The Snob Seven: Movies for St. Patrick's Day

A few favorite films to watch on this Irish holiday.
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No matter your taste, this list should have something for your St. Patrick's Day viewing.

The Quiet Man (1952)

In a partnership that saw director John Ford and actor John Wayne create more than 20 films together, The Quiet Man was atypical being that it was a romance.  Wayne plays Sean Thornton, an Irish-born American, who returns to his family's farm.  He falls for Mary Kate Danaher (Maureen O'Hara), but her brother "Red" Will Danaher (Victor McLaglen) stands in the way by refusing to give up the family dowry.  This leads Sean and Red into an epic fist fight that lasts so long they take a break to share a beer.

Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959)

Based on the books of Herminie Templeton Kavanagh, this Walt Disney film is an amusing battle of one-upmanship between the elderly Darby O'Gill (Albert Sharpe) and the King of the Leprechauns, Brian Connors (Jimmy O'Dea).  There is also a love story between Darby's daughter Katie (Janet Munro) and Michael McBride (Sean Connery), the young man hired to replace Darby although Darby hasn't been able to tell her he lost his job.  It's a good choice for the family to watch together.

U2: Rattle and Hum (1988)

Recorded on the U.S. leg of The Joshua Tree tour as they were becoming the biggest band in the world, this documentary and the accompanying album finds the Irish foursome exploring different genres of American Music, such as gospel, country, and blues.  The latter found the lads recording with the legendary B.B. King on "When Love Comes to Town".  They can be seen playing in a variety of venues from stadiums to parks. 

The Crying Game (1992)

Neil Jordan's film is set during the Irish Troubles as IRA member Fergus (Stephen Rea) has no idea what he agrees to when he promises to check in on the girlfriend, Dil, of a soon-to-be-executed British soldier, (Forest Whitaker).  This unusual love story was hyped by the marketers because of its great plot twist, but the emotions of the characters are what carry the film.

Leprechaun (1993)

This horror film led to a bizarre franchise, most of which has been released straight to home video.  It seems like no idea is implausible as the Leprechaun (Warwick Davis) has wreaked havoc In Space and In the Hood.  For those who like their films so bad they're good, a marathon with a group of friends and a couple of bottles of Jameson could make for an entertaining evening.

The Secret of Roan Inish (1994)

Based on the novel The Secret of Ron Mor Skerry by Rosalie K. Fry,  John Sayles transferred the story to Ireland to tell this magical tale of a young girl who learns about creatures known as selkies, seals that can become human, and their possible connection to her family.  Cinematographer Haskell Wexler's work is particularly impressive.

Boondock Saints (1999) by Mary K. Williams

This could easily be described a rowdy, Irish-themed, brawling, cops n' robbers, blue collar, whisky slammin', vigilante adventure set in Boston. But it is much more. Written and directed by Troy Duffy, whose only real film credits are Saints and its 2009 sequel Boondock Saints: All Saints Day, it opened in theaters with a very limited release.  But the video after-market proved to be pot of gold. Saints has some bitingly clever dialogue, slick film techniques, and great acting. A movie that has every right to take itself seriously, yet never does, and we are the better for it.

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