DIRECTOR: John Ford
NOT A PART OF OUR COLLECTION
May Contain Spoilers!
Will we be adding this to our collection? YES
John Wayne died the year after I was born and as such grew up with the image of a man who as a gung-ho American action heroic icon, often propagated by his legendary feature films with director, John Ford. But here, instead of a Western, we have a gentle, solid and timeless comedy in which The Quiet Man (Wayne), returns to his home village in Ireland in the 1920’s to get away from tragedy in the U.S.
Wayne’s boxing career had ending in tragedy when he killed his opponent in the ring and racked with guilt, he vows never to fight again. Once in Ireland, probably the worst place in the world to try to up hold such a vow, he falls out with his burly neighbour Will Daneher (Victor McLaglen) and in love with his strong-willed sister (Moureen O’Hara) prompting a conflict through the veil of some serous Irish stereotyping. It’s ALL here but done with such reverence it’s hard to take offence, even at lines uttered by the friendly IRA representative who retorts to Danaher at one point that if they were involved that his house would have been burned to ground!
But the romance is as strong as the drama is dramatic and comedy is funny, both are plausible. But this has to be one of John Wayne’s finest performances, playing against his perceived type, yet still bringing that edge, he holds this film together with a strong brooding but lighthearted character, which plays well against the ensemble with few, if any, weak links.
Far from politically correct but still a loving portrayal of Ireland, beautifully filmed and Ford managed to create a timeless classic.
A note about the current DVD releases. Back in the 1990’s it was easy to pick this up an a bargain bin VHS but now, it’s quite a pricey addition to your collection, but the video quality was poor on the version which I have seen and is currently available for around £10 on Amazon. But it certainly doesn’t justify the price tag as a DVD. The film is priceless but the image quality is far from it. Hopefully we were just unlucky with our edition and whether this issue is across the board I do not know. Beware.