in “Angela’s Ashes” there are many humorous moments to lighten up the dark! There are so many movies and shows out there that give Ireland its “up for the craic” and friendly reputation abroad. – IMDB Link
Are any movies or shows responsible for your love of Ireland?