Begorrah, lads and lassies, here’s a feast for your bloodshot eyes after you’ve washed up with your Irish Spring on St. Patrick’s Day while eating your magically delicious Lucky Charms with a pint of Guinness and a shot of Jameson. As my green friend, who stays out all night, Paddy O’ Furniture would say: ‘keep your four leaf clover handy while looking for that pot of gold and don’t kiss the Blarney Stone upside down as you might be tasting a wee bit of recycled Jay courtesy of the locals’.
1. DARBY O’GILL AND THE LITTLE PEOPLE. 1959
Directed by Robert Stevenson. Starring Janet Munro, Sean Connery, Kieron Moore, Jimmy O’Dea and Albert Sharpe. One of the best Disney movies ever made, caretaker, Darby O’Gill (Sharpe) is a teller of blarney tales at the local pub about leprechauns as a new caretaker, Michael McBride (Connery in a pre-Bond role) who is going to replace him begins courting his daughter, Katie O’Gill (Munro) while village bully, Pony Sugrue (Moore) has eyes on her as well. Darby accidentally enters the world of the leprechaun, King Brian (O’Dea) and matches wits with him while enlisting in his aid for McBride and his daughter to get together. A visual delight with incredible effects all done in the camera with forced perspective and lively music where we see 007 sing as well. Beware of the Banshee’s death coach!
2. LUCK OF THE IRISH. 1948
Directed by Henry Koster. Starring Tyrone Power, Anne Baxter and Cecil Kellaway. An American reporter, Steven Fitzgerald (Power) visits Ireland and meets up with a crafty leprechaun, named Horace (Kellaway) and a beautiful woman named, Nora (Baxter). Returning to the States to work on his soon-to-be, father-in law’s corrupt political campaign, he unexpectedly meets up with the leprechaun and Nora who act as his guide and conscious realizing what is truly important in life. Memorable dialogue and comedic moments make this an all time, charming classic.
3. GORGO. 1961
Directed by Eugene Lourie. Starring William Sylvester, Bill Travers and Vincent Winter. Two adventures (Travers and Sylvester) discover a local legend while in Ireland about a giant sea creature are true despite the warnings of a little boy, (Winters) to let it be. Capturing the beast, they decide of make a fast buck with Dorkin’s Circus and put it on display in London. Big mistake as the sea monster is actually a baby and its giant momma decides to go looking for her lost son laying London to waste.
4. DEAD MEAT. 2004
Directed by Connor McMahon. Stars Marian Araujo and David Ryan. A couple traveling across the Irish countryside discover the locals have been infected by a virus transmitted by the Mad Cow disease turning the populace into flesh eating zombies. There are some creative gore moments and dark humour that make this a must see horror film.
5. LEPRECHAUN SERIES. Various years
Various directors. Lead actor Warwick Davis. What St. Patrick’s Day horror fest would be complete without this entry? Davis clearly has fun in his role as the evil leprechaun who seeks revenge on those that steal his gold with lots of memorable one-liners. The original movie was Jennifer Aniston’s first role, but don’t ever ask her about it or she might shellac you with her shillelagh!
6. JACK TAYLOR SERIES. 2010-Current
Director Stuart Orme. Stars Iain Glen. Ireland’s answer to the two-fisted gumshoe. Hard drinking, hard smoking Jack Taylor (Glen, from Game of Thrones turns in a tour-de-force performance.) is fired from the Garda and inadvertently becomes a private eye using his contacts, wits, and fists to investigate crime. Lots of great dialogue and action, Glen was clearly made for this role as he takes his punches and doles them out on evil doers with vigor. Based on the books by Ken Bruen. A must see, classic series!