Tag: show

Irish Shows and Movies

Irish Movies and Shows

by Christy Nicholas

Want to feel closer to the Emerald Isle? This might help!

  • Comedy/fun/light:
  • Ballykissangel (TV Series) – not really historical, but set in a small town in Ireland, great funny series.
  • Father Ted (TV Series) – again, not historical.  Three priests (a young one in training, a mature one, and an old one in retirement) live on a remote island in the west of Ireland.  Silly comedy. Some strong language.
  • Waking Ned Devine – an old man wins the lottery – and promptly dies.  His friends try to collect his winnings. Hilarious.
  • The Secret of Kells – a delightful animated movie about the Book of Kells, an exquisite illuminated gospel from the 8th century – the kids would probably love this, too.  Some scary bits (mean Vikings).
  • Leap Year – an American is stuck in the boondocks of Ireland, and tries to make her way to Dublin to propose to her boyfriend on Feb 29th.
  • P.S., I Love You – A true tearjerker. A man dies in New York, and his wife is sent on a series of quests by him, via notes written before he died, ending up in Ireland where they met.
  • Darby O’Gill and the Little People – Sean Connery sings! Darby O’Gill tries to get the better of the Fairy Folk to save his daughter from dying.
  • The Matchmaker – Based on the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, a funny tale with Janeane Garofalo.
  • Drama:
  • The Commitments – A Soul Music group gets together in Dublin
  • Into the West – a couple young tinker (gypsy) boys find a mystical white horse
  • The Secret of Roan Inish – a movie about Selkies, mystical creatures that are seals in the water, but humans on land.
  • The Quiet Man – A classic with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara; a man moves from America to the small town he was born in to reclaim his heritage.
  • Circle of Friends – Minnie Driver stars in this tale of young men and women in 1950 Ireland.
  • Once – Set in Dublin, story of a pair of musicians learning the ways of the street.
  • The Guard – A misfit policeman gets partnered with an uptight FBI agent to investigate drug smugglers
  • Philomena – A woman searches for word of her child, taken from her in the Magdalene Laundries.
  • Angela’s Ashes – True story of a child growing up in Limerick.
  • Ondine – Tale of a water spirit.
  • Dancing at Lughnasa – Five sisters in rural Ireland in the 1930s.
  • Gritty/heavy/serious/not for kids:
  • My Left Foot (Daniel Day-Lewis plays a Irish painter quadriplegic, 1960s)
  • In the Name of the Father (Daniel Day-Lewis, accused of bombing in Northern Ireland, 1970s)
  • Michael Collins (Liam Neeson/Alan Rickman) About Ireland’s revolution (1916)
  • The Wind that Shakes the Barley – Also Ireland’s revolution (1916)
  • Bloody Sunday – historical drama about the true events that occurred in the beginning of the Troubles in Derry, Northern Ireland (set in 1972).
  • Ryan’s Daughter – Story of a woman who has an affair with a WWI British officer. (1916)
  • Excalibur – Classic King Arthur tale filmed in Ireland
  • Da – Story of a man dealing with his father’s death, with Martin Sheen.
  • The Field – A feud about who gets to farm a field results in death and pain. (Spoiler! Sean Bean dies)
  • Omagh – Dramatization of the bombing in Omagh in 1998.
  • The Crying Game – A British soldier captured by IRA terrorists

Filming locations in Ireland:

  • Game of Thrones
  • Penny Dreadful
  • The Princess Bride
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • Braveheart
  • The Tudors
  • Foyle’s War
  • The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)
  • Your Highness
  • Reign of Fire
  • Casino Royale (1967)
  • The Amazing Race

List of Historical and Quasi-Historical Shows/Movies

List of Historical and Quasi-Historical Movies

by Christy Nicholas

Drama:

  • Troy – Has Peter O’Toole, Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom – flashy but interesting.
  • Alexander the Great – Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie, Val Kilmer
  • Vercingetorix(Druids – UK title) – Christopher Lambert, about Celts vs. Romans
  • Gladiator – Russell Crowe, Roman empire
  • Boudicca – Alex Kingston, Dr. Corday from ER – a Celtic Queen who sacked London in Roman times
  • Mists of Avalon – miniseries about King Arthur times, mostly from the female/pagan viewpoint
  • First Knight – Sean Connery/Richard Gere/Julia Ormond – King Arthur tale, lots of Hollywood on this one
  • Kingdom of Heaven – Orlando Bloom – About the Crusades, and fall of Jerusalem to the Muslims
  • Thirteenth Warrior – Antonio Banderas is a Muslim who goes and helps Beowulf kill the dragon
  • Braveheart – Mel Gibson in 12th century Scotland
  • Henry V – Kenneth Brannagh is the English King who wins at Agincourt against the French
  • The Messenger – Joan of Arc
  • The Lion in Winter – my favorite – Katherine Hepburn/Peter O’Toole/Anthony Hopkins – Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, parents of Richard the Lionheart, play political games with their children as pawns
  • The Agony and the Ecstasy – Michelangelo = Charlton Heston, with Rex Harrison as the Pope
  • Anne of a Thousand Days – Richard Burton as Henry VIII, story of Anne Boleyn
  • All the Mornings of the World – Gerard Depardieu – a sad story of a cellist in Provence, France
  • Dangerous Beauty – courtesans in 15th Century Venice, a true story
  • Victoria and Albert – about Queen Victoria’s life
  • Lady Jane – about Jane Grey, who was queen for a few days before Mary took over (daughter of Henry VIII)
  • A Man for All Seasons – About Thomas More, who dared to say No to Henry VIII.
  • Mary, Queen of Scots – about Elizabeth I’s cousin, unhappy in love.
  • The Count de Monte Cristo – Not really historical, but based in 17th C. France, and a well-done movie
  • Brother Cadfael – great medieval mystery series, with Derek Jacobi, set in 12th century England.
  • Gypsy (Natalie Wood as a young girl, who ends up as a stripper)
  • Mississippi Masala (Denzel Washington – Indian girl falls in love with black man in Mississippi)
  • Memoirs of a Geisha – set in Japan before WWII
  • Mrs. Brown (Judi Dench plays Queen Victoria, depressed after the death of her husband)
  • Valmont (Annette Benning, Colin Firth, 18th century French nobles playing games)
  • Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth)
  • Rob Roy (Liam Neeson – historical character in the 17th C. Scottish highlands)
  • Last of the Mohicans (Daniel Day-Lewis plays a white man raised by Indians after the French/Indian wars)
  • John Adams (excellent miniseries on the birth of the US)
  • The Queen (Helen Mirrim, about Elizabeth II during Princess Diana’s death)
  • Les Miserables (Liam Neeson)
  • Sharpe’s Rifles (first in a series of 14 BBC episodes with Sean Bean, about the Napoleonic wars)
  • Horatio Hornblower (another series, with Iain Gryffud, life on the high seas with the British Navy)
  • Master and Commander (Russell Crowe on the high seas with the British Navy)
  • Becoming Jane (life of Jane Austen)
  • Emma (a Jane Austen book)
  • Sense and Sensibility (another Jane Austen)
  • Tess of the D’Urbevilles (depressing story set in England in 19th C.)
  • Ivanhoe – set in 12th C. England, about crusaders returning from the wars
  • Ladyhawke – Michelle Pfeiffer, Matthew Broderick, set in medieval times, with magic and revenge.
  • Outlander – a British WWII nurse gets sent back in time to 1743 Scotland, thrust into the heart of the Jacobite rising. (based on a series of bestselling books)
  • Frontier – Jason Mamoa as a trader in the American French/Indian war time.
  • The Crown – An in-depth look at Queen Elizabeth I
  • Victoria – Queen Victoria done well
  • The Last Kingdom – Based on Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon series, a decent take, though they do take liberties with both the books and history. Great portrayal of King Alfred.
  • Poldark – Dark, gothic tale of mining in 18th century Cornwall
  • Comedy/fun/light:
  • Princess Bride (a requirement!)
  • Willow – very early Val Kilmer
  • Ballykissangel – not really historical, but set in a small town in Ireland, great funny series
  • Monarch of the Glen – again, not really historical, but set in the highlands of Scotland, and my favorite TV series, period.
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail (silliness and fun)
  • Princess Caraboo (exotic girl found in Edwardian England)
  • Black Adder (more silliness and fun, 4 series – each a different era.  Has Hugh Laurie in the later seasons, and Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean) is the main character)
  • Shakespeare in Love (Gwyneth Paltrow) – Fun in life meets art
  • Amadeus – Funny/tragic account of Mozart’s life
  • Beau Brummell (James Purefoy, who was Marc Anthony in the above Rome, plays the man who turns the Prince Regent from a fop to a dandy, both fashions of the time)
  • Gritty/heavy/serious/not for kids:
  • 300 (Spartans make a stand against the Persions)
  • Rome (HBO series) – excellent series with Ciaran Hinds, James Purefoy.  Lots of violence/sex, but great historical accuracy and acting.
  • I, Claudius (BBC Series) – 1970s series with Derek Jacobi of late Roman empire
  • Excalibur – King Arthur story
  • The Name of the Rose (Sean Connery, Christian Slater) – A 12th century monk tries to solve a murder mystery
  • Elizabeth – Queen Elizabeth I first days in power
  • The King’s Whore (Timothy Dalton) –  gritty and violent, but very well done
  • Immortal Beloved (Gary Oldman as Beethoven)
  • Queen Margot (16th century Catholic marries protestant prince)
  • Water (the tragedy of widowhood in India)
  • The Madness of King George (the king that lost the US)
  • My Left Foot (Daniel Day-Lewis plays a Irish painter quadriplegic)
  • In the Name of the Father (Daniel Day-Lewis, accused of bombing in Northern Ireland)
  • Kama Sutra (Indian love story)
  • Michael Collins (Liam Neeson/Alan Rickman) About Ireland’s revolution
  • The Wind that Shakes the Barley – Also Ireland’s revolution
  • Quills (about the Marquis de Sade, with Kate Winslet, Joaquin Phoenix and Geoffrey Rush)
  • The Tudors – series by Showtime about Henry VIII and his wives
  • Game of Thrones – while more fantasy than historical, the storylines are based on several incidents in history, such as the War of the Roses and the Glencoe Massacre, among others.
  • Brittania – More on the fantasy side than historical, it still shows an interesting take on the Roman invasion of Britain.