Irish blarney starring John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, and gorgeous green countryside, The Quiet Man was overrated at the time of its release in 1952 (an Oscar for director John Ford, for corniness exceeded only by his ”Donovan’s Reef”). It may, however, be a bit underrated now, when it’s commonly thought that sere Ford-Wayne Westerns like ”The Searchers” and ”She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” tower above their lighter fare.
The commentary track by O’Hara is polite and unenlightening, but ”The Quiet Man” reveals a roguish Wayne — the big fella is thoroughly convincing in his instant passion for O’Hara’s fiery farm-girl redhead. The Frank S. Nugent script is fascinating for its now-quaint rituals in matters of courtship and dowry. The Duke in a pretty comedy of manners? Worth a reevaluation.