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>
The horse racing sequence was shot at Lettergesh beach, Connemara, on the west coast of Ireland. See more »
In the courting scene, the shadow of Michaeleen's pipe can be seen on the painted landscape background. 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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It's not only the fact that I'm actually from County Mayo in Ireland where most of the outdoor scenes from The Quiet Man were filmed in the summer of 1951, that makes it my favorite movie of all time. This film has damn near everything for everyone in it without being offensive to anyone (Though the occasional hypersensitive Irish person or Feminist or "Yank" might take unfounded offense at the various pokes of fun that are made at various traditions!)
For the romantics this has romance in abundance and probabaly some of the most famously erotic (and much copied - A further indication of how hight in esteem this movie is held) scenes ever put on celluoid (without ever more that an absolute minimum of bare flesh being exposed to satify the puritans). Steven Spielburg most famously gives the cottage kissing scene the nod in "ET" and it was said of the "Wet shirt" Graveyard kissing scene in the rain that, during the many takes it took to get it in the can, Director John Ford only got John Wayne to do everything he wanted to do to Maureen O'Hara himself.
For the action brigade it has probabaly the longest and one of the most enthralling fight scenes of any movie.
For the comics the entire film is laced with Irishisms and good humor and wild banter and loads of "craic"
For the weepies it has tragedy and death and a haunting from the past.
And for the pure sentimental including myself the film has my beautiful country lavishly and lovingly displayed in glorious technicholor compliments of Winston C Hoch amnd Archie Stout which deservedly won it an Oscar for cinematography.
And it has all this and more...
If one cares to delve deeper it touches on themes of Shakespeare (Taming of the Shrew) and the best traditions of Irish literature (JM Synge and WB Yeats).
Testament to it's greatness are the many books and documentries that have been created about it in it's wake (Try Des McHales "The Complete Guide to the Quiet Man" or Gerry McEntees' "In the footsteps of the Quiet Man" for starters!) along with the many tourist that still visit Cong, County Mayo in search of their own dream Inishfree.
I've lost count how many times I've seen this movie both in Ireland and in Exile both here in the US and in England, but suffice to say that at this stage I can now quote liberally from such classic lines as Feeney's: "Silence if you please, Parlimentary procedure, Squire Danagher has the floor" or Micheleen Og Flynn's "Homeric, impetious" upon viewing the marriage bed of Sean and Mary Kate and coming to his own conclusions on the events that may have occured in it.
After owning a variety of VHS (both Pal and US versions) of the movie I've finally purchaced the DVD also which allows one (If one so wishes) to watch every frame of the movie digitally remastered - If you are a fanatic like me or Quiet Maniacs as we are sometimes known this allows you to catch a glimpse of such things as a fly landing on Maureen O'Hara cheek during one shot or (In a daring unintentionally risque scene for the 1950's) her momentarially exposing her underwear whilst jumping over a trunk.
If you haven't seen this movie (and I'm increasing surprised how many of the younger Blockbuster New Release weaned movie viewers haven't) get yerself down to yer local video store now and look in the Classic Shelves for one of those classics that is sure to be there alongside Ben Hur, Gone with the Wind and Casablanca and rent it out for a great nights entertainment. Better still go and buy a copy 'cos once you've viewed it once like me you'll most likely be hooked and will want to watch it again and again (Even sometimes late at night, round Christmastime, sipping a hot Irish whiskey!)
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