Tuesday, March 17, 2009

John Ford's The Quiet Man, a Film For All Seasons

This evening I watched some of John Ford’s The Quiet Man, an old favorite. A labor of love for Ford, a film he long angled to make, it is arguably his best film, and certainly his funniest, which is saying quite a bit given the many masterpieces of the man considered to be America’s greatest film director. It was a family affair, with many relatives of Ford, John Wayne, Victor McLaglen, Barry Fitzgerald, and Maureen O’Hara either in front of the camera or behind it. The humor and characterizations may be broad, but the sentiment is deep. I have a T-shirt, framed and hanging as a poster, a gift bought for me in Ireland by an Orangeman friend, no less, that proclaims the film to be “John Ford’s Greatest Triumph.”

There’s record warmth today in Chicago, and it’s a nice soft night, so I think I’ll go join me comrades and talk a little treason.

The photograph is of a large poster hanging in the Erie Café, an Italian restaurant on Chicago’s near North Side. Not so surprising, for after all wasn’t St. Patrick part-Roman?

Richard Balsamo

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