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30 Remarkable Romantic Irish Movies to Watch for St. Patrick’s Day

From heartwarming tales of love and romance to stories that celebrate the spirit of Ireland, you're sure to find a movie here that will touch your heart.

If you are yearning for a little bit of Ireland (Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland), look no further than this list of romantic Irish movies. With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, I thought it would be fun to compile a list of movies set in Ireland that celebrate Ireland and its people.

montage of romantic irish movies set in ireland
Romantic Irish Movies & Movies Set in Ireland. Photo Credit: Republic Pictures, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Savoy Pictures, Warner Bros. MGM, and Pathe

The movies on the list are a mix of Irish romantic movies and Irish movies of Romanticism.


Ireland is a land of ancient history and magic. A place where the joy of music and dancing exists alongside hardship and survival.

Its people have retained their identity with their homeland through wars for independence, religious wars, civil wars, starvation, poverty, and oppression.

Related: Brooklyn Movie Review: A Beautiful, Heartwarming Film

Ireland’s a land that enchants and fascinates. Ireland has given the world poets, artists, scientists, revolutionaries, athletes, saints, musicians, and more.

If you ask most people what place in the world they would like to travel to, Ireland is almost always at the top of the list. Even people with no real connection to Ireland often find themselves interested in the country.

So, in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, here are 30+ romantic movies set in Ireland to watch. This list is Irish cinema at its best, with lots of Irish love movies (and other great Irish films) to check out.

(Note: Where to Watch was updated in March 2023, but availability is subject to change at any time.)

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(In no particular order)

1.  The Quiet Man (1957)

The Quiet Man (1952) - A Cinematic Love Letter to Ireland

John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara star in this quintessentially Irish film about an American boxer returning home to the small Irish village of his birth.

Wayne’s character falls for O’Hara but must contend with her hard-headed brother while adjusting to cultural traditions foreign to him.

RELATED: Twenty-Eight Of The Most Glamorous Old Hollywood Actresses

Filmed in Ireland, this features some absolutely gorgeous cinematography and some native character actors.

Content Note: The movie shows physical aggression between spouses, and there is a fight at the end.

Where to Watch: Stream on Paramount+ and MGM+. You can also rent/buy on Digital and DVD or regularly check your local TCM listings.

2.  Leap Year (2010)

Leap year
Leap Year – one of our favorite romantic Irish movies! Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

Leap Year is a delightful Irish rom com. Amy Adams stars as a woman following her boyfriend to Ireland with the intent to propose to him on Leap Year day.

RELATED: Classic Romantic Moment: Leap Year – Anna and Declan

However, she’s forced to hire a local Irish man (Matthew Goode) to drive her to Dublin, thanks to bad weather. Their road trip through the Irish countryside tests their contentious relationship as they continually meet with disaster. 

Leap Year is perfect if you’re looking for Irish rom coms to watch.

Content Note: PG

Where to Watch: Stream on Netflix. Rent/buy on Digital and DVD.

3.  P.S. I Love You (2007)

P.S. I Love You photo from List: 30 Romantic Irish Movies to Watch for St. Patrick's Day
Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

After her husband dies, Holly begins receiving letters from him, giving her tasks to complete to help her grieve. One of those involves a return trip to Ireland, where they first met.

Accompanied by her girlfriends, Holly retraces her relationship with Gerry.

Adapted from the novel by Irish author Cecelia Ahern, this movie stars Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler, Lisa Kudrow, Kathy Bates, Harry Connick Jr., and Jeffrey Dean Morgan in a unique and poignant story.

Content Note: PG-13

Where to Watch: Rent/buy on Digital and DVD.

4.  Tonight’s the Night (1954) aka Happy Ever After

Esta es La Noche poster

Jasper O’Leary (David Niven) inherits the Irish estate of a distant relative, much to the consternation of the locals. They conspire together to assassinate him.

Meanwhile, Jasper seeks ways to bleed the estate dry. This British-made film is a bit more obscure, but it’s surprisingly funny and entertaining.

Where to Watch: Buy on DVD.

5.  Brooklyn (2015)

Brooklyn in list: 30 Romantic Irish Movies to Watch for St. Patrick's Day
Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures

With few prospects in Ireland, Eilis moves to New York City in the 1950s. Though she desperately misses home, she learns to adjust thanks to her fellow female boarders and a relationship with an Italian immigrant.

As the title implies, this inspirational romantic drama mainly occurs in Brooklyn, New York. However, there are scenes at the beginning and ending set in Ireland. This picture really captures the emotions of the immigrant experience.

Content Note: PG-13

Where to Watch: Rent/buy on Digital and DVD.

6.  Ondine (2009)

Ondine in list: 30 Romantic Irish Movies to Watch for St. Patrick's Day
Photo: Magnolia Pictures/Paramount Vantage

This Irish film is a part gritty fairy tale and part romantic drama. After a fisherman rescues a young woman from the sea, his daughter believes she’s a magical selkie.

Ondine stars Colin Farrell in an unusual role and keeps the viewer guessing whether the rescued woman is indeed magical or only human. It’s a unique Irish romance movie full of Romanticism.

Content Note: PG-13

Where to Watch: Stream on Hulu, Hoopla, Peacock, Roku, Plex, Crackle, and Pluto TV. Rent or buy on Digital and DVD.

7.  Circle of Friends (1995)

Circle of Friends in list; 30 Romantic Irish Movies to Watch for St. Patrick's Day

Adapted from a novel by Maeve Binchy, it stars Minnie Driver, Chris O’Donnell, Colin Firth, Alan Cumming, and Saffron Burrows.

RELATED: The 25 Best BritBox Shows With Romance To Stream Right Now 

As the title implies, Circle of Friends follows the ups and downs of three young women in their friendship and other relationships. It’s a lovely romantic movie.

Content Note: PG-13

Where to Watch: Purchase on DVD.

8.  The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006)

The Wind that Shakes the barley poster

Covering the years of the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War in the 1920s, it explores the relationship of two brothers during these conflicts.

This well-regarded movie is the highest-grossing independent Irish film to date. It stars Cillian Murphy as one of the brothers and is an absolutely heart-wrenching drama.

Content Note: This film is not rated. However, there is a brief love scene, many scenes of war violence, and lots of profanity.

Where to Watch: Stream on AMC+. You can also rent or purchase it on Digital and DVD.

9.  Far and Away (1992)

Far and Away movie poster; used in list: 30 Romantic Irish Movies to Watch for St. Patrick's Day

In this Ron Howard romantic drama, an Irishman immigrates to America with his landlord’s aristocratic daughter (a young Irish woman). Though the majority of the film is set in America, early scenes depict the land and culture of Ireland.

RELATED: What The Wind Knows: Romance And The Struggle For Irish Independence

Far and Away is also one of three films to co-star former husband and wife Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.

Content Note: PG-13 for language and sensuality

Where to Watch: Rent or buy on Digital and DVD.

10. Laws of Attraction (2004)

Laws of Attraction publicity still
Photo: New Line Cinema

This underrated Irish romantic comedy stars Julianne Moore and Irishman Pierce Brosnan. The two play opposing divorce attorneys representing a contentious celebrity couple seeking a divorce.

Moore and Brosnan then travel to Ireland to dispose of the couple’s estate there. After a night of drinking, they wake up to discover they are married.

RELATED: Carnegie’s Maid Book Review – An Intriguing ‘What If’ Story Of An Irish Immigrant & The King Of Steel 

Laws of Attraction reminds me a bit of the classic Adam’s Rib, where Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy play married attorneys representing opposite sides of the same case.

Content Note: PG-13 for suggestive content and some language

Where to Watch: Rent/buy on Digital and DVD.

11. Ryan’s Daughter (1970)

Ryan's Daughter movie still used in list: 30 Romantic Irish Movies to Watch for St. Patrick's Day
Photo: MGM

A young Irish wife has an affair with a British soldier during World War I. Although it’s set in Ireland, Ryan’s Daughter is a loose re-telling of the Madame Bovary story.

It’s directed by acclaimed director David McLean and stars famous classic film actors Robert Mitchum and Trevor Howard. John Mills also co-starred (father of Disney favorite Hayley Mills) and won an Oscar for his efforts.

Content Note: Rated R for two love scenes.

Where to Watch: Rent/buy on Digital and DVD.

12. The Boys & Girl FROM County Clare (2003)

The Boys and Girl of County Clare
Photo: Samuel Goldwyn Films

I discovered this film while researching for this list. This comedy about two Irish brothers who direct competing Celtic bands in a 1960s music festival looks charming and humorous.

Not to mention it stars a young Shaun Evans long before he became Endeavour.

Content Note: R for a nude swimming scene, language, and sensuality.

Where to Watch: Purchase on DVD.

13. Young Cassidy (1965)

Young Cassidy still
Photo: MGM

Long before Maggie Smith played the Dowager Countess in Downton Abbey, she was a sought-after star in films like this biopic drama about Sean O’Casey.

Rod Taylor and Julie Christie also co-star in this movie about the famous Irish playwright who wields his pen as a weapon for the causes of Irish nationalism and social issues.

Content Note: This film is not rated, but I don’t remember anything overly offensive. Christie plays a prostitute, but her work is implied rather than shown. There are also some scenes of mob violence.

Where to Watch: Purchase on DVD.

14. Captain Lightfoot (1955)

Captain Lightfoot still
Photo: Universal Pictures

This Technicolor Douglas Sirk directed film is about a pair of Irish rebels who act as highwaymen, fight duels, and have adventures.

It was filmed in Ireland and starred Sirk’s favorite Rock Hudson in the title role. The film trailer looks gloriously cheesy, with Hudson playing swashbuckler in brightly colored satin.

Content Note: There is no rating, but it most likely corresponds to a G or PG film.

Where to Watch: Stream on Youtube. Purchase on DVD.

15. Beloved Enemy (1936)

Beloved Enemy movie poster

A British noblewoman falls in love with an Irish rebel during the Irish War for Independence against Britain.

The Irish love movie is loosely based on real-life leader Michael Collins and stars David Niven, Merle Oberon, and Brian Aherne.

Where to Watch: Stream on Kanopy. Rent/buy on Amazon Video or buy on DVD.

16. Finian’s Rainbow (1968)

Finian's Rainbow movie promotional picture

Though it’s not filmed or technically set in Ireland, the movie often comes to mind when thinking of Irish-themed films.

This fantasy/musical involves an Irish thief who steals a pot of gold and a leprechaun desperate to recover it. It stars the aging Fred Astaire and Disney actor Tommy Steele in a film sure to entertain the whole family.

Content Note: G

Where to Watch: Rent/buy on Digital or purchase on DVD.

17. Love, Rosie (2014)

Love Rosie movie image used in list: 30 Romantic Irish Movies to Watch for St. Patrick's Day
Photo: Lionsgate

Love, Rosie is the second film on this list adapted from a Cecelia Ahern novel. This one features Sam Claflin and Lily Collins as childhood friends who should be more.

Unfortunately, life’s circumstance keeps them apart, although they remain friends. Part of this movie is set and filmed in Dublin and other parts of Ireland.

Content Note: R for language and sensual content.

Where to Watch: Stream on Paramount+ and Pluto TV. Rent/buy on Digital and DVD.

18. The Luck of the Irish (1948)

List: St. Patrick's Day Films - Luck of the Irish
Photo: 20th Century Fox

This one stars the gorgeous Tyrone Power and Anne Baxter, who played Nefretiri in The Ten Commandments. Power is a journalist traveling to Ireland only to find that the leprechaun and the beautiful woman he met there follows him back home to New York.

The two disrupt his life, although one does so mischievously while the other does so innocently.

Where to Watch: Rent/purchase on Digital and DVD.

19. Once (2007)

Once movie still used in list: 30 Romantic Irish Movies to Watch for St. Patrick's Day
Photo: Buena Vista International

Two struggling musicians meet on the streets of Dublin, Ireland. The two bond over music. This film is famous for introducing the song “Falling Slowly,” which won an Oscar for Best Original Song.

The two leads are musicians (including Glen Hansard), not actors.

Content Note: R for language.

Where to Watch: Rent/purchase on Digital or DVD.

20. The Secret of Roan Inish (1995)

The Secret of Roan Inish screenshot
Photo: First Look Pictures

With a premise similar to Ondine, Roan Inish is the story of a young girl who lives with her grandparents on a tiny island. She believes the tales of a selkie ancestor and that her baby brother, once stolen by the sea, has returned.

This one is based on a children’s book called Secret of the Ron Mor Skerry. It’s mystical, charming, whimsical, heartwarming and full of wonder.

Content Note: PG

Where to Watch: Stream on Prime Video, Roku, Hoopla, Tubi, Kanopy, Pluto TV, Flex, and Freevee. Rent/purchase on Digital and DVD.

21. This Is My Father (1998)

List: St. Patrick's Day Films - This is My Father Movie Poster

I love time-slip stories like this one. A middle-aged American widower searches for his roots and family history in Ireland.

The film alternates between his present-day search and 1930s Ireland as it tells his parent’s story. It stars familiar faces like James Caan, Aidan Quinn, John Cusack, Colm Meaney, and Brendan Gleeson.

Content Note: R for language and sensuality, although nothing graphic.

Where to Watch: Purchase as an individual DVD or as part of the Big Screen Romances DVD collection.

22. Tristan & Isolde (2006)

Tristan and Isolde publicity photo with James Franco and Sophia Myles. They're smiling and leaning in to kiss.
James Franco and Sophia Myles star in Tristan and Isolde, an epic romantic Irish movie. Photo: 20th Century Fox

Adapted from a medieval legend, it features the two title characters as star-crossed lovers. One is an Irish princess; the other is in line to Britain’s throne, and their two countries are at war.

RELATED: Movies Like Titanic: 50 Epic Romances To Fall In Love With

As you may guess, this does not end in a happily ever after. But it’s an entertaining drama with talents like Rufus Sewell, Mark Strong, Sophia Myles, James Franco, and Henry Cavill.

Content Note: PG-13 for violence and battle scenes as well as some sensuality.

Where to Watch: Rent/purchase on Digital or DVD.

23. The Matchmaker (1997)

List: St. Patrick's Day Films - This is a screenshot of The Matchmaker.
Photo: Gramercy Pictures

I haven’t seen this one, but another Silver Petticoat writer recommended it. Janeane Garofalo stars as a Senator’s aide who travels to Ireland to research her boss’s heritage.

She arrives just in time for the Matchmaking Festival and becomes the focus of attention. The Matchmaker sounds like a bit of a naughty romantic comedy.

Content Note: Rated R for excessive language.

Where to Watch: Purchase on DVD.

24. The Field (1990)

List: Thirty Films for St. Patrick's Day; the picture is of a movie poster of The Field

As anyone who has ever seen Gone With the Wind will be able to tell you, a connection to and even ownership of land is important to an Irishman (or woman).

When the land a farmer’s family has worked for generations goes up for sale, he determines to buy it. But when an American bids against him, events are set in motion that lead to tragedy.

Content Note: PG-13

Where to Watch: Purchase on DVD.

25. Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959)

Darby O'Gil Irish movie picture
Photo: Walt Disney Productions

Long before he became famous as James Bond, a young Sean Connery co-starred in this lesser-known Disney film.

Part adventure, part fantasy, it involves a friendship with a leprechaun king, a little romance, a little magic, and a lot of fun. We reviewed this one several years ago and recommended it.

Content Note: G

Where to Watch: Stream on Disney+. Rent/Purchase on Digital and DVD.

26. Into the West (1992)

List: St. Patrick's Day Films: Into the West
Photo: Miramax Films

This family film starring Gabriel Byrne, Ellen Barkin, and a host of Irish actors is whimsical and delightful.

A magical horse appears to two young boys in a Dublin slum. They form a connection with the animal, dreaming of becoming cowboys someday.

When the horse is taken from them, they embark on an adventure that only the imagination could dream up.

Content Note: PG

Where to Watch: Stream on Kanopy. Rent/Purchase on Digital and DVD.

27. Philomena (2013)

List: St. Patrick's Day Films: Philomena
Photo: Pathe

In this film, Steve Coogan and Judi Dench co-star about a journalist who helps an older woman search for the son taken from her.

Their investigation takes them back to Ireland, where the search begins. Philomena is a rather heartbreaking film about loss and forgiveness.

Content Note: PG-13 for language and sensuality.

Where to Watch: Stream on Netflix and Hulu. Rent/Buy on Digital and DVD.

28. Waking Ned Devine (1998)

Waking Ned Devine still
Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures

An elderly Irish man wins the lottery then quickly dies from the shock of it. Members of his small village decide to keep his demise a secret, claim the money in his name and share it amongst themselves.

But first, they must fool the lotto claim inspector. Those who appreciate character ensemble films should really enjoy this special comedy.

Content Note: PG

Where to Watch: Rent/Purchase on Digital and DVD.

29. Michael Collins (1996)

Michael Collins movie still
Photo: Warner Bros.

In listing Irish films, I couldn’t forget this one about the real-life Irish revolutionary, Michael Collins himself. Collins helped lead the fight against the British in the 1920s and was himself a symbol and revered by the Irish people.

He also helped establish the Irish Free State. It starred Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn, Julia Roberts, Alan Rickman, and many other familiar names and was nominated for two Oscars.

Content Note: R for violence and language.

Where to Watch: Stream on Hoopla and Tubi. Rent/Purchase on Digital and DVD.

30. Shake Hands with the Devil (1959)

List: St. Patrick's Day Films: Shake Hands with the Devil

Yet another film covering the events of the Irish War for Independence against the British in the 1920s. This one stars James Cagney, Glynis Johns, and Michael Redgrave in a story about a young Irish-American who finds himself drawn into the conflict through his relationship with his former professor. 

Further complications arise when he also falls for a British woman. This one was filmed on location in Dublin.

Content Note: Though not rated, nothing graphic is in this classic film.

Where to Watch: Purchase on DVD.



Dare to Be Wild movie poster
  • The Abduction Club (An underrated period romantic comedy!)
  • The Accidental Husband 
  • Agnes Brown
  • As Luck Would Have It (An adorable Hallmark Irish movie starring Downton Abbey’s Allen Leech.) 
  • The Boxer
  • Brylcreem Boys
  • Closing the Ring (2007)
  • Dancing at Lughnasa (1998)
  • Dare to Be Wild (2015) 
  • Evelyn (2002)
  • Finding You
  • The Last September
  • A Love Divided
  • Mad About Mambo
  • My Left Foot
  • The Playboys (1992)
  • Run of the Country
  • The Secret Scripture (2016)
  • Sing Street
  • Song of the Sea (2014)
  • Tara Road
  • Twice Shy
  • Vita & Virginia
  • Wild Mountain Thyme (starring Jamie Dornan and Emily Blunt) 

I also recommend checking out Becoming Jane to swoon over the Irish Tom Lefroy (played by James McAvoy) in the romantic Jane Austen biopic. It’s not “technically” a romantic Irish movie, but close enough!

What are some of your favorite movies about Ireland to watch for St. Patrick’s Day? What are your favorite romantic Irish movies or Irish romantic comedy movies? Or even the best Irish films in general? Leave a comment below.

30 Remarkable Romantic Irish Movies to Watch for St. Patrick's Day; Pinterest image with Tristan and Isolde photo
Romantic Irish Movies


By on March 15th, 2019

About Brittaney B.

Brittaney has had her head in the clouds ever since she first fell in love with books and film as a young child. She's a firm believer in the power of story to transport us to new places while also transforming our hearts. She tends to favor historical fiction and classic films since they also allow her to feel like a time traveler. Brittaney is a native resident of Texas and has been honing her own ability to write and tell stories for many years now. You can find more of her wordsmith skills at her website www.storyenthusiast.com.

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