There are some movie stars that are so iconic, that even the mere mention of their name conjures up certain images.
John Wayne is one of them.
In 1952, he decides to change movie genres. Re-paired with frequent leading lady Maureen O’ Hara, they were cast in the John Ford film, The Quiet Man.
Sean Thornton (John Wayne) was born in Ireland, but left with his family as a young child. A generation later, he returned as an American boxer to reclaim his family’s land and move on from the past. He does not expect to fall in love with and marry Mary Kate Danaher (Maureen O’Hara). Their relationship gets off to a rocky start and is not helped by Mary Kate’s ill tempered brother, Squire “Red” Will Danaher (Victor McLaglen), who is determined to keep them apart.
I have mixed feelings about this movie. While I love this on-screen pairing, I have to remind myself that this movie was made in 1952. But the chemistry between the Wayne and O’Hara is electric.The fact that this movie was filmed on location and not on a sound stage just adds another level of reality to this film.
I recommend it.
Maureen O’Hara is a movie legend. The list of her leading men include John Wayne, Henry Fonda and Tyrone Power.
Aubrey Malone’s biography, Maureen O’Hara: The Biography follows Ms’ O Hara’s life from her childhood in Dublin through her decades long movie career to her present retired state.
Born in 1920 in the suburbs of Dublin, she made her screen debut in the late 1930’s. The movies she made are all very different: family classics (The Parent Trap, 1961, Miracle on 34th St, 1947), technicolor pirate and sword and sandal adventures (The Black Swan, 1942, Sinbad The Sailor, 1947) and Westerns (The Redhead From Wyoming, 1953, McClintock, 1963).
The book not only sheds light on her career, but on her private life. Unlike many of her colleagues, Ms. O’Hara lived a very quiet life, keeping her personal life out of the headlines. Compiling press clippings, movie reviews and film journals, Mr. Malone presents a complete picture of a performer whom many did not know about outside of her films.
I recommend this book.
On a related note, if there is one movie of her vast career that I would recommend, it would be Only The Lonely .
Made in 1991, Ms. O’Hara took herself out of retirement for this movie. She plays Rose Muldoon, the very overprotective mother to her son Danny (the late John Candy). Danny has sacrificed himself for his mother and brother (Kevin Dunn). When Danny meets Theresa Luna (Ally Sheedy) and starts fall in love with her, he finds himself torn between his mother and his girlfriend. Very sweet movie that just tugs at the heart strings.