ST PATRICK’S DAY MOVIES
Though it started out as a Christian feast day as part of the calendar of saints—and is still celebrated by Catholics and other Christians—St. Patrick’s Day has evolved into a celebration of Irish culture. My husband and I both have some Irish ancestry (him more than me), so we’ll grab some Irish soda bread, maybe some shepherd’s pie and though it’s a bit consumerist to wash down our food with Guiness (we Americans can’t help buying “traditional” holiday foods, like Cadbury Eggs for Easter), we’re going to do it anyway.
On top of parades or parties or fireworks, being a film nut means I like to watch certain films to celebrate holidays. We watch a few scary movies for Halloween (Hitchcock or Kubrick work), Die Hard on Christmas, and any of the following movies to get into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit:
The Quiet Man
I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of John Wayne. I only really saw some of his movies because I didn’t have control of the TV, but The Quiet Man (1952) as well as True Grit (1969) were both amazing films. In The Quiet Man, an American boxer has retired from the ring and returns to the Irish village where he was born. I love this film because it has lots of great Irish actors, a beautiful set, and a love story.
Speaking of love, Once (2006) first hooked me into seeing it when the film studio offered full streaming of the entire soundtrack prior to its release. The two stars are singer-songwriters who wrote the music we hear in this modern-day musical about an Irish street performer who spends a week rehearsing and recording songs with a delicate-voiced immigrant. The songs reflect their lives, their personal love story and their heartaches. Great music, so prepare to be ear-wormed.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
I’m a writer, so I have to push for Irish writer/poet Oscar Wilde‘s famous story of a young man who slips into a life of hedonism and debauchery while a painting of him at his most beautiful is what suffers the consequences of his roguish existence. One of the better-liked film adaptations is The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)—the final scene still makes me shiver—but I’ve also seen the more recent Dorian Gray (2009) starring Ben Barnes.
Before you head to the couch with one of these, comment to win!
I love historicals centered around common people, so rather than an rakish earl worrying over an heir or his estate, I followed a simple crofter in Stay With Me who is forced to take in a strange woman dressed like a fairy and a Royal Navy first-lieutenant-turned-smuggler in Escape With Me who decides to be the first client of an American woman taken in by a bawd and who he spotted cross-dressing in public.
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Being shot is bad enough, but waking up in 18th-century London is even worse. Samantha must follow the clues in her magic locket to find out why she’s here and how to get home, and a tempting offer of shelter is too good to be true when she learns her patroness is actually a procuress. Even more startling than her overpowering attraction to her first client is that submitting to her desires may lead her to the answers she needs.
The beautiful redhead is a distraction that naval officer Ryder cannot afford. His father is dying and his fugitive brother has bankrupted the family business. But he cannot deny himself, and Samantha turns out to be just what he needed—both in bed and out of it—yet the more passion they share, the more embroiled she becomes in his dangerous dealings, including the dark secret between Ryder and the obsessed revenue officer who wants to see him hang.
Do you have a favorite Irish-themed movie? Or maybe a hunky Irish actor whose movies you auto-watch? Leave your answer in the comments!