Irish Movies

By Michelle Miles

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day (and the fact that I am part Irish!), I thought it only fitting that I talk about movies set in Ireland this month. I came up with this idea when I bought a copy of John Wayne’s The Quiet Man and watched most of it before I got interrupted.

Of course, we all know the famous scene as pictured here when Sean Thornton comes home to find a fire stoked and the floor swept. Mary Kate just couldn’t resist. And would you be able to resist a tall, strapping John Wayne?

Anyway, the other movie I thought of was Darby O’Gill and the Little People which stars a very young, very handsome singing Sean Connery. Can I get a WOOT-WOOT? Sadly, the only thing I remember about this movie, other than Sean Connery was in it, was the line, “Darby O’Gill…get in.”

And…that was the end of my Movies Set In Ireland List. Which isn’t much of a list, really.

As I sat here writing this post, I popped onto Google, as I so often do, and did a search. Wikipedia was the first thing that came up on the list and lo and behold there was a big ole long list of Movies Set In Ireland. Who knew!

And then of course I remembered that parts of P.S. I Love You were set in Ireland (starring the yummy Gerard Butler). And The Princess Bride, according to the page, had parts of it set in Ireland, though in that movie we know it to be Florin, don’t we? What about the R.O.U.S.s? Are they in Ireland, too? ;)

Other movies you may know:

Michael Collins
The Crying Game
Tristan and Isolde

And movies shot in Ireland? Well, there’s a list for that, too. Those include:

Braveheart (1995) – according to this, even though it was set in Scotland, it was almost entirely filmed in Ireland.

Excalibur (1981) – the great story of King Arthur starring Nigel Terry (I thought he was hot).

King Arthur (2004) – the clunky retelling of the tale starring Clive Owen. If only the story had been tightened up a bit and the movie hadn’t dragged, this would have been a real gem.

Reign of Fire (2002) – starring Matthew McConaughey and Christian Bale with a bit of the yummy Gerard Butler again.

What are some of your favorite movies filmed or set in a great locale? Does it include the lush green hillsides of Ireland? Or some other gorgeous place? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Michelle Miles writes sexy contemporaries and is a member of Romance Writers of America. You can learn more about her books at


  1. My husband is a John Wayne fan, and I've seen The Quiet Man too many times. I haven't seen any of the others, though one of these days I want to see The Princess Bride. That sounds like my kind of movie.

  2. The Jane Austen movies have gorgeous landscapes that make me want to hike through England! And def Braveheart.

  3. My step-mom can repeat the entire dialogue from The Quiet Man. Did you notice he almost always had a ciggarette?

    Have you ever seen Ryan's Daughter? It was filmed on the coast of Ireland and then there was Waking Ned Devine. Very funny, although the dialogue was sometimes hard to understand.

  4. The movie Michael Collins (1996) was filmed in Ireland with Liam Neeson in the controversial role.

  5. Hey Michelle!

    Wow, I hadn't thought about Quiet Man for years---I'm going to have to pull it out again :) We were lucky enough to visit Ireland over this past summer, and I can honestly say that it truly is as green and beautiful as it looks in the movies.

    Great post!

  6. My dad was a huge John Wayne fan and had, literally, ALL his movies on video tape (this was pre-DVD era). I always loved The Quite Man. Such a pretty movie!

    Ellen, I'm jealous you got to visit! It's one of my dream vacations!

  7. There's a charming movie called "The War of the Buttons" that I believe is set in Ireland. It's about kids in neighboring towns who have a feud.It's funny and sweet. I love it. Hmm, maybe I'll go see if I can find a copy...


  8. I love the Quiet Man and watch it regularly. Darby O'Gill is available on DVD, btw. I have it and bought it for my one daughter. I'm so glad Sean Connery didn't try to make his career singing. He wasn't bad, but easier on the eyes than the ears. LOL

  9. Thanks, Karin! I'll check it out!

    PJ - thank you for telling me! I wasn't sure. So often, those older movies are so hard to find on DVD. I'll look for it! :)

  10. Oh - I love those movies! - Also "Waking Ned Devine" and Evelyn (Pierce Brosnan) "The Field" and "In Bruges" which I haven't seen yet but it's on my list. So many terrific Irish films - we all have a place in our heart for them! Oh and as for the pairing of John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara -they were wonderful in "The Quiet Man" - also in "McLintock" - they had such a great chemistry on screen.

  11. Laurence Olivier's Henry V was filmed in Ireland. Shot primarily with the intent to rouse national fervor during WWII, LO tells a great story about using lots of Irish extras who could ride for battle scenes. Determined to not ask them to do anything he wasn't willing to do, he was showing them an action scene and flung himself out of a tree to try and land on a horse. Didn't make it and apparently the Irishmen thought he was quite daft.

  12. Hi Michelle. Great post! My current work in progress takes place in part in Belfast and involves the IRA, so I've been watching movies, reading books and googling everything Irish for months.

    When it comes to movies about the Irish, I'd recommend In the Name of the Father with Daniel Day Lewis. It's based on a true story of the Guildford Four accused in the IRA pub bombing in 1974. Much of the movie was filmed in Dublin and nearby areas. It's not an uplifting film like The Quiet Man or funny like The Princess Bride (in fact it made me cry) but it's a powerful tribute to the real lives of some very young and innocent people who got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Ellen, I'm jealous, too, of your visit! The more I read about the Irish, the more I want to visit their homeland.


  13. Gerry! I'm mad for Gerry... Also for King Arthur. I enjoy 'Excalibur' and Clive Owen's film but I'm still waiting for the definitive film to be made.

    Favorite Ireland films for me:
    'Angela's Ashes'
    'The Commitments'
    And like Joanna, 'The Field'

  14. Another gorgeous film is director David Lean's "Ryan's Daughter," starring Sarah Miles, Robert Mitchum, and Christopher Jones. This one is worth renting if you haven't seen it!

  15. Hey Michelle! Hey Misty!
    No need to be jealous---it's probably cheaper than you think to go. I know it was cheaper than I'd thought. Drop me an email sometime and I'll hook you up with the super discount ticket agency :)

  16. Great post, Michelle. I didn't realize all those movies were Irish. I'm a big Anglophile, so I like almost anything set in the UK or Ireland.


    And Sarah Miles! Whatever happened to her?

  17. Such great movies!! Thanks, all, for taking time to stop by today. My DVD list just got longer! :)

    Ellen - I may take you up on that offer!

  18. Misty's comment about The Princess Bride (one of my favorite movies) gave me pause. Was this set in Ireland? If so, Gorgeous!!

    I do remember Excalibur being quite an intriguing movie.

    And of course, living in Oregon gives me a great appreciation for a 'drenched with rain yet always lush with greenery' country!

    Great post, and thanks for the movie ideas. *wink*


  19. Great post, Michelle. I've seen most of the movies you mention. I too loved Darby O'Gill and the Little People. The locale I loved the best in any movie was Rome in "Three Coins in a Fountain." Rome is spectacular and when the movie was made (Fifties? Sixties?), Rome wasn't clogged with impossible traffic and pollution like it is now.

  20. Chiron - Indeed The Princess Bride (one of the greatest movies EVER) was partially filmed in Ireland. :)

    Carolyn - thanks for stopping by! I do love that movie as well. I believe it was in the 1960s when it was released.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  21. Can anyone resist Gerard Butler?

    I haven't seen the Sean Connery one and now you're making me eager to watch it.

    I love movies with settings in pastoral United Kingdom and Ireland. Some of my faves are Pride and Prejudice (the Keira Knightley one) set in rural England, PS I Love You which had beautiful settings of Ireland, and Made of Honor which had some gorgeous, and I mean gorgeous scenery of Scotland!



  22. this is from a new FF& P member Ellen B. I scanned the answers quickely, but my ALL TIME FAVORITE Irish movie is THE SECRET OF ROAN INISH. Love the myth in it, and the music. and too funny-- but THIS Ellen is heading to Galway in June...and I'm 99.9% Irish


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