Maureen O’Hara sure does fill out a wedding dress in all the right places, makes me reconsider never getting married actually!
Screenplay By: Frank S. Nugent
Directed By: John Ford
The Quiet Man is a stalwart entry in the regular pairing of John Ford and John Wayne. The most impressive aspect of The Quiet Man would have to be the visuals as they play out through the cinematography. I am Irish by descent and my grandmother spent a good deal of time educating me on Ireland. However, even in her vivid descriptions that would light up my imagination did I envision Ireland to be this beautiful. The grass is as green as all get out, the rocky terrain covers the screen and everywhere you turn there is a bit of mist or morning dew to contend with. The Quiet Man looks beautiful and it is shot in beautiful fashion, utilizing the landscape to the fullest extent possible. Take away the actors and show the landscape shots from The Quiet Man on a nonstop loop and tourism to Ireland would fly through the roof.
At its core The Quiet Man is quite the fantasy, made by someone in Ford who thinks of Ireland as I do. He doesn’t think of the real Ireland, but rather he thinks of the romanticized Ireland that has been delivered to us for years by poets and doting elders. There’s nothing wrong with his fantasy Ireland, it is a wonderful setting for a picture full of robust and likable characters. This wonderland with old morals long since lost and people that may never have existed is a delight to take in and turns even the most pedestrian moments of The Quiet Man into interesting scenarios.
The Quiet Man features the usual Ford troupe, along with some welcome Irish additions. Every role is played with good intentions and in fine fashion. Once again John Wayne goes against his typecast in delivering a very quiet and reserved performance, but then the movie wouldn’t be much if The Quiet Man wasn’t all that quiet. Maureen O’Hara is equal parts beauty and feisty woman who you know will be the end of you if you don’t win her over, but oh, if you do. This is the first time I have been privy to Victor McLaglen, Squire Danaher, in a role where he wasn’t the amiable soldier. He played his part nicely, he was loud and a blowhard, the perfect opposite to the quiet nature of Wayne’s Thornton.
The Quiet Man isn’t a classic, nor is it a film that will be talked about for years to come or remembered as any sort of great film in history. All that being said, it is a fun, and funny, romantic picture that is a joy to watch. It’s a nice change of pace, and scenery, from the usual Ford and Wayne fare, and if for nothing else everyone should check out The Quiet Man for the beautiful Irish scenery.