Down through the years, some of the best directors working in the industry today have made movies here in Ireland for innumerable reasons.

While the most recognisable ones are undoubtedly the likes of Saving Private Ryan, Braveheart, The Quiet Man, Ryan's Daughter and the like, there's been plenty more besides - and ones you may have not have even realised.

Here's just a selection.


The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)

Before Jim Caviezel donned the beard and got horribly beaten in Mel Gibson's god-bothering epic The Passion of the Christ, he played Edmond Dantes, the naïve sailor who manages to find himself imprisoned by his best friend - only to escape, find a hidden fortune buried underneath an island and return to his hometown to wreak bloody revenge on those who wronged him. As you do. Filmed in Kildare, Meath and parts of Dublin, the Count of Monte Cristo is a fantastic swashbuckler that is genuinely entertaining. And if that wasn't enough, look out for a baby-faced Henry Cavill playing the son of villain Guy Pearce.



Reign of Fire (2002)

For a film that had everything going for it - Christian Bale, dragons, a bald Matthew McConaughey actually trying to act - Reign of Fire didn't (groan) set the world on fire when it was initially released. Nevertheless, the high-concept actioner, which saw a CGI dragon set parts of the Wicklow Mountains ablaze, did reasonably well at the box-office and is now a mainstay on action movie channels.


Ella Enchanted (2004)

Yes, it's Anne Hathaway. Yes, it also has Steve Coogan as a snake and Minnie Driver as, well, a fairy. BUT! Ella Enchanted did also have Cary Elwes, who played Westley in The Princess Bride. So that's something. Again, filmed in Wicklow and boasting a pretty huge cast, Ella Enchated is a family comedy that is, well, enchanting. Wow, really breaking out the puns today.


The Laws of Attraction (2004)

Pierce Brosnan, famously of Drogheda, Co. Louth, is known for either setting his films in Ireland or trying to get them to film in Ireland. So how did he manage to get this 2004-courtroom comedy made in Ireland? Why, he had the Four Courts double as a New York court. Yes, really. Redressing most of the court and putting Julianne Moore in the film, however, didn't save Laws of Attraction from doing well. It currently holds a 17% rating of Rotten Tomatoes. Case closed. Puns everywhere!


The First Great Train Robbery (1978)

This bawdy action comedy, starring Sean Connery and Donald Sutherland, as two swaggering 19th-century gentlemen who set out to steal gold off a moving train, was filmed almost entirely in Heuston Station and the surrounding countryside. The film, made in 1979, featured Connery and Sutherland (no stunt doubles were used) running across the tops of trains and diving around the sides of them. And this was all before CGI and green-screen.


The Italian Job (1969)

No, the Italian scenes were not filmed in Ireland because that would frankly be too much. However, the interior scenes involving Noel Coward's crime boss character Mr. Bridger were all filmed in Kilmainham Gaol whilst the exterior was Wormwood Scrubs in London, England.