Back to the film menu

Films With Ireland as a Setting

"La Jeune Folle" (1952: French) Daniele Delorme Dir: Yves Allegret -Filmed partly in Dublin. -Set during the Anglo-Irish of 1916-1922. -Catherine lives in a convent where she is troubled by premonitions. She senses that her brother needs her when, in fact, he has been killed by the IRA as an informer. She goes in search of her brother, and she becomes sheltered by the IRA, where she falls in love with her brother's killer. When she discovers who killed her brother, she seeks revenge with a gun.

"The Lad from Old Ireland" (1910) Gene Gauntier, Robert Vignola Dir: Sidney Olcott (Olcott was an Irish-Canadian.) -first film by Olcott in Ireland -first U.S. film shot on location outside the United States film was very popular in America with Irish immigrants. -An Irish immigrant to New York makes his fortune and returns to Ireland to save his mother and girlfriend from eviction.

"The Lamb" (1985: UK) (110 min) (rated PG) Liam Neeson, Hugh O'Conor, Ian Bannen, Rouan Wilmot, France Tomelty, Dudley Sutton Dir: Colin Gregg -(Not released in the U.S. until 1995.) -An idealistic Brother, who teaches at a Catholic school for troubled boys in Ireland, runs off with a fourteen-year-old student who had been maltreated by the authoritarian headmaster.

"Land of her Fathers" (1924) Michael MacLiammoir, Phyllis Wakeley, Frank Hugh O'Donnell, Barry Fitzgerald, Maureen Delaney Dir: John Hurley -filmed by a cameraman who had worked for D.W. Griffith -filmed in Enniskerry and Killarney -The last print of this film was stolen in New York and has never resurfaced.

"L'Annees Lumieres" (See: "Light Years Away")

"The Last Bus Home" (1997: Ireland) (93 min) Annie Ryan, Brian O'Bryne, John Cronin, Barry Comerford -Dir: Johnny Gogan -On the day that the Pope arrives in Dublin in 1979, Reena and Jessop meet. These two punks strike up a relationship and form a band that they name The Dead Patriots. However, problems arise as the group waits for a London record deal.

"Last of the High Kings" (1996:Ireland) (103 min) (rated R) Jared Leto, Catherine O'Hara, Gabriel Byrne, Colm Meaney, Christine Ricci, Amanda Shun, Stephen Rea Dir: David Keating -Based upon a novel by Ferdia McAnna. -Released in the U.S. under the title: "Summer Fling" -In the summer of 1977 in the north Dublin fishing town of Howth, some young people come of age.

Legends of the Isles (film series) (1997)

"Saint Patrick" (1997) -Patrick, an escaped slave, converted the Irish to Christianity.

"Brendan the Navigator" (1997) -During the 6th century, Irish monk Brendon explored the seas from Scandinavia to Africa. Arguably, he discovered the Americas for the Europeans 1,000 years before Columbus.

"The Warrior Queen" (1997) -Queen Maeve of western Ireland battles with the mighty, young Cuchalain.

"The Pirate Queen" (1997) -Grace O'Malley was the most notorious pirate of her day. She defied the colonial laws that controlled Ireland in the 16th century.

"Fairies and Leprechauns (1997) -A look at the origins and magic of the "Little People," mermaids, and other mystical beings.

"Merlin the Wizard" (1997) -In Celtic Britain, a Druid Priest named Merlin was supposedly the advisor and godfather to Celtic King Arthur. The film looks at three Welch stories of Merlin.

"Leprechaun" (1993) (92 min) (rated R) Warwick Davis, Jennifer Aniston, Ken Olandt, Mark Holton, Robert Gorman, John Sanderford, Shay Duffin, Pamela Mant Dir: Mark Jones -Horror drama in which a leprechaun goes on a murderous rampage after being ripped off. Inept production.

"Le Puritan" (1937: France) Jean-Louis Barrault Dir: Jeff Musso -Based upon a novel by Liam O'Flaherty. -This first feature film about the forces of sexual repression in Irish society was made in France, not Ireland. -Francis Ferriter, a young journalist and a member of a vigilance society, has strict conservative moral values and he is easily frightened by women. After he kills a woman whom he believes to be immoral, he attempt to get absolution by confessing his sin to a priest. However, the priest refuses to absolve Francis, and Francis begins to wander the lower class parts of town where he befriends a prostitute to whom he confesses his crime. When Francis later confesses to the police, he explains that he really loved the woman whom he killed.

"Let's Be Famous" (1939: GB) Jimmy O'Dea Dir: Walter Forde -Jimmy O'Dea was at one time Ireland's most popular stage entertainer. He appeared in eleven films in his career, including "Darby O'Gill and the Little People". -Jimmy Houlihan moves to London from Ireland to develop his singing career. In London, he meets Betty Pinbright, and they work together to develop their singing careers.

"Lies My Father Told Me" (1960) Betsy Blair, Harry Brogan Dir: Don Chaffy -The film was first shown publicly at the Cork Film Festival. -Although the film received good reviews and it may have been the best performance of Harry Brogan's career, the film disappeared after its first screening because some criticized it as anti-semitic. Brogan felt the film was not in the least anti-semitic. -The film was about a Jewish family living in Dublin.

"The Life of Michael Dwyer" (1919) F.J. McCormick Dir: John McDonagh -produced by the Irish Film Company -filmed mainly around Dublin

"Light Years Away" (1981: French/Swiss) (105 min) Trevor Howard, Mick Ford, Bernice Stegers, Henri Vorlogeux Dir: Alain Tanner -original title: "L'Annees Lumieres" -film won Special Jury Award at the Cannes Film Festival -filmed at Letterfrack in Connemara -In the year 2000, an apprentice discovers his master is searching for the secret of flight in a deserted filling station in Ireland.

"The Lily of Killarney" (1929: U.K.) Pamela Parr, Barbara Gott, Henry Wilson Dir: George Ridgwell -Adaptation of an 1860 play by Dion Boucicault entitled 'The Colleen Bawn,' which was possibly the most popular play in Ireland in the 19th century. -See "The Colleen Bawn," a 1911 film version. -A defrocked priest secretly 'marries' Eily O'Connor, a beautiful young peasant woman, with Hardress Cregan, her family's landlord who is impoverished. While Eily awaits the public announcement of their marriage, Hardress' mother puts pressure on him to marry Anne Chute, a wealthy aristocrat. Although Eily thinks that she is married, she continues a flirtation with her friend Myles na Coppaleen. At one point, Danny Mann, Hardress' half-witted employee, attempts to drown Eily.

"The List of Adrian Messenger" (1962) (98 min) George C. Scott, Dana Wynter, Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum, Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Frank Sinatra, Clive Brook, John Huston, Herbert Marshall, Bernard Fox, Anthony Walter Huston Dir: John Huston -Based upon a novel by Philip MacDonald. -Irish scenes were filmed mostly around Cabinteely, County Dublin. -A detective goes after a killer.

"The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne" (1987:UK) (116 min) (rated R) Maggie Smith, Bob Hoskins, Wendy Hiller, Marie Kean, Ian MacNeice, Alan Devlin, Rudi Davies, Prunella Scales Dir: Jack Clayton -Based upon Brian Moore's 1955 novel. -In Dublin in the 1950s, a lonely Irish Catholic woman in a boarding house begins a relationship with an American man.

"The Long Good Friday" (1979:UK) (109 min) Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, Pierce Broslin, Dave King, Bryan Marshall, Derek Thompson Dir: John MacKenzie -Mostly set in London although some scene were set in Belfast. -A London-based gangster finds that he is at odds with the IRA as well as others.

"Lord of the Dance" (1996) (93 min) Michael Flatley, Bernadette Flynn, Daire Nolan, Gillian Norris, Helen Egan, Ann Buckley Dir: David Mallet -A retelling of an Irish legend through spectacular dance.

"Lovespell" (1979) (91 min) Richard Burton, Kate Mulgrew, Nicholas Clay, Cyril Cusack, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Niall Toibin, Diana Van Der Vlis, Niall O'Brien Dir: Tom Donovan -filmed in County Clare. -aka: "Tristan and Isolde" -After its screening at the Cork Film Festival, critics were harsh, causing distribution difficulties. The film has not yet had a commercial screening. -A retelling of the Tristan and Isolde legend.

"Luck of the Irish" (1935) Richard Hayward, Kay Walsh, Niall McGinnis Dir: Donovan Pedelty

"The Mackintosh Man" (1973: UK) (98 min) (rated PG) Paul Newman, James Mason, Dominique Sanda, Harry Andrews, Ian Bannen, Nigel Patrick, Noel Purcell, Eddie Byrne, Joe Lynch, Joe Cahill, Donal McCann, Michael Horden Dir: John Huston -filmed in part in Connemara, in Malta, and in England -A car chase scene is filmed across the bogs and roads of the Connemara, and a Mercedes goes over the Cliffs of Moher. -Kilmainhan jail is the set for a British prison. -The film is a complex spy thriller involving a diamond robbery and a Russian spy.

"Maeve" (1982: U.K.) Margaret Lockhead Dir: Pat Murphy, John Davies -feature made for the British Film Institute -In a Catholic School in Ireland, a nun schoolteacher entertains a complex debate between republicanism and feminism.

"Man of Aran" (1934: UK) (132 min) Coleman (Tiger) King, Maggie Dirrane, Mikaleen Dillane Dir: Robert Flaherty (Director of "Nanook of the North") -At Venice Film Festival, the film won the Grand Prix Award. -A fisherman and his family struggle to survive on an island off the west coast of Ireland. A staged film with the feel of a documentary.

"A Man of No Importance" (1994: UK) (98 min) (rated R) Albert Finney, Brenda Fricker, Rufus Sewell, Michael Gambon, Tara Fitzgerald, Patrick Malahide, David Kelly, Mick Lally, Dir: Suri Krishnamma -While staging Oscar Wilde's production of "Salome" at his local Catholic church in Dublin in the early 1960s, a repressed Irish bus conductor comes to terms with his own sexuality.

"The Manions of America" (1981) (290 min) Pierce Brosnan, Kate Mulgrew, Linda Purl, David Soul Dir: Joseph Sargent & Charles S. Dubin -Mini-series chronicle of two families (one Irish & one British) who move to America.

"A Man's Redemption" (1918) -a drama

"The March Hare" (1956: U.K.) (85 min) Terence Morgan, Peggy Cummins, Cyril Cusack, Martita Hunt, Wilfred Hyde-White Dir: George More O'Farrell -Filmed on location in Ireland -The film centers about comical antics at the horse races. An American family buys an Irish manor and hires a stable groom unaware that he is the heir to the estate.

"The Mark" (1961: U.K.) (127 min) Stuart Whitman, Rod Steiger, Maria Schell, Brenda De Banzie, Maurice Denham, Donald Wolfit, Paul Rogers, Donald Houston Dir: Guy Greene -Filmed at Ardmore Studio in Bray. -The film was banned in Ireland, but in America it was well-attended. -Whitman was nominated for the 1961 Oscar for Best Actor. A man convicted of assaulting a girl returns to society after serving his time, and he tries to establish a new life.

"Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" (1994) (128 min)(rated R) Robert De Niro, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hulce, Helena Bonham Carter, Aidan Quinn, Ian Holm, Richard Briers, John Cleese, Robert Hardy, Cherie Lunghi Dir: Kenneth Branagh -Supposedly a "faithful" rendition of Mary Shelley's story.

"The Matchmaker" (1997: U.S./Ireland) (rated R) Janeane Garofalo, David O'Hara, Milo O'Shea, Denis Leary, Jay O. Sanders Dir: Mark Jaffe -A campaign worker for a U.S. politician who is losing ground in the polls goes to Ireland to find his Irish roots as a way to bolster his campaign. Her search lands her at a match-making festival.

"Men of Ireland" (1938) (62 min) Cecil Ford, Eileen Curran, Brian O'Sullivan, Gabriel Fallon Dir: Richard Bird A Dublin medical student considers living with the people of the Blasket Islands off the west coast of Ireland.

"Michael Collins" (1996) (133 min) (rated R) Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn, Stephen Rea, Julia Roberts, Alan Rickman Dir: Neil Jordan -The first feature film to make Michael Collins a named character. -The struggles of a man at the head of a fight to free the nation of Ireland in the Anglo-Irish War of 1916-1922.

"The Middle of Nowhere" (See: "The Webster Boy")

"The Minstrel Boy" (1938: UK) Fred Conyngham Dir: Sydney Morgan -Mike, an Irish singer and leader of a popular band called the Minstrel Boys, meets Angela, and, within 24 hours they get married. An ex-girlfriend shows up and causes trouble for Mike. With his problems, Mike's performances are lackluster and his star fades. He attempts suicide, but Angela arrives to pick up the pieces.

"The Miracle" (1991: UK) (100 min) (rated PG-13) Niall Byrne, Lorraine Pilkington, Beverly D'Angelo, Donal McCann, J.G. Devlin, Dir: Neil Jordan ******** Written by Neil Jordan -Set in Bray, which is Jordan's hometown. -Two Dublin teens fantasize about the lives of people they encounter until one meets a mysterious woman.

"The Miser's Gift" (1916) J.M. Kerrigan, Kathleen Murphy, Fred O'Donovan Dir: J.M. Kerrigan -produced by The Film Company of Ireland -the first comedy production by the Film Company of Ireland -First shown on Oct. 26, 1916, at Dame Street Picture House.

"Molly Bawn" (1916) Alma Taylor, Stewart Rome Dir: Cecil M. Hepworth

"Moondance" (1993) (93 min) (rated R) Ruaidhri Conroy, Julia Brendler, Ian Shaw, Marianne Faithfull, Brendan Grace Dir: Dagmar Hirtz -music by Van Morrison. -based upon The White Hare by Francis Stuart. -Two brothers (21 and 14 years old) live in a run-down house in West Cork, where they fish and chase rabbits until their aunt brings a German girl to visit.

"Mother Machree" (1928: U.S.A.) Belle Bennett, Victor McLaglen Dir: John Ford -After her fisherman husband dies in a storm, a woman leaves Ireland with her son. She meets the Giant of Kilkenny and works in an American sideshow before becoming a housekeeper.

"My Hands Are Clay" (1948) Shelagh Richards, Bernadette Leahy, Cecil Brook Dir: Patrick McCrossan -filmed partly in Dublin and partly in Enniskerry

"My Left Foot" (1989: Ireland) (103 min) (rated R) Daniel Day-Lewis, Brenda Fricker, Ray McAnally, Hugh O'Connor, Fiona Shaw, Cyril Cusak, Adrian Dunbar, Ruth McCabe, Alison Whelan Dir: Jim Sheridan Written by: Jim Sheridan & Shane Connaughton -The first Irish-produced film to win an Oscar, winning two: one for Daniel Day Lewis and one for Brenda Fricker. -Based upon the autobiography of Christy Brown. -The life of Christy Brown, an Irish writer/artist with cerebral palsy, featuring the role of his mother in his life.

"My Wild Irish Rose" (1922: U.S.A.) James Farley, Edward Cecil Dir: David Smith -Based upon the play entitled "The Shaughraun," written in 1874 by popular Irish playwright Dion Boucicault. -During the Fenian agitation of the 1860s, a magistrate and an informer conspire to seize a man's property by falsely accusing him of being a Fenian conspirator and having him transported to Australia. The man escapes the transport ship and returns to set things right.

"The Night Fighters" (1960: UK) (85 min) Robert Mitchum, Anne Heywood, Dan O'Herlihy, Cyril Cusack, Richard Harris, Marianne Benet, Noel Purcell, Joe Lynch, T.P. McKenna Dir: Tay Garnett -(aka: "A Terrible Beauty") -Filmed in Rathdrum, County Wicklow. -A reluctant man is recruited for sabotage by the IRA in a border town during World War II. He considers renouncing the struggle and going to live in Britain with his love.

"No Resting Place" (1951: U.K.) (77 min) Michael Gough, Eithne Dunne, Noel Purcell, Brian O'Higgins, Jack McGowran Dir: Paul Rotha -The first British film made without the use of a studio. -A Wicklow tinker becomes a fugitive when he accidentally kills a gamekeeper.

"No Surrender" (1986:UK) (100 min) Michael Angelis, Avis Bunnage, James Ellis, Tom Georgeson, Elvis Costello Dir: Peter Smith -A nightclub overbooks acts and parties, including a Catholic group and a Protestant group both from the six counties of northern Ireland. Riotous activities.

"Nothing Personal" (1996) James Frain, Michael Gambon, Ian Hart, John Lynch Dir: Thaddeus O'Sullivan -Original title: "All Our Fault" -Based upon a novel by Daniel Mornin entitled All Our Fault. -The film depicts activities by loyalist deathsquads and the IRA in Belfast during the early 1970s.

"Now I Know" (1987) Matthew Modine, Maeve Germaine Dir: Robert Pappas *** Written by: Robert Pappas -After 4 weeks filming in Atlanta, Georgia, Strongbow Productions moved to Dublin. -A humorous love story.

"O'Casey Millions" (1922) Jimmy O'Dea, Nan Fitzgerald, Fred Jeffs (real name Arthur O'Connor) Dir: John McDonagh *** Scripted by: John McDonagh -produced by Irish Photoplays, Ltd. -The film involves a romance.

"Odd Man Out" (1947: UK) (113 min) James Mason, Kathleen Ryan, Robert Newton, F.J. McCormick, Dan O'Herlihy, Noel Purcell, Albert Sharpe, Eddie Byrne Dir: Carol Reed -Based upon the novel by F.L. Green. -Won British Academy Award for Best Picture. -This film was remade as in 1969 as "The Last Man," which stars Sidney Poitier in the American Civil Rights struggle.) -As is typical in British films, an act of violence by an Irish man is his ultimate undoing. -Irish rebels attempt to fund their cause by a robbery in Belfast that goes wrong, leaving a guard killed. A wounded rebel (James Mason) is hidden briefly in a stall in the Crown Bar in Belfast.

"Oh, Mr. Porter" (1937: UK) (85 min) Will Hay, Moore Marriot, Graham Moffatt, Frederick Piper Dir: Marcel Varnel A stationmaster renovates an out-of-the-way railway post. Trouble comes when a train is hijacked by gun smugglers.

"On a Paving Stone Mounted" (early 1980s) Maureen Toal, Paul Bennett Dir: Thaddeus O'Sullivan (his first short feature) -O'Sullivan was the photographer on "Pigs" & "Anne Devlin" -The story concerns emigration.

"The O'Neill" (1912: U.S.) Pat O'Malley, Gene Gauntier Dir: Sidney Olcott

"O'Neill of the Glen" (1916) J.M. Kerrigan, Nora Clancy, Fred O'Donovan Dir: J.M. Kerrigan -produced by The Film Company of Ireland

"Oscar Wilde" (1960: U.K.) (96 min) Robert Morley, Phyllis Calvert, John Neville, Ralph Richardson, Dennis Price, Alexander Knox Dir: Gregory Ratoff -Released at same time as "The Trials of Oscar Wilde," a different film. -The film focuses on Wilde's trials and eventual conviction for sodomy.

"Our Boys" (1982: Ireland) Mick Lally Dir: Cathal Black -The film explores the once often harsh teaching regime of the Irish Christian Brothers in Ireland. In the story, a school is sold for a commercial redevelopment of the area.

"Ourselves Alone" (1936: U.K.) (70 min) Antoinette Cellier, Niall McGinnis, John Loder, John Lodge, Clifford Evans Dir: Brian Desmond Hurst -aka: "River of Unrest" -Colonel Hanna, the chief censor at the British Board of Film Censors during the 1920s and the 1930s, discouraged film-makers from doing films on the Anglo-Irish War of 1916-1922. Hanna likely banned "Irish Destiny" in 1926. Hanna had been a British military officer in Ireland during the war. -The British saw the violence in Ireland as negative, so they permitted only films that depicted that view. -During Anglo-Irish War of 1916-22, an Irish woman finds both a British officer and an Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) officer in love with her. She loves the British officer and leaves her RIC boyfriend for him although her brother is an IRA leader.

"The Outcasts" (1982) Cyril Cusack, Mary Ryan, Mick Lally Dir: Robert Wynn Simmons ** Written by: Robert Wynn Simmons script was the winner of an Arts Council Script Award -Award winner at Brussels Fantasy Film Festival -In poor rural Ireland before "An Gorta Mor," superstition and the power of magic are widely accepted. A fiddler becomes a social outcast when his magic is seen as bad, but he helps bring out an introverted girl.

"The Outsider" (1979: Dutch) (128 min)(rated R) Craig Wasson, Patricia Quinn, Sterling Hayden, Niall Toibin, J.G. Devlin, John Paul Leeming Dir: Tony Luraschi -based upon the book entitled The Heritage by Colin Leinster. -filmed in Ringsend, Dublin. -interiors filmed at Ardmore Studios -After fighting in the Vietnam War, an Irish-American goes to Belfast to join the IRA to fight the British as his grandfather had done in the Anglo-Irish War of 1916-1922.

click here to move to the top

Back to the film menu