Famous Movies Filmed in Ireland
Breathtaking scenery, quaint villages, historic buildings: Ireland is rich in cinematic settings
Movies are a great way to transport to a different land from the comfort of your own couch. While Hollywood is the famous epicenter of films, there have been many incredible movies that were filmed in the breathtaking scenery of the Emerald Isle. Check out our top 10 favorite movies that you may be surprised to discover were filmed in Ireland.
The classic story of everyone’s favorite dog is our first movie mention on our list of films that were shot in Ireland. The 2005 version of this tale of a dog’s loyalty was cast against a backdrop of beautiful locations such as the Wicklow mountains, Killruddery House in Bray, and Dublin.
9. P.S. I Love You
Adapted from the 2004 novel by Irish author Cecelia Ahern, this emotional story was filmed in County Wicklow’s Blessington and Sally Gap, and Dublin. While this story is about grief and overcoming loss, the breathtaking landscape was also an inspiration to visit the land of green to find peace.
8. Tristan & Isolde
This dark-ages romantic drama is based on the titular medieval legend. Released in 2006, this is a love story filled with battles, castles and adventure. The film, set in Britain and Ireland, features on-location filming in Connemara.
7. Ella Enchanted
Anne Hathaway stars in this fun, family film about a cursed princess forced to be obedient to everyone’s requests. Set in a fictional kingdom, it has everything from a charming prince, to Queen cover songs. This story of self-discovery is entertaining for children and adults alike, and was filmed in and around Dublin and Wicklow. Look for scenes filmed at Powerscourt Estate & Gardens, Luggala, Kilruddy House and Garden and the quaint village of Kiltegan.
6. Star Wars
Two installments of this franchise, The Force Awakens and the Last Jedi found that a galaxy far, far away could be found as close as County Kerry, on The Skelligs and the Dingle Peninsula. Filming was also done in County Donegal, in Malin Head on the Inishowen Peninsula, Ireland’s most northerly point.. The most iconic location was Skellig Michael, where fans gather with their lightsabers and costumes every May for a “May the fourth be with you” festival.
5. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
An essential scene in the 6th installment of the Harry Potter franchise featured the iconic Cliffs of Moher. In a quest to find a horcrux needed to destroy villainous Lord Voldemort, the cliffs provided a necessary background that captured the looming metaphorical obstacle Harry and Dumbledore faced, as waves crashed around them, symbolizing the struggles to come.
4. The Italian Job
Michael Caine stars in this 1969 classic British Comedy about a criminal gang looking to plan an Italian heist. Kilmainham Gaol, a Dublin prison that once housed many of Ireland’s rebels and revolutionaries alongside thieves and bandits, was the backdrop of all jail scenes in this flick.
While William Wallace is the famous Scottish hero, the battle scenes of the movie were filmed in Ireland. The most iconic location was Trim Castle in County Meath, where the battle for independence was staged. Additionally, many of the extras in this battle were members of the Irish Army Reserve.
2. Saving Private Ryan
While the actual invasion of D-Day took place in France, this Steven Spielberg epic was filmed on the beaches of County Wexford. Both Curracloe and Ballinesker were featured locations for the memorable opening of this historic World War II movie. During the filming, over 1,500 extras were used and many of them were also members of the Irish Reserve Defense Forces, which added to the military spirit and honor of this award-winning film.
1. The Princess Bride
This 1987 classic film was one of the first to feature the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher, or the “Cliffs of Insanity” according to the movie. If you’ve visited the famous landmark, you know how frightening it must have been to film the characters scaling the over 700 foot tall cliff – that’s why they used a brave stuntman to film the climb.
This fairytale adventure movie has become a cult classic over the years, and tells the story of a farmhand named Westley on a quest to rescue his love Princess Buttercup. The all-star cast featured Robin Wright Penn, Cary Elwes, and even Andre the Giant. The heartwarming tale has not only influenced pop culture as we know it, but also captures the magic of the landscape of Ireland. Perhaps this film will inspire you to plan your next visit to the Cliffs, as you wish.