Here is a list of our top classic Irish films. Although there is a whole catalog of films dedicated to the Irish, we picked our favorites that we believe best represents their people and their rich heritage.
1. "The Quiet Man" (1952) Directed by John Ford. Starring John Wayne and Irish lass Maureen O'Hara. The film is set in the 1920s, when Irish-American Sean Thorton (Wayne) from Pittsburgh travels to Ireland to reclaim a family farm. There he falls in love with Mary Kate Danaher but her brother refuses to marry them. This is personally one of my favorite Irish films, because I'm originally from Pittsburgh, but especially because of the ending.
2. "The Rising of the Moon" (1957). Directed by John Ford, the title comes from an Irish ballad of 1867. This film is made of three stories set in Ireland written by some of the most famous Irish writers, Frank O'Connor, Martin J. Mchugh and Lady Gregory. It is narrated by Tyrone Power and features an ensemble cast of Irish actors including Noel Purcell, Maureen Potter and Denis O'Dea.
3. "The Luck of the Irish" (1948). Directed by Henry Koster. Starring Tyrone POwer, Anne Baxter and Lee J. Cobb. While in Ireland, Stephen Fitzgerald (Power) meets a leprechaun and falls in love with a young woman. But when he returns to New York and to his fiance, he finds out that the leprechaun and the young woman has followed him home. This romantic-comedy is one that will
4. "Shake Hands With The Devil" (1959). Directed by Michael Anderson. Starring James Cagney, Don Murray and Dana Wynter. This film deals with the historical issue of the IRA with James Cagney portraying the leader, Sean Lenihan. Because really, what kind of list would this be without at least one James Cagney film?
5. "Darby O'Gill and the Little People" (1959). Directed by Robert Stevenson. Starring Albert Sharpe, Janet Munro, Sean Connery and Jimmy O'Dea. Adventure and hilarity ensues when an old codger matches wits with the king of the leprechauns and helps play matchmaker with his daughter. This Disney film be an enjoyable experience for the whole family!
6. "Finian's Rainbow" (1968). Directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Starring Fred Astaire and Petula Clark. This underrated musical-film tackles the issue of racism in the South when an Irish immigrant named Finian McLonergan (Astaire) comes to America.