For, Friday, March 13, 2015

One of the greatest collaborations of star John Wayne and director John Ford is "The Quiet Man," a colorful, shot-on-location Irish twist on Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew."

Comedy, drama, romance, gorgeous cinematography of the Irish landscape, two unbeatable stars in their prime, Wayne and Maureen O'Hara … who could ask for anything more?

And here's your chance to see it on the big screen tonight (Friday, March 13), at 7 p.m. on the Brigham Young University campus in Provo. Admission is free.


          Maureen O'Hara, John Wayne, 'The Quiet Man'

Ford and Wayne are best known for their many classic Westerns, of course, including several bona fide classics they did together: "Stagecoach," "Fort Apache," "Three Godfathers," "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon," "Rio Grande," "The Searchers," "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" (whew).

But the non-Western "Quiet Man," manages to stand out in that crowd.

The film is set in the 1920s. Wayne plays Sean Thornton, an Irish-American who travels to the small Irish town of Inisfree to reclaim his family's farm.

There, he meets and falls in love with spirited, feisty Mary Kate Danaher (O'Hara), but there's a conflict with her bombastic brother (Victor McLaglen) and a dispute over Mary Kate's dowry — which means nothing to Sean and everything to Mary Kate.


The great supporting cast includes Barry Fitzgerald, Ward Bond, Mildred Natwick and many others in Ford’s stock company of character players.

Spirited conflicts, witty dialogue, deceit on the part of the townsfolk to help Sean get his woman, and a bull-headed rocky road to love is wrapped up in a typically Ford-style rough-and-tumble package that makes for pure cinematic pleasure. 

The film earned Oscars for both director Ford and cinematographer Winton C. Hoch, one of the creative hands that developed Technicolor. (His assistant Archie Stout also won, the only second-unit cinematographer to ever win an Oscar.)