Friday, April 25, 2014

Watch This! : The Quiet Man

I watched this on DVD in March, in honor of St. Patrick's Day, but I am just getting to posting about it today.  The Quiet Man is a John Ford film from 1952 starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara.  I was interested in seeing a film with John Wayne which was not a western or a war movie.  Plus, this one was filmed in Ireland!  (Image above is from this site.)

Sometimes when watching classic films you have to step out of your own time, into the time the film was made.  The Quiet Man is one such film.  It is an interesting story, to be sure, but there is whole lot more to take in.  I took a film studies class at university and it completely changed the movie-watching experience for me.  I look at everything now--cinematography, lighting, framing, sound, etc.  I appreciate different aspects of a film for different reasons.

Maybe I am being vague.  I don't like to put up spoilers (a funny concept with classic films) and I wouldn't want to influence too greatly another's experience of a work of art.  Let me just say, there are some un-politically correct things that happen in The Quiet Man, yet I still enjoyed the film.  It doesn't mean I want to go back and live in 1952 (or 1933 which is when the short story this movie is based on was published) or that I condone the behavior of some of the characters.  Honestly, there are aspects of the heroine's point of view that might still resonate with women today (and some decidedly not!).  The same goes for the hero.  While I might not agree with his every course of action, I can surely see his point of view in some cases, and even agree with him.  Also, it is interesting to ponder what was considered "romantic" back in 1952--passionate kisses are filmed much differently today than they were back then!

Oh, yes.  I am being quite vague.

The gist of this post is, if you like to watch classic films and have yet to see The Quiet Man, it is worth taking a look at.  Barry Fitzgerald's performance as Michaleen Oge Flynn is a highlight, and if you have the chance to watch the documentary on the making of the film (it was included on the DVD from Netflix), definitely do that, too.

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