Sean Thornton has returned from America to reclaim his homestead and escape his past. Sean's eye is caught by Mary Kate Danaher, a beautiful but poor maiden, and younger sister of ill-tempered "Red" Will Danaher. The riotous relationship that forms between Sean and Mary Kate, punctuated by Will's pugnacious attempts to keep them apart, form the main plot, with Sean's past as the dark undercurrent. Written by
Steve Fenwick <email@example.com>
Victim of censorship: In the scene when Michaeleen O'Flynn goes into the cottage bedroom and stares at the broken bed, he says "Impetuous. Homeric!" Then, if you pay close attention, you will see, immediately after he says "Homeric!" the film will jump. This is because a line was cut out-but some years AFTER the film's original release. Evidently, someone with clout complained when they heard him say, "Impetuous. Homeric. The power of the man!" See more »
When Mary Kate interrupts the father fly fishing after storming off, the father says that he has been fishing for a particular wily salmon for ten years. Salmon almost always expire after returning to fresh water to spawn (at an age of four years or so) and a keen fisherman would know this. See more »
Father Peter Lonergan, Narrator:
Well, then. Now. I'll begin at the beginnin'. A fine soft day in the spring, it was, when the train pulled into Castletown, three hours late as usual, and himself got off. He didn't have the look of an American tourist at all about him. Not a camera on him; what was worse, not even a fishin' rod.
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Ireland has never been portrayed as lovingly as in this film. John Ford's tribute to the land of his ancestors is about as good as a movie can get. Of course, Ford's vision is, by today's standards, a bit outdated. The Ireland of the time in the movie probably doesn't exist any more, but only in the minds of those who knew the Emerald Isle back then.
The story is a bit passe, but we make excuses for seeing it once more whenever it plays on cable, as we take the journey to an ideal place that thanks to John Ford will live forever.
The best thing in the film is Maureen O'Hara. This actress beauty was legendary. Having met her on a few occasions, I can only say, that she is as beautiful in person as she is in films. Miss O'Hara graced this movie by only being there. The camera loved her; she's perfect as Mary Kate Daneher, the spinster, as the locals call her.
The other big assets of the film are the Irish actors that Ford entrusted key roles. Barry Fitzgerald, the impish Michaeleen Flynn, was delightful. Victor McLaglen, is excellent as Squire Will Danaher. John Wayne, as Sean Thornton, is a bit stiff, but maybe Ford's direction called for this actor to play himself in rural Ireland, who knows?
This is a film to be treasured.
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