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The Best and the Worst Leprechaun Movies for St. Patrick’s Day

Leprechauns may be one of the most distinctive emblems of St. Patrick’s Day and the Irish, but, believe it or not, the Irish aren’t too keen on the modern day idea of leprechauns. That’s largely due to the way they’ve been depicted in pictures, movies, cereal boxes and general storytelling. For one, the actual mythology of leprechauns has them wearing red rather than the green that has become synonymous with this time of year.

But let’s not kid ourselves. Whether we’re Irish or not, we’re bound to see a leprechaun or two – maybe even wear one on our green shirts on March 17th – so we’ve come up with a list of some of the best and worst (or maybe we really mean the best of the worst) movies that feature leprechauns in all of their modern and Americanized glory. And Warwick Davis does make the list twice!

So between the Irish potatoes you’ll consume and the green beverages you’ll drink, here are a few movies to be on the lookout for to keep you company on this holiday (including two brand new ones you can catch Saturday night)! Again, we don’t promise these will be a pot ‘o gold in and of themselves, but those elusive leprechauns wouldn’t let it be that easy, would they?

 

The Luck of the Irish (2001)

In one of the classic Disney Channel Original Movies, we find Ryan Merriman playing Kyle, a teenage who always relied on a lucky charm. But when he loses the charm, he ends up discovering he’s actually part leprechaun who now needs to get back his charm and defeat en evil leprechaun from gaining total control.

 

 

Finian’s Rainbow (1968)

Fred Astaire stars as a mysterious Irishman named Finian who arrives in town with his daughter to plant a leprechaun’s stole crock of gold in the ground so it will grow faster in this surprisingly nice musical. But trouble arrives in the form of Og the leprechaun, who followed Finian to America bent on retrieving his gold.

 

Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959)

In this Disney classic, we find Darby O’Gill spinning tales of leprechauns and banshees on an enchanted isle. But when one of the tall tales comes true, O’Gill ends up capturing the King of the Leprechauns, who must grant him three wishes. But he should have heeded the “be careful what you wish for” warning, because all of the wishes backfire in amusing and alarming ways. But, Sean Connery sings which is certainly a reason to watch.

 

The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns (1999)

When Jack Woods rents a cottage on an enchanted isle occupied by a family of leprechauns, he finds himself in a strange and exciting magical adventure. The adventure begins when a young leprechaun falls in love with a fairy princess. Their forbidden love reignites an age-old feud between leprechauns and fairies, which escalates into war and the potential for terrible consequences.

 

A Very Unlucky Leprechaun (1998)

Before Warwick Davis was portraying a goblin in the Wizarding World or a rather true-to-form version of himself, he donned the role of a leprechaun in this family friendly film. After Molly and her father inherit a house in Ireland, she discovers the leprechaun living in her house. But he isn’t so lucky because he hasn’t eaten a four-leaf clover in over a hundred years. When the bad luck rubs off in Molly, she must take it upon herself to grow a clover and save the day.

 

Leapin’ Leprechauns! (1995)

This is certainly made for the little leprechauns in our lives to curl up with while their older relatives are off celebrating with green beer. In this movie, a man finds that he got more than he bargained for when he attempts to build a theme park on top of land that’s secretly home to friendly leprechauns. But will he be friendly and work alongside them or try to establish his dominance? Well, leapin’ leprechauns, we can’t tell you!

 

The Luck of the Irish (1948)

Steven is a newspaper reporter who visits Ireland and discovers a beautiful woman named Nora and a leprechaun with a pot of gold. Steven saves the day when he returns the leprechaun’s gold and in an attempt to repay his debt, he follow Steven back to America, appearing as his servant. It is then that Steve finds quite a few strange things happening and you can imagine that one of those strange things is bound to include Nora.

 

Leprechaun (1993)

Certainly one of the most memorable leprechaun movies because it stands apart from the rest in that it is not only a series of six years over a decade, but it’s a collection of horror films, too! Warwick Davis stars, again, as a sadistic leprechaun who goes on a killing rampage in search of his beloved pot of gold. We don’t promise that these are “good” movies, but they are entertaining for the sheer value of them and the idea of a frightening little leprechaun preying on unsuspecting humans.

 

Chasing Leprechauns (2012)

This Hallmark Holiday movie is new this year, but with Adrian Pasdar leading the cast, we are already left charmed by the commercials we’ve seen. Pasdar stars as the top troubleshooter that an American company sends over to Ireland when they want to build a smelting plant outside a small Irish village, but he encounters problems – and perhaps even love – when a woman and an antiquated law aims to protect the leprechauns supposedly living on the property.

Premieres Saturday, March 17, on Hallmark Channel at 8/7c.

 

Leprechaun’s Revenge (2012) Syfy

Syfy is sure to deliver another unforgettable film with this one. Starring Billy Zane and William Devane, the movie begins days before the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade when a teenage girl unwittingly unleashes a murderous leprechaun upon the citizens of a small town. The girl and her family have just four days to slay the leprechaun before she dies from the leprechaun curse as he goes on a violent rampage, slaughtering descendents of the original settlers who stole its gold.

Premieres Saturday, March 17, on Syfy at 9/8c. 

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