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The Independent Critic

John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Barry Fitzgerald, Ward Bond, Mildred Natwick
John Ford
Frank S. Nugent (Screenplay), Maurice Walsh (Story)
129 Mins.
Eureka Entertainment (U.K - Blu-ray)

 "The Quiet Man" Gets Eureka's Masters of Cinema Treatment 
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Winner of two Academy Awards (Best Director, John Ford and Best Cinematography - Color) and nominated for five more including Best Picture, John Ford's classic The Quiet Man stars John Wayne as a character that director John Ford has long considered to be among his most personal. Ford has also long cited the film as one of his favorites among his own (nearly 100) films, the tale of an Irish-American boxer who returns to his ancestral home to lay claim to his family farm. That Irish-American, Sean Thornton (Wayne), meets a woman, Mary Kate Danaher (Maureen O'Hara), a fiery woman with whom he is well matched yet also at odds. Mary Kate's brother, Will (Victor McLaglen), opposes their relationship even after the two have married.

The Quiet Man is, indeed, a quiet film, especially for the action-oriented Wayne. While some expressed surprise at his lack of an Academy Award nomination here (only McLaglen as actor received one), the truth is that Wayne's limited range is evident here even if he did already have his first of three nominations (with one win) for Sands of Iwo Jima. The Quiet Man took nearly sixteen years after Ford optioned the story from Maurice Walsh to make it to the big screen. Even after signing on both Wayne and Maureen O'Hara, Ford struggled to find financing for the film. Before it was all over, The Quiet Man would become one of the few films to be filmed overseas and the first Hollywood film made in Ireland.

The Quiet Man was made in technicolor and the award-winning lensing is both epic and surprisingly intimate. Ford early on captures the film's more dramatic moments before giving way to its lightly romantic humor and building of a believable relationship between Sean and Mary Kate.

While not a flawless film, The Quiet Man is an earnest, honest and authentic one. It's a beautiful turning into another direction for Ford, a magnificent filmmaker whose films would become increasingly personal. This collection from U.K.-based distributor Masters of Cinema includes the following extras:

  • Gorgeous high-definition 1080p presentation on the Blu-ray
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • New and exclusive video essay on the film by Ford expert and scholar Tag Gallagher
  • The Making of THE QUIET MAN - documentary
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • 52-PAGE BOOKLET featuring new writing by Sheila O'Malley; a 1953 profile of John Wayne; a 1955 profile of John Ford; an essay on cinematographer Winton C. Hoch; the original short story and archival imagery

The booklet, in particular, is captivating while the "Making of" documentary is a must-see for anyone who considers themselves to be a John Ford fan or a fan of this particular film. Available on Blu-ray, a remarkable way to see one of the early technicolor films, The Quiet Man is a gloriously sentimental film from one of Hollywood's most legendary directors.

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic