St. Patrick’s Day Films 2012

 Falling for a Dancer (1998) Rated NR

Unattached and pregnant with a dashing actor’s child, 19-year-old Elizabeth avoids a shameful public scandal by marrying a widower she doesn’t love in this made-for-television movie based on the novel by Deirdre Purcell. But is Elizabeth strong enough to endure the pressures of becoming a first-time mother, learning to raise her stepchildren and living on a remote Irish peninsula?

 Darby O’Gill and the Little People  (1959) Rated G

Irishman Darby O’Gill finds himself face to face with magical little people — leprechauns — in this unheralded Disney gem. One of O’Gill’s tall tales comes true when he captures the King of the Leprechauns, who must grant him three wishes. But all the wishes ultimately backfire, with comical results. Partly filmed on location, the movie co-stars Sean Connery (in an early role), Janet Munro and Estelle Winwood.

 Once (2006) Rated R

In this charming contemporary musical, a street musician in Dublin strikes up a friendship with a migrant street hawker, and the duo ends up composing and recording a series of songs over the course of a week that mirrors their burgeoning romance.

 The Quiet Man (1952) Rated NR

John Wayne hangs up his spurs to star as bachelor ex-boxer Sean Thornton in this endearing classic. Back in his native Ireland, the Duke’s thoughts turn to domestic tranquility after courting the lovely Mary Kate. But her brother may need to have some common sense knocked into him — literally — before the deal is done. The film won two Academy Awards, including Best Director.

 Angela’s Ashes (2000) Rated R

This adaptation of Frank McCourt’s best-selling memoir tells the grim story of the author’s impoverished childhood in 1940s Ireland, a time of devastating deprivation spent alongside starving siblings, a long-suffering mother and an alcoholic father. Emily Watson and Robert Carlysle shine in the pivotal roles of McCourt’s struggling parents in this captivating biographical drama from director Alan Parker.

 The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006) Rated NR

As political tensions brew in early 1920s Ireland, brothers Damien and Teddy abandon their civilian lives and take up arms to liberate their country from the oppressive “Black and Tan” squads of Britain. Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, Ken Loach’s provocative drama examines a microcosm of civil war in Cork, Ireland.

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