The Quiet Man: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Quiet Man

original film poster
Directed by John Ford
Produced by Merian C. Cooper
Written by Maurice Walsh
Frank S. Nugent
Richard Llewellyn
Starring John Wayne
Maureen O'Hara
Barry Fitzgerald
Ward Bond
Victor McLaglen
Music by Victor Young
Cinematography Winton C. Hoch
Archie Stout
Editing by Jack Murray
Distributed by Republic Pictures
Release date(s) 21 July 1952 (UK)
August (Venice Film Fest.)
14 August (US)
Running time 129 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1,750,000

The Quiet Man is a 1952 American romantic drama film directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Victor McLaglen and Barry Fitzgerald. It was based on a 1933 Saturday Evening Post short story by Maurice Walsh. The film is notable for its lush photography of the Irish countryside and the long, climactic, semi-comic fist fight between Wayne and McLaglen.



Set in 1930s Ireland, Sean Thornton (John Wayne), an Irish-American from Pittsburgh, returns to Ireland to reclaim his family's farm in Inisfree. He meets and falls in love with the fiery Mary Kate Danaher (Maureen O'Hara), the spinster sister of the bullying, loud-mouthed landowner "Red" Will Danaher (Victor McLaglen). Danaher, angry that Sean outbid him for the Thornton land adjacent to his property, initially refuses to sanction the marriage until several town locals, including the parish priest, conspire to trick him into believing that the wealthy Widow Tillane wants to marry him, but only if Mary Kate is no longer living in the house. After learning the truth on Sean and Mary Kate's wedding day, an enraged Will refuses to give his sister her full dowry.

Sean, unschooled in Irish customs, cares nothing about the dowry, but Mary Kate is obsessed with obtaining it, the dowry representing her independence, identity, and pride. Angered and shamed by Sean's refusal to confront her brother and demand what is legally hers, she brands him a coward, and, despite living together, they are estranged as husband and wife.

Sean is a former boxer in the United States, a heavyweight champion known as "Trooper Thorn." After accidentally killing an opponent in the ring, Sean hung up his gloves, vowing never to fight again. The truth about Sean, however, is known only to one other person in the village, the Church of Ireland minister Rev. Playfair (Arthur Shields).

Later, in an attempt to force Sean to confront Will Danaher, Mary Kate leaves him and boards a train departing Castletown and headed to Dublin. Infuriated, Sean arrives and drags her off the train, and, followed by the townspeople, forces her to walk the five miles to Inisfree from Castletown to Will Danaher's farm. Sean demands that Will hand over her dowry. Will finally relents and gives him the cash. Mary Kate and Sean throw it into a furnace, showing that Mary Kate never cared about the money, but only that Sean stand up for his wife. Sean and Will slug it out through the village, stop for a drink, brawl again, then become best friends. Sean regains Mary Kate's love and respect. Will Danaher and the Widow Tillane begin courting, and peace is returned to Inisfree.


Cast notes:

  • Charles Fitzsimons and James Fitzsimons were Maureen O'Hara's real life younger brothers. In this film, James was billed as James Lilburn, though he was later better known as James O'Hara. Barry Fitzgerald and Arthur Shields were also brothers in real life, and Francis Ford was John Ford's elder brother. Ken Curtis, of Gunsmoke fame and newly married to John Ford's daughter Barbara, has a small role as the accordion player.
  • Wayne brought his four children along on location, and Ford gave them parts in an important scene in the film.

Michael Wayne , 18 Teenage boy at races.

Mary Antonia "Toni" Wayne LaCava , 16 Teenage girl at races.

Patrick Wayne 13 Teenage boy at races.

Melinda Wayne Munoz 12 Young girl at races.


The film was something of a departure for Wayne and Ford, who were both known mostly for Westerns and other action-oriented films. It was also a departure for Republic Pictures, which backed Ford in what was considered a risky venture at the time. It was the first time the studio, known for low budget B-movies, released a film receiving an Oscar nomination, the only Best Picture nomination the studio would ever garner.

Ford read the story in 1933 and soon purchased the rights to it for $10. Republic Pictures agreed to finance the film with O'Hara and Wayne with Ford directing, only if all three agreed to film a western with Republic. All agreed and after filming Rio Grande they headed for Ireland to start shooting.

One of the conditions that Republic Pictures placed on John Ford was that the film came in at under two hours total running time. The finished picture was two hours and fifteen minutes. When screening the film for Republic Studio executives, Ford stopped the film at approximately two hours in: on the verge of the climactic fight between Wayne and McLaglen. Republic executives relented and allowed the film to run its full length. It was one of the few films that Republic filmed in Technicolor; most of the studio's other color films were made in a more economical process known as Trucolor.

The film employed many actors from the Irish theatre, including Barry Fitzgerald's brother, Arthur Shields, as well as extras from the Irish countryside, and it is one of the few Hollywood movies in which the Irish language can be heard.

The story is set in Innisfree, a place in Lough Gill on the Sligo-Leitrim Border made famous by poet William Butler Yeats. Many scenes for the film were actually shot in and around the village of Cong, County Mayo, on the grounds of Cong's Ashford Castle. Cong is now a wealthy small town and the castle a 5-star luxury hotel. The connections with the film have led to the area becoming a tourist attraction. The Quiet Man Fan Club hold their annual general meeting in Ashford Castle each year. Other locations in the film include Thoor Ballylee, Co Galway, home of Poet W.B. Yeats for a period, Ballyglunin railway station near Tuam Co. Galway, which was filmed as Inishfree station, and various places in Connemara Co Galway and Co Mayo.

The film also presents John Ford's depiction of an idealized Irish society, with Catholics and Protestants living in harmony, and no social divisions based on class or religion. The Catholic priest Father Lonergan and the Protestant Rev. Playfair maintain a strong friendly relationship throughout the film. The only allusions to Anglo-Irish animosity occur after the happy couple is married and a congratulatory toast expresses the wish that they live in "freedom", and before the final donnybrook when Thornton demands his wife's dowry from Danaher. Danaher asks one of the men in the crowd if the IRA had a hand in this, to which the reply was "If it were, not a scorched stone of your fine house would be standing."

The Music

John Ford chose his friend, the eminent Hollywood composer Victor Young, to compose the score for the film. The two had collaborated the previous year on another John Wayne/Maureen O’Hara film, Rio Grande and would work together again the following summer on The Sun Shines Bright.

For The Quiet Man, Young sprinkled the soundtrack with many Irish airs such as “The Rakes of Mallow” and “The Wild Colonial Boy”. One piece of music, chosen by John Ford himself, is most prominent, the melody “The Isle of Innisfree”, written not by Young, but by Irish songwriter Richard Farrelly, (Dick Farrelly) who wrote it on a bus journey from County Meath to Dublin. The melody of “The Isle of Innisfree” which is first heard over the opening credit sequence with Ashford Castle in the background becomes the principle musical theme of The Quiet Man. The melody is reprised at least eleven times throughout the film.

The upbeat melody comedically hummed by Michaleen Og Flynn and later played on the accordion is "The Rakes of Mallow".

Academy Awards

Award[1] Person
Best Director John Ford
Best Cinematography Winton C. Hoch
Archie Stout
Best Picture John Ford
Merian C. Cooper
Best Supporting Actor Victor McLaglen
Best Art Direction Frank Hotaling
John McCarthy Jr.
Charles S. Thompson
Best Sound Daniel J. Bloomberg
(Republic Sound Department)
Best Adapted Screenplay Frank S. Nugent

Public reception

The film was a financial success grossing $3.8 million in its first year of release. This was among the top ten grosses of the year. [2]. The film also inspired the 1961 Broadway musical Donnybrook!.

The famous kissing scene between John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara is shown in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) when E.T. watches television. E.T. is interested and, moved by the scene, his telepathic contact with Elliot causes the boy to re-enact it while he is at school.

See also



  1. ^ "NY Times: The Quiet Man". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  2. ^ Gallagher, Tag John Ford: The Man and his Films (University of California Press 1986) p.499

External links



Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

The Quiet Man was a 1952 American film about an expatriate Irishman and boxing champion who returns from the United States to Ireland to reclaim his family's farm and winds up falling in love with and marrying a local woman.

Directed by John Ford. Written by Maurice Walsh, Frank S. Nugent, and Richard Llewellyn.


Sean Thornton

  • There'll be no locks or bolts between us, Mary Kate, except those in your own mercenary little heart!

Michaleen Oge Flynn

  • [To Mary Kate, "introducing" Sean] Mr. Sean Thornton, bachelor, meet Miss Mary Kate Danaher. Miss Danaher, meet Mr. Thornton, from Pittsburgh, Massachusetts, USA.
  • Is this a courting or a donnybrook? Have the good manners not to hit the man until he's your husband and entitled to hit you back.

Will Danaher

  • He'll regret it till his dying day, if ever he lives that long.

Father Peter Lonergan

  • Ah, yes. I knew your people, Sean. Your grandfather, he died in Australia, in a penal colony. And your father, he was a good man too.
  • Now when the Reverend Mr. Playfair, good man that he is, comes down, I want us all to cheer like Protestants.


  • Townswoman: [sweetly, to Sean] Here's a good stick to beat the lovely lady.


Michaleen Flynn: What do they feed you Irishmen in that Pittsburgh?
Sean Thornton: Steel, Michaleen. Steel and pig iron furnaces so hot a man forgets his fear of hell.

Michaleen Flynn: I have... I have come.
Mary Kate Danaher: Oh, I can see that. But from whose pub was it?
Michaleen Flynn: Pub? Pub? You've the face of an angel with the tongue of an adder. I have a good mind to go about me own business and tell Thean Shornton he's better off without ya!
Mary Kate Danaher: Wait a minute, what was that?
Michaleen Flynn: Well ye be listenin' then and not interrupting the shockelhorn;mdash;the matchmaker... I have come at the request of Thean Shornton...
Mary Kate Danaher: Sean Thornton.
Michaleen Flynn: Shut up... bachelor and party of the first part, to ask if you, uh—strictly informally, mind you—uh, Mary Kate Danaher, spinster, and party of the second part.
Mary Kate Danaher: Well. Go on. You were sayin'?
Michaleen Flynn: Actually, me mouth is like a dry crust and the sun is that hot on me pate.
Mary Kate Danaher: Would you be steppin' into the parlor? The house may belong to my brother, but what's in the parlor belongs to me.
Michaleen Flynn: I will then, and I hope that there's a bottle there, whoever it belongs to.

Mary Kate: What manner of man is it that I have married?
Hugh Forbes: A better one, I think, than you know, Mary Kate.

Father Paul: Father Lonergan!
Father Longergan: Shhh...
Father Paul: It's, it's a big fight in the town!
Father Longergan: And there's a big fight in this fish right here.
Father Paul: I'd have put a stop to it, but you see...
Father Longergan: You do that, lad. It's your duty.
Father Paul: But see now, it's Danahar and Sean Thornton!
Father Longergan: Who?
Father Paul: Danahar and Sean Thornton!
Father Longergan: Well why the devil didn't you tell me? [Quickly drops fishing rod and runs]
. . .
[The two priests arrive at the scene of the fight]
Father Paul: Father, shouldn't we put a stop to it now?
Father Longergan: [Smiling, making fighting movements] Ah, we should lad, yes we should, it's our duty. Yes, it's our duty... [Smiles as a punch is heard]


External links

Wikipedia has an article about:


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address