The Quiet Man

Screening on Film
Directed by John Ford.
With John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, Barry Fitzgerald.
US, 1952, 35mm, color, 129 min.
Print source: UCLA

One of the biggest commercial successes of his career, The Quiet Man remains among Ford’s—and John Wayne’s—most beloved works today. The tale of an American escaping from his country, and from a dark past, to make a new home in his ancestral Ireland was an intensely personal project for Ford, nurtured by the director since the late 1930s. Ford’s fascination with small town community and his own Irish heritage animates the film’s almost anthropological attention to the smallest details of domestic space, rural and religious customs and vernacular language. A wonderfully expressive color film, The Quiet Man uses its vivid Technicolor palette to lend a radiant, dreamlike quality to the lushly verdant Irish landscapes captured within it. The film’s predominantly nostalgic tone has led many to overlook its darker and subtly critical undertones—especially with regard to its depiction of the Church—and its innovative, unusual use of voiceover narration.

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Classic Ford.
A John Ford Retrospective, Part I

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John Ford:
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