The Quiet Man
Directed by John Ford
Writing credits Frank S. Nugent
John Wayne .... Sean Thornton
Maureen O'Hara .... Mary Kate Danaher
Barry Fitzgerald .... Michaleen Flynn
Ward Bond .... Father Peter Lonergan, Narrator
Victor McLaglen .... Red Will Danaher/Squire Danaher
Mildred Natwick .... The Widow Sarah Tillane
Francis Ford .... Dan Tobin
Eileen Crowe .... Mrs. Elizabeth Playfair
Arthur Shields .... Reverend Cyril 'Snuffy' Playfair
Taking place circa 1922, boxer Sean Thornton, born in Ireland but raised in Pittsburgh, has come back to Innisfree to escape his past and settle down. Here he renews old friendships with Michaeleen Flynn, and attempts to buy back his family's ancestral cottage from the very rich Widow Tillane, who owns the property (as well as just about everything else). At the same time, Sean meets Mary Kate Danaher, and starts to fall for her. All of the above upsets Red Will, Mary Kate's brother and the town bully, who wanted the property for himself. Thus begins a feud that threatens to keep the lovers apart, as well as a conspiracy of townsfolk, bookmakers, priests, ministers, and IRA members who'd like to see Danaher put in his place. All goes well, until Danaher refuses to give Mary Kate her dowery, and this sets the newlyweds at odds--Sean couldn't care less about the money, but Mary Kate sees it as hers, which it is. What's more, Sean is afraid to fight Red because he once killed a man in the ring back in America.
It ends in a rather climactic (and long) fistfight that runs all over the county; finally, the people are getting what they wanted--Danaher knocked into place, and Sean and Mary Kate getting a happy marriage. The story is narrated by Father Lonergan, who is telling it to a group of people who had come to see the fight but were too late.
This is also a bit of a family affair--Barry Fitzgerald and Arthur Shields are brothers, as are Francis Ford and director John Ford. Moreover, much of the cast is Irish, and just about all had appeared in Ford's films before, especially John Wayne, Victor McLaglen and Ward Bond.
Sean Thornton: "Woman of the House! I have brought the brother home for dinner!"
"Red Will" Danaher: He'll regret it till his dying day, if ever he lives that long.
Father Peter Lonergan, Narrator: Ah, yes.... I knew your people, Sean. Your grandfather; he died in Australia, in a penal colony. And your father, he was a good man too.
Mary Kate Danaher: Could you use a little water in your whiskey?
Michaleen Flynn: When I drink whiskey, I drink whiskey; and when I drink water, I drink water.
Maloney (IRA): Then, a toast: May their days be long and full of happiness; may their children be many and full of health; and may they live in peace... and freedom.
Michaleen Flynn: Two women in the house -- and one of them a redhead!
Michaleen Flynn (on seeing the broken bed): Impetous! Homeric!
Sean Thornton: If you say 'three' mister, you'll never hear the man count ten.