The Quiet Man (1952) Poster

(1952)

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10/10
A Perfect Movie Made With Love by Entertainment Pros
Dutch196826 March 2005
"They don't make movies like this anymore" is the usual phrase heard about classic movies. More appropriately "They CAN'T make a movie like this anymore" applies to "The Quiet Man".

John Ford directed John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara in a number of classic unforgettable Westerns with a familiar supporting cast including Ward Bond, Victor McLaughlin, Mildred Natwick and other pros. "The Quiet Man" moves these familiar icons from the post Civil War American West to the post World War II rural Ireland.

You don't have to be Irish to appreciate the visual beauty of the Irish countryside and villages or the beauty of Maureen O'Hara, but your appreciation of the story is enhanced if you know something about the unique Irish culture.

Ireland and America have been tightly bonded from the earliest Colonial Days of America and are permanently intertwined since the Potato Famine of the 1840's sent tens of millions of immigrants to populate the vast U.S.

John Ford perfectly casts John Wayne as the Irish born, U.S. raised troubled ex-boxer returning to his birthplace and Maureen O'Hara as the Irish beauty . The rest of the lovingly assembled cast contains mostly familiar faces in supporting roles.

The script covers vast ground in a mostly light-hearted manner. The story plays like most John Ford/John Wayne/Maureen O'Hara movies as one step larger than life.

It's clear that everyone appearing in this movie LOVES being in the movie. Maureen O'Hara never looked more beautiful and thrives as the woman in the middle between two warring men, her brother (Victor McLauglin) and her suitor (John Wayne).

The over-the-top village to village brawl between John Wayne and Victor McLaughlin is hilarious and ultimately warm hearted. It sums up the strange Irish notion that you have to physically pummel a man before you can have his friendship and respect.

There are big scenes and little scenes, but every scene is a delight.

This is a movie that can't and won't ever be made again. It's a movie that everyone should enjoy.
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10/10
An Exile dreams of Inishfree
PeterJordan24 November 2000
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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10/10
A Stick To Beat the Lovely Lady
bkoganbing3 October 2005
The filming of The Quiet Man was the culmination of a dream by John Ford to make an Irish picture in Ireland. He bought the rights to the story over a decade before and peddled it to every studio in Hollywood and was turned down.

He went to Republic Pictures partly because John Wayne was just winding down his contract with them and he wouldn't have to pay him extra, and partly because Herbert J. Yates's small studio was the last stop. Ford got the permission for The Quiet Man on the condition he do a sure fire moneymaking John Wayne cavalry picture first. So Ford, Wayne, and Maureen O'Hara did Rio Grande first before setting out for Ireland.

In her recent memoirs O'Hara said that this was her role of a lifetime, she knew it would be before one frame of film was shot. She'd been playing in a load of ridiculous Hollywood drivel films as a redheaded Bedouin princess and she did them essentially for the money. This one was to be a labor of love.

Love yes, but a labor nonetheless. John Ford was a talented, but strange man to work for. He could be a bully and a tyrant on any set he was on. She was grateful to him for the career making roles she got with him, but recognized his faults. She relates in her memoirs that Ford used his influence to knock her out of an Oscar Nomination for Mary Kate Danaher in 1952 over some trivial offense Ford thought O'Hara committed and took umbrage.

It was a family affair for Wayne of sorts as well. His kids came to Ireland with him and you can see them at the horse racing scene as extras. Young Patrick Wayne spoke his first movie lines. He also had with him his second wife, Esperanza Baur who was not his kid's mom. She was a tempestuous sort and they would soon part in a very ugly divorce.

Sean Thornton who was born in Innisfree, but went to America as a toddler, has come back to his native Ireland after making a name for himself as a prizefighter and killing a man in the ring. He and Maureen O'Hara have an instant attraction for each other. However Wayne does run afoul of her bully of a brother, Squire Will Danaher played by Ford regular Victor McLaglen.

Wayne and O'Hara marry, but McLaglen won't turn over the bride's dowry. And Wayne won't contest him for it.

So with a little help from The Taming of the Shrew and a bit of Falstaff thrown in, things are put right in Innisfree. More I won't say.

As in all of John Ford's films and this is one of the best, he got some grand performances from some of the most minute characters in the film. Some of his regulars like Ward Bond, Mildred Natwick, Ken Curtis, Barry Fitzgerald and Arthur Shields with the rest of the roles played by Dublin's acclaimed Abbey Theatre players. One of my favorites is Jack McGowran who played Feeney, Squire Danaher's little toady factotum.

The music was arranged by Victor Young who did a grand job of using traditional Irish melodies in the score. One song, The Isle of Innisfree was recorded by Bing Crosby for Decca and sold a few platters for him the year The Quiet Man came out.

The Quiet Man is an annual classic for St. Patrick's Day, the same way It's A Wonderful Life is for Christmas. At least in America it is. I've wondered if it is as well received in Ireland as it is here. I think John Ford, the former Sean O'Fearna, was hoping it would turn out that way.

Mr. Ford, you got your wish.
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10/10
Sean Thornton, Meet Mary Kate Danaher
jhclues28 January 2002
The lush and beautiful countryside of Ireland provides the setting for this engaging tale of an Irishman, raised in America, going back home to escape a past he'd just as soon forget. In `The Quiet Man,' director John Ford returns to his own roots, going on location to tell the story of Sean Thornton (John Wayne), a man troubled by an incident that changed his life, and now doing what he can to forget about it and just move on. And toward that end, Sean travels to the place he knows so well from the stories told him by his mother, to Innisfree, intending to buy the cottage in which he was born, White O'Morn, where he can make a fresh start and build a new life for himself. There's a problem, however; the land and the cottage is owned by the widow Sarah Tillane (Mildred Natwick), and borders the estate of one Red Will Danaher (Victor McLaglen), who not only fancies the widow herself, but wants to buy her land. Squire Danaher (as he's known) is not the only one Sean must deal with, though, as other matters arise upon his arrival in the small hamlet of his birth. And her name is Mary Kate (Maureen O'Hara)-- who just happens to be Squire Danaher's sister. But Danaher or no, it makes no difference to Sean, who as soon as he lays eyes on Mary Kate determines to make her his wife.

Sean soon learns that in Ireland, however, such things are pursued quite differently than in America. To win the hand of Mary Kate he must employ the services of Michaleen Flynn (Barry Fitzgerald) a kind of matchmaker/chaperone/marriage broker, who will help him secure the consent of Squire Danaher, without which the marriage cannot and will not take place. So Sean has no choice but to acquiesce to the local traditions and customs, and Michaleen forthwith commences the appropriate overtures. In the meantime, he awaits the decision of the widow Tillane as to the purchase of White O'Morn, which he is determined to have at any cost.

John Ford directed more than 140 motion pictures, going back to the days of silent films, and his favorite star, with whom he worked in at least a dozen of his feature films, was John Wayne. And when you think of the John Ford/John Wayne collaborations, it's the Western that instantly comes to mind: `Stagecoach,' `She Wore A Yellow Ribbon,' `Fort Apache,' `Rio Grande' or `The Searchers,' (to name a few). Yet, `The Quiet Man' is perhaps their most memorable effort, and remains a favorite among fans to this day. Ford (who received an Oscar for Best Director for it) presents the story on a very personal level, and in Sean and Mary Kate gives the audience characters to whom they can relate; and it's that personal connection he affords the viewer that may suggest the main reason behind this particular film's popularity. That, plus the fact that at the core of this story there is an honesty and genuine sincerity that rings so true-to-life. Ford also successfully captures the essence of all that is good and positive about Ireland, from the richness of all of his characters to the lavish cinematography that brings the country so vividly to life. It's quite simply a wonderful, uplifting film, impeccably crafted and delivered by Ford and his superb cast.

Too often, John Wayne's work gets a bad rap; no matter what role he takes on, you're liable to hear `John Wayne is always John Wayne, the only difference is the character's name.' And, as he proves with his portrayal of Sean Thornton, it's not only a false statement, it's so unfair to an actor who brought so much to so many, in his craft as well as in his personal life. The Oscar he finally received for 1969's `True Grit' was way overdue, especially when you consider his performances in such films as `The Searchers,' `Red River' and, of course, this one. Is he the best actor of all time? Of course not; but he is good at what he does, much better than he is usually given credit for. And he (and his films) can always-- always-- be counted on to provide good, solid entertainment. Together, he and Ford have provided some of the most memorable moments in the history of the movies, and his pairing with Maureen O'Hara was a stroke of genius. There's real chemistry between them, which enables them to play so well off of one another. They made five films together between 1950 (`Rio Grande') and 1971 (`Big Jake'), and there is always that spark of magic between them, but never better than in this film.

A gifted actor, Maureen O'Hara is also, without question, one of the most beautiful women ever to grace the silver screen. It's easy to understand how Sean Thornton can fall instantly in love with her when he first sees her walking through the fields of Innisfree. It's entirely believable. And when you get to know the woman behind the beauty-- who Mary Kate is down deep-- it's even more understandable. Perfectly cast, O'Hara, like Ford, returned to her roots to make this film (she was born in Milltown, Ireland, near Dublin), and apparently it agreed with her, because her performance is nothing less than natural and inspired. Mary Kate Danaher, in fact, is arguably one of her-- if not `the'-- most memorable roles of her career.

The supporting cast, topped by Fitzgerald (who is absolutely unforgettable as Michaleen) also includes Ward Bond (Father Lonergan), Francis Ford (Dan Tobin), Arthur Shields (Reverend Playfair) and Jack MacGowran (Feeney). A delightful and endearing motion picture, `The Quiet Man' is, of all of John Ford's achievements, one of his best. And Sean, Mary Kate, Michaleen and all the people of Innisfree are ones you'll remember and want to visit again. It's the magic of the movies. I rate this one 10/10.
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9/10
Archetypal John Ford comedy, as Irish as can be...
Nazi_Fighter_David13 November 2000
"The Quiet Man" is an Irish village version of "The Taming of the Shrew," the tamer being an ex-pugilist Sean Thornton (John Wayne) retired to the land of his fathers where he purchases "that little place across the brook, that humble cottage." But no sooner does he arrives on a soft spring morning than he falls in love with Mary Kate (Maureen O'Hara).

Sean courts and weds her easily enough, but he has not worked out on the anger of her heavy and hard rich brother, the farmer Will Danaher (Victor McLaglen) who holds an envy against him for having bought the very property that separates his spread from that of the wealthiest widow in Innisfree Sarah Tillane (Mildred Natwick) whom Danaher strongly desires...

Danaher refuses to supply the traditional dowry, and Mary Kate accuses Sean for his apparent cowardice in not fighting for what is rightfully theirs...

The battle that follows (considered to be the longest recorded on screen) has Sean and his strong brother-in-law engaging in a climatic fight the townsfolk have long been anticipating with effervescent...

Maureen O'Hara is totally in her element as the fiery Irish girl whether as the bare-footed attractive woman looking after a number of sheep in the meadow, or as the troubled colleen trying to explain her problem to the devoted salmon-catching Catholic priest (War Bond) or as the proud beauty whom Wayne lets fall at her brother's feet... Maureen would play Wayne's love interest in four more features ("Rio Grande," "The Wings of Eagle," "McLintock," and "Big Jake"). Their screen relationship emphasized the strength of their chemistry...

Barry Fitzerald is simply superb as Michaeleen Flynn, the village matchmaker and cart-driver who can't seem to tell anyone something without winning a black beer from them first...

With an exciting Innisfree Races along the beach, a titanic fight from the farm, across the hillside, through a haystack and into a stream, and with emerald environments and great music, John Ford's romantic comedy is a marvelous entertaining film, painted beautifully, simply told with love and humor...

With 7 Academy Award Nominations, the film earns Ford his 4th and last Oscar for Best Director establishing a record which is still unbeaten and won another Oscar for the outstanding Technicolor for Best Cinematography...
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9/10
A Woman's Film, Aye, But I Like It Too
slokes12 November 2004
Maureen O'Hara in Technicolor is surely any Irishman's dream, and "The Quiet Man" would be timeless for that alone. But O'Hara's performance is all the more indelible for the great good humor she bestows on her character, Mary Kate Danaher. Let's face it; with any other actress, this could have been a disaster.

Sean Thornton (John Wayne) comes back to County Mayo, his birthplace, to find a peace he lost tragically back home in America. He immediately discovers some old friends, and a new one, too, Mary Kate, who while herding sheep stares back at him in what James Joyce might have called "a significant manner."

Director John Ford elects to shoot O'Hara from an odd angle, and with an unusual overhead shadow crossing O'Hara's face, that in anyone else's hands would have totally blown the shot but here creates something, well, "Homerific." It's one of many amazing shots in a film that seems more painted than photographed, and is perhaps the most strikingly lovely film ever made.

The shot of O'Hara looking back at Wayne also clues you onto something else, that this is going to be her story as much as it is Thornton's. In fact, it's really more about her than it is about him, a film about romance and a woman's liberation at the hands of her lover. We call them "chick flicks" today. But since John Wayne is the nominal star and no one ever confused Ford with Douglas Sirk, "The Quiet Man" isn't popularly regarded this way.

It's fun to read all the comments about poor Mary Kate and how this film glamorizes the mistreatment of women. They have one thing right, it's a film about spousal domination, but it's the wife ruling the husband. Think about it: She makes her lover do just about everything he does in the film, even risk bodily injury at the hands of her brutish brother (she doesn't know about his past and thinks she married "a coward.") People complain that he drags her across a dung-covered field, while a helpful woman hands him a stick "to beat the lovely lady with." But of course it's Mary Kate who's in total control of the situation. She wants Thornton to fight for her, in every sense of the word, and won't make it easy. She wants him to adapt to her culture, rather than adapt to his. (She's not one to be "honked at," as she puts it.) It's not surprising she trips and falls at one point while Thornton pulls her across a field; probably one of those puppet strings of hers got in the way.

But there are worse things in life than being enslaved by the likes of Maureen O'Hara, like not being enslaved by the likes of Maureen O'Hara. She's not only beautiful and pure-hearted, but such a hilarious joy to be around. O'Hara plays up the comedy of her scenes very well; she could have opted for a more regal distance from the slapstick but plays it as rowdy as the rest instead. The scene when she spits in her hand before shaking with matchmaker Michaleen Flynn (Barry Fitzgerald, who gives the next-best performance after O'Hara) tells you who she is better than any of her many sexy moments on screen. It also gets back to the point of why she's so essential in this film. She is Ireland, the spirit of Erin, and you want her to win, not because she's so pretty but because you know she's good and right for Sean, too.

About the only things wrong with the film are the action sequences, the horse race and the fistfight between Sean and Mary Kate's brother. It's not because the scenes aren't terrific, but because they are so abbreviated, especially the fistfight, which feels likes its building to something even funnier and more rousing than what's come before when it just sort of stops. Ford apparently had to do some cutting to get his film in at the required length, and with his focus as much on Mary Kate as possible, probably preferred to trim the scenes that had the least to do with her. But since the focus on O'Hara is what makes the film anyway, this is a small matter. Wayne fans wanting more action will just have to content themselves with almost every other film the Duke ever made.

Seeing this film for the first time reminded me a lot of "Local Hero," the 1982 comedy. Not only is "The Quiet Man" also a fish-out-of-water story about an American in the British Isles (Scotland in "Local Hero"), both films maintain a very delicate balancing act between whimsy and pathos, with "The Quiet Man," siding on the former direction and "Local Hero" the latter. Definitely worth checking out the one if you saw and liked the other. But "Quiet Man" was there first.
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10/10
A simply wonderful film
huttfam510 November 1999
What's not to like about this picture? A classic directed by the legendary John Ford. John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara light up the screen. Wayne's performance is brilliant, but what really stands out is that he is playing a regular guy with real feelings and emotions--no army uniforms, no indians to fight, no cavalry coming to the rescue--just a great performance. The supporting cast is unmatched--including great performances by Victor McLaglen, Barry Fitzgerald and Ward Bond. Look closely for Ken Curtis (Festus, from Gunsmoke) in an uncredited role. The scenery is absolutly breathtaking--it makes me want to go home to Ireland--and I'm not even Irish. To top it off The Quiet Man has the greatest fist fight ever captured on film. This is one of my two favorite John Wayne movies. The Duke should have gotten an Oscar for this one. Movie viewers won't be disapointed by this one.
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A classic John Ford/John Wayne movie
PV-23 September 1999
Warning: Spoilers
The QUIET MAN is like a good marriage and a fine wine. It has aged well and with each passing year the true movie buff appreciates the beauty of this once-in-a-lifetime-film. John Ford created this film as a tribute to his Irish heritage and surrounded himself with the familiar "Ford Players" (Wayne,Maureen O'Hara,Ward Bond,Victor McLaglen,Arthur Shields, Mildred Natwick) plus a galaxy of Irish players to liven up the action.

Ford has Wayne cast as the brash(and somehow wealthy) Sean Thorton who is a bit confused with the Irish custom of courting. Sean has returned to the place of his birth because of a promise made to his mother years before and to hide a terrible secret which we learn of half-way through the movie. Sean spies the beautiful Kate and decides that she will be his bride. He also decides to purchase the humble cottage of his childhood from the widow who now owns it. He does win a bidding war with Will(McLaglen) who not only covets the land but the widow(Natwick). But Will exacts his revenge by refusing to allow Sean to court Will's sister, the beautiful Kate. Through a bit of Irish chicanery involving a horse race, a bonnet, a pact between the marraige broker(Barry Fitzgerald) and the parish priest(Bond), Sean is indeed able to court Kate and they eventually marry and all seems at peace until Will learns that the widow is not willing to marry him as he was led to believe through innuendo. Will brings the wedding reception to a halt by throwing Kate's dowry to the floor and knocking out Sean with one mighty blow. It's at this point we learn of Sean's reluctance to fight anyone because as a professional fighter he had killed a man in the ring; a secret only he and the local Protestant minister(Shields) share. The failure of Sean to fight for Kate's dowry makes her believe that she is married to a coward. On their wedding night she locks the door to their bedroom which Sean kicks open a roughly tosses Kate onto their conjugal bed. But Sean storms from the bedroom and sleeps the night in his sleeping bag. Moving ahead, Sean and Kate finally behave as man and wife one night but the next morning she leaves him because of her "shame". Retrieving Kate from a train waiting at the station he literally drags her "the whole way" back to Will's farm. There he confronts Will and demands the payment of Kate's dowry in full. When the tight-fisted Will refuses Sean throws Kate at Will's feet and announces, "The whole deal's off. It's your custom,not mine". Will grudgingly throws the money on the ground. Kate realizes Sean has stood up to Will and she opens the firebox of a steam engine and Sean deposits the money in the fire. All of this action is observed by most of the village's population who have been spoiling for a fight between the quiet American and the local bully. And what a fight ensues. From the farm into the village to the local pub with the villagers watching every blow. Bets are handled by the marraige broker with the odds about even. Even the parish priest and his young assistant are distant observers knowing full well they should be making an attempt to stop the fight. At the pub, Sean and Will decide to take a break from the fisticuffs and share a drink or two. Here the fight ends abruptly. The fact of who won the fight is not important but Ford makes it clear that these two mountains of men have fought and gained respect for the other. Will and Sean return to Sean's cottage with plenty of Irish cheer in their bellies and are greeted by the "woman of the house" who is relieved that her husband and brother have resolved their differences. The cast is introduced at the closing of the movie as Will and the widow ride off in a courting cart driven by the marraige broker with the entire village cheering them on. THE QUIET MAN is a movie that mere words fail to do justice. The music(Victor Young), the Technicolor photography and second unit direction(Archie Stout and Winton Hoch),the perfect supporting cast, the dialogue and the feel of this movie are of perfection with the director and stars reaching heights rare in a Republic Studio production. Its been nearly 47 years since I viewed this movie for the first time and it remains(as with many movie buffs) my favorite film experience.
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8/10
A great masterpiece on film.
michaelRokeefe18 March 2000
One of the best directed by John Ford. An emotional, humorous look at an American, played by John Wayne, going back to his native Ireland and trying to fit in with the present culture. Sensational scenery and the grand music by Victor Young support this classic among classics. Breezy and rowdy. Too beautiful to turn your back on. A great illustration of romance. The interaction between Wayne and Maureen O'Hara is magical and hard to beat.

Other classic performances are turned in by Victor McLaglen, Ward Bond and Barry Fitzgerald.
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10/10
She wore a yellow straw bonnet
jotix10022 June 2004
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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10/10
A rare gem
the dude-34 January 2000
I can't say I've ever seen a film of such beauty as The Quiet Man. It is whimsical from start to finish, literally never hitting a sour note. Presenting the Irish culture from the point of view of an Irish descendant reclaiming his heritage, this film was an obvious labor of love from director John Ford. It even pokes fun at wife-beating and the IRA with complete good taste. I can't give enough praise to this movie, but out of all the great films from the brilliant John Ford, it's definitely my favorite.
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wonderful and misinterpreted
ch7717 October 2001
The Quiet Man is a wonderfully layered and at times hilariously ironic portrayal of Ireland as seen by an American.

For those who doubt the film's sense of irony, just re-watch the scene where Sean (John Wayne) paints the door of his cottage. The Vicar's wife remarks on its beauty and in a deadpan manner suggests "only an American would have thought of Emerald Green". Only an American (or a foreigner), is the implication, would think that the picturebook Ireland they are seeing in this film is a realistic portrayal of a lived experience of the country. An Irish person would have painted the door red, she says. It weathers better that way.

The film takes ideas of Irishness and exaggerates them to brilliant and comic effect. The drinking Mickaleen, the patriarchal rule, the idyllic countryside. But beneath the Oirish exterior is a sharp intelligence and a subversion of what the film at first glance seems to suggest.

Beneath the idyllic countryside are elemental forces that are waiting to be disturbed, as we see in the two scenes where Sean and Mary-kate kiss. Storm clouds fill the sky and the wind whips about them. The countryside which previously seemed so welcoming is now tempestuous and threatening. Theirs are passions which do not fit in the comic book world which we have previously seen. Yet they exist.

The portrayal of women, and particularly Sean's treatment of Mary-Kate when he drags her through the field is not so oppressive as it might seem. Remember that it is her who insists on receiving her dowry, who equates her possessions to her worth. It is she who forces Sean to act the way he does and fight Will Danaher. She indoctrinates him into her society by threatening to leave him. She withholds the marital bed. Sean eventually becomes the man she wants him to be.

In short this is a portrayal of Irish, or more importantly, rural life that is very much from the point of view of the outsider. Of the city folk. Yet it always acknowledges that and has great fun playing with its stereotypes. Its funny, its romantic, it appeals to the part of us that yearns to live a simple life away from the complex world, much as we know that life does not exist. Enjoy it!
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9/10
A Delightful Romantic Comedy by John Ford
claudio_carvalho7 August 2012
Sean Thornton (John Wayne) arrives by train in Castletown in Ireland coming from Pittsburgh and in the train station, he seeks direction to Inisfree. Michaleen Oge Flynn (Barry Fitzgerald) comes with his horse- drawn chaise and takes Sean to Inisfree. Along their way, Sean sees the red-haired Mary Kate Danaher (Maureen O'Hara) in the field and a cottage in White O'Morn that belongs to the widow Sarah Tillane (Mildred Natwick). Sean tells to Michaleen that he was born in that cottage and he wants to buy the real-estate. The coachman recognizes him and then they meet Father Peter Lonergan (Ward Bond) that had known Sean's family and welcomes him.

When Sean meets Ms. Tillane, her neighbor Squire 'Red' Will Danaher (Victor McLaglen) that wants to buy the property and marry Tillane is very upset with her. When she sells the real-estate to Sean, Will becomes his declared enemy. Sean decides to get married with Mary Kate and he hires the service of the matchmaker Michaleen; however, he does not succeed since Mary Kate is the sister of Will Danaher. However, Michaleen, Father Peter Lonergan, and other locals lure Will and he consents the marriage of his sister expecting to marry the widow Tillane. When he finds that he was deceived, he does not pay the dowry for his sister. Mary Kate tries to force Sean to take her money by force from her brother, but Sean does not want to fight against Will Danaher. Mary Kate and the locals believe that he is a coward, but Sean actually wants to forget a fatal incident from his past and start a new life.

"A Quiet Man" is a delightful romantic comedy by John Ford. The Irish Maureen O'Hara is sensational in the role of a stubborn woman that wants her dowry no matter how. John Wayne is hilarious in the role of a man that wants to forget his past and start a new life. The situations are very funny in the small Irish village and I loved when a woman gives a stick to Sean to beat the lovely lady. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "Depois do Vendaval" ("After the Windstorm")
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7/10
Vintage and memorable film and one of Ford and Wayne's best
ma-cortes15 October 2008
This rip-roaring comedy-drama concerning about Sean Thorton (John Wayne) , an ex-boxer who returns from Pittsburg to the Irish village of his childhood and attempts to take a red-haired lass called Mary Kate (Mauren O'Hara who did her own singing) as his spouse , in spite of the objections of her corpulent brother Red Will (Victor McLagen) . Thornton's helped by an alcoholic old man (Barry Fitzgerard who plays the character of the Roman Catholic Michaleen Oge Flynn) , the Protestant vicar Cyril 'Snuffy' Playfair (Arthur Shields) , and the parish priest (War Bond) , among others .

This hight-spirited tale is one of Ford's finest movies and his first love story with a marvelous fresh-air feeling . It's a special adaptation of 'Taming the shrewd' by William Shakespeare set on the west Ireland , dealing with an enjoyable romance , adding strong knuckles as well as punches for spectacular fight between Wayne -Ford's favourite leading man- against brawling Victor McLagen . Ford returns to Irishness in an evocative and idealized portrait , paintstakingly constructed , about life at a hamlet named ¨Innesfree¨ . Maurice Walsh wrote the story in the 'Saturday Evening Post (1933)' , then Ford asked the majors the film-making but they refused and the Republic Pictures took the production in low budget . Although made in 1951 , it was Republic's first production to be shot outside the United States . The story won the International prize of Venice (1952) and Oscar for the best movie and photography to Winton C Hoch and Archie Stout with glamorous and colorful landscapes . This was the fourth Academy Award for John Ford , though somewhat less deserved Oscar , previously was prized for 'The informer (35)', 'Grapes of wrath (1940)' ,'How green was my valley (41)'.

The picture has family characters , as John Wayne's sons appear in a sequence surrounding to Mauren O'Hara ; the Irish Mauren O'Hara played along with her brother Charles Fitzsimmons as Forbes ; Irishmen Barry Fitzgerald and Arthur Shields were brothers in real life , they were both Protestants born in Dublín , Ireland , Shields was the family name and they also appeared together in director John Ford's Long Voyage Home (1940) . Besides , Francis Ford , Ford's elder brother , despite longtime with no speaking , he played numerous films for John Ford ; Andrew McLagen , Victor McLagen's son , was director assistant , before becoming filmmaker ; John Wayne and Pat Ford , John's brother , directed partially the horse races but John Ford fell ill ; Ken Curtis married to Barbara , Ford's daughter , was edition assistant . Rating : Above average , well worth watching.
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10/10
Best film of all time? I think it is!
crustysmith8 May 2013
If you thought that John Wayne cannot act this film proves you wrong. No gunfights, no posturing, no cattle drives and Rocky Mountain scenery to hide behind here. Just characters, .. Acting.

If there is a bad performance in this film I just cannot see where. From Micheleen to the Station master, all spot on. Even the lady offering the stick to beat Maureen O'Hara with is just perfect.

It is clichéd, I know. It is a "fantasy" Ireland I know. The characters are archetypal and exaggerated, .... again, I know. But, and it is a big but, no film I can think off gives me such an overwhelmingly good feeling. As it winds up I am immediately regretting its end, I just want it to go on and on.

The constant, repetitive background music, (again, clichéd Irish fayre) is so spiritually uplifting, like the best ceilidh that you have ever heard. The whole film makes me feel like I did the first time I saw Riverdance.

Oh, by the way, I am not Irish so you cannot lay that bias on me.

I love Terminator 2, Dirty Harry films, Pulp Fiction and Star Wars/Trek et al. But they do not hold a candle to The Quiet Man". Best film of all time? Yes, I truly think so.
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9/10
Wonderful nostalgic film
gpindar588 December 2014
My second favourite film after Hobsons Choice

I suppose it is a nostalgic look at old Ireland but I love it just the same. Barry Fitzgerald plays a wonderful part as does Victor McLagan Sadly films like this are not made any more. It is naive but gives you a feeling of

hope in the sense of the simplicity of life as it should be. The screenplay is excellent. The scenery is spectacular. John Wayne plays second fiddle to the beautiful Maureen O' Hara. The fight scene at the end is a wonderful climax. The old man rising from his deathbed caps it all.
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10/10
A masterpiece that is sadly overlooked by the AFI and IMDB
Eddie C.21 March 1999
This is quite simply, one of John Ford's greatest films, and one of the greatest films ever made. It is unconscionable that not only was this film overlooked by the American Film Institute, but also by IMDb voters. Only 900 have bothered to vote for this classic? And then give it only a rating of 8.0?

Much better reviews of "The Quiet Man" have been written, so I won't waste time trying to outdo them. But I will say that I believe that this isn't the misogynist dream that some feminists believe this film to be. The worst thing that Sean Thornton does to Mary Kate is drag her back to her brother to demand the dowry. Remember, this comes AFTER she strands him in town and he is forced to walk home. But Thornton is a gentleman that refuses to beat a woman. When he comes back home from his long walk, Mary Kate offers him a stick, expecting Sean to beat her as punishment for leaving him in town. Instead he throws it in the fire. Later, when he is dragging Mary Kate along on the famous "good stretch of the legs" march, Sean meets a villager who gives him a stick to "beat the wife" with. Even though he is hopping mad, Sean throws away the stick. People who watch the entire movie know that Sean loves Mary Kate because of, not in spite of, her fiery spirit, and wants to be her partner, not her master. "The Quiet Man" is a wonderful romance that deserves to be seen more often than on St. Patrick's Day.
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10/10
My Father was in the fight scene.
bullseyeden6 March 2014
Well, all of my family love this film, not only for the reason I shall reveal later but because, it really is a fantastic, well shot, lovely colour and produced piece of art/history. My claim to fame, well, it's my dear departed fathers claim is, he was in the "fight scene"by the corner of the "pub", which was actually a shop. But first, my dear Mother use to tell us, I'm the youngest of 6 boys and a sister, that, when the film crew came to West of Ireland, my mother, who was lovely young woman had her picture taken with one of her sisters, arm in arm with John Wayne, she would go on about this and I vaguely remember seeing the small en-print as they were called in them days, I think my sister has the photo but, what a photo. The main reason for my letter is my Dad, Frank, would tell us kids about the film etc, shot in Cong, and say, "oh yes, I was in that filim". But, with today's technology, we have the DVD and sure enough, you can stop-start the film and hold the still picture, and yes, he's in a couple of shots, just peering round the back of someone, while Wayne and the wonderful Victor McLaglen were knocking bits out of each other. We lived in GALWAY, and my dad use to deliver goods ( I think) to all over West of Ireland and he was there on the day of this shoot. Years later, my wife and I and my Brother John, at various occasions, visited Cong and walked the ruined Abby and bridge etc, but, our old Dad, well, when we first saw the DVD era film and stopped the action, and saw my Dad, it was such a shock because I am, the image of him, he was maybe late 20s then and it was just like looking at myself. All in all, a great film, great locations and a good story.
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Ah, the dopiness of many a poster
sQuint15 December 2001
Hard to believe that this harmless and witty little low comedy, John Ford' comic valentine to his birthplace, can engender any negativity amongst IMDB dwellers. But, perhaps I shouldn't be surprised.

Among the negative comments are things like "John Wayne has never been in a movie that wasn't corny and hokey" (ahem -- "The Searchers" or "Stagecoach" to name but two), "the Irish accents were terrible" (with the exception of Wayne, almost all the principals were born in Ireland), "it's only funny if you think brutality to women is funny" (says nothing of the repeated right hooks aimed at Wayne's jaw by Maureen).

This is a funny picture with, as another poster pointed out, a very Ford-esque subtext. Often beautifully photographed, it plays on Irish (and Irish-American) stereotypes knowingly and deliberately to achieve its effect -- which is to make us laugh. So lighten up, people.
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Not a film we could make today, for many reasons, but one I'm very glad WAS made!
countryway_488646 September 2001
The plot has already been covered many times and so has most of the cast.

One comment sticks in my craw...that The Quiet Man isn't really Irish and that the members of the cast, slip in and out of their accents in a careless manner. Whoa just a moment there folks.

First of all this film was directed by John Ford, who was born in Ireland. Maureen O'Hara and her two brothers, who play secondary roles in The Quiet Man, were ALSO born in Ireland. So were Barry Fitzgerald and his brother, Arthur Shields, who plays the Episcopal priest against the Catholic priest of Ward Bond who is also Irish. Who would have the nerve to say that Victor McLaughlen's accent wasn't authentic? He was born in Ireland and won a Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of Gipo Nolan in The Informer-a film about the early days of "The Troubles" that just happened to be directed by John Ford.

The extras were chosen from The famed Abbey Players of Dublin and locals from the village of Cohn (sp), where the film was shot. The old man with the beard is the brother of the director, John Ford, himself a STAR in the silent days of film in Ireland.

That leaves poor Mildred Natwick with her accent at sixes and sevens. She was impeccable as The Widow Trahern, the woman Big Red Danaher hopes to marry some day, when he gets up the nerve to ask her properly.

To modern eyes, The Quiet Man IS sexist and brutal. No modern woman, outside Ireland, would stand for such treatment. The sad truth is though that a women in Ireland are STILL considered to be the property of the man she marries and of the Catholic Church. Both expect her to produce many children and have her husband's supper on the table when he gets home. If you don't believe me, just watch Daniel Day Lewis films-My Left Foot or In The Name of the Father.

People who are offended by the social order outlined in The Quiet Man will ALSO be offended by MOST of the films of the 30's, 40's and 50's from every corner of the world.

For the rest of us, The Quiet Man is a feast for the eyes and a tonic for the soul. It is FUN to watch John Wayne stride across a field dragging his recalcitrant wife along.

The windy kiss is gorgeous and the kiss Wayne gives O'Hara AFTER he kicks down the door in great Rhett Butler form, is amazing. When John Wayne kissed a woman, she stayed kissed for hours. When he picks up O'Hara and tosses her on the bed, AFTER THAT kiss, HER reaction is marvelous! No woman should miss The Quiet Man for those scenes.

And, when was the last time you saw anything about Ireland where the Catholic Priest and the Episcopal or Anglican Priests were FRIENDS who could attend parties together and where no one was shooting at each other because of the church they attended? For that alone, The Quiet Man is a marvelous film. I love it more every time I watch it.
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10/10
The Duke in John Ford's homage to his homeland of Ireland
TexMan4 February 2004
Except for John Wayne, the cast was almost entirely Irish, many of them natives of Dublin, not American imports. The Duke is perfectly paired with Maureen O'Hara and Victor McLaglen and the several other Irish actors who were members of John Ford's regulars. This is a GREAT film. My grandmother was born in Ireland and she always said "It's just like that my dear, and the people too." She would never leave American soil, but said watching this film was like going home.
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Not an Apache or fort in sight - but still a Fantastic movie !
videodaze20 January 2003
Star performances all round for one of the greatest romantic comedies of the last century. No need for fancy special effects or computer graphics to make a good film. Just a quality storyline, quality direction, quality production and quality actors. The Duke made a fine cowboy but he made a better Quiet Man.
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Probably in my top three favourite films
toj3528 November 2004
I like The Quiet Man so much that it features in my top three favourite films. This incidentally is alongside quite disparate films as Blade Runner and The Shawshank Redemption.

This is nothing to do with direction, acting or even location but simply because it feels so good!

Yes it is a simple story but it's amusing, very easy to watch and leaves you with a warm glow and a smile. Also the building of the "diddly diddly music" approaching the fight sequence is a delight.

That's all I need from a film that does not pretend to be anything more than a story.
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Flawless entertainment
Baroque24 August 2000
I'll spare you with the plot description (others on this page have done so), but there are reasons why I love this film.

First, the performances. Wayne as the re-patriated Irish-American, O'Hara as the fiesty Mary Kate, Fitzgerald as the sly little old man, Bond as the strong-willed priest, and McLaglen as the blustering blow-hard. Directed by John Ford, they were unconquerable.

Second, the cinematography. The landscapes are lush and rolling. The interior shots are filled with little details that add so much to the scene. You can almost imagine what the Cohen's pub must smell like ("Over here, we pronounce it, CO-han!"). And in almost every shot, there is the color green.

Third, the writing and the lines. My family quotes the film like gospel. I was helping to move a bed into a house, and as I entered through the front door, I somberly spoke "God bless all here." We all got the joke.

Fourth, the music. So perfectly chosen and composed. It adds to each and every scene.

Fifth, the fight scene. A classic Irish donnybrook!

So many things about this film I cherish. Also, it's one of the few films that John Wayne doesn't shoot a gun! A marvelous, marvelous film! In their book "The Big Damn Book of Sheer Manliness", the Von Hoffman brothers called this film one of the "top 25 greatest guy movies of all time". Who am I to argue?
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10/10
The train was four hours late - as usual!!
ozmy3128 April 2008
Perhaps once in a decade or so, a film is made that is so outstandingly good, so perfect in every way, that it defies categorisation and facile explanation, while continuing to occupy a very special place in the hearts of many people.

One such a film is "The Quiet Man" - a mixture of gentle humour, romance, mystery - even violence - but without being offensive. While many films share some or all of these qualities, it is the way in which these themes are so skillfully woven together in the lives and personalities of a handful of people that helps to explain something of the charm of The Quiet Man.

With the glorious scenery around Cong in the Irish Republic around the 1900s as the backdrop, we are introduced one by one to a variety of delightful characters and to a lifestyle that sadly is no more: pugilistic railwaymen who are ready to put up their fists at the slightest pretext; the fiery Mary Kate who "packs up wallop" and has "a tongue like an adder" and her equally fierce brother, Red Will Daneher; the cheery pipe-smoking old rogue, Michaeleen O'Flynn with his horse and cart; Father Lonnergan, who is not averse to making the occasional bet on the side; the proud Widow Tulane who helps the poor; a host of other delightful supporting cameo-roles; and of course, the quiet American himself - John Wayne, playing Sean Thornton, returning to his birthplace from the steel-mills of Pittsburgh.

John Wayne must have really enjoyed making this film, which was such a departure from his more usual cowboy films. He fitted the part very well. Apparently he really was half-Irish, which must have given this film a special meaning for him. Anyway, he played Sean Thornton to the hilt, showing what a good actor he was.

Maureen O'Hara is also a total delight and thoroughly believable: I shall always associate Maureen with this film, and I like to think that she enjoyed making it too! And when that much hoped-for fight between Sean Thornton and Red Will finally does take place, it gets even the dying on their feet and out on the streets to watch! This film is a total delight from start to finish, possessing a unique charm that the passage of years can never diminish.
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