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The Quiet Man (1952)

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Page 4

Arriving back in Inisfree, Sean stops in at Cohan's where the locals are singing a melancholy strain of "Galway Bay". Declining a drink and humbling himself for the sake of his marriage, Sean confronts Will about the dowry.  Will again refuses and taunts Sean with challenges to fight him, even volunteering to put one fist in his pocket.  Frustrated and angry, Sean spurns Will's challenge and storms out of the pub.

Meanwhile Mary Kate goes to Fr. Lonergan for some priestly advice, explaining her predicament "in the Irish" and asking if she's committed a sin.  Distracted by the prospect of catching a particularly confrontational salmon, Fr. Lonergan reproves Mary Kate until he's interrupted by a strike on his line: "Woman, Ireland may be a poor country, God help us.  But here, a married man sleeps in a bed and not a bag!  And for your own good I'll tell you..."

"Dum-ta. Dum-ta. Dum-ta. Diddle-diddle. Dum-ta. Dum-ta. Dum-ta. Diddle-diddle. Dum-ta. Dum-ta. Dum-ta. Diddle-diddle. Dum-ta. Diddle-diddle. Dum-ta-ta.

"Dum-ta. Dum-ta. Dum-ta. Diddle-diddle. Dum-ta. Dum-ta. Dum-ta. Diddle-diddle. Dum-ta. Dum-ta. Dum-ta. Dee... Diddle-diddle. Diddle-diddle. Dum-ta-ta."

Sean goes to see Rev. Playfair, the only person in town who knows his secret and the reason why he won't fight Will. Wayne's understated performance as the title character in THE QUIET MAN is one of the best of his career, and the role itself is one of the most complex parts he ever tackled.  Wayne's Sean reveals his emotions in his eyes and the tone of his voice -- and never more effectively than in the scene at left.

Their dilemma still unresolved, Sean and Mary Kate return home and reconcile in a moving scene in front of the fireplace which harkens back to Ford's early years directing silent films. It is played almost entirely with body language and facial expressions, accompanied by strains of "Inisfree" in Victor Young's score. 

Music Clip:

Click here"Cottage Fireside (Forlorn)" (clip) by Victor Young (a .MP3 file courtesy Scannon Film Classics).

The next morning Sean awakens to find Mary Kate gone.  "I love him too much to go on living with a man I'm ashamed of," she told Micheleen when he drove her to Castletown to catch the Dublin train.  Fed up, Sean arrives in time to pull Mary Kate from the train and administers her comeuppance by walking her back to Inisfree with most of the county at their heels, anticipating a showdown between Sean and Will.

Music Clip:

Click here"Prelude to the Big Fight" (clip) by Victor Young (a .MP3 file courtesy Scannon Film Classics).

(For help opening any of the multimedia files, visit the plug-ins page.)

Ford ends THE QUIET MAN with a curtain call acknowledging the film's fine company of character actors and concludes with a shot of Mary Kate whispering something in Sean's ear before they run back across the creek and away from the camera toward White O'Morn. The subject of endless speculation, according to O'Hara, only Wayne, Ford and herself know what she whispered.  Ford and Wayne are both deceased, and O'Hara says she's not telling.

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Last updated: March 10, 2011.
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