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The Quiet Man Blu-ray Review

The Quiet Man Blu-ray

While a bit on the cheesy side, “The Quiet Man” is another fine John Ford/John Wayne production.

Having been raised in Ireland before eventually living in America, Sean Thornton decides to go back to his roots and settle down in Ireland (Innisfree to be exact). The first order of business for Sean is to purchase his parent’s farm/cottage, but unfortunately, he runs into a road block in the form of an angry lawyer named Squire Will Danagher. Danagher wanted to purchase the cottage for himself, but Sean manages to outbid him to acquire the land.

While adjusting to life in Innisfree, Sean meets a feisty Christian redheaded beauty named Mary. Sean immediately has his sights on her and wishes to marry her. Alas, Will Danagher manages to stir up further trouble when Sean learns that Mary is the sister of Will. After some courting, Sean does manage to marry Mary, but Will refuses to give Mary her dowry which puts a real strain on Sean and Mary’s marriage. Knowing he has to confront Will, Sean is afraid to fight again after his tragic boxing past. Can Sean win Mary and her dowry?  

When you think of John Ford and John Wayne collaborations, classic westerns like “The Searchers,” “Stagecoach,” and “Fort Apache” tend to come to mind. However, the two did not exclusively work on westerns as they also made war films and even romance films like “The Quiet Man.” Now, while ‘Quiet’ certainly feels like a personal film for John Ford, it’s not one of his best by any means. When viewed today, it’s easy to roll your eyes at many of the jokes, stereotypes, and the climactic fight as it all comes off a bit corny. And yet, even with the cheesy scenes, the movie has a certain charm to it.

Yes, one can argue that the romance between Sean and Mary seems a bit forced, but you can’t deny that John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara have great on screen chemistry together. This is most evident with one of the great on screen kisses when John Wayne grabs Maureen O’Hara amidst a very windy afternoon.

On the subject of John Wayne, he gives a fine performance here. I always like seeing John Wayne step outside of his wester/war comfort zone to tackle a different type of role. I’ve always maintained that John Wayne CAN act when given the right material and that is certainly the case here.

I couldn’t end this review without mentioning what is arguably the best aspect of “The Quiet Man”- the cinematography by Winton Hoch and Archie Stout. The green, picturesque locals are certainly a sight to behold (especially in glorious Technicolor).

Video/Audio:

The film, which is presented in 1.37:1 1080p, does not look flawless on Blu-ray. Dirt specs and grain are certainly present here. With that said, however, the print (which is remastered in HD from a 4K scan of the original film) is impressive. The Technicolor definitely looks the best it ever has on home video.

The DTS-HD Mono track sounds like an average Mono track. It’s a little on the flat side, but the music and the background sounds really stood out to me more than in previous home video releases.

Extras:
* A thick booklet featuring photos and a piece titled “Joseph McBride On The Quiet Man” which comes from McBride’s novel “Searching For John Ford.”
* “The Making Of The Quiet Man” is an old school featurette hosted by Leonard Maltin. It includes lots of interesting facts about the film (and the history behind the making of it), stories about John Wayne and John Ford, and interviews with John Wayne family members. Worth a watch.

Summary: “The Quiet Man” isn’t a perfect film, but it’s an interesting work about love, money, honor, culture, customs, and the past nonetheless.

February 19, 2013 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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