THE QUIET MAN (1952) C 129m dir: John Ford
w/John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Barry Fitzgerald, Ward Bond, Victor McLaglen, Mildred Natwick, Francis Ford, Eileen Crowe, May Craig, Arthur Shields
Director Ford's winning film is an affectionate tribute to an Ireland that exists in the imagination of songwriters and poets. Shot on location, the film admirably captures the romance of the Emerald Isle. Wayne is a boxer who returns from America to his native village to claim the family homestead and win the heart and hand of the local beauty (O'Hara). First, however, he must win over her hard-drinking, protective brother (McLaglan). Wayne and O'Hara are magic together --- this is their best screen pairing --- and the rest of the cast is also top-notch. Superior filmmaking.
From The Movie Guide: "A love story that packs a fearsome punch, THE QUIET MAN is a passionate, full-blooded film. Ford constructs the picture carefully, and lavishes the tale with some of the most extraordinary scenes ever filmed. Some of these, such as the idealistic vision of O'Hara in the glen herding her sheep, are presented in muted, diffused tones that suggest an ethereal world --- into which Wayne has barged. THE QUIET MAN is Ford's symbolic homecoming, in which he shapes his own longing and memories in the form of living, full-blooded characters, who are at the same time representative types. Wayne is Ford's youth; O'Hara his great love, as well as all the women of Ireland; McLaglen, the sentimental bully; Bond, the priest who would rather fish than pray, though fishing is also a form of prayer; Shields, the patient outsider; Natwick, the typical Irish widow; Fitzgerald, the local conscience and historian (he also delivers the film's best line after seeing the broken wedding bed: 'Impetuous! Homeric!'). The wonderful performances by Ford's stock company in these roles help make THE QUIET MAN an utterly moving and fascinating portrait of rural life in Ireland."
THE QUIET MAN received Oscars for Best Director and Color Cinematography (Winton Hoch). It was also nominated for Best Picture, Supporting Actor (McLaglen), Screenplay (Frank S. Nugent), Color Art Direction (Frank Hotaling, John McCarthy Jr., Charles Thompson), and Sound (Daniel J. Bloomberg).