Irish Police Films
The New York Times,
October 26, 2006
Re: "Begorrah! Irish Cops, Yet Again" by Dan Barry,
though he bemoans the ubiquity of the brawling Irish cop in popular entertainment,
Mr. Barry owes Tinseltown a debt of thanks.
As stereotypes go,
this one is as complex as it is ruggedly benign.
Hollywood hasn't created a billion dollar industry dedicated to churning out
Celtic Godfathers, Goodfellas or Sopranos.
Nor is the intelligentsia enamored of gangsters
or corrupt political figures whose families hail from County Cork.
For all his surly ways,
the lawman with a brogue remains an iconic figure--the quintessential,
American good guy.
Sean Connery's Jim Malone evinces ethnic disdain toward Italians
in "The Untouchables,"
while Matt Damon's Colin Sullivan--"The Departed's" corrupt Celtic cop--has a field day
skewering Italians in his Boston Irish accent.
Thanks to the persistence of anti-Italian imagery in popular culture,
audiences associate malevolence with those loutish bad guys
whose surnames end in a vowel.
Rosario A. Iaconis