Tuesday, January 31, 2012

'The Quiet Man' Open Thread

What did you think?


  1. This has always struck me as a nice, quiet story. It holds a lot of feeling for my family. An American who has come back home to Ireland touches the heart. I could imagine being that person - all of us could. Well, I won't say much at this point, except to say that I loved the detail of the minor characters, and all the little stories running about which gave the town itself a real feel - the train that runs late, the pastor who is valued and cherished by the town, and yet has no real parish because everyone there is Catholic, the railway men willing to fight over their memory of which team last won a championship, the village priest who is a source of guidance and wisdom for the community, even though it is not always clear how good and peaceable a man he is, all fleshes it out. When he remembers Sean's family..

    "And your grandfather.. who died in Australia... in a penal colony..."

    at first you are thinking it is a word against his family

    "... and your father, he was a fine man too. Bad accident, that."

    And you realize that being sent off by the English to die in a penal colony in Australia is actually a fine recommendation, and is what might happen to good men of courage, and is a reflection of the long struggle Ireland has had under the loving boot of the English. That is why you will hear Mickeleen speaking of going to the pub to 'talk a little treason.' And the loving references made to the virtue of freedom.

    But it is John Wayne that I enjoyed the most watching this movie. I had seen him in a number of Westerns, where especially in later years he plays a larger than life tough as nails cowboy. But here we see he plays a very real character with depth and feeling, who is both direct and conflicted, strong and gentle. My favorite scene was of him walking home after his bride jilted him in town, because she was angry with him for not asking her hard nosed brother for the money she was due. I loved that scene, kicking rocks, breaking wood, throwing down whatever was at hand.

    Good stuff.

  2. Read the rest of the discussion back at the original posting here.