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Being "St. Pat's," day! My favorite IRISH Films/What are yours?


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Hope this logs, again??? Firstly (*-always Indicates ACADEMY GOLD!) I just wanted, being IRISH meself-(Last name: SHANNON!-as is the river in IRELAND-Itself) Does not hurt either. & My All-Time #1 IDOL: "The Great: *SPENCER TRACY," Is of course, well, was IRISH as well. & My 2nd All-Time Favorite Movie Actor Ironically Is: *JAMES CAGNEY!!! Most don't know *CAGNEY'S mum was Norwegian? Before I compile/post a rather-short list of just top (5) Irish flix for: "St. Patrick's Day," or any other-time of the year. There is a marvelous-site that's actually in touch with what is left of the *TRACY family, to this date-(Editor: Ginger Is, anyway!) It's called simply (www.irishmafia.com) A true feast, not for just the fans of the boys! But classic (tcm) cinema as well!

They Include:

*SPENCER TRACY-(l900-67)

*JAMES CAGNEY-(l899-l986)

Pat 0'Brien-(l899-l983)-(I saw a poll & 0'Brien, was actually on the "MICK-SCALE," Thee most full-blooded Irishmen of all "THE BOYS?")

Frank Morgan-(l890-l949)

Ralph Bellamy-(l903-9l)

Robert Armstrong-(l897-l973) & of course (WB-sidekick:

Frank McHugh-(l898-l98l)

& My Personal Pix for the Top 5 IRISH-oriented,etc.

Motion Pictures of All-Time:

1. "The Quiet Man" (l952) (Also one of my overall top 10 favs. as well! & as most OSCAR-watcher(s) know, It's the comedy-drama, that put: *JOHN "Pappy" FORD-(l895-l973) way ahead of the pack. By winning a record 4th BEST DIRECTOR OSCAR! & Also, probably the finest/funnest fight-sequence in movie-history.)

2. "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (l942) (Outrageously *CAGNEY'S only BEST ACTOR WIN!? But grand-fun, for either IRISH-day or obviously The 4th of July also & either a Musical or a Biography? TRIVIA: *CAGNEY, like George M. Cohan-(l878-l942) was also born in July, but on the l7th!)

3. "Gangs of New York" (2002) (Sure it's not a day at the beach! But It's a brilliantly constructed epic, by & Man, I hope it happens? OSCAR-hopeful: Martin Scorsese! & *DANIEL DAY-LEWIS as "Bill the Butcher," Is Instantly thrown-into the ranks of all-time cinema villians! & A bit of a true-history lesson, of early NYC-circa: l840's to l860's!) IRONICALLY also this past yr. also had the other IRISH-gangster-epic: "Road to Perdition."

4. "The Last Hurrah" (l958) (Obviously I'm gonna' be prejudiced with *SPENCE in-it. But anyway you look at this story, based on a true to life mayor of Boston. & With an almost all-Irish cast. It's exceptional! Strangely though, he was nominated same yr. for one of his (9)BEST ACTOR OSCARS that year, but the nod. was for: "The Old Man and the Sea," over-this? I agree with the ACADEMY though. Even-more bizarre, *TRACY got lousy reviews from critics of the day, for Santiago in "Old Man?" & most, preferred his work here. TRIVIA: *SPENCE started his film career with: *JOHN FORD in l930's "Up the River" & He wanted this to be his finis! Obviously, thereby ending it with *FORD also. But he came back, when: Stanley Kramer came callin' with: "Inherit the Wind" (l960) & He did (6) more movies, inc. his narration of '63's "How the West Was Won."

5. "The Dead" (l987) (*JOHN HUSTON'S beautiful farewell IRISH valentine!!! To those, not only of that heritage, but just plain fans of well-crafted cinema. A beautiful music-score, by the never won the gold? Alex North. & Even beautiful tenor-tunes by the late: Frank Patterson!

& His daughter & OSCAR winner: *ANJELICA, delivers a very quietly restrained, yet wonderful performance!)

(Also Rans):

"My Left Foot" (l989)/ "The Field" (l990) & Though it's not great cinema, but as usual: *CAGNEY IS DYNAMIC! l940's "The Fighting 69th"-(Another true one, about WW1 & An all-Irish-regiment.)




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Spencer all that good stuff you listed and not a mention of Irish coleen Maureen O'Hara. She appears in one of my favorite John Ford films "The Long Gray Line" (1955) with Tyrone Power. Another Ford gem is "The Informer" with a brilliant performance from Victor McLaglen.

Happy Saint Patricks Day to all.



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Spencer, ditto on your appreciation of "The Last Hurrah", "The Quiet Man" & "The Dead". Please don't forget the Irish American mix in "Angels With Dirty Faces" either. Below is a purely subjective list of mine--I think these movies capture some of the heartbreaking, stubborn, maddening, ethereal, glorious Irish spirit on film:


1."Young Cassidy"--Sean O'Casey's memoir of his early career as a writer and witness to the Easter Uprising brought to life with some hollywoodization, but beautifully done. Rod Taylor's best performance & excellent support from a glorious Julie Christie, Maggie Smith, Flora Robson & Edith Evans, among others.


2. "This Is My Father"(1998)--If you have potato farming in your blood, and and understand the corrosive power of love denied, this allegedly true story will break your heart. Aidan Quinn and the cinematography (by Aidan's brother, Declan), are the stars here.


3. "Odd Man Out" (1948)--James Mason as a wounded I.R.A. gunman with no where to go wanders through a city of those who would exploit him. Beautifully filmed by cinematographer Robert Kraskner.


4. "The Secret of Roan Inish" (1994)--quietly told story of a child who discovers a secret about herself and her family on the coast of Ireland. Magical.


5. "Ryan's Daughter" (1970)--beautiful, but dumb. The best performances are from Leo McKern as the mercenary pub owner & Robert Mitchum as a truly introverted, recognizable Irish type. See it not for the sappy love story, but for the performances mentioned and the breathtaking landscapes.


6. "The Rising of the Moon" (1957)--a rarely shown compilation of stories acted by such wonderful Irish actors as Cyril Cusack, Noel Purcell and Donal Donnelly. Allegedly directed by John Ford (there's some dispute about his work here) & introduced by Tyrone Power.


7. "The Nephew" (1998)--Pierce Brosnan's done something interesting with his buckets of James Bond money: he's making a series of little movies such as this and the recently released "Evelyn". This one, ostensibly about a black child becoming part of a traditional, fractured Irish family, is beautifully acted, with restraint & truth, by the late, magnificent Donal McCann, along with Sinead Cusack & Brosnan.


8. "Shake Hands with the Devil" (1957)--James Cagney in his mad, bad and fascinating mode as a cultured professor who's also a bitter rebel whose violent nature overwhelms him. An early appearance by Richard Harris in this one. Beautifully photographed in black and white on location in Dublin and environs.


9. "The Commitments" (1991)--Roddy Doyle's story of the "World's Hardest Working Band" is raucously told by Alan Parker in this wondrous tale of soul singing urban youths. Not to be missed, though give your ear some time to understand that Dublin accent! Great Music, and, in a very Irish phrase, "funnier than a crutch". Don't miss Colm Meaney as the Elvis worshipping Da.


I'm sure that I'm forgetting some terrific pictures, but...cairdeas & pionta Guinness le do thoil.

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(*-Indication of ACADEMY GOLD!) I almost, or actually kinda' did. In ranking l935's RKO "The Informer." Of course *JOHN FORD'S 1st of the probably never to be equaled 4 BEST DIRECTOR OSCARS! & Strangely, his personal fav. of all his massive amount of work, was l953's "The Sun Shines Bright?"-His own re-make of Will Rogers-(l879-l935) l934 "Judge Priest." And In his final yrs. *FORD, grew-less fond of: "The Informer." Thinking It a bit-dated? & "Angels With Dirty Faces," Is one of my all-around all-timers-since I was a kid! Ironically *CAGNEY won NY Film Critics Award for Best Actor for it & was nominated his 1st of ONLY 3 TIMES?-(Thee original ROCKY!) He lost to *TRACY for "Boys Town." '38 ACADEMY AWARDS, *SPENCE'S 2nd consecutive for leading actor! Took 56yrs. to equal, with *TOM HANKS of course l993/94. Although *TRACY Is MY #1 IDOL, *CAGNEY'S my 2nd all-time favorite actor & In reality, deserved the OSCAR for l938!? But I, as most have, I reckon' always ranked "Angels," as more of a Gangster-pix. Probably, no, obviously! As Virginia Mayo, has recently said on tcm, about *JIM as Cody Jarrett in "White Heat." Back-then Hollywood would never give it's highest honor to a Gangster-Film! Thank you to all for your input! I knew someone though, would have l970's "Ryan's Daughter." & speaking of OSCAR, most of this crowd knows, the late *JOHN MILLS won his one for that.

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Sir John Mills is alive and rather well at age 95. The reason that I didn't mention his Oscar winning performance in my earlier post was due to the fact that I loathe his performance as the town idiot in "Ryan's Daughter".


I think that Mills should have received an Academy Award for his acting years earlier in the magnificently acted, almost forgotten, "Tunes of Glory" (1960). If you have an opportunity to check the latter movie out on video, I'd recommend it--there's good work by Alec Guinness in this story of a Scottish battalion in an uneasy peacetime.

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