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The Quiet Man Movie

It is now more than fifty years since the legendary Hollywood movie director, John Ford, shot his classic romantic comedy The Quiet Man on location in the West of Ireland, but there is no sign of any lessening of interest in the film. Indeed, with every passing year, the appeal of this magical movie continues undimmed.

It is interesting that it was the first film to be shot in colour outside of America, and it was stunning in its portrayal of the beautiful scenery in counties Galway, Clare and Mayo

where the action took place. People were thrilled to see Ireland in dazzling technicolour and many people realised for the first time why it so richly deserved to be called the Emerald Isle.

The Quiet Man Movie

The Quiet Man, released in 1952, has become almost an industry. It is now one of Ireland's most important tourist attractions and is the subject of videos, DVDs, CDs, documentaries, books, pictures and innumerable souvenirs.

Picture the Quiet Man - An Illustrated Celebration, by Des MacHale, is a beautifully illustrated book that will surely delight the many fans of this wonderful film. The author has brought together a marvellous collection of photographs, many of which were taken by amateur photographers on location, and show the stars in action and relaxing away from the camera. The film was really a family affair and members of the families of John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara and Victor McLaglen were involved in the production. These family members are pictured during the making of The Quiet Man.
New material continues to come to light about the origins of the story behind The Quiet Man and Des MacHale's book provides some fascinating insights into that story.
One of the elements which contributed greatly to the success of The Quiet Man was the music. As Des MacHale says in his book, if you want to see why the music is such a vital ingredient of the movie, try watching it, as he has done, with the sound turned off.

'Music in The Quiet Man,' he states, 'frequently determines the mood, from the clicketty-clack of The Rakes of Mallow which ushers in Sean Thornton on the train to Castletown, right through to the march-like Saint Patrick's Day with which the movie ends so joyfully.'

'One piece of music,' states the author, 'stands head and shoulders above all of the others with which Ford chose to ornament his masterpiece, and that is Richard Farrelly's The Isle of Innisfree (spelled differently from the village of Inisfree ).

'The 'Innisfree' (island of heather) was clearly inspired by the famous poem by W.B. Yeats, The Lake Isle of Innisfree written in 1893; but while Yeats' Innisfree was merely an uninhabited island in Sligo's Lough Gill, Farrelly's Innisfree represented all of Ireland as seen through the nostalgic eyes of an Irish emigrant.

'Both the music and lyrics of the song are perfectly in keeping with the theme of The Quiet Man and John Ford milked it for all it was worth.'

... continued in Part 2

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