I admit that, when I saw John Wayne’s name in the opening credits of The Quiet Man, I was a bit bummed. I wasn’t in the mood for a western that night.
But the first scene, in technicolor brought hope: a glorious green landscape and a some Irish accents. This was most certainly not Tombstone…
No, it isn’t a western. Not one gun is fired at another human being in the entire movie… and yet it still manages to be an entertaining romp where John Wayne can be at his macho best without ruining–in fact in the service of–the love story at the center of the film.
In a nutshell, this film is a take on the “boy meets girl but her family opposes the marriage” plot. The fun part–and it is very fun–is the way the problem is resolved. That, in particular, is not traditional at all, and it’s really fun. Any time you need professional boxers as extras… you know it has to have some good scenes.
The best prat of this one, perhaps is the way it shows how village life can be… idiosyncratic in large ways, and how even the village priest can be complicit in the hijinks. In that sense, it reminds me a lot of Whisky Galore. And that is a good thing.
Anyway, this one has my unreserved recommendation. Find it and watch it. It’s an enjoyable film.
Gustavo Bondoni is an Argentine novelist and short story writer whose collection Love and Death follows the lives and loves of a group of characters whose fates are intertwined, usually without their knowledge. It’s a study of the truly important things in a world that so often seems indifferent. You can check it out here.