The Quiet Man

The Movie Snob reviews another classic.

The Quiet Man  (C-).  This 1952 release was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar©, and John Ford (Stagecoach) took the statuette home for Best Director, but it really isn’t all that great a movie.  John Wayne (True Grit) stars as Sean Thornton, an Irishman long away in America and now returning to the village of Innisfree, where he was born.  He immediately falls in love with Mary Kate Danaher (Maureen O’Hara, The Parent Trap), a lovely lass with fiery red hair and a temper to boot.  The main complication is that Sean antagonized Mary Kate’s brother Will as soon as he arrived in town, and in the conservative Irish society of the time, Will’s word is law within the family.  That’s all fine, but the film is way over the top in sentimentalizing Ireland and the Irish.  Even more grating on modern sensibilities is the film’s complacency about the mistreatment of women.  There are a couple of allusions to the acceptability of wife-beating, and Sean even manhandles Mary Kate once or twice.  The film is pretty to look at, though.  (It also took home the Oscar® for Best Cinematography.)


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