Can’t make it to Ireland this year to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Do the next best thing and tour Ireland through film. At Olive Films, we’re very proud of our catalogue of films from, filmed in, and inspired by Ireland. Take a look at some of our favorites!
THE QUIET MAN
Let’s start with an all-time favorite. Set in the fictional town “Inisfree,” most of The Quiet Man was shot in and around Cong, County Mayo and its Ashford Castle. The film continues to be a driving force of tourism in the town to this day, and much of the area remains relatively unchanged.
Sean (John Wayne) is an American boxer who swears off fighting after he accidentally kills an opponent in the ring. He purchases his childhood home in Ireland and finds happiness when when he falls in love with the fiery Kate (Maureen O’Hara). But obstacles arise with her insistence that Sean conduct his courtship in a proper Irish manner, with matchmaker Barry Fitzgerald along for the ride as “chaperone.” Another obstacle is her brother (Victor McLaglen), who spitefully refuses to give his consent to their marriage or to honor the tradition of paying a dowry to the husband. This classic features the longest brawl ever filmed, followed by one of the most memorable reconciliations in movie history.
The Quiet Man is available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Director John Ford’s parents came from Ireland (his father from An Spidéal in the Connemara region of Co. Galway, his mother from Inis Mór off the coast of Co. Galway), and his heritage can be seen in many of his films, but perhaps never quite as famously as in The Quiet Man. To learn more about John Ford, his heritage, and how it surfaced in his filmmaking, be sure to check out…
JOHN FORD: DREAMING THE QUIET MAN
In the emotional and entertaining documentary John Ford: Dreaming The Quiet Man, director Sé Merry Doyle explores the tenacity of director John Ford and his twenty-year struggle to bring the classic film The Quiet Man to the screen. The Quiet Man would go on to become a world wide box-office sensation, and win John Ford the Academy Award for Best Director as well as Winton C. Hoch and Archie Stout an Oscar for Best Cinematography. Doyle’s documentary features interviews with film notables including leading lady Maureen O’Hara and directors Martin Scorsese, Peter Bogdanovich and Jim Sheridan, who share the indelible impact that the film has had on their lives and how it influenced their careers. This revealing behind-the-scenes look at the making of Ford’s classic is highlighted with rare and never-before-seen home movies documenting the cast and crew’s time filming in Ireland. Narrated by Gabriel Byrne, John Ford: Dreaming The Quiet Man provides viewers with a unique glimpse inside the making of a time-tested classic.
Available on DVD and Blu-ray.
The adorable and charming My Brothers takes us to The Rebel County, Co. Cork. Showcasing the South of Ireland’s beautiful landscape, My Brothers is the 2010 directorial debut of Paul Fraser. Set over Halloween weekend of 1987, it is the story a quest to replace a dying father’s watch taken by three young brothers: Noel (Timmy Creed), 17, serious, weighed down by responsibility; Paudie (Paul Courtney), 11, cocky, not too bright, with dreams of playing for Liverpool; and Scwally (TJ Griffin), 7, naive, and obsessed with Star Wars. Using a battered bread van, the brothers embark on a journey across the wild Munster landscape on Halloween weekend, grinding gears and screaming at each other to get to an arcade machine in Ballybunion, Co. Kerry. Along the way, they are detoured by escalating brotherly battles in an offbeat and moving journey that can only lead them home. Kate Ashfield (Shaun of the Dead) and Don Wycherly (Shrooms) also star.
My Brothers is available on Blu-ray and DVD.
Parked gives a heartwarming yet unflinching view of Dublin during the recession. It was filmed on location there, and the city takes on a life as its own character in the movie. A victim of the economic downturn, Fred Daly (Colm Meaney, TV’s Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) lives a quiet, isolated life in his parked car. His situation improves after he forms an unlikely friendship with Cathal (Colin Morgan, TV’s Merlin), a dope-smoking free spirit with a positive attitude. Sharing laughs and hard times, the two men rediscover the simple pleasure of life. One day at the community swimming pool, Fred meets Jules (Milka Ahiroth), an attractive music teacher who lives nearby, and sparks fly. Director Darragh Byrne makes his feature film directorial debut in this beautiful and heartwarming dark comedy.
Parked is available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Filmed in the vast hills of Connemara in Co. Galway, Nothing Personal makes great use of its setting. Urszula Antoniak’s stunningly assured debut is touching, gentle, and playful. An enigmatic beauty (Lotte Verbeek, The Fault in our Stars) drifts from town to town, hitching rides through the Irish countryside. She comes across an isolated cabin and strikes up an uneasy relationship with its owner (Stephen Rea, The Crying Game). Haunted by their pasts, each has something to offer the other: the solace of his cabin and her welcome companionship. This beautiful film is the winner of 6 Locarno Film Festival Awards, including Best First Film and Best Actress.
Nothing Personal is available on DVD.
The worldwide influence of Irish literature is on display in Uptight, which retells Liam O’Flaherty’s novel The Informer against the backdrop of a black revolutionary movement. The novel received a more direct adaptation in 1935, when John Ford directed his classic The Informer. In this reimagining, Dublin becomes the Cleveland ghetto and the Irish Republicans are replaced by black revolutionary fighters. Days after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Tank Williams (Julian Mayfield) is an unemployed and itinerant steelworker who turns over his militant friend Johnny (Max Julien, Psych-Out) to the police for the $1,000 reward, resulting in an underground all-points bulletin to exact vengeance on the squealer. Legendary director Jules Dassin’s (Rififi) unrelenting directorial pace is complimented by the driving score of Booker T. Jones. The stellar cast includes Raymond St. Jacques (They Live), Ruby Dee (Do the Right Thing), Roscoe Lee Browne (The Cowboys), and Frank Silvera (Mutiny on the Bounty).
Uptight is available on DVD and Blu-ray.
March 10, 2016