March 17, 2010

The Quiet Man

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! In honor of this day, I wanted to pay tribute to my family's all-time favorite movie, The Quiet Man (1952), starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. The story tells of a scorned American (Irish-born) boxer who returns to his homeland of Ireland, in particular, to a little town called Innisfree, where a cast of Irish characters come alive! The movie was filmed in Cong, a little Irish village on the western coast, and my family visited all the places where John Ford (the director) set the stage for his film.

The most famous scene is where Sean (Wayne) first returns to the cottage in which he was born only to find Mary Kate (Maureen O'Hara), a feisty redhead, cleaning his house. He startles her, she tries to escape, he grabs her and kisses her passionately thereby producing one of the greatest scenes in cinematic history (watch it here).

I've adored this movie ever since I was a wee little leprechaun myself. There is one line in the film, said by Michaeleen Oge Flynn, a small gremlin of a man, when he chastises Sean for being too forward with Mary Kate: " It's a bold sinful man you are, Sean Thornton. And who taught ya to be playing patty fingers in the Holy Water?" There was something about the word "patty fingers" and Michaeleen's squeaky voice that would send me over the edge. I would say the phrase "patty fingers" over and over again in a really bad Irish accent until parents told me I could only say it in the month of March. Then it became so bad, that I could only say it on St. Patrick's Day!

Images found here and here.


  1. I always learn about the coolest movies from you! I'm going to have to put this in my queue! Happy St. Patrick's Day! And thanks for the sweet comment this morning! xoxo

  2. I need to see this asap---it sounds so fantastic! Love your little description of cinematic history! XO Katie

  3. Gah, I loved this movie when I was a teenager. It's like I've lost the ability to sit through a good old film...what's wrong with me? I'm gonna go pull out my Reap The Wild Wind today...have you seen it? John Wayne, Paulette Goddard, Ray Milland. Swoon.

  4. oh my. i haven't seen this movie in years. gosh she was soooooo beautiful. he wasn't so bad either i suppose...


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