Irish Heritage Movies

Irish Heritage Movies

You don't have to travel to Ireland to celebrate your Irish ancestry. Head to the nearest cineplex or Blockbuster store and make it St. Patrick's Day any day of the year with these Irish flicks: New at the movies: Angela's Ashes (1999)—Neither Emily Watson nor Robert Carlyle is Irish...

You don’t have to travel to Ireland to celebrate your Irish ancestry. Head to the nearest cineplex or Blockbuster store and make it St. Patrick’s Day any day of the year with these Irish flicks:

New at the movies:

  • Angela’s Ashes (1999)—Neither Emily Watson nor Robert Carlyle is Irish, and Rosie O’Donnell lost the race to play Frank McCourt’s mother. But if the movie does half as well as the book, it will be a blockbuster. (Opens at Christmas.)

Recent releases:

  • This Is My Father (1998)—James Caan plays a Midwestern high school teacher who goes to Ireland to track down his father. Aidan Quinn plays the mysterious father in flashback form.
  • Dancing at Lughnasa (1998)—Meryl Streep mastered a brogue in the movie version of the Tony Award-winning play about sisters living in dignified poverty in Ireland in the 1930s.
  • The General (1998)—Director John Boorman chronicles the notorious life of Dublin gangster Martin Cahill (Brendan Gleeson). Jon Voight co-stars.
  • Waking Ned Devine (1998)—A whole villiage gets involved in a get-rich scheme when a resident dies before collecting his lottery winnings.

On video:

  • The Boxer (1997)—Daniel Day-Lewis plays a former boxer and IRA man who tries to turn a Belfast gym into a demilitarized zone.
  • The Butcher Boy (1997)—A disturbing Neil Jordan movie about a 12-year-old boy (Eamonn Owens) in 1960s Ireland who can’t control his rage.
  • The Devil’s Own (1997)—Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford play IRA terrorist and Irish-American cop, respectively, whose crossed paths involve considerable violence.
  • The Van (1996)—Two Irishmen sell fish and chips out of a rundown van during the 1990 World Cup soccer tournament.
  • The Brothers McMullen (1995)—Ed Burns got on the Hollywood scoreboard with his story of three Irish-American brothers dealing with the curse of Catholic guilt.
  • Circle of Friends (1995)—Maeve Binchy’s tale of college life in 1950s Ireland stars Minnie Driver and Chris O’Donnell.
  • In the Name of the Father (1993)—Daniel Day-Lewis plays an Irishman falsely convicted of bombing a pub.
  • The Snapper (1993)—Colm Meaney is the head of an Irish household dealing with his teen daughter’s surprise pregnancy.
  • Far and Away (1992)—Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman pose as brother and sister who emigrate from Ireland and ride west in search of free land.
  • The Crying Game (1992)—Stephen Rea gets a giant screen surprise in an otherwise-serious movie about The Troubles.
  • The Commitments (1991)—A northern Dublin rock band turns to soul. You can’t get the tunes out of your head.

For more on tracing and celebrating your Irish heritage, see the premiere issue of Family Tree Magazine.

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