When Irish Eyes Are Smiling On The Silver Screen

Quiet Man PosterGuest blogger Bill Dunphy shares his picks for what Irish-themed movies to watch today:

As I have stated before, I watch many different movies for many different reasons or holidays. My choice for St Patrick’s Day, however, is obviously very predictable.

The Quiet Man, being my favorite film, is my staple. How I love that film. I actually watch it a couple of times during the year, as it’s a superb mood lifter. It’s also a movie I personally think–no, feel–is the most perfect casting of all! I could not picture anybody else playing any of those roles other than the originals. I will be humming the Barry Fitzgerald “ dum dum, dum dum, dum dum, diddle diddle dum dum” ditty for days afterward.

This is a movie rife with quotes: “here’s a nice stick to beat the lovely lady with”, or Fitzgerald’s “go to the pub to talk a little treason”, “when I drink water I drink water”, or “Homeric.” Why Barry was not nominated in a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award I’ll never know (no offense, Anthony)!

Well, once again I’ve gone off on a tangent, there are many other fine movies for this holiday which I’m sure you are all aware of. My personal second is The Luck of the Irish with Oscar-nominated Cecil Kellaway as Horace the leprechaun. Maybe if he did a jig like Walter Huston he would have won the award! It took me years as a child to finally tell the difference between Mr. Kellaway and Edmund Gwenn. I now know one is for St. Patty’s Day, the other for Christmas.

Another more obscure favorite of mine is a made-for-TV movie, Finnegan Begin Again, with “gets better with age” actor Robert Preston and Mary Tyler Moore. The latter film I have on VHS, since it has not come out on DVD. I will round out the holiday with Ryan’s Daughter (with Robert Mitchum in a very different type of role), and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, courtesy of James Dunn’s fine performance.

I will close by wishing you all “Saol Fada Chugat,” and don’t eat too much corned beef…leave some for the hash!

Bill Dunphy enjoys photography, cooking, reading, and, of course, movies–of which he has about 350 in his library. This article originally ran on MovieFanFare in 2017, and we are reprinting it in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.