O'Hara tells story behind 'Quiet Man'
by Doug Nye, Knight Ridder Newspapers
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1 November 2002 page
For a while,
Maureen O'Hara says, it appeared that director
would never get his pet project off the ground.
Several Hollywood studios dismissed the story of a boxer from America
returning to Ireland and falling in love with one of the locals as "a
silly little Irish
"Ford took it to
Paramount, and they all turned it down,"
O'Hara said recently. "Finally, Republic studios said they would do the
"The Quiet Man," released in 1952, became one of the studio's most
prestigious productions and one of the most beloved of Ford's movies. It
has just been
issued in a digitally remasterd 50th anniversary DVD edition with
O'Hara said she and
John Wayne agreed to do the movie back in 1944.
"We shook hands on it that year,"
O'Hara said. "It took him (Ford) that
long to get the movie made. But when he called, we were ready."
Although Republic president Herbert J. Yates had agreed to help finance
the film, there was a catch.
Ford had to make a Western first. Thus, what
known as the third part of
Ford's cavalry trilogy, "Rio Grande," was born.
"Mr. Yates said he wanted the Western so he could make money on what he
was going to lose on 'The Quiet Man,' "
O'Hara said with a laugh. "Of
ended up making money on both."
O'Hara, 82, fondly remembers the nearly three months the crew spent in
Ireland. It was a homecoming for her. She had come to America to appear as
Esmeralda in 1939's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."
While re-viewing "The Quiet Man," she said that there were several
misconceptions about the film that she wanted to clear up.
"I read these things that I know are not true, and it just drives me mad,"
So what are the misconceptions?
-- The production year. "We actually made the movie the summer of 1951. I
always read that it was produced in 1952. Not true. We made it in '51, and
released in '52."
Wayne's little cottage. "So many reviews and books say the name of the
cottage was 'White of the Morning.' The name was 'White of Morn.' I just
people should get it right."
-- The weather. "I have read numerous times that the weather was awful
while we were shooting the movie. They say something like, 'Ford was
bad weather and rain throughout the filming.' That is not true. I know. It
rained only once while we were there. I was there, so I ought to know. It
© 2002 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel