The Quiet Man (1952)



Critic Consensus: Director John Ford and star John Wayne depart the Western for the Irish countryside, and the result is a beautifully photographed, often comedic romance.

Movie Info

Returning to the Ireland of his birth, director John Ford fashions a irresistable valentine to the "Auld Sod" in The Quiet Man. Irish-American boxer John Wayne, recovering from the trauma of having accidentally killed a man in the ring, arrives in the Irish village where he was born. Hoping to bury his past and settle down to a life of tranquility, Wayne has purchased the home of his birth from wealthy local widow Mildred Natwick, a transaction that has incurred the wrath of pugnacious squire … More

Rating: G
Genre: Drama, Romance, Classics, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Maurice Walsh, Frank S. Nugent, Richard Llewellyn
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 20, 2001
Republic Pictures


as Sean Thornton

as Mary Kate

as Michaeleen Flynn

as Father Lonergan

as Will Danaher

as Mr. Playfair

as Mrs. Playfair

as Mrs. Tillane

as The Woman

as Father Paul

as Owen Glynn

as Dermot Fahy

as Father Paul's Mother

as Guard Maloney

as Engine Driver Costel...

as Station Master

as Policeman

as General at Race

as Pat Cohan

as The Child

as The Child

as The Child

as The Child

as Constable

as Ring Physician

as Referee

as Tiny Woman

as General at Race

as Trainer in Flashback

as Man in Bar

as Ringside Trainer

as Man in Bar
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Quiet Man

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Critic Reviews for The Quiet Man

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (5)

This is a robust romantic drama of a native-born's return to Ireland. Director John Ford took cast and cameras to Ireland to tell the story [by Maurice Walsh] against actual backgrounds.

Full Review… | March 11, 2008
Top Critic

John Ford's 1952 Oscar winner is a tribute to an Ireland that exists only in the imaginations of songwriters and poets like Ford.

Full Review… | March 11, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The illusion/reality theme underlying immigrant boxer Wayne's return from America to County Galway is soon swamped within a vibrant community of stage-Irish 'types'.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Let's face it. Mr. Ford is in love with Ireland, as is his cast, and they give us a fine, gay time while they're about it.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Although not a true classic, The Quiet Man is worth more than a cursory glance, especially for those who like Wayne or would like to experience more of his work.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

[The script] tends to resolve its problems by having the cast embrace, fraternity-brother fashion, and break out into full-throated ballads.

Full Review… | September 5, 2012
The Nation

Audience Reviews for The Quiet Man

An Irish-American boxer retires to Ireland where he buys a plot of land and woos a local girl.
Perhaps I *gasp* don't like John Wayne. His strutting and posturing, long the quintessence of manhood, seem to me the vain attitudes of a caricature rather than a character. I understand that old film actors concentrated more on cultivating a persona than a character for an individual film, but Wayne's persona is neither compelling nor complex.
The film's plot is contrived. I followed the story with skepticism throughout much of it until it devolved into the most ludicrous fight scene that I could imagine, and then I just rolled my eyes and waited for it to be over.
What strikes me most is the film's misogyny. Mary's insistence for her own money and all the male characters' resistance bespeaks of a lack of male respect for female identity and self-sufficiency. The characters and the film itself wreak of over-whelming male superiority, and when Mary agrees to serve them dinner, I couldn't help but conclude that this was a film condemned to its time.
Overall, maybe there's a film that will make me like John Wayne, but this isn't it.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Because of the film course I am taking I am forced to watch these old, boring movies. Usually anything before 1970 I can't handle; rarely there are exceptions. "The Quiet Man" is an unfunny mess of a film with a ridiculous ending. The landscapes are nice but if I want that I can just watch Discovery Channel.

Market Man
Eric Shankle

Super Reviewer

I've seen this film many times over the years, and it has really stood out to me as being one of Ford's best films. Primarily known for his westerns, I love how this one is more atypical. It also helps that I've got a fair amount of Irish ancestry in me, thus can better appreciate this being a wonderful love letter to The Emerald Isle.

The story is that of Irish American boxer Sean Thornton who returns to the small Irish village of his birth. Distraught after having accidentally killed a man in the ring, all he wants is to live out the rest of his life peacefully and quietly on his family's land, which is no easy task, as he soon incurs the ire of the squire- a local brute who was wanting the land for himself.

Not only that, but Sean falls in love with the squire's sister, a feverishly traditional and fiery woman who insists that her and Sean's courtship be by the books, which includes receiving a dowry...that her brother refuses to pay. The couple get married, but until that dowry is received, the marriage absolutely won't be consummated.

What follows is a gloriously jolly romp that shows Sean trying to prove he's a real man without always having to resort to violence, which he is of course reluctant to do given his past.

Yes, the movie does perpetuate a few stereotypes about Irish men loving to drink and fight, but it could be far worse. The film has a fun set up, great supporting characters, and, since it was shot on location, it features Ireland in all of its glory with some truly marvelous cinematography. The music is also quite nice as well, and it's not surprising that this has become THE movie to watch every St. Patrick's Day as a result.

Wayne gives a fine performance, and it is nice seeing him in a role like this where he actual does have to try to act and show off his dramatic chops. He's successful too. Maureen O'Hara basically cemented her career here as Mary Kate the love interest, and for better or worse, she's the embodiment of a gorgeous prototypical Irish lass. Victor McLaglen is great as her bullying brother, and the great aforementioned supporting characters are superbly played by Ward Bond, Barry Fitzgerald, and Mildred Natwick among others.

Definitely give this one a watch. It's got drama, romance, comedy, action, and really leaves you feeling great inside.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

The Quiet Man Quotes

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