AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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The Quiet Man
Director: John Ford (Dir)
Release Date:   14 Sep 1952
Premiere Information:   London and Dublin openings: 6 Jun 1952; New York opening: 21 Aug 1952
Production Date:   early Jun--late Aug 1951
Duration (in mins):   129
Duration (in feet):   11,631
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Cast:   John Wayne (Sean Thornton)  
    Maureen O'Hara (Mary Kate Danaher)  
    Barry Fitzgerald (Michaeleen Flynn)  
    Ward Bond (Father Peter Lonergan)  
    Victor McLaglen ("Red" Will Danaher)  
    Mildred Natwick (Mrs. Tillane)  
    Francis Ford (Tobin)  
  Irish players: Eileen Crowe (Mrs. Playfair)  
    May Craig (The woman)  
    Arthur Shields (Rev. Cyril Playfair)  
    Charles FitzSimons (Forbes)  
    James Lilburn (Father Paul)  
    Sean McClory (Owen Glynn)  
    Jack McGowran (Feeney)  
    Joseph O'Dea (Guard)  
    Eric Gorman (Engine driver)  
    Kevin Lawless (Fireman)  
    Paddy O'Donnell (Porter)  
    Web Overlander (Station master)  
    Don Hatswell (Guppy)  
    Harry Tyler (Cohan)  
    Ken Curtis (Dermot Fahy)  
    Harry Tenbrook (Sgt. Hanan)  
    David H. Hughes (Constable)  
    Billy Jones (Bugler)  
    Ruth Clifford (Mother)  
    Jack Roper (Boxer)  
    Patrick Wayne (Boy at horse race)  
    Melinda Wayne (Girl at horse race)  
    Freddie Ridgeway (Boy)  
    Darla Ridgeway (Girl)  
    Al Murphy (Referee)  
    Douglas Evans (Doctor)  
    Tiny Jones (Maid)  
    Hank Worden (Trainer in flashback)  
    Pat O'Malley    
    Mae Marsh    
    Mimi Doyle    

Summary: After fatally knocking out his opponent in the boxing ring, Irish-American boxer Sean Thornton returns to the place of his birth, Innisfree, Ireland. Seeking a life of quiet and rest, Sean plans to buy "White O'Mornin," his family's old cottage, and keep his boxing identity of "Trooper Thorn" a secret. En route to Innisfree, Sean catches sight of Mary Kate Danaher and is captivated by her beauty. In Innisfree, Sean's meeting with the wealthy widow Tillane, who owns White O'Mornin, is interrupted by the arrival of Mary Kate's brother "Red" Will Danaher, an ill-mannered bully who wants to buy the property himself. Although Will, a neighbor of Tillane's, claims to have been the first to place a bid on the land, the widow sells the property to Sean after Will's presumptuousness annoys her. Later, at the Innisfree pub, Sean's American ways are met with general disapproval, but the parish priest, Father Peter Lonergan, the Anglican Reverend Cyril Playfair and matchmaker Michaeleen Flynn welcome him home. As one of the few Protestants in a community of Roman Catholics, Playfair identifies with Sean's difference from the locals and forms a special bond with him. Their friendship is further cemented when Playfair, a boxing enthusiast, recognizes Sean as Trooper Thorn, but agrees to keep his secret. On his first visit to White O'Mornin, Sean is surprised to find Mary Kate, who has been cleaning the cottage. As the silent Mary Kate tries to flee into the windy night, Sean grabs and passionately kisses her. She returns his feelings, but quickly leaves because Irish custom demands a proper courtship. Although he does not understand the custom, Sean allows Michaeleen to become his matchmaker and Mary Kate happily agrees to a courtship. Because Will is still bitter over the property, he refuses to give his permission, making both Sean and Mary Kate miserable, as she will not breach custom by going against her brother's wishes. Some time later, on the day of the Innisfree horse race, some of the locals decide to help the unhappy couple by tricking Will into giving his blessing to their courtship. They "secretly" tell Will that the widow Tillane, whom he has long admired, would gladly marry him but is reluctant because she does not want to come into a house in which another woman is living. Will soon relents and a courtship between Sean and Mary Kate begins. Although a long courtship is traditional, Sean and Mary Kate's passion, and the fact that they are no longer young, shorten the time and they are soon married. At their wedding reception, after a drunken Will shows the guests the £230 in gold coins that are part of Mary Kate's dowry, he boasts of his own impending nuptials to the widow Tillane, but she is so insulted by his brash proposal that she leaves. Enraged at the trick that has been played on him, Will throws a punch at Sean, who falls to the ground and, in a daze, momentarily recalls the tragic moment when he killed his boxing opponent. Because he has resolved never again to fight, Sean grabs Mary Kate's hand and leaves, refusing to allow her to pick up the coins that have fallen to the floor. They spend their wedding night at Sean's cottage, but Mary Kate remains so concerned about her lost money and furniture that they argue and Sean spends the night alone in a sleeping bag. The next morning, some of their friends arrive with her things, but say that Will still refuses to relinquish the money. Sean and Mary Kate still do not understand each other's ways, but in a moment of truce, decide to go to town together. After Sean refuses to ask Will for the money, Mary Kate goes to Father Lonergan and Sean goes to Playfair. Although Sean feels that Mary Kate is only interested in the money, reminding him that greed led him to be such a fierce boxer, Playfair makes him realize that in Ireland it is the custom that is important and subtly convinces Sean to fight Will to show his mettle. That night, Mary Kate and Sean tenderly reunite at the cottage and consummate their marriage. The next morning, however, when Sean awakens, Michaeleen is waiting outside the cottage to tell him that Mary Kate has left for the Dublin train. Enraged, Sean rides his horse to the station. Now resolved that he must show her and everyone that he follows the Irish ways, he summarily grabs Mary Kate off the train and drags her to the Danaher farm, followed by a rapidly swelling crowd, shouting their approval. When they arrive at the farm, Sean throws Mary Kate towards Will and demands the dowery. Cornered, Will gives Sean the money, after which a happy Mary Kate assists Sean in burning it. Now proud of Sean, Mary Kate goes to their cottage, leaving Sean and Will to resolve their animosity in a fight. As the brawling ensues, the entire village watches and wagers among themselves. Soon even neighboring villages enter into the spirit of the contest, taking sides and cheering the men on. The fight lasts so long that Will and Sean must take a break at the local pub, after which they fight again and finally stop when both are too exhausted to continue. After the fight, Sean and Will get drunk together and become friends and Mary Kate welcomes them at the cottage. The next day, as Michaeleen takes the happy Will and Tillane on a courtship outing, the entire village, including Father Lonergan, gather to cheer a visiting Anglican bishop, hoping to impress him with the size of Playfair's congregation. 

Production Company: Argosy Pictures Corp.  
Production Text: John Ford and Merian C. Cooper's Argosy Production
Distribution Company: Republic Pictures Corp.  
Director: John Ford (Dir)
  Wingate Smith (Asst dir)
Producer: Herbert J. Yates (Pres)
  Merian C. Cooper (Prod)
  John Ford (Prod)
Writer: Frank S. Nugent (Scr)
Photography: Winton C. Hoch (Dir of photog)
  Archie Stout (2d unit photog)
Art Direction: Frank Hotaling (Art dir)
Film Editor: Jack Murray (Film ed)
Set Decoration: John McCarthy Jr. (Set dec)
  Charles Thompson (Set dec)
Costumes: Adele Palmer (Cost)
Music: Victor Young (Mus)
Sound: T. A. Carman (Sd)
  Howard Wilson (Sd)
  Dave Moriarity (Sd)
Stand In: Bob Morgan (Stunts)
  Terry Wilson (Stunts)
  Post Park (Stunts)
  Billy Jones (Stunts)
  Slim Hightower (Stunts)
  Bob Rose (Stunts)
  Patrick Ford (Stunts)
  Fred Kennedy (Stunts)
  Bert LeBaron (Stunts)
Color Personnel: Francis Cugat (Technicolor col consultant)
Country: Ireland and United States
Language: English

Songs: "The Isle of Innisfree," words and music by Richard Farrelly; "Galway Bay," words and music by Dr. Arthur Colahan; "The Humour Is on Me Now," words and music by Richard Hayward; "The Young Man Moon," words and music by Thomas Moore; "The Wild Colonial Boy" and "Mush-Mush-Mush Tural-i-addy," words and music by Sean O'Casey and Dennis O'Casey.
Composer: Dr. Arthur Colahan
  Richard Farrelly
  Richard Hayward
  Thomas Moore
  Dennis O'Casey
  Sean O'Casey
Source Text: Based on the short story The Quiet Man by Maurice Walsh in The Saturday Evening Post (11 Feb 1933).
Authors: Maurice Walsh

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Republic Pictures Corp. 31/1/1952 dd/mm/yyyy LP2030

PCA NO: 15529
Physical Properties: Sd: RCA Sound System
  col: Technicolor

Genre: Romantic comedy
Subjects (Major): Americans in foreign countries
  Brothers and sisters
  Irish Americans
Subjects (Minor): Courtship
  Desertion (Marital)
  Proposals (Marital)
  Train stations
  Village life

Note: Director John Ford acquired the film rights to Maurice Walsh's 1933 SEP story in Feb 1936. According to news items in HR and FD in May 1937, The Quiet Man was to be the first John Ford production of Renowned Artists, for release by United Artists. The production was not realized at that time; then, in May 1947, according to a LADN news item, it was set to begin filming in Ireland sometime in 1948. In Apr 1948, a HR news item noted that the film was to be produced with "frozen funds" that were part of the "Anglo-American film agreement." A 1950 HR news item indicated that half the film was to be shot in Ireland and half in Italy, but no additional references to Italian location filming have been found.
       Reviews and contemporary news items note that filming took place near Galway, Ireland, in Connemara, and modern sources specified Lettergesh Beach, Oughterard and Teernakil, where the cottage "White O'Mornin" stood. Exteriors of the fictional village of "Innisfree" were filmed in Cong, County Mayo. According to an Aug 1951 NYT article by screenwriter Frank Nugent, Ashford Castle in Cong, which was built by the Guinness Stout fortune, was used as a headquarters. The castle's farmhouse posed as "Will Danaher's" house in the film. In his article, Nugent mentioned that scenes were shot at the nearby cliffs of Mohr; Salbrook near Killary Bay; a Ballyglunin, Galway railway station; and the village streets of Tuam and Ballynahinch. A Jul 1951 HR news item reported that interiors were shot at the studio's Burbank lot on sets replicating those in Ireland. Composer Victor Young incorporated Irish pub tunes into his score, among them, "The Rakes of Mallow" and "The Kerry Dancers."
       In various interviews, John Ford stated that he wrote "bits" of the script for The Quiet Man and used his own parish priest as a technical advisor on the film. Modern sources credit John Wayne and Patrick Ford, the director's son, as second unit directors, and include actors Bob Perry and Frank Baker in the cast. John Wayne's children, Patrick and Melinda, appear in the scene before the horse race, asking “Mary Kate” if she will “put up her bonnet.” According to modern sources, they are joined by siblings Antonia and Michael in the horse race scene. Actor Charles FitzSimmons was actress Maureen O'Hara's younger brother, and actor Ken Curtis was director John Ford's son-in-law. The Quiet Man marked the last picture John Wayne made for Republic, the studio where he made most of his films.
       The film received Academy Awards for Best Cinematography and Best Direction, and was nominated for awards in the following categories: Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Sound Recording, Best Art Direction and Best Supporting actor (Victor McLaglen). Screenwriter Nugent won the Screen Writers Guild award for Best Written Comedy of 1952. The film was also voted best picture of 1952 by the General Federation of Women's Clubs, and placed second in FD 's ten best pictures of 1952.
       The storm scene from The Quiet Man appears in Steven Spielberg's 1982 Universal production E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial . According to the AMPAS Library file for the film, a restored version of The Quiet Man was shown at the Galway Film Festival in Galway, Ireland in Jul 1991. Donnybrook! , a short-lived musical based on Walsh's story and produced by Fred Hebert and David Kapp, opened in 1961 and ran for sixty-eight performances. According to a Dec 1959 HR news item, Johnny Burke, the composer-lyricist of the musical, negotiated for Gordon MacRae and Maureen O'Hara to play the lead roles, but was unsuccessful. A Nov 2000 Screen International news item reported that Tranzaqua Entertainment announced plans to produce Connemara Days in the spring of 2001, in which, according to several Aug 2000 news items, actor Luke Perry was to portray an assistant director on the set of The Quiet Man . As of 2005, that picture had not yet been produced. In 2002, The Quiet Man was rated number seventy-six in the AFI’s list of one hundred greatest film love stories.  

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   17 May 1952.   
Daily Variety   12 May 52   p. 3.
Film Daily   29 May 37   p. 2.
Film Daily   12 May 52   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   28 May 37   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   13 Apr 1948.   
Hollywood Reporter   17 Nov 1950.   
Hollywood Reporter   8 Jun 51   p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter   12 Jul 1951   p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter   6 Aug 1951   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   24 Aug 51   p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter   12 May 52   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   6 Jun 1952   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   12 Jan 1953.   
Hollywood Reporter   2 Sep 1953.   
Hollywood Reporter   31 Dec 1959   p. 6.
Los Angeles Daily News   29 May 1947.   
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   17 May 52   p. 1365.
New York Times   19 Jun 1949.   
New York Times   5 Aug 1951.   
New York Times   22 Aug 52   p. 13.
Screen International   3 Nov 2000.   
Variety   14 May 52   p. 6.
Variety   2 Sep 1953.   

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