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Ireland-The Quiet Man Movie


Feature Photo: The Quiet Man – Behind the Scenes Mostly Westerns

A Review by

Here’s a real oldie, shot in Ireland in 1952. The Quiet Man is based on a 1933 Saturday Evening Post short story by Irish novelist Maurice Walsh. The story was adapted for the movie by screenwriters Frank S Nugent and Richard Llewellyn. You may well ask, can there be an appeal for a 70-year-old movie in our day and age? My answer is emphatical, YES! Let me tell you why.

The Appeal.

Firstly it’s shot in Ireland – this means spectacular scenery. Green hills, quaint villages, streams, stoney roads, classic old choo-choo train, horse-driven carriages, and too many others to mention. John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara will be forever fresh and young, even 100 years from now. The storyline is oozing with romance and integrity that you and I can easily imagine for ourselves in today’s world. We have a break from the grim bloodied violence of today’s movies. The quality of both cinematography and sound are perfect. It only cost me 3.49 EUR, if I’d paid three times more it would have been well worth the money. At last, but far from the least of the film’s attributes; it is so humorous, you will be laughing most of the time.

The Story.

The story concerns a man, Sean Thornton (John Wayne), an Irish-born American, who comes to Ireland to seek the home of his birth in a village, White O’Morn, Innisfree, where he hopes to buy the small cottage which his parents owned. In the course of this pursuit, he encounters several obstacles.

The first is that of the altercation he has with Red Will Danaher (Victor McLaglen), who also wants to buy the cottage from a widow, Sarah Tillane (Mildred Natwick). Sean outbids Reds’ offer for the cottage and becomes its new owner.

The second hurdle, in the course of this saga, Sean meets Mary Kate (Maureen O’Hara)– who just happens to be Red’s sister. It’s love at first sight for both of them. But certainly not for Red. He hates Sean with a vengeance. Irish tradition however requires that before Sean and Mary Kate are allowed to be married, red must give his consent.

However, Sean makes friends with a rather influential character, Michaleen Flynn (Barry Fitzgerald) who is in collusion with the local village priest, Father Lonergan, (Ward Bond.) Between these two they think up several interesting ways to hook Red into giving his consent to the marriage.

The Marriage.

The marriage is no bed of roses, in fact, for Sean, no bed at all! It creates another traditional hurdle for Sean who is completely puzzled by the behavior of his Irish neighbors. In short Mary Kate wants Sean to collect a 300-pound dowry to be given her by her brother, which is rightfully hers. Once again, by tradition Sean is to ask his antagonist, Red for the dowry. This is the last straw for him and he flatly refuses. In reaction to this Mary Kate calls Sean a coward. What she does not know is, Sean was a champion heavyweight boxer in America. And because of his massive strength, he tragically killed a man with a single punch in the ring. He is not afraid of Red by any means, only fearful of killing him.

The Fight.

You’re itching to know what happens next, aren’t you? I’m sorry, but you have to see the movie to find out. What I will reassure you of, is this, it will be the best few bucks you’ll ever spend. Okay, I’ll give you a hint. Red and Sean end up having a classic fight. Fought along the Irish version of ‘Queensbury Rules,’ and a ring extending through the village and a river. In this Ireland, you will love and laugh every minute.

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Ryan’s Daughter-A Movie About Ireland.

Ryans daughter

Featured Image by Tommy Kwaky

Review By

Here is an oldie, filmed in 1970 in breathtaking locations by masters of cinematography.

The location was largely Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland. But the beach scenes were filmed on Long Beach, south of Noordhoek, Cape Town, South Africa.

The movie won two Oscars and six other awards and was a box office hit, grossing $31m. ($230m in today’s money value.)

David Lean (Doctor Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia, Bridge over The River Kwai.) directed the movie. Starring Robert Mitchum (Charles Shaunessy) and Sarah Miles (Rosie Ryan.)

The timeline was 1917-1918 Ireland.

The storyline principally takes place in both Rosie and Charles’s lives’; it also includes Rosie’s lover, Major Randolph Doryan, a shell-shocked British army officer. Rosie’s father, Tom Ryan, the village publican, and a fiery Catholic Priest, Father Hugh Collins. These individuals are part of a community of people in a tiny village. It was at the birth of the IRA and the War of Independence in Ireland.

The plot embraces Charles, a schoolteacher who was in a state of prolonged grieving at the loss of a wife he dearly loved. Charles seeks solace in the simple life of living in a cottage attached to the schoolroom. He is a man who loves and cares for his scholars and their growth. Charles has lost any ability to deal with romantic love.

Rosie is an attractive young woman, whom it appeared, was accustomed to having her way. She was the daughter of Tom, a successful publican, and his somewhat dubious activities with the British officers, based in the village. Like Charles, her father was also a grieving widower. Unlike Charles, though, he sought solace in taking a commanding role among the community, which included a support role to the IRA effort and was an agent for the British soldiers in the village. In today’s terms, he might be referred to as a ‘double agent’ operating for and against Ireland.

Rosie, who, on account of her beauty, youth, and privileged upbringing, was not popular with the local ladies of the village. They saw Rosie more in the light of an advantaged competitor than a community member.

Rosie pursued Charles with the typical juxtaposed style of a little girl seeking protection and a mature woman wanting to realize her passion. Her marriage to a secular celibate, Charles, bitterly disappointed Rosie. She was expecting a fiery romantic engagement with her man. Charles, a genuine man, who awoke to the fact that he was never the man for Rosie, took the blame for entering into a marriage devoid of romantic passion on his part.

Enter Major Randolph, a young man, the epitome of quiet strength and hidden fiery passion. Yet, Randolph suffers a lame leg and, equally, a damaged mind, suffering from what might be referred to today as ‘post-traumatic stress’ or ‘shell shock’ as it was known then. The two find solace and excitement in their closet of passionate sexual encounters. Through masterful film-play, these scenes vividly display themselves.

Charles receives the first inkling of his wife’s infidelity through an innocent discovery of footprints in the sand along the beach. A day outing on the beach with his young scholars brings suspicion into his mind. The seed germinates as discovery reveals her play, and in the final resolution, Charles accepts that Rosie has found romance for which she has been seeking!

To give powerful meaning to the expression, a change of subject,’ the stage shifts to the Eastern shoreline of Kerry and a raging storm. The IRA are waiting for a shipment of arms and explosives coming from Germany and all the Dingle villagers. The ship crashes into the rocks and sinks. The villagers, women, men, and children risk their lives to recover guns, explosives, and other armaments, load them onto a truck waiting to drive into the hinterland, and hide the cache.

What happens to the shipment of armaments?

What happens to Rosie when the community blames her for being an informer?

What happens to Major Randolph?

What happens to Charles?

Well, well, well.

 When you watch the movie, you will ‘surely’ find out.

In conclusion, there is always the human temptation to judge the characters on their behavior.

Let’s take a look at this aspect.

Firstly, my personal view is: Never judge any other human, ever. The judgment of humans is the work of human judges and God alone.

Rosie was not a ‘bad’ woman. Could she just have been a young woman whose choices were unwise?

Charles yielded to Rosie’s approaches because of his compassion for her. Was he unwise in doing so?

No one can assess Major Randolph’s war experience unless they were in his shoes. However, allowing his passion for ruling his better judgment, caused a shocking reaction among the community. What bears consideration is, would the relationship between Rosie and Charles have brought about a better understanding between them, because of this affair? “You will hear the words of Father Collins to Charles as they board the bus, ‘His doubt that Rosie and Charles should end their marriage.’

Tom Ryan was an informer to the British soldiers and then watched his daughter brutalized for his silence. Did his wisdom suggest that after her horrific experience, she and Charles would have a better relationship, and life for all would return to normal after?

By today’s standards, the movie might be considered as ‘slow,’ but be patient – it’s so worth hanging in there. The characters are fascinating; the scenery is magnificent.

Ireland has suffered much from being tormented by those who subjected them to slavery, brutality, and poverty. Her people rose to their liberty, and today they enjoy the reputation of a special kind of people who have traveled to all points of the globe to establish their brand of Ireland, Irishness, and especially Guinness!

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

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If you are spiritually inclined see my other site;

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The Field-A Movie About Ireland

A Movie filmed and released in Ireland, in 1990 by Jim Sheridan.

Based on the stage play of the same name written by John B Keene.

(Produced by Gemini Productions at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin in 1965.)

Review by Sir Peter James Dotcome.

I viewed the movie through the courtesy of YouTube, and the quality of the picture and sound were far below par.  Jim Sheridan’s work stemmed from a fictional play by John B Keene and set in County Kerry, Ireland, 1930.  The filming took place in the village of Leenaun, County Galway and the screenplay was that of Jim Sheridan.

Jim, it seems by comparison with the play, used a sizeable amount of poetic license in writing his screenplay.  More about this later.

Ireland is a country where natives fought for the right to own land; they had their fill of being subjugated by landlords from other ethnic and cultural origins.  I don’t think it is unfair to say that the natives of Ireland were angry and bitter.  The great famine of 1845 exacerbated this situation.

The movie tells us a story about a fictional village in 1930s Ireland.  Bull McCabe (Richard Harris,) the protagonist, is an Irish village farmer.  Four primary characters, Bull’s son, Tadgh, Bird, Bull’s sidekick, Mick, publican, and auctioneer.  Finally, the local Priest.  A host of other characters supports these.

Bull is a farmer who rents a small field from a widow and has done so for five years.  Over these years, his dedicated care of the field had yielded fine nutritious fodder for his heifers.  Raising and selling these animals is his livelihood.

The Widow struggles to live on her pension and decides to auction off her field.  Bull tells the local population that he has a right to have the lot as, in his curatorship, the value has increased.  The Widow puts a reserve on the field and awaits the outcome.  Bull sets about various underhanded means to stop the auction from being publicized.  He does this with the aid of Mick, who is managing the auction event.  Bull states that he is willing to pay £50, half of the reserve the Widow has set.

Enter a new character, Peter, an American, the antagonist, who has generational roots in the area.  Peter wants the field to further his business interests and drives the bidding up, forcing Bull to exceed his £50 bid to £80.  Mick halts the auction telling everyone they must return the following day.

Bull and Tadgh, his son, take advantage of the situation and decide to threaten Peter with a beating if he does not leave the village at once.  Waylaying him in the dark, they threaten Peter, and then Bull sets Tadgh up to fight Peter.  Without any further details, save it to say that in the course of the beating Bull accidentally kills Peter.

I’m sure you will want to know more, so watch the movie.

But there is more from me.

For what the movie lacks in quality, it’s explosive on emotion – the actual value.

Irrespective of your belief system, possible empathies for souls suffering at the hands of their landlords over the centuries; You will need some understanding of this situation.

The Priest had warned Bull not to go outside the law in his dealing with the property sale, but Bull retorted by releasing his deeply emotive reasons for wanting the field.

After the murder of Peter (what may have been decided by the court as a case of manslaughter), not one person in the community would assist the police investigative team.  The Priest and Police Sergeant appealed to the community, but to no avail.  The Priest finally gave a fire-and-damnation sermon to the community on Sunday, telling them that not only was the perpetrator guilty of suffering eternally in hell, but they too were liars and equally guilty.  He followed by refusing all rights offered by the church and closing its doors.

While the police were searching in the sea for a mule, killed in anger by Tadgh and Bull, Peter’s body was discovered.  At this point, Bull realized what he had done and lost his mind.

What emerged out of this carnage?

The Widow received the value of her property.  Bird, Bull’s faithful sidekick, was the successful bidder at £101.  Peter lost his life.  His wife was widowed, and his child was subsequently fatherless.  Bull took his life and the lives of his son and livestock.  If you believe the Priest, the community is now under the sword of Damocles’.

How would you judge the morality in this story?

I would not point the finger at any one party (just my point of view here.) But let me share my point of view anyway.

Two businessmen lock horns over an issue.  Both are passionate men wanting their way.

One is from some eight generations of persecution by landlords, mainly of foreign ethnicity.  His philosophy says, ‘ownership of land is everything,’ and his philosophy is followed by powerful emotion, to the point where he places himself above the law.

The other was a successful and seemingly arrogant young man who wanted to appease his wife, an Irish native.  She tried to return to Ireland at any cost.  Possibly his trust in the law was his undoing.  We all know the law is something wealthy lawyers debate in court, charging huge fees.  The law does not offer anyone physical protection.  There is the probability, although having Irish roots, he did not research its painful history sufficiently.

Lastly, I would like to mention that I read the book of the play text in conjunction with viewing the movie.

In his play, Keene’s text has quite a few differences compared to the movie.  Out of interest, why don’t you read the play version and find out for yourself?

Principally, Keene ends his play with murder (no possibility of manslaughter) committed by a man who now has his land and is untouchable by the law.  The community in silent support has packing tape over their lips. Another interesting point is that the antagonist in the play is a certain man named William, who hails from England. I am not certain if the English factor plays a part here, but it bears some thought at least.

What should we make of this find?  Nothing really; one man was writing a play in protest and the other, what he hoped would be a box office hit. What do you think?

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

All rights reserved sirpeterjamesdotcom©2020-01-20

If you are spiritually inclined see my other site;

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit the ‘Comments’ Button.)

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My Big Fat Greek Baptism

Greek Church

Featured Image Credit:

Emma Van Sant@emmaView profile@emma

Greek Orthodox Baptism

“We have been invited to my very good friend Lia’s grandchild’s baptism; you ok with going?” my Fiancée enquired. “Sure” I replied, knowing that if my Woman wanted to go along to the service, then so did I. Bearing in mind that where my Woman is, there I wish to be, because not only do I love her, but I love her company, always.
Saturday came and we arrived at the Greek Orthodox Church. I had never been to a Greek Orthodox Church before, but it appeared very similar to the Roman Catholic Church of which I was a member for many years.
As my Fiancée and I stood outside the church, waiting for the previous service to come to an end and people were gathering, ready to move into the church, I became aware of the strong presence of families. There were older folks, younger folks, and a great number of children.

Continue reading My Big Fat Greek Baptism

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A Letter to the Younger Me – Part Two

A Letter to 3

Who knows what lies in the mind of a child? Dreams and hopes, fears and sorrows. A child who seeks from those whose love and care is craved, just a smile, a word of approval, a touch of a hand, carried on a shoulder big and strong; lifted up and tossed into the air, then safely caught in strong hands…….

Who knows what lies in the mind of a child?

Continue reading A Letter to the Younger Me – Part Two