I’ve been an avid movie fan for as long as I can remember and grew up within spitting distance of two cinemas in my hometown of Bray – the “Royal” and the much lamented “Panorama”. I was also lucky enough to attend Aravon school where we were fed a diet of cowboy and war movies in the gymnasium on Saturday nights. Back then going to the cinema was generally a special occasion – two or three shorts before the main feature – an intermission when ice cream and sweets could be purchased in the foyer and local businesses advertised on the big screen. One memory that sticks with me was of going to see “The Jungle Book” every day for a week when it came out, and also of dragging my unfortunate Grandmother in to see “The Virgin Soldiers” which was very risque for a 10-year old – not to mention embarrassing for her!
In more recent years my tastes have developed somewhat and I’ve become a big fan of Irish films from blockbusters such as “Ryan’s Daughter”, “The Commitments” and “The Field” to television series such as “Batchelors Walk” and “Raw”. These days I track down gems from the 1950s and ’60s (“Rooney”, “Johnny Nobody” etc.) and movies from independent producers like the lengthy but little viewed “3.10 from Claremorris”(2010) and “The Tree Keeper” (2011)…..
Like many other things in my life I like order and consequently once I started out collecting Irish movies and memorabilia I felt the need to collate all the information into some sort of indexed system; what better way than to put it into book form or so I thought. It was never my intention to write a book about Irish movies as I’m not qualified to, and besides there are already some excellent books on the topic, but rather a guide to what’s available and where it can be found. That said, I had no idea of the sheer volume of films produced and the guide soon ran to 300+ pages and is far from complete at that. Paranoid as I am about losing data, I decided to back up the basic material on a blog and here we are. What you see is a heavily edited summary of all the movies that I have so far come across in my researching, where they can be bought or viewed. Many films never even made it to VHS, let alone DVD, and some only exist as recordings made from television. An increasing number of older films are now being released on DVD with the excellent “Shake hands with the Devil” (1959) being a case in point, but for many others one is forced to look elsewhere. I make a point of never buying a commercially available movie from an unofficial source but needs must when the Devil drives and when I want a movie……..
This blog has been in preparation for a while now and I have decided to let it go public while it’s still a work in progress – so please make allowances as there are some strange gremlins in here. I will add more entries as time allows, fill-out existing ones and add more pictures. I hope that you may find it useful. Please do leave comments.