Dub Cee Reviews: The Quiet Man (1952)
Director: John Ford
Writer(s): Frank S. Nugent (Screenplay), Maurice Walsh (Story)
Unlike most of my fellow ramblers here, I am a huge fan of Marion Morrison otherwise known as John Wayne. I have seen dozens of his films and will defend several of them as being classics. Others (Ghangis Khan) I will yield. That said, there were two John Wayne films that are considered among his best that I have yet to see. True Grit being one the other being The Quiet Man. Thanks to my good friend Mr. Net Flix, I can now scratch Quiet Man off that list.
Quiet Man is the story of Sean Thornton (Wayne) returning to his boyhood home in a small village in Ireland after growing up in Pittsburgh. Upon his return he his dumbstruck at the sight of Mary Kate Danaher (Maureen O’Hara) as she tends to sheep in the field. Thornton runs into a small problem though as the village is still very traditional and he must get the permission of Mary Kate’s brother before he can court her. Problem is her brother and Thornton have a bit of feud as Thornton was able to buy his boyhood home which Danaher had been trying to buy for years. A group of Thornton’s friends including the Priest and the town drunk, conspire to trick the brother into giving his blessing. Eventually he yields but refuses to give over the dowry of his sister, 350 silver coins. Thornton is content to let it be but his wife insist on actually having things of her own, not things already owned by Thornton. Sean has his reasons for avoiding a fight but he must choose between those reasons and his marriage.
The acting is surprisingly good across the board. As I previously stated, I am a John Wayne fan but he is the epitome of a one note actor. Quiet Man is a departure for him in that he is usually the Billy BadAss gunslinger and in this movie he is viewed as a coward. Maureen O’Hara is great as always and is the only leading lady I have seen seem to go toe to toe with the Duke. (Go see McLintock to get an idea what I mean.) John Ford, makes use of the Irish landscape as much as possible as most of the movie is filmed outdoors.
I really enjoyed this movie but I have to say, if you have not seen a John Wayne movie you probably will not appreciate his acting job as much. If you are a Wayne fan and have yet to see this one, check it out, it may not be your favorite but I promise you will enjoy it.