Not the kind of film I would normally fall for, but really good in its own right. Obviously the stunning colours and the careful phonographic construction of the scenes helps. But the the script, on the basis of not so strong story, just keeps on delivering without pushing any of the devices too far.
A bit of a fairy-tale.Eire was dirt poor at the time this film was made with large levels of illiteracy in the rural areas and Eamonn de Valera's Ireland was a rather down-trodden theocracy. .Victor McClaglen rather stole the show from John Wayne.My views only.
The finest technicolor images, and Ford's ensemble literally snowballs into a communal utopia that is sadly supplemented of only the vaguest gestures outside of the male homosocial. An incomplete exchange. Wayne and O'Hara put enough into their full-bodied performances to sublimate that (this work is also naturally done by Ford's endlessly creative blocking, shooting). But then again, she's dragged through the mud.
Hollywood's seductive portrayal of imaginary village life in the Emerald Isle, circa forever. John Wayne returns to the family turf to claim his birthright and the only attractive girl for his spouse. Although mainly the quiet man, occasionally JW reverts to 'yee ha' wild west mode, particularly when on horseback. Not a privation or potato famine in sight, b' gorrah.
Many Irish people see it as Paddywhackery. I don't. It's Ford's hymn to a land he idealised without ever knowing and a people he tried to get to know. As a celebration of community, it's hard to beat. And when it comes to a good old fashioned passionate love story where the sex is suggested rather than shown, a shower of rain was never so well used.
The first half hour of film, with the introduction of Maureen O'Hara's Character and the first arrival to the newly bought house at night, is basically unbelievable. Ford's work on color is, here, as astonishing as in Seven Women, his last picture. Personally, I think this one (towards the other) lacks breath, and goes quietly fading while approaching the end. But that first half is pure bucolic poetry
Excellent portrayal of a tightly knit community, and Hoch's photography of the Irish countryside captures its beauty perfectly. I never thought I would like this, but the warmth and hilariousness won me over. Ford does seem to depict Ireland as a some sort idealized fairy tale land on the other side of the rainbow, but what would have bothered me in a drama film, I can forgive in a light-hearted romp like this.