Blarney and bliss, mixed in equal proportions. John Wayne plays an American boxer who returns to the Emerald Isle, his native land. What he finds there is a fiery prospective spouse (Maureen O'Hara) and a country greener than any Ireland seen before or since--it's no surprise The Quiet Man
won an Oscar for cinematography. It also won an Oscar for John Ford's direction, his fourth such award. The film was a deeply personal project for Ford (whose birth name was Sean Aloysius O'Fearna), and he lavished all of his affection for the Irish landscape and Irish people on this film. He also stages perhaps the greatest donnybrook in the history of movies, an epic fistfight between Wayne and the truculent Victor McLaglen--that's Ford's brother, Francis, as the elderly man on his deathbed who miraculously revives when he hears word of the dustup. Barry Fitzgerald, the original Irish elf, gets the movie's biggest laugh when he walks into the newlyweds' bedroom the morning after their wedding and spots a broken bed. The look on his face says everything. The Quiet Man
isn't the real Ireland but as a delicious never-never land of Ford's imagination, it will do very nicely. --Robert Horton
Sean Thornton (John Wayne) in an American boxer who swears off fighting after he accidentally kills an opponent in the ring. Returning to the Irish town of his youth, he purchases the home of his birth and finds happiness when he falls in love with the fiery Mary Kate (Maureen O’Hara). But her insistence that Sean conduct his courtship in a proper Irish manner with matchmaker Barry Fitzgerald along for the ride as “chaperone” is but one obstacle to their future happiness: the other is her brother (Victor McLaglen), who spitefully refuses to give his consent to their marriage, or to honor the tradition of paying a dowry to the husband. Sean could care less about dowries, he would’ve punched out the bullying McLaglen long ago if he hadn’t sworn off fighting. But when Mary Kate accuses him of being a coward and walks out on him, Sean is finally ready to take matters into his own hands, the resulting fistfight erupts into the longest brawl ever filmed, followed by one of the most memorable reconciliations in movie history! The Quiet Man won a total of two Academy Awards® including Best Director (Ford) and Best Cinematography and received five more nomination including Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (McLaglen).