The Quiet Man: Collector’s Edition (1952) – DVD Review

The Quiet Man Collector's Edition DVD cover art

Film:
DVD:

Written by: Frank S. Nugent, based on the story by Maurice Walsh
Directed by: John Ford
Starring: John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, Barry Fitzgerald, Ward Bond and Victor McLaglen

Features:

  • Running audio commentary with Maureen O’Hara
  • The Joy of Ireland Documentary
  • Remembering the Quiet Man Montage featuring classic scene work, fights, stunts, and romantic moments
  • The Making of The Quiet Man, hosted by Leonard Maltin
  • Cast, Crew and Production Information

Released by: Artisan
Region: 1
Rating: NR
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.

My Advice: Go out and buy it right now…I’ll wait.

Sean Thornton (Wayne) is a former boxer who has hung up his gloves and returned to the land of his birth, Ireland. Once he returns home, he falls in love with the local beauty, Mary Kate Danaher (O’Hara). Unfortunately, Thornton and Mary Kate’s brother, Will (McLaglan), didn’t get along that well and he won’t give Thornton Mary Kate’s dowry. Thornton almost loses the love of his life because he won’t fight her brother for the money (and her hand). The big secret that he’s keeping is the reason why he gave up boxing: he killed a man in the ring.

If you’ve never seen this movie, you really don’t know what you are missing. I guess it’s my job to tell you why, huh? Okay. First of all, it’s one of John Wayne’s finest films. This is not the same character that Wayne is usually known for. Granted he is a man’s man, but he’s not a cowboy out riding the range. Maureen O’Hara matches Wayne’s haughtiness and stubbornness on screen and somehow retains the beauty to make a believable wife for him. They are a wonderful onscreen couple and the rest of the cast seems to enjoy helping them to be as believable as possible. The countryside is stunning and John Ford takes full advantage of it with the direction of his favorite script.

The DVD is a fitting treatment for this movie. First of all, there is a commentary track with perhaps the most important of the remaining cast members: O’Hara. It is for this reason that this DVD sits on the “must have” list. You get the feeling that she had such a wonderful time with the making of this movie, because she seems to remember absolutely everything about everyone who worked on the film and names them by name, tells what they did on the movie, along with fifteen personal stories for each one. In addition to the wonderful comments about everyone who worked on the film, she also talks about how the movie came to be made in the world of the Hollywood Studio System of the early 1950s.

The other thing that puts this DVD on the purchase list is the documentary by Leonard Maltin. Since this movie is only important to motion picture history by its remaining popularity and not its social impact or deep resonating subject matter, this documentary can’t possibly worry about skimming the surface of something deeper. This is why it works so well.

John Wayne from The Quiet Man Collector's Edition

The rest of the DVD is pretty much fluff. There is another documentary called The Joy of Ireland which is hosted by O’Hara. It pretty much covers the same information as the Maltin docu and O’Hara’s commentary track with little clips of the movie edited in and out. It’s nice to have it on the DVD, but there’s really not much to it. It’s also good to have the trailers for this film for posterity. The production information they’ve included is nothing more than the same information you’ve just been inundated with just in text form. The cast and crew bios are helpful in that some of the actors had careers in Hollywood being the people that were in the background (but not extras) of some very well remembered films.

Then there’s the really weird part of this DVD. There is a segment which takes little clips of the films and edits them together with some really modern sounding Irish music (which doesn’t really lend itself to this movie). Like I said, it is nothing more than clips from the movie dubbed Remembering the film. I was hoping for something that would have resembled some rare behind the scenes stuff, but this is all stuff that you can see with a better audio track by simply watching the movie from beginning to end. So it’s fairly useless.

Maureen O'Hara from The Quiet Man Collector's Edition

All in all, this DVD should be on your shelf because of the movie itself. The fact that they put it together with some fabulous collector’s edition bonus material, though, is what makes it irresistible.

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By | 2009-11-28T01:54:55+00:00 December 7th, 2003|DVD, Reviews|0 Comments

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