Friday, July 27, 2012

A Movie You Might Have Missed: 31

As my pal Scott Nehring says, "If there is such a thing as a chick flick for guys, this is it."
(His excellent review is at Good News Film Reviews.)

 31. The Quiet Man


Sean Thornton (John Wayne) has returned to Ireland after growing up in America. Seeking peace and the family home his mother often told him of, his eye lights on Mary Kate Danaher (Maureen O'Hara) whose red hair, he is told, hints at her fiery temper. As they pursue their relationship, they fall afoul of Mary Kate's loutish brother, cultural differences, and the difficulty marriage can pose at the best of times. Throughout there is a strong humorous vein which is betrayed not only by obvious scenes but in some of the subtler lines and reactions. Which is my way of telling you to pay attention to get all you can from this film.

This is an atypical outing for director John Ford and star John Wayne as they were much better known for Westerns. Ford worked for 14 years to get this movie made and it is a true love letter to Ireland and her people.

Above all, this is the movie that made me fall in love with John Wayne and respect him as an actor. He shows such tenderness, understanding, and charm in his scenes with Maureen O'Hara that one cannot doubt we are seeing some of the real man as well as the character of Sean Thornton. Maureen O'Hara has a delightful time as the beauty with a frightful temper who feels real repentance later. As a couple, they are truly charismatic. I defy anyone to watch the scene where they are caught in the rain and not feel their chemistry ... as well as see their sheer magnetism.

Scott and I discussed this movie on the A Good Story is Hard to Find podcast.

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