St. Patrick's Day has us seeing green! If you aren't too busy guzzling gallons of green beer and making a mess of every pub in your sight, settle in and watch one of these St. Patty's themed films.
The Quiet Man
What It’s About: After accidentally killing an opponent in the ring, boxer Sean Thornton leaves America and returns to his native Ireland, hoping buy his family’s homestead and live in peace. In doing so, he runs afoul of Will Danaher, who long coveted the property. Spitefully, Will objects when his fiery sister, Mary Kate, begins a romance with Sean, and refuses to hand over her dowry. Mary Kate refuses to consummate the marriage until Sean retrieves the money.
Who’s In It: John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, Barry Fitzgerald, Victor McLaglen, Mildred Natwick, Arthur Shields, Ward Bond, Jack MacGowran
Why It’s In Our Pot of Gold: We can’t lie. We love classic movies, and the casting, filming, and story of The Quiet Man has been a favorite of ours for years. John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara deliver hilarious, touching performances in a story that will inspire your romantic soul and tickle your funny bone. Plus, one of the most famous scenes was recreated in hysterical fashion in another favorite, E.T. The Extraterrestrial.
What It’s About: Dan O’Grady steals 100 gold coins from a leprechaun while on vacation in Ireland. The leprechaun follows him home, but Dan locks the murderous midget in a crate, held at bay by a four-leaf clover. Ten years later, J.D. Redding and his daughter, Tory, rent O’Grady’s property for the summer. When their new neighbors accidentally release the leprechaun, he goes on a murderous rampage to reclaim his gold.
Who’s In It: Warwick Davis, Jennifer Aniston, Ken Olandt, Mark Holton, John Sanderford, Shay Duffin, Pamela Mant, Robert Gorman
Why It’s In Our Pot of Gold: Warwick Davis is in everything… EVERYTHING! From the ORIGINAL Star Wars Trilogy to Willow to the Harry Potter franchise to even running his own casting agency, he’s become a major staple of so much of the Hollywood story. So of course, we are in LOVE with his starring role in one of the most excellent horror franchises of all time. Laugh, scream, and drink your way through this original entry, and marvel at Jennifer Aniston’s very first big screen starring role.
What It’s About: When yet another anniversary passes without a marriage proposal from her boyfriend, Anna (Amy Adams) decides to take action. Aware of a Celtic tradition that allows women to pop the question on Feb. 29, she plans to follow her lover to Dublin and ask him to marry her. Fate has other plans, however, and Anna winds up on the other side of the Emerald Isle with handsome, but surly, Declan — an Irishman who may just lead Anna down the road to true love.
Who’s In It: Amy Adams, Matthew Goode, Adam Scott, John Lithgow, Noel O’Donovan, Tony Rohr, Pat Laffan, Alan Devlin
Why It’s In Our Pot of Gold: Amy Adams has a very special place in our hearts. From princess to reporter, she’s covered a lot of ground in Hollywood, and her naturally vulnerable air makes her perfect rom-com fodder. There’s nothing TERRIBLY original about Leap Year, but she plays the part well in a great “fish out of water” film.
What It’s About: Residents of an island off the coast of Ireland learn that the only way to survive an invasion of blood-sucking aliens is to stay drunk.
Who’s In It: Richard Coyle, Ruth Bradley, Russell Tovey, Lalor Roddy, David Pearse, Bronagh Gallagher, Pascal Scott, Clelia Murphy
Why It’s In Our Pot of Gold: Green beer aside, people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by imbibing copious amounts of booze and spirits. Naturally, what better movie to watch than one that requires constant inebriation to survive being slaughtered by Lovecraftian creatures from beyond?!
What It’s About: While driving through the forest with his grandchildren, Elizabeth and Rodney, lumber tycoon D.J. Mulrooney stumbles across a duo of tiny gnomes. When the lumber company’s head of security hears the story, he thinks that Mulrooney has lost his mind, and he has him committed. Now the grandchildren need to free the old man and also rescue the little gnomes, who were kidnapped by a freak-show promoter.
Who’s In It: Walter Brennan, Matthew Garber, Karen Dotrice, Tom Lowell, Ed Wynn, Richard Deacon, Sean McClory, Jerome Cowan
Why It’s In Our Pot of Gold: It may not be TECHNICALLY an Irish/St. Patrick’s-themed movie, but it’s fun all the same. You might recognize a few of the faces, including Jane and Michael Banks from Mary Poppins! Be warned… the theme song is incredibly addictive.
The Secret of Kells
What It’s About: In the remote Irish woods, Cellach prepares a fortress for an impending attack by a Viking war party. Unbeknown to Cellach, his young nephew Brendan — who has no taste for battle — works secretly as an apprentice in the scriptorium of the local monastery, learning the ancient art of calligraphy. As the Vikings approach, revered illuminator Aidan arrives at the monastery and recruits Brendan to complete a series of dangerous, magical tasks.
Who’s In It: Brendan Gleeson, Evan McGuire, Christen Mooney, Liam Hourican, Mick Lally, Michael McGrath, Paul Young, Paul Tylak
Why It’s In Our Pot of Gold: As our only animated film on the list, this entry couldn’t be more representative of the genre. It’s a beautiful film and features an incredible story that’s as mystifying as it is enchanting.
The Luck of the Irish
What It’s About: Traveling in Ireland, New York reporter Stephen “Fitz” Fitzgerald befriends a leprechaun named Horace by refusing to take his pot of gold. Back home, Fitz takes a job for D.C. Augur, a publisher with political ambitions and the father of his fiancée. Soon, Horace reappears in Fitz’s life, in the guise of a valet, to push him toward a romance with Irish girl Nora and a job that doesn’t compromise his principles.
Who’s In It: Tyrone Power, Anne Baxter, Cecil Kellaway, Lee J. Cobb, James Todd, Jayne Meadows, J.M. Kerrigan, Phil Brown
Why It’s In Our Pot of Gold: Two words: Anne Baxter. Before she was swooning over Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments, she was working her way into our hearts in this classic romantic comedy. It’s touching and fun, with the right amount of laughs and love.
Darby O'Gill and the Little People
What It’s About: Just-fired Darby O’Gill does not want to tell his daughter, Katie, that his position has been taken by a dashing younger man. Then, on his way home, Darby slips through a portal to the land of the little people. There he meets the leprechaun king, Brian, and winds up accidentally bringing the little monarch home with him. Darby then demands Brian grant him three wishes, but the request brings Darby bittersweet, and unexpected, results.
Who’s In It: Albert Sharpe, Janet Munro, Sean Connery, Jimmy O’Dea, Kieron Moore, Estelle Winwood, Denis O’Dea, J.G. Devlin
Why It’s In Our Pot of Gold: Not only is it the most “accurate” version of the classic leprechaun legend, but it’s just pure fun! We grew up with these old school live-action Disney films (The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, Parent Trap, Freaky Friday) and this one might have slipped through the cracks for most. But it features some fun, family friendly moments, spectacular effects (for the time) and a VERY young Sean Connery!