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The Irish Times Top 50 Irish Movies

What’s currently available and where…

There was a little bit of consternation when this list was released at the beginning of May 2020. Many felt that some films had been unfairly overlooked. Rumours of a Damo and Ivor protest outside 28 Tara Street have yet to be confirmed but there were some controversial omissions.

Conspicuous by its absence is The Field, an excellent John B Keane adaptation. I Went Down would be a better bet than Intermission if you’re trying to secure the Tarantino type voters. I would have also said ‘In the Name of the Father’ and ‘The Snapper’ are arguably more beloved than ‘In America’ or ‘The Commitments’. Also you could argue that In Brugges is more Irish than The Killing Of A Sacred Deer. Or that ’71 is more Irish than The Dead.

My chief concern however, was whether I would be able to watch the 24 films that I haven’t gotten round to yet.

There has often been difficulty in purchasing old Irish produced TV shows or films. Usually this comes down to the production company not seeing enough of a potential profit, not being able to secure licensing rights for music or quite often, said production company no longer existing.

The IFI in Temple Bar is a decent source of old Irish cinema, though I cannot say for sure what they currently have in stock. Likewise Tower Records has a respectable World Cinema section. After that you are down to online shopping. Volta is an Irish website which has tried to find a niche market in independent and arthouse home cinema. Like so many others they are probably struggling against the might of the Jeff Bezos juggernaut so if you can, support them.

Anyway, after a couple of hours of research I made a list of the 50 and their availability. Many are available right now online. Others will be trickier. I am unable to access Prime Video from where I am. Don’t know what it’s like for you folks back home!

50. Korea Cathal Black, 1995: haven’t seen it and could not find it on any notable shopping sites (Volta)

49. Cardboard Gangsters Mark O’Connor, 2017: seen it (available on many platforms)

48. Intermission John Crowley, 2003 seen it (available second hand)

47. Snap Carmel Winters, 2010 haven’t seen it ( listed on Volta)

46. Kisses Lance Daly, 2008 seen it (available second hand on Ebay)

45. Good Favour ,Rebecca Daly, 2017 haven’t seen it (available on prime video)

44. Saviours, Liam Nolan, Ross Whitaker, 2007 seen it (difficult to find, maybe some rights issues with music) 

43. Kings, Tom Collins, 2011, haven’t seen (there is a listing on Tower Records)

42. Hush-a-Bye Baby, Margo Harkin, 1989 haven’t seen it (no record of it on DVD . There is a VHS listing on Amazon for £85! )

41. The Secret of Roan Inish, John Sayles, 1994 haven’t seen ( DVD listed on amazon for $45)

40. Shadow Dancer, James Marsh, 2012 seen it ( available on many platforms inc Prime Video)

39. Maudie, Aisling Walsh, 2016 haven’t seen it ( available on many platforms inc Prime Video)

38. Silent Grace, Maeve Murphy, 2001 haven’t seen (DVD on amazon for $40)

37. In America, Jim Sheridan, 2002 seen it ( should be able to pick up a copy on Ebay quite cheaply)

36. The Commitments, Alan Parker, 1991 seen it ( available on many platforms inc Prime Video)

35. Flight of the Doves, Ralph Nelson, 1971 seen it (should be able to pick up a copy on ebay quite cheaply, also there’s a good chance RTE will show it on a bank holiday)

34. The General, John Boorman, 1998 seen it (DVDs available on Amazon and Ebay)

33. Waveriders, Joel Conroy, 2008 haven’t seen ( should be able to pick up a DVD on Ebay quite cheaply)

32. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, Kim Bartley, Donnacha Ó Briain, 2003 haven’t seen (It’s on Youtube though)

31. Gaza, Garry Keane and Andrew McConnell, 2019 haven’t seem (available on Prime Video)

30. The Secret of Kells, Tomm Moore, 2009 seen it (Volta)

29. December Bride, Thaddeus O’Sullivan, 1991 haven’t seen (currently available on Ebay)

28. Bloody Sunday, Paul Greengrass, 2002 seen it ( not currently available on amazon but Ebay have a copy)

27. Garage, Lenny Abrahamson, 2007 seen it ( Volta)

26. The Image You Missed, Donal Foreman, 2018 haven’t seen (Vimeo)

25. The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Yorgos Lanthimos, 2017 Seen it (available on many platforms inc Prime Video)

24. His & Hers, Ken Wardop, 2010 haven’t seen (DVDs available second hand on amazon)

23. The Butcher Boy, Neil Jordan, 1997 seen it (available on Prime video and dvd)  

22. Odd Man Out, Carol Reed, 1947 seen it ( DVDs on Amazon)

21. The Rocky Road to Dublin, Peter Lennon, 1967 seen it (available on Prime Video)

20. The Farthest, Emer Reynolds, 2017 seen it ( available on many platforms)

19. Good Vibrations, Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn, 2013 haven’t (Blu Ray available on amazon)

18. Silence, Pat Collins, 2012 haven’t seen (Volta)

17. The Magdalene Sisters, Peter Mullan, 2002 haven’t seen (available on Prime Video)

16. Once, John Carney, 2007 seen it (available on Prime Video)

15. The Fading Light, Ivan Kavanagh, 2009 haven’t seen (volta)

14. Song of Granite, Pat Collins, 2017 haven’t seen (available on prime video)

13. Mise Éire, George Morrison, 1959 seen it (DVDs available on Amazon)

12. Brooklyn, John Crowley, 2015 seen it (available on many platforms)

11. The Lobster, Yorgos Lanthimos, 2015 seen it (available on many platforms)

10. My Left Foot, Jim Sheridan, 1989 seen it (available on Prime Video)

9. The Wind That Shakes the Barley, Ken Loach, 2006 seen it (available on Prime Video)

8. Adam & Paul, Lenny Abrahamson, 2004 seen it (DVDs available on Amazon)

7. The Quiet Man, John Ford, 1952 seen it ( available on Prime Video)

6. The Crying Game, Neil Jordan, 1992 seen it (Blu Rays and DVDs available on Amazon)

5. Hunger, Steve McQueen, 2008 haven’t seen!! (available on Prime Video)

4. Man of Aran, Robert J Flaherty, 1934 haven’t seen (youtube)

3. Anne Devlin, Pat Murphy, 1984 haven’t seen (unknown availability)

2. The Dead, John Huston, 1987 haven’t seen (DVDs and VHS available on amazon)

1. Barry Lyndon, Stanley Kubrick, 1975 seen it ( available on many platforms)

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