"The Quiet Man" clearly made a refreshing change for John Wayne. He has a light touch to his performance that fits the mood perfectly in this classic romantic comedy.
Wayne plays Sean Thornton, a boxer who has retired after the accidental death of his last opponent in the ring. He's moving from Pittsburgh in the US back to his birthplace of Inisfree in Ireland. It's a tiny town, which is soon buzzing with the news of both his arrival and intentions to buy his father's old cottage. This immediately upsets the local big landowner Red Will Dannagher (Victor McLaglen) who wants the property himself.
While Wayne couldn't care less, he's soon fallen for Dannagher's sister (Maureen O'Hara). While at first she won't admit it, she's smitten too. But courtship proves to be a major headache for all involved.
There are, of course, the local traditions to be observed. And a wonderful support cast all have advice to offer, including the hilarious matchmaker played by Barry Fitzgerald. They all put on their best accents for what rapidly turns into a chocolate box of twee Irish customs and blarney. Yet, no matter how much of it you watch, there appear to be no sickening side effects.
This is not only down to the genuine charm and good spirit of the film, but also the impending fight between Thornton and Dannagher. The complication is that Thornton is haunted by the death of his last opponent. But events force him to choose between fighting for the woman he loves and against what he fears most. Wayne and O'Hara create a fine rapport, with good performances that build to a truly satisfying climax.
Read a review of the DVD.