With the new James Bond film taking over the box office charts, and the hype of Star Wars coming at Christmas, we thought we’d take a look at what movie scenes have been filmed in Ireland over the years.
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2009) – The Cliffs of Moher, County Clare
If you’ve been to the Cliffs of Moher you’ll understand why Producer, David Yates, picked this setting for part of the 6th installment in the Harry Potter series. In County Clare, they reach a maximum height of 702 ft and are breathtaking at 8 miles long, making them the perfect setting for filming without the use of CGI.
They’ve also featured in The Princess Bride (1987), Leap Year (2010) and music videos for Maroon 5 and Westlife.
The Italian Job (1969) – Kilmainham Goal & Rockbrook, Dublin
Kilmainham Jail, in Dublin featured in the original The Italian Job. The building, which is now a museum, was the setting for all jail scenes in the film and the stairway in the centre will stand out as it was the centerpiece for it’s most famous inmate, Michael Caine. You’ll remember him, playing Charlie Crocker, leaving his cell and walking down the staircase as the inmates watched.
The funeral scene was also filmed in Ireland, which was a misty scenario where the character Mr Croker attended a funeral arranged by Mr Bridger. The location for this was Cruach Cemetery, Rockbrook, in the foothills of the Dublin mountains.
Saving Private Ryan (1998) – Barrinesker Beach, Curracloe
The most famous opening to a movie ever? That was filmed in Ireland. Director, Steve Spielberg, picked Barrinesker Beach in Curracloe, County Wexford for the D-Day beach invasion scene, which was the most intense 20 minutes to a film we can think of.
The film featuring Tom Hanks, Matt Damon and Vin Diesel is now a modern classic and one of our favourites! The beach was picked for the D-Day scene due to it’s similarity to Omaha Beach in Normandy and filming lasted 2 months in 1997. Even the Irish Defence Force were brought in as 2,500 extras. Impressive!
Braveheart (1995) – County Meath & County Kildare
Even thought the film is famously Scottish, a lot of the action was filmed in Ireland, Curragh Plains in County Kildare, Bective Abbey and Trim Castle in County Meath to be exact.
Bective Abbey was the setting for all scene depicting London, with Trim Castle the setting of Carlisle. The main setting was the Curragh Plains, which set host to all battle scenes in the film (and theres a lot!). They even used members of the Irish Army Reserve as extras, and to lower costs, Director Mel Gibson, had the same extras (up to 1,600 in some scenes) portray both armies in the battles!