I absolutely love this movie. It just so happens that this weekend is St. Patrick’s Day weekend– I chose The Quiet Man because it is one of only four movies that I actually own. A film has to be extraordinary for me to own it in the days of streaming and this movie is special. It is a Drama, a Comedy a Romance…there is an epic fight scene, memorable lines and probably the most breath-taking locations in any movie I have ever seen. My wife and I watch this movie at least three times a year and every St. Patrick’s Day. How can I do The Quiet Man justice?
Sean Thornton (John Wayne) goes back to Ireland, the country of his birth to find much-needed peace. He finds that peace and much more in Mary Kate Danaher (Maureen O’Hara) and he quickly falls in love but he must follow the customs to court Mary Kate. Sean Thornton’s reactions to the “Old World” customs and his struggle with the very independent Mary Kate is funny but the laughs come from all directions in this film. “Red” Will Danaher (Victor McLaglen) is Mary Kate’s brother who doesn’t like Sean, mostly because he purchased his childhood home that is adjacent to his farm, and ends up fighting Sean through the countryside in the movie’s penultimate scene.
The character actors fill out The Quiet Man and help to make the film quite memorable. Barry Fitzgerald plays Michaleen Oge Flynn the drinker who ties the movie together and Ward Bond plays the Priest who schemes with Flynn and Rev. Playfair (Arthur Shields) to trick Danaher to allow Mary Kate and Sean to marry which is the main plot in a movie full of one liners and subtle and not so subtle humor. You will have to watch this movie more than twice to really appreciate all of what John Ford (Director) and Maurice Walsh (screenplay) have to offer.
Pour yourself a pint of Guinness or a glass of orange juice because it won’t matter. If you can get past the odd Technicolor you will love this movie.