Page updated 11/1/2018
“Val Falvey TD” (2009) (210 mins) Comedy. RTÉ 7 part TV mini-series.
Ardal O’Hanlon, Owen Roe, Amelia Crowley
Creators: Arthur Mathews, Paul Woodfull.
Pat Daly (Owen Roe) and Val Falvey TD (Ardal O’Hanlon)
Val Falvey (Ardal O’Hanlon) is a recently elected TD who lives just outside of the small town of Kilmehill – somewhere in the Midlands. He has inherited the seat from his late father, who represented the constituency for 25 years while Val pursued his chosen career of auctioneering (a business also handed down to him by his father).
Val is not wildly ambitious and generally desires an easy life. He does not enjoy the daily grind of enduring his constituents’ woes and grumbles as he listens to their never-ending complaints in his regular clinic, housed in a run down caravan (something else he has inherited from his father). He does, however, enjoy the perks of the job, such as free trips abroad, and meeting celebrities such as Linda Martin.
Val, who is considered something of a lightweight by his ambitious and ruthless local rival, Councillor Dessie Clinch, is helped in his often reluctant engagement with the cut and thrust of constituency politics by his friend and advisor, Pat Daly (Owen Roe), a hardbitten, but wise and experienced political operator who has seen and done it all in. Pat, a man of unusual sophistication and taste for someone of his vocation, also seems to have something of a yearning for Val’s wife Christine (Amelia Crowley), which Val is (inexplicably) unaware of.
Through bumbling, the lack of sufficient political cunning, and sheer bad luck, Val stumbles from one crisis to another, and his unwanted knack for constantly getting into trouble sees him regularly hauled in front of the party chief whip, John Brolly (Phelim Drew), a tough Dubliner whom Val fears greatly.
Meanwhile, his domestic life is also far from tranquil. Wife Christine desires a better life, and is unhappy with the constraints and lack of intellectual stimulation which she experiences living in a small town. Her frustrations are taken out on Val at regular intervals. Meanwhile, her husband struggles with his relationships with his children, 17-year-old Kieran, who rarely talks with his family, and communicates with the world through text messaging, and 19-year-old Bronagh, an energetic political campaigner (at the opposite end of the spectrum from Val) who constantly berates him for the corrupt state of the country.
The life of a rural TD is rarely glamorous and puts severe pressure on Val’s fragile ego. It’s a tough job – but somebody’s got to do it. http://www.rte.ie/tv/programmes/val_falvey_td.html
“Valley of Knockanure, The” (2009) (34 mins) Drama.
David Coakley, Gerard Kearney, Jack Lowe, Ryan Sheppard, Liam Burke, Mary Allen, Noel Keefe.
Writer/Director: Gerard Barrett.
Shot on location in County Kerry.
Based upon a true story from the Irish War of Independence involving the killing of three IRA volunteers by the Black and Tans in North Kerry.
Verdict: A poor debut from writer/director, Gerard Barrett, and only for the diehard fan of the “Troubles” genre.
Released on DVD but only appears to have been available in Co.Kerry.
“Van, The” (1996) (100 mins) Comedy Drama.
Colm Meaney, Donal O’Kelly, Brendan O’Carroll, Ger Ryan.
Director: Stephen Frears.
The final installment in the ‘Barrytown Trilogy’ by Roddy Doyle.
Two pals go into the fast food business in Dublin.
Bimbo (Donal O’Kelly) is brokenhearted at being laid off. His best friend Larry (Colm Meaney) hasn’t held down a job in ages. During World Cup fever the two friends cook up a get-rich-quick scheme that may be a dream come true or a living nightmare.
Available on Amazon.com on VHS and DVD
“Vengeance of Fu Manchu, The” (1967) (91 mins) Thriller.
Christopher Lee, Douglas Wilmer, Tsai Chin, Horst Frank, Maria Rohm, Howard Marion Crawford.
Director: Jeremy Summers.
Based upon the Fu Manchu novels of Sax Rohmer.
Filmed at Ardmore Studios and in Dublin.
The fast-paced thriller was set in China and in the English countryside. Emperor Fu Manchu is set on destroying world police organizations.
Available from Amazon on VHS and DVD.
“Venus de Milo Instead, The” (1987) (60 mins) TV drama. BBC Northern Ireland.
Brigid Erin Bates, Lorcan Cranitch and Jeananne Crowley.
Director: Danny Boyle.
Written by Anne Devlin.
Mrs Grey is a Catholic teacher at a Protestant school in North Antrim. Mr Scott is the French teacher who whisks her and a number of the students to Paris for a school trip. While there, 14-year-old Tracey, an aspiring artist, tries to get in to see the Mona Lisa but checks out the Venus de Milo. The famous sculpture becomes a pivotal feature in a dream of Traceys’ – a dream that makes her realise that she will eventually have to leave Northern Ireland.
Not officially available – copy held by NFTVA.
“Veronica Guerin” (2003) (98 mins) True Crime Drama.
Cate Blanchett, Colin Farrell, Brenda Fricker.
Director: Joel Schumacher.
Filmed in County Dublin and Naas, County Kildare.
In the mid-1990s, criminal gangs battle for control of the lucrative Dublin drug trade. Their most fearsome opponent is not the police but the courageous Irish journalist Veronica Guerin (Cate Blanchett), who investigates and exposes the “drug lords”, balancing her home and family against her responsibility to her readers and her country.
Available on DVD.
“Very Edge, The” (1963) (82 mins) B+W. Psychological Thriller.
Jeremy Brett, Anne Haywood, Richard Todd, Jack Hedley, Nicole Maurey, Barbara Mullen, Maurice Denham and Patrick Magee.
Director: Cyril Frankel.
Set in England but filmed in County Dubin.
In the tradition of Alfred Hitchcock, nerves are stretched to breaking point when a psychotic stalker, Mullen (Jeremy Brett), in a moment of chilling horror, menaces an expectant mother, costing her the baby and her marriage. Compounding her terror, the young woman realizes that as time passes, the bizarre evidence needed to identify her assailant is slowly disappearing – leaving him free to strike again. Tracey Lawrence (Anne Heywood) and Geoffrey Lawrence (Richard Todd) are the young couple whose dreams turn into a shattering nightmare.
Trivia: A young Jeremy Brett makes an excellent psycho stalker; hard to believe that many years later he would bring the wonderful detective Sherlock Holmes to life as no actor has done before or since.
From a Jeremy Brett fan site:
“I remember playing a sex maniac in a British film called The Very Edge back in 1963. I had yellow eyes and green skin. My appearance so shocked my father that he said to me, ‘If you’re going to do such terrible films, will you make sure they don’t come to the village‘..
Was released on VHS (1989) – very scarce and expensive. No official DVD release.
“Very Unlucky Leprechaun, A” (1998) (92 mins) Children’s Fantasy Movie.
Warwick Davis, Danielle Lombardi and Stephanie Lombardi.
Director: Brian Kelly.
Filmed in County Galway.
Luck can change in the twinkle of an eye. Nine-year-old Molly (Danielle Lombardi) and her father (Tim Matheson) move to a house they’ve inherited in Ireland nicknamed “Misfortune Manor.” It brings bad luck to anyone who lives in it, and Molly and her father soon fall victim to the curse; they will lose their new house unless they can pay the taxes owed on it. Then Molly discovers a leprechaun living on the grounds and befriends him. His luck has run out, too, because he hasn’t eaten a four-leaf clover in over a hundred years. The bad luck begins to rub off on Molly, getting her into all kinds of trouble.
Available on DVD.
“Vexed” (2013) (360 mins) Comedy/Crime/Drama. Series.2. six part series.
Toby Stephens, Miranda Raison, Roger Griffiths, Nick Dunning, Ronny Jhutti.
Directors: Ian Fitzgibbon, Kieron J. Walsh.
Filmed in Dublin (Series.1. was shot in London)
Comedy drama series following mismatched police detectives Jack and his new partner Georgina, who have very different approaches to the job and life in general. In fact, they disagree on everything. Irish Film Board.
Available on DVD.
“Vicar of Bray, The” (1937) (68 mins) Historical Drama
Stanley Holloway, Hugh Miller, K Hamilton Price, Felix Aylmer, Margaret Vines, Garry Marsh, Esmond Knight, Martin Walker, Eve Gray, Kitty Kirwan, Fred O’Donovan.
Director: Henry Edwards.
Filmed at Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, London, England.
The Vicar of Bray is a satirical description of an individual fundamentally changing his principles to remain in ecclesiastical office as external requirements change around him. The religious upheavals in England from 1533 to 1559 and from 1633 to 1715 made it almost impossible for any individual to comply with the successive religious requirements of the state.
In the film, Stanley Holloway stars as the Vicar (of Bray, County Wicklow in Ireland) and is given a more positive character and events are placed at a slightly earlier period, during the English Civil War. He successfully protects his parishioners by adopting a diplomatic approach during the turbulent events and secures forgiveness for moderate rebels from the restored King Charles.II.
Available on DVD (2006) and on YouTube – 11/1/2018.
“Vicious Circle” (1999) (105 mins) Thriller. BBC (NI) TV movie.
Ken Stott, Gerard McSorley, Andrew Connolly, John Kavanagh and Art Malik.
Director: David Blair.
Filmed on location in Dublin – Howth, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin City and the Dublin Mountains; also Russborough House, Blessington – County Wicklow.
Ken Stott plays Martin Cahill in this story based on the life and crimes of Dublin’s most notorious gangster – dubbed ‘The General’ for the military precision with which he executed his crimes.
When he wasn’t stealing millions in gold bullion or pulling off the biggest art theft in Irish history Cahill signed on the dole and raced pigeons from the garden shed of his smart Dublin home, where he lived with his wife and children.
He openly divided his affections between them and a mistress – his wife’s sister, who lived with yet more of his children in a nearby council house.
Cahill wasn’t a political criminal. He delighted in tormenting the Irish police force, the Garda Siochana, who relentlessly pursued him, but it was his antagonism of the local IRA that ultimately led to a different kind of justice.
Does not appear to have had a British release on VHS or DVD.
Available on a Dutch DVD.
“Vikings” (2013-) Drama. 5 Seasons: 57 episodes. TV series for The History Channel .
Travis Fimmel, Gabriel Byrne, Jessalyn Gilsig, Gustaf Skarsgard, Clive Standen, Katheryn Winnick, Eric Higgins, David Pearse, John Kavanagh and Gerard McCarthy .
Directors: Johan Renck, Ciaran Donnelly, Ken Girotti.
Creator: Michael Hirst.
Filmed in Ireland.
Vikings follows the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), an actual historical figure, and the greatest hero of his age who pushed the limits of exploration. The series tells the sagas of Ragnar’s band of Viking brothers and his family, as he rises to become King of the Viking tribes and chronicles the world of the mighty Norsemen who raided, traded and explored. Gabriel Byrne stars as Earl Haraldson, the most important local ruler in Ragnar’s district whose position is threatened by Ragnar. Irish Film Board.
Series 1-4 available on DVD.
“Viking Queen, The” (1966) (91 mins) Drama.
Don Murray, Carita, Andrew Keir, Donald Houston, Niall MacGinnis, Adrienne Corri, Wilfrid Lawson, Nicola Pagett, and Patrick Troughton.
Director: Don Chaffey.
Filmed in part at Ardmore Studios in Bray and in the Wicklow Mountains.
The Irish Army supplied many extras for the action scenes at Powerscourt Estate, Enniskerry, County Wicklow.
A queen of ancient Britain is forced to take arms against the Roman army, commanded by the man she loves.
Available on DVD.
“Violent Enemy, The” (1967) (94 mins) Thriller.
Tom Bell, Susan Hampshire, Ed Begley, Noel Purcell, Philip O’Flynn, Jon Laurimore and Michael Standing.
Director: Don Sharp.
The film is adapted from the novel “A Candle for the Dead” by Jack Higgins writing as Hugh Marlowe.
Filmed in Ireland – Counties Dublin and Wexford (Enniscorthy, Courtown Harbour, Rosslare) with some interiors shot at Ardmore Studios.
In England, IRA man Sean Rogan (Tom Bell) is broken out of jail by his comrades, but there’s a price to be paid for his freedom – one last job for the cause. His expertise with explosives is needed back in Ireland to blow up a British owned factory. As things progress, his concern over possible collateral damage gets the better of him.
Available on DVD.
“Voice of Ireland, The” (1936) Musical.
Richard Hayward, Victor Haddick, Barney O’Hara.
Director: Colonel Victor Haddick.
“Volkswagen Joe” (2013) (29 mins) Thriller.
Stuart Graham, Janet Moran, John Delaney, Matthew O’Brien, Paddy Rocks and Helen Roche.
Director: Brian Deane.
Written by Matt Roche and based on a play by Brendan McCann.
Low budget: €34,000 estimate.
Shot on location in Swanlinbar, County Cavan and in Kinawley, County Fermanagh.
Volkswagen Joe is a political drama set in a small border town during the height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Joe, a dedicated, hardworking mechanic, services cars for both sides of the political divide and refuses to be drawn into the conflict – something that both communities view with increasing suspicion.
As Joe restores a vintage Volkswagen for his friend the local RUC inspector, a young republican sympathiser sees this as the perfect opportunity to make a name for himself within the IRA. Joe finds himself with the impossible choice of endangering those closest to him or becoming a co-conspirator.
Released on DVD for people associated with the ‘Crowd Funding’ of the movie.
Currently on the festival circuit and there are no immediate plans for a general DVD release.
“Von Richthofen and Brown” (1971) (97 mins) War Drama.
John Philip Law, Don Stroud, Tom Adams, Corin Redgrave, David Weston, Des Nealon, Martin Dempsey.
Director: Roger Corman.
Aka “The Red Baron”.
Filmed in Ireland at Powerscourt Estate, Weston Aerodrome, Leinster House, George’s Hill, Baldonnel, and Dublin Castle.
World War.I. – an Allied squadron and a German squadron face off daily in the skies. Manfred von Richtofen (John Phillip Law) – The Red Baron – leads one, and, although one of his decisions cost the life of his predecessor, he expects his men to honour codes of conduct. The Allied squadron has similar class divisions: its colonel, an aristocrat, laments that men he considers peasants are now fliers, including a cynical and ruthless Canadian, Roy Brown (Don Stroud), the squad’s ace. As the tactics of both sides break more rules and become more destructive, the Baron must decide if he is a soldier first or part of the ruling class. He and Brown have two aerial battles, trivial in the larger scheme of things yet tragic.
Trivia: By using many of the sets/planes etc. from the Blue Max (1965), the movie came in at around $900,000 – less than a fifth of “The Blue Max” (1965) which had cost $5 million.
Available from Amazon on VHS and DVD.
“Vox Humana” (2008) (80 mins) Musical Drama
Luke Cauldwell, Audrey Corbett, Cliodhna Hurst, Triona Lillis and the 70-strong Galway Baroque Singers.
The story of a homeless man who becomes obsessed with a girl he sees in the street who reminds him of his own small daughter and an accident for which he was partly responsible. The girl is a soprano in the Galway Baroque Singers choir, of which Luke wheedles his way into and is given a job as handyman – plus a chance to play percussion at a major concert.
Writer/Director: Bob Quinn
Produced by Cinegael.
Aired on TG4 30/12/2008.
Available on DVD here: www.conamara.org