Irish Film Institute -International Film Directory – Category


Classic films are those which have a timeless appeal and will resonate with audiences long after their initial release. Here you will find films made by Irish filmmakers but also films made by British and American directors drawn to Ireland by its dramatic landscape, its culture, its music and also by the narrative potential of its turbulent historical past. The Classic film selection includes a broad sweep of films that ranges from the Kalem collection of the silent era through to lavish Hollywood delights like The Quiet Man in the 1950s right up to more recent titles such as The Commitments and John Huston’s The Dead, all of which will continue to delight audiences for generations to come.

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Adam and Paul

Lenny Abrahamson, 83 minutes, 2004

Abrahamson’s first feature and his first collaboration with actor/writer Mark O’Halloran grew from an idea concerning the lives of the inner-city junkies that O’Halloran passed daily on the streets of Dublin. Eschewing a socially realist approach to their material, director…


Harry O'Donovan, 65 minutes, 1938

The comedy classic features much-loved Irish actor Jimmy O’Dea, playing a salesman working along the Irish Border who runs into trouble when he encounters jewel thieves. Cross-border rivalry plays out between a Garda, played by Noel Purcell (Moby Dick, 1956…

Broth of a Boy

George Pollock, 77 minutes, 1959

Absurdities mount up in this freewheeling 1950s comedy about impulsive TV producer Tony (Tony Wright) and his efforts to produce a show about Patrick Farrell (Barry Fitzgerald), a man who claims to be the oldest person in the world Much…

The Butcher Boy

Neil Jordan, 110 minutes, 1997

Neil Jordan's twisted version of a coming of age story, The Butcher Boy brings the viewer into the bizarre world of Francie Brady (Eamonn Owens). With an alcoholic father (Stephen Rea) and suicidal mother (Aisling O’Sullivan) at home, Francie lives…

The Commitments

Alan Parker, 118 minutes, 1991

Voted the best Irish film ever made in a poll sponsored by Jameson Whiskey in 2005, The Commitment’s charts the unlikely journey of Dublin soul band ‘The Commitments’. Ambitious Jimmy Rabbitte (Robert Arkins) takes control of his friend’s struggling wedding…

The Crying Game

Neil Jordan, 112 minutes, 1992

Shot in parlous circumstances as its British producers neared bankruptcy, Jordan’s portrait of an IRA gunman embracing his humanity in unexpected circumstances proved the pivotal moment in his career, after an ingenious U.S. marketing campaign swept the film all the…

The Dead

John Huston,

John Huston's film, The Dead, is an adaptation of perhaps one of the greatest pieces of English- language literature by one of Huston's favourite authors, James Joyce. It has been described as a love letter to the land of his…

The Dead

John Huston, 83 minutes, 1987

Always the most literary and philosophical of the great Hollywood directors, Huston used this adaptation of the James Joyce story to furnish a portrait of his own artistry as an old man, turning the film into a serene song of…

The Field

Jim Sheridan, 110 minutes, 1990

Jim Sheridan’s second film was an epic tale of land rights and murder. The Field had initially been adapted with Ray McAnally – so wonderful as Mr Brown in My Left Foot – in mind, but the actor’s unexpected death…

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