Click here to return to the main site.

Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

The Quiet Man (1952)


Starring: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Barry Fitzgerald, Ward Bond and Victor McLaglen
Distributor: Eureka Entertainment
RRP: £17.95


Certificate: U
Release Date: 23 November 2015

In the 1920’s, retired American boxer Sean Thornton travels to Ireland to reclaim his ancestral farm. Escaping from his past is made all the more possible when he meets the beautiful Mary Kate Danaher. The two fall in love but Mary's brother, Red, does his best to keep the two apart...

The Quite Man (1952. 2 hrs 09 min) is John Ford's love letter to Ireland. The country has never looked so beautiful and cinematographer Winton Hoch won a deserved Oscar for this Technicolor splendour. The movie won ten awards and was nominated for a further eight, most of them for John Ford’s direction.

John Wayne is surprisingly good as Sean, bereft as he is of his synonymous cowboy or military costume and the role allows him to show a softer side. Maureen O'Hara, likewise has never looked so good in such an unapologetic sentimental film.

The film is pretty straight forward with one proviso, Red Danaher (Victor McLaglen) is convinced that Sean (John Wayne) is a coward as he refuses to fight and so views him as a poor match for his sister, played by O'Hara. Part of the film's mystery is what happened to Sean to turn him against violence.

The portrayal of the Irish is once again a fantasy, born of an Americans view of some mythical land and time which never existed. The locals are all, to a man or woman, colourful, there is so much brawling and drinking that it is a wonder that anything gets done.

Sean, as played by Wayne, is a soft and sensitive individual, which does create tension for Wayne fans, after all he had made a very successful career out of punching and shooting people. If anything Wayne plays him a little too soft and you do wonder how the character survived in the ring. That he is forced to fight in some weird courting ritual, egged on by the fierily and vivacious Mary make his position all the more strange. He flees the ring only to find himself encouraged to violence by the woman he loves.

In between this slender plot Ford weaves a tale of simple country folk, kissed by the blarney stone, who remain as idiosyncratic as the land they inhabit. I would imagine most Irish critics spat their bourbon biscuit into their tea when they saw this film.

The film is presented with a sumptuous 1080p presentation with an aspect ratio of 1.37:1. Audio is one channel 48 kHz Linear PCM. There are a number of extras on the disc.

The Making of the Quite Man (27 min 48 sec) is an old piece and as such the picture is over saturated and soft. As the title suggests this is a comprehensive look at the making of the film. Tag Gallagher (17 min, 20 sec) looks to be a newer documentary as the picture is much sharper. It’s a good critique of the film and Ford's work in general, worth watching probably before you see the film, although it will be packed with spoilers.

It’s a good presentation of a well loved classic and though it looks dated it is still worth picking up as a fine example from a master director.


Charles Packer

Buy this item online

Each of the store links below opens in a new window, allowing you to compare the price of this product from various online stores.