taking the mick

Every few years Hollywood make an 'Irish film'. That's usually a cue for a re-write of history, an A-list actor with an Italian or Jewish heritage and an accent so far off target that it should come with its very own passport.

The net is filled with discussions about actors who got it wrong… really, really wrong. Badly wrong. Sean Connery in The Untouchables plays an Irish cop with a Glaswegian accent so thick that Jack Charlton must have swung the Irish citizenship for him. Richard Gere failed to hit the side of the barn completely and landed somewhere off the coast of Iceland with his role in The Jackal. I'd even go so far as saying Liam Neeson's brogue in Michael Collins stinks as badly as Gere's and Connery's, and he's feckin' Irish.

But nowhere does anyone heap praise on those who got it right. Daniel Day Lewis has received 3 Oscar nominations playing Irish men, winning one for My Left Foot. Cate Blanchet and Meryl Streep both do descent jobs in fairly ropey films.

However, one man's performance towers above all others. The Naked Truth was a small British comedy made in 1957. Denis Price plays a blackmailer attempting to squeeze money from Peter Sellers. Sellers decides to blow up Price rather than pay. He disguises himself as a burly Irish man in attempt to get explosives from the IRA. He ends up in a pub in London, hoping to obtain some of the 'jelly'. "Tis the shamrock in her hair…". (The clip sometimes gets deleted by a quick search should bring it up.)

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Written on: August 28 2009
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: film :

The name's Lonnigan, from across the water, you'll be O'Toole and it's right glad I am to meet ye.

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