Born Maureen FitzSimons on 17 August 1920 in the Dublin suburb of Ranelagh, Maureen O'Hara was the second of the six children of Charles Stewart Parnell FitzSimons and Marguerita Lilburn FitzSimons. One of the most beautiful and charismatic redheads on the big screen, Maureen retired in 1973, only to make a comeback in 1991. Being only five days younger than my mother, Maureen was one of my special favourites and here are some her best performances:
The Quiet Man
A retired American boxer returns to the village of his birth in Ireland, where he finds love. (129 mins.)
“ One of my all time favourite films, a perfect cast, a beautiful location with a lovely story directed by one of the greatest film makers ever born.
"Will you be steppin' into the parlour? The house may belong to my brother, but what's in the parlour belongs to me."
Mary Kate Danaher. ” - brickley220
A cavalry officer posted on the Rio Grande must deal with murderous raiding Apaches, his son who's a risk-taking recruit and his wife from whom he has been separated for many years. (105 mins.)
“ The only woman I have seen put the fear of God into Victor McLaglen or Sergeant Major Timothy Quincannon or 'The Arsonist of Georgia'.
"To my only rival, the United States Cavalry."
Mrs. Kathleen York. ” - brickley220
The Parent Trap
Teenage twin sisters swap places and scheme to reunite their divorced parents. (129 mins.)
“ Yes, I was in love with Hayley Mills, both of them and what a lovely mother they had, just like mine. It should have been a match made in heaven.
"Don't you take that tone with me Mitch. I lambed you once!"
Margaret 'Maggie' McKendrick. ” - brickley220
Wealthy rancher G.W. McLintock uses his power and influence in the territory to keep the peace between farmers, ranchers, land-grabbers, Indians and corrupt government officials. (127 mins.)
“ Ah, ooh, yuck! That mud pit scene, that is when you can tell the men from the boys, if you know what I mean?
"Are you going to stand there with that stupid look on your face while the hired help insults your wife?"
Katherine Gilhooley McLintock. ” - brickley220
At Sword's Point
In 1648 France, it's the sons (and daughter) of the Three Musketeers to the rescue! (81 mins.)
“ Also known as 'At Sword's Point' this version of the famous Musketeers legend would have had Dumas spinning in his mausoleum. Maureen was an inspiration to 'Tom Boys' all over the world.
"I'm no lady when I fight!"
Claire (daughter of Athos). ” - brickley220
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
In 15th century France, a gypsy girl is framed for murder by the infatuated Chief Justice, and only the deformed bellringer of Notre Dame Cathedral can save her. (117 mins.)
“ A classic cast with a timeless story of 'Beauty and the Bellringer' and what about the finale? 'King Kong' without the aeroplanes and accompanied by tubular bells!
"I never realized until now how ugly I am, because you're so beautiful... Im not a man not a beast! I'm about as shapeless as the man in the Moon. I'm deaf you know but you can speak to me by signs."
Esmeralda the Gypsy. ” - brickley220
Miracle on 34th Street
When a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing. (96 mins.)
“ The wonderful Christmas story that made stars of the deserving Edmund Gwenn and the delightful Natalie Wood and heroes of the U.S. Mail Service.
"Susan, I speak French, but that doesn't make me Joan of Arc."
Mrs Doris Walker. ” - brickley220
How Green Was My Valley
At the turn of the century in a Welsh mining village, the Morgans, he stern, she gentle, raise coal-mining sons and hope their youngest will find a better life. (118 mins.)
“ As the most beautiful girl in the valley this role was practice for 'The Quiet Man' for Maureen. The first of five John Ford feature films that starred the lovely Maureen.
"Look now, you are king in the chapel. But I will be queen in my own kitchen."
Miss Angharad Morgan. ” - brickley220
The Wings of Eagles
A biography of Navy flier-turned-screenwriter Frank W. "Spig" Wead. (110 mins.)
“ Based upon the true story of Frank Wilbur "Spig" Wead (24 October 1895 – 15 November 1947) this was the last John Ford film that Maureen worked in.
"Spig you got two daughters and they have lived in seven different houses and seven seven states and seven different years back and forth across the country and out of it too. Well, I'm just not going to move them anymore."
Mrs. Min Wead. ” - brickley220
Our Man in Havana
Jim Wormold, who is a vacuum cleaner salesman, participates as an agent in the British Secret Service. But he soon realizes that his plans by lying are going to get him into trouble. (103 mins.)
“ Based on a Graham Greene novel this 'spy spoof' was an excellent example of British humour at its best. Filmed in Cuba just after the Revolution, Maureen reputedly met Che Guevara in a bar and after some time found out that he was part Irish.
"I know, he beats his prisoners, but he never touches me."
Beatrice Severn. ” - brickley220
In Cornwall in 1819, a young woman discovers that she's living near a gang of criminals who arrange shipwrecks for profit. (108 mins.)
“ Young Maureen in her first starring role plays the niece of the landlord of a 'English Pub with character', actually lots of characters, all directed by Mr. Hitchcock.
"That place - Jamaica Inn. It's got a bad name. It's not healthy, that's why. There's queer things goes on there."
Mary - Joss Merlyn's Neice. ” - brickley220
In 1909, when John Fain's gang kidnaps Big Jake McCandles' grandson and hold him for ransom, Big Jake sets out to rescue the boy. (110 mins.)
“ 'Big Jake' gets recalled to sort out the kidnappers of his Grandson who also killed his friends in the taking. Will technology triumph or the tough guy? The Matriarch knows best.
"This is going to be a very harsh and unpleasant business, and will take an equally harsh and unpleasant person to see to it."
Mrs. Martha McCandles. ” - brickley220
Only the Lonely
A Chicago cop must balance loyalty to his overbearing mother and a relationship with a shy funeral home worker. (104 mins.)
“ John Candy has two women in his life, his mother and his lover and of course there is friction. Ah the course of true love never runs smooth. After a twenty year break, Maureen still had that certain something.
"You're built like a thirteen year old boy."
Mrs. Rose Muldoon. ” - brickley220
The Rare Breed
An English woman and her daughter enlist the aid of a cowboy to try and get their hardy hornless bull to mate with the longhorns of Texas, but have to overcome both greedy criminals and the natural elements. (97 mins.)
“ In Maureen's second film with James Stewart Maureen is much happier as the widow on a mission, backed up by Juliet Mills as her daughter. Watch out for Brian Keith as he and Maureen used to get on so well in previous productions.
"Now really, Mr. Burnett, you have a predisposition to violence of which I heartily disapprove."
Mrs. Martha Price. ” - brickley220
The Deadly Companions
Ex-army officer accidentally kills a woman's son, tries to make up for it by escorting the funeral procession through dangerous Indian territory. (93 mins.)
“ It may have been Sam Peckingpah's debut as a feature film director but it was just another walk in the desert for Maureen and Brian Keith.
"It's strange - I feel I know you better than any man I've ever known, yet I hardly know you at all."
Kit Tilden. ” - brickley220
The Black Swan
An ex-pirate contends with rowdy buccaneers and a love-hate relationship with an aristocratic woman who's tougher than she seems. (87 mins.)
“ Henry Morgan is looking to Captain Jaimie to help him clear the Caribbean of pirate scum in this swashbuckler that stirred Saturday mornings at the Odeon for a whole generation. Maureen did not need weapons with those glaring eyes and sharp tongue.
"Unfortunately, I have no pistols."
Lady Margaret Denby. ” - brickley220
Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation
Mr. Hobbs wants to spend a quiet holiday at the beach, but his wife has invited all their family to stay with them. (116 mins.)
“ The first film that Maureen made with James Stewart and it shows as JS makes to steal all the scenes in this comedy about family issues. However he does not get it all his own way as the wife is a seasoned professional who has won scenes from the best in the business.
"That's a fine way to get a date for your daughter, paying him $5."
Mrs. Margaret 'Peggy' Hobbs. ” - brickley220
Major Howell Brady arrives in Indian Territory in hopes of recruiting peaceful, relocated Seminoles to help the army fight rampaging Kiowas. (78 mins.)
“ Whilst Maureen was a little caustic about her scenes with Jeff Chandler in her memoirs, overall this was a reasonable 'pot-boiler' Western about taming the Indians. The plot may have had holes but the cut to the battles saved the day.
"You will follow the Chain of Command or I'll have busted so low you'll be able to walk upright under tables."
Elaine Corwin. ” - brickley220
Sinbad, the Sailor
In medieval Persia, during the rule of Caliph Harun-Al-Rashid, Sinbad the Sailor boasts about his latest adventures to his friends. (116 mins.)
“ Another scintillating saga for Saturday morning cinema with Douglas Fairbanks Jnr. doing the swashbuckling, Anthony Quinn as the glowering villain and Maureen as the arabic cheesecake.
"However you got in here get out quickly. Leave at once or I shall make Pirouze call the guards."
Shireen. ” - brickley220
White settlers plan to defy the agreement between the government and the Comanche in order to mine for silver on Comanche lands, while scout Jim Bowie tries to keep the peace in the territory. (76 mins.)
“ Miss O'Hara gets to use a Bullwhip in this Western where nothing is quite what it seems. Maureen, who has been a bad girl today then?
"Sorry, ma'am. Back in Louisiana, when we meet any pretty ladies, we make love to them, we kiss them, spank 'em on occasion... but we never go around shootin' 'em."
Katie Howard. ” - brickley220
Against All Flags
Brian Hawke of the Royal Navy versus the pirates of Madagascar. (83 mins.)
“ Once again Anthony Quinn is the villain in this routine yet well paced swashbuckler where Errol Flynn is the aging hero, sweeping the seas of bad guys and girls. Maureen as usual is excellent as the curvey cut-throat with a soft spot for sporting sailors.
"Should you fail, you'll look back on flogger Flower's lashing as a pleasant afternoon's pastime."
Prudence 'Spitfire' Stevens. ” - brickley220