|Movie poster from the Quiet Man|
My attachment to The Quiet Man goes back a long way. I remember watching this as a boy on a black and white set on a Saturday afternoon. I miss those days of free television with lots of movie re-broadcasts. My mother, with her father a native of County Cork, never let us forget we were Irish, and there is something charming about this John Ford/John Wayne collaboration. It earned Ford an Oscar for best director, as well as another for best cinematography, and another five nominations. The Quiet Man was another successful pairing for Wayne with co-star Maureen O'Hara.
|Sean Thornton (Wayne) spies "White of Morn," the family home for the first time with Michelene Oge Flynn (Barry Fitzgerald)|
|Thornton and Flynn ask Danaher's (Victor McLaglen) permission to marry his sister, as Mary Kate (Maureen O'Hara) looks on hopefully|
On so many levels this is an interesting movie. The story is complex with subplots. Thornton's secret. Danaher's pursuit of the Widow Tillane. The conflict of customs between America and Ireland. Mary Kate's need to possess her fortune in her own right. However the best aspect of the movie are all the interesting and quirky characters. McLaglen is fabulous as Danaher, and Bond is wonderful as Father Lonergan. Another standout is Arthur Shields as the Reverend Mr. Playfair and Eileen Crowe as his wife. The most charming of the cast is Fitzgerald as Michelene Og Flynn, the village matchmaker, who is as elfin and Irish as can be. O'Hara is smart, tough and beautiful, a perfect match for Wayne's brooding physical presence and conflicted combative character.
|The fight of the century ends suddenly here, at Cohan's Pub|
|The Quiet Men, from left: Francis Ford, John Wayne Barry Fitzgerald (front), Victor McLaglen, John Ford (director.) McLaglen was nominated for a best supporting Oscar for his portrayal of Redwill Danaher.|
It's a fun movie, a feel good movie, that portrays Ireland of the 50's as a paradise that it almost certainly was not. It was likely much closer to Angela's Ashes than the Quiet Man. Nevertheless, it is an interesting story with quirky characters and great performances. I don't ask for much more.