Screen Rant’s St Patrick’s Day Movie Special

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 8:48 pm,

irish flag Screen Rants St Patricks Day Movie Special

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day folks!

We’re celebrating this momentous occasion by dusting off an old post that’s still relevant – giving a rundown of the top “Irish” characters in films, top Irish actors and the top Irish films – and as Screen Rant’s Irish writer it has come down to me to deliver.

Please be aware that this isn’t a definitive list of Irish actors or Irish films – yes the list does include some actors who do indeed hail from the Emerald Isle, but it also includes a few who don’t!

We’ve also decided not to include any Irish-Americans on the list because, well, there’s a load of them in American films and you’d give up after the first 150 names or so!

Top Irish Characters

Malone in The Untouchables

Sean Connery received an Oscar for his performance in Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables. The Scottish-born actor made minimal effort with his Irish brogue in the film, and ended up sounding exactly like Sean Connery!

No stereotype is left untouched – he’s a hard drinker (even during Prohibition), good with his fist and he swears like a sailor. It’s also a hell of a performance and probably Connery’s most iconic outside of the Bond franchise. That is if we don’t count Zardoz!

The Untouchables Sean Connery Screen Rants St Patricks Day Movie Special

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Tom Ryan in Butterfly on A Wheel

Irish-born Pierce Brosnan often plays the Irish man – but his portrayal of Tom Ryan in Butterfly on a Wheel makes the list because, well, he plays it with a Northern Irish accent – for no real reason. Throw in the fact that Brosnan is from the Irish Republic and it’s quite hard to fathom! It’s not a character trait – there’s no reason for it at all except for Brosnan to flex his Irish accent muscles.

Brosnan Screen Rants St Patricks Day Movie Special

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Joseph Donnelly in Far and Away

No list of Irish film characters would be complete without mention of Tom Cruise’s Donnelly in Ron Howard’s epic tale. It’s as Irish as Guinness and 100% less authentic. It has to bee seen to be believed, To be sure, To be sure.

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Ray and Ken in In Bruges

Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson portray two Irish hit men in this Belgian-set black comedy. Farrell and Gleeson have never been better as the hired killers who are laying low in the titular city. Funny, violent and a little bit twisted, Ray and Ken are two Irish characters who you’d want to have a pint of the black stuff with.

in bruges Screen Rants St Patricks Day Movie Special

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Liam Neeson in Michael Collins

Neeson followed up his turn in Schlinder’s List by playing the titular Irish legend in Neil Jordan’s expensive misfire. While Nesson is well-suited to the role, he’s just too old. Collins was 31 years old when he died – Neeson was 43 when the film was released.

Continue for Top Irish Actors and films about Ireland…

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32 Comments

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  1. How about the Lower Deck Passengers from Titanic. they should all count as one.

  2. Well being Irish I'd have to say my favourite movie set in ireland would have to be Intermission with Cillian Murphy , Colin Farrell and Colm Meaney

  3. looks like st patrick's day is of such attention this year…

  4. what about the pikey from snatch?

  5. How could you forget things like Leap Year and P.S. I Love You, with the top quality irish accents, extremely accurate location depictions and not to mention how they manage to perfectly capture the fact that electricity and sex before marriage have never been heard of in Ireland, I just don't see how you could have forgotten about these two wonders… NOT

  6. Well I am shocked, shocked I tell you! to see nary a mention of Waking Ned Devine…

    Thank you for placing The Quiet Man on the list as it was John Ford's homage to all things Irish and the fact that Wayne and O'Hara (and damn near everyone else) are so good in it against the visual backdrops that Ford used of the country itself are simply stunning to this day.

    Since we're discussing all things Irish, I would be remiss to not mention a fabulously entertaining set of books by Stephen Murphy, which offers a twisted glimpse of Ireland today (Superchick, A Rock and a Hard Place and Ride On!) from a certain POV.

  7. Oh, Lord, Michael Fassbenlivier. How I love him. If I ever hear him speak with his native accent my head might explode from my shoulders…

  8. I know you mentioned Gleeson in Braveheart but shouldn't Braveheart be among the list of great Irish films? And I agree wholeheartedly with The Quiet Man; such a great film and among my favorite John Wayne movies.

    • Braveheart was not set in Ireland at all. It was about Scotland and their fight to be free of English rule… which sadly still goes on today!

  9. What about the characters of Connor & Murphy McManus from The Boondock Saints played by Sean Patrick Flannery and Norman Reedus (repectively)?

    Or Warwick Davis' role in the Leprechaun! (I'm kidding about that one)

  10. Although mostly shot in Ireland – William Wallace was Scottish.
    If it was Irish though, it would be the top of my list!

    Niall

  11. I'm so glad you mentioned “I Went Down.” I show everyone who will sit with me that movie. Awesome. Just awesome. Now with “Intermission” and “In Bruges” in my collection, I can have Guiness-fueled movie nights that all my friends (Irish or not) can really enjoy.

  12. I know you mentioned Gleeson in Braveheart but shouldn't Braveheart be among the list of great Irish films? And I agree wholeheartedly with The Quiet Man; such a great film and among my favorite John Wayne movies.

  13. What about the characters of Connor & Murphy McManus from The Boondock Saints played by Sean Patrick Flannery and Norman Reedus (repectively)?

    Or Warwick Davis' role in the Leprechaun! (I'm kidding about that one)

  14. Although mostly shot in Ireland – William Wallace was Scottish.
    If it was Irish though, it would be the top of my list!

    Niall

    
    
  15. I'm so glad you mentioned “I Went Down.” I show everyone who will sit with me that movie. Awesome. Just awesome. Now with “Intermission” and “In Bruges” in my collection, I can have Guiness-fueled movie nights that all my friends (Irish or not) can really enjoy.

  16. My favourite irish movie character is definitely michael o'hara in the lady from shanghai. Orson welles' ridiculous irish accent, while not terrible (i dont think) doesnt seem to serve any purpose at all, not sure why he bothered. But he def should have been included!

  17. um…peter o' toole has been nominated for 8 oscars, but has never actually won. just…fyi.

    • he has a lifetime Oscar…um.

  18. I had no idea Kenneth Branagh was Irish.
    I always assumed he was British and was curious why he hasn’t gotten knighted yet.
    Is it knighted? I really have no idea how it works. Wikapedia here I come…..

    • What kind of a name did you think “Branagh” was?

      • That’s the same question that about 5 people have asked me since I mentioned this.
        I’ll give you the same answer.
        Brain Fart…

  19. Where’s the Boondock Saints?

    • YEA!

    • I know that ‘Boondock Saints’ has a following – but as a true Irishman, it does not register on my radar. I don’t have an issue with the film, but I feel that it may be more of an ‘American thing’.

      Niall

  20. Mickey O’Neil from Snatch. Best thing Pitt’s ever done, IMO.

  21. I do agree that the Boondock Saints should be included in Irish pride, but so should Waking Ned Devine, starring Ian Bannen and the great the great David Kelly, it has to be one of the funniest Irish films.

  22. No mention of Brendan Gleeson as The Guard from last year?

  23. Can’t believe you missed, ‘A Prayer for the Dying’ with Mickey Rourke or ‘The Molly Maguires’ with Sean Connery & Richard Harris. I won’t be raising my Guinness to Screenrant on this finest of days! Shame on you.

    • ‘A Prayer for the Dying’ is an interesting (and controversial) choice. To be fair (and to be sure) there are so many Irish themed movies that some have to fall by the wayside.

      I’ll get thinking on it for next year.

      Niall

  24. where is the gangster movie with ed harris and gary oldmann(who played his violent and alcoholic brother). but, the bad thing is i´ve forgot the name of the movie(it´s from 92). the story was -irish mobsters vs italian mobsters and some undercovercops- .

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