EPISODE 428 “THE QUIET MAN”…through the mind of a 22 year old Canadian who had never heard of the movie
“Alan, why don’t you go and see “The Quiet Man”? said my Dublin host, Kevin Behan in a Dublin pub one evening.
“The Quiet Man?”
“Yes, you have been here in Dublin over a week waiting for your machines to arrive, you need
a break…and you will learn something more about Ireland.”
“Who are the lead actors?
“John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara and Barrie Fitzgerald.”
“I thought John Wayne only did Western movies.”
“True. The Quiet Man was an exception…it is a wonderful movie, Alan.”
So I went. The John Ford movie had been running continuously in Dublin since 1953…seven years
non stop. Must be good and I had nothing better to do. So I went. Turned out to be one of
the best things I could have done. John Ford got an academy award as director of The Quiet Man.
I did not know that. Lots I did not know about the film. One thing I did know however was that
the film plot and life I was about to lead were congruent.
The film was so green….John Ford had argued that the movie be made in Technicolor.
Would the Ireland that I was about to discover be as green as the scenes in The Quiet Man.?
Would Bonmahon be as real as the imaginary village of Inisfree in The Quiet Man?
Would there be a pub that served Guinness with people as full of joy as those in The Quiet Man?
Would the local people like or dislike the sudden visit by a Canadian mining exploration crew?
Would the hatred and violence that plagued Ireland in Time of the Trouble be apparent today?
Would Bonmahon be a rural jewel? Would there be singing? Would there be abandoned
castles and ancient fairy circles? Would Bonmahon change my life?
The pub in The Quiet Man and Kirwin’s pub in Bonmahon were similar as were the people
and the pints of Guinness . Of course I did not know that until I got to Bonmahon but
I wished it would be so…and it was.
This cottage is the original used in the movie. Since 1953 so many people have stolen stones from the
foundation that is was in danger of collapse so today tourists are directed to a replica.
Memories of The Quiet Man are preserved in wax…not John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara
MY PLAN FOR THE NEXT EPISODE(S)
I WILL TRY TO PRESENT BONMAHON THROUGH THE PICTURES I TOOK WHILE WORKING THERE IN 1960.
YOUR JOB? FIRST , TRY AND FIND THE MOVIE OR THE SCRIPT OR THE SHORT STORY BY WALSH.
SECOND, YOU WILL SEE THE SIMILARITIES .
Note: The plot for The Quiet Man was taken from a short story written by Maurice Walsh in 1933. John Ford got the
rights to the movie for $10 . It took years for him to persuade Hollywood to make the movie which became
a hit that is still played and remembered. The movie was romantic. The original short story was quite different.