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Happy St. Patrick's Day!


JackFavell

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I really didn't notice the two bellies. Just a coincidence, not even a cosmic one.

 

I think Ms. Moore should have stuck to her day job. Cream of Green Pea Soup?

Yeech. After consuming that meal, there might be a whole new meaning for the

wearin' o' the green. At least she couldn't ruin the bread sticks. Being in the middle

of the week is just another reason to celebrate before the weekend.

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Yeah, after I wrote that, I thought one needs no reason to celebrate on the weekend, but during the week a good excuse to celebrate.

 

The green menu was endless.. I had forgotten, but when I was a kid, the lunchroom ladies would tint the bread green for St Patrick's Day. It was strange; the green sugar cookie wasn't enough.

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Or of little interest. :)

 

I don't think we ever got green bread at school, at least not on purpose. I do remember those

little rectangle shaped slices of pizza, where there was a clear separation between the little

bits of cheese and the sauce. But at the time, they sure seemed to taste pretty good. When

it comes to Irish cookery, I guess I'll stick with potatoes and poteen.

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Oooh, cinemafan, I love that Maureen O'Hara photo - how beautiful and soft she looks.

 

Here's an article about John Ford's *The Quiet Man* :

 

 

*Shaking the Dead Hand of History: Reconciling the Past in The Quiet Man*

By Sam Adams

 

*The Quiet Man* (1952) is one of John Ford's most beloved movies, and one of his most abused. With two Academy Awards, one for Ford, and one for Winton Hoch and Archie Stout's retina-searing Technicolor photography, and a place on one of the American Film Institute's innumerable lists, the film's certification as a classic is assured. But even the film's defenders have a tendency to treat it as a glorious whimsy, a sentimental indulgence that captures the lightheartedness of a simpler era. The terms used to praise The Quiet Man are not so different from the criticisms leveled by Manny Farber in his review in The Nation, who found it full of "clumsily contrived fist fights, musical brogues spoken as though the actor were coping with an excess of tobacco juice in his mouth, mugging that plays up all the trusted hokums that are supposed to make the Irish so humorous-sympathetic, and a script that tends to resolve its problems by having the cast embrace, fraternity-brother fashion, and break out into full-throated ballads."

 

Much of what Farber says is objectively true, and yet it is only part of the truth. The Quiet Man is, to be sure, as beguiling a bit of blarney as ever crossed the pond, a mythic vision of rural Ireland as a lost paradise teeming with hot-tempered lasses and bibulous priests, untouched by the ravages of modernity. It is the kind of place a man might go to escape himself, to erase his past and start anew, which is what brings Sean Thornton (John Wayne) from America to bucolic Innisfree, the village of his birth.

 

In the U.S., Sean was a boxer under the name Trooper Thorn, one whose substantial winnings came at a terrible price: the death of an opponent in the ring. His reasons for leaving, and particularly his vow never to raise his fists to another man, are critical to the unfolding of the movie's plot, but Ford keeps them hidden for the movie's first half. In fact, apart from a few suggestive lacunae, the film does nothing to suggest that Sean's motives for returning are anything other than as he presents them.

 

Even after it is revealed, via a wordless, abstracted flashback that occurs after Sean has been knocked to the ground by Victor McLaglen's beefy Will Danaher, Sean's secret remains literally unspeakable. Not until he is presented with a newspaper clipping detailing the fight by a village reverend who happens to be a devout fight fan does Sean unburden himself of his guilt, and then, so far as we know, he never speaks of it again. Even when his refusal to fight for the dowry that rightfully belongs to Will Danaher's sister, Mary Kate (Maureen O'Hara), causes his new bride to label him a coward, Sean does not bother to correct her. His deeds are his to reconcile, and his alone.

 

Like many Irish-Americans, Sean Thornton is enamored of his mother country but almost wholly ignorant of its history and traditions. Apart from his mother's description of the town's geography, heard in echoing voiceover as he first takes in the sight of its rolling hills and winding roads, he seems to recall nothing of his birthplace ? save the identity of Michaleen Oge Flynn (Barry Fitzgerald), the sprightly leprechaun who picks him up at the train ? saying only that the town's name "has become another word for heaven for me."

 

Visually, the movie endorses Sean's Edenic vision. The vibrant greens and scalding reds of Innisfree are so bright as to make Oz look drab by comparison. Ford, who was born with the same surname as The Quiet Man's hero, invests the movie's images with an emigrant's longing for home. Innisfree is not, nor was it ever intended to be, a haven of realism, but a memory of the kind conjured in Sean's mind by his late mother's words.

 

Of course, there is a simpler explanation for the movie's quaint caricature of Irish life. After spending nearly a decade attempting to raise money for the picture, and then securing it only in exchange for making the more obviously commercial Rio Grande (1950) for the same studio, Ford knew The Quiet Man would be a tough sell, and that its primary hope of success lay with American audiences, who were used to seeing the Irish depicted as bright-eyed priests, stern coppers and alcoholic wasters (roles that, incidentally, earned some of The Quiet Man's players a steady and quite profitable living). A scrupulously realist mise-en-scene would only have confused them, and would in any case hardly have comported with the film's quasi-mythic tone. In some instances, Ford actively falsified details so as to avoid discomfiting American viewers. According to Dublin-born O'Hara, Ford made a point of having Michaleen instruct Sean to pronounce the name of Cohan's pub with a short "a" (as in George M.), notwithstanding the fact that no Irishman would say it thus.

 

But the movie's bold Technicolor splendor ? which has, not coincidentally, driven tourists to visit its locations for more than half a century ? is laid over a latticework of fine details: passing utterances and implicit dynamics that linger just below the surface, there to be seen by attentive viewers and overlooked by the rest. One wonders how many lovers of The Quiet Man's sweeping romance are oblivious to the presence of an I.R.A. cell within Innisfree's borders, or the carefully delineated relationship between the town's Catholic majority and its tiny clutch of Protestants. The colonial schism that has wracked the country for centuries is not in the foreground, but neither is it hidden.

 

In The Quiet Man, the past is always looming, waiting for any opportunity to push through into the present. From the moment Sean steps off the train, the country's factionalism rears its head. The simple act of asking for directions provokes a minor squabble between stationmaster and engineer. "If you'd take time to study your country's history?," one begins, although it's not clear what history has to do with which road to take. Whatever long-simmering argument Sean's innocent question has stirred up, the chances are it predates even the elderly men currently hashing it out, and will continue long after they are dust.

 

Sean has come to Innisfree in an attempt to reconnect with one past and sever himself from another. By regaining his ancestral cottage, White o' Morn, he hopes to efface all memory of Trooper Thorn, although not the prize money that allows him to conduct himself with brash impunity or his American disdain for creaky traditions. He is baffled by Mary Kate's inability to marry him without her surly brother's permission, and mistakes as greed her longing for her dowry, dismissing her concerns with no small degree of contempt. Fulfilling the role of the "wild colonial boy" remembered in song at Cohan's stools, he claims mastery over past traditions, his to accept or reject as he sees fit.

 

His own past, of course, is not so easily escaped, nor is Mary Kate's inconvenient attachment to her ancestral belongings. With Will insisting on fisticuffs as the proper way to determine the dowry's disposition, Sean is placed in the position of needing to reconcile his own past in order to regain hers.

 

The union of Sean and Mary Kate, of prodigal son and native lass, takes place at a crossroads. Between his preference for a vague and romanticized past and her immanent and material approach, a pact is brokered whose grace seems to fall on the entire town. A Catholic priest covers his collar and instructs the villagers to "cheer like Protestants" as a visiting Anglican prelate makes his way out of town. Will Danaher seems at last on his way to securing the affections of the elusive Widow Tillane (Mildred Natwick). And the Thorntons, their troubles at last resolved, wave and turn away from the camera, walking back into the house where Sean was born.

 

When Sean first sets foot in White o' Morn, it is a fearsome place, full of dark shadows and infernal lights, its shutters battered by howling winds that seem to have arisen out of nowhere. The mood is almost jarringly at odds with the movie's general lightheartedness, echoed only in the lovers' graveyard tryst, suggesting that White o' Morn is not so much mythic as it is mystical. Like the whirlpool in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's I Know Where I'm Going (1945), the cottage is a locus of conflicting energies, a place with its own rules, its own time. The romance between Sean and Mary Kate stirs up powerful forces, passionate but dangerous as well. Only when their marriage is consummated, their animosities quelled, can peace come to Innisfree.

 

Sam Adams

? FIPRESCI 2009

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Sigh. That was beautiful. And this sentence about sums up the secret to why I love most of Ford's best films:

 

But the movie's bold Technicolor splendor ? which has, not coincidentally, driven tourists to visit its locations for more than half a century ? is laid over a latticework of fine details: passing utterances and implicit dynamics that linger just below the surface, there to be seen by attentive viewers and overlooked by the rest.

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That is the part I found most interesting as well!

 

And that is what makes Ford movies so great. A cursory viewing will maybe show a movie that is fun, engaging, thought provoking, or even typical of a genre. But further viewings uncover a wealth of details... fleeting emotions, sometimes an opposing viewpoint to the one you thought you saw, and most importantly, depth beyond anything you see in most films.

 

johnford-howgreenwasmyvalley1941-1.jpg

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h4. Cinematic Literature

>In The Quiet Man, the past is always looming, waiting for any opportunity to push through into the present. From the moment Sean steps off the train, the country's factionalism rears its head. The simple act of asking for directions provokes a minor squabble between stationmaster and engineer. "If you'd take time to study your country's history?," one begins, although it's not clear what history has to do with which road to take.

 

I love this part of the article. I caught that line too. In screenwriting, some would avoid a direct mention, but this is such a perfect statement to the story, and it is the reason why some movies are merely entertainment, and others are cinematic literature. The references to the past are brought up, subtly and directly. The Quiet Man is cinematic literature.

 

Edited by: casablancalover on Mar 10, 2010 10:33 AM. Thank you for posting the article JF!

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Nicely said, CBLover.

 

I was stunned to find some of those references in the movie...... only after about the sixth or eighth viewing!

 

It takes a while with Ford to see what he is truly saying, and one finds some surprising aspects which make the viewing more pleasurable each and every time. He couldn't have known that people would be able to watch his films over and over again, singling out these buried jewels of surprising depth..... he simply pleased himself and revealed himself as a human being - a creature of great duality. The result is fascinating films.

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> {quote:title=JackFavell wrote:}{quote}

> It's from How Green was my Valley. Here are a couple more stunning photos I found:

>

 

OH my goodness, I should have known. How wonderful. The beauty remembered, and the harrowing slag-heap reality. What an eye you have, lass!

 

I'm currently reading the book, by the way. It is slow going because it's so enrapturing. Every page is poetry and the movie PERFECTLY captures every single nuance and adds even more poetry. I don't know if Richard Llewellyn saw the film or not, but I would love to know what he thought. So far it's one of the best book to film adaptations I've ever encountered because it brings the heart and spirit as well as the plot to life. Ford's _Irish_ background made him relate to this story of a Welsh community on the deepest of levels.

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OH Ms Favell..... THANK YOU so much for that wonderful article on my most favortie movie of all time. What a nice tribute to The Quiet Man, and to John Ford, as a director as well. I love how the author shows how some of the very things that critcs find to "bash" about the film are the same things that others find so endearing. What some see as a weakness or a detraction to the story, others find to be an entertaining and appealing aspect of the film. To each his own, ha.

 

I have loved The Quiet Man since the very first time I ever saw it. (Which was later in life than you might think.. ha. I was in my mid twenties!! But that was STILL a long, long time ago.)

 

Way back in the very early 80's I went to the theaters to see ET, and I saw the clip of TQM that is played in that movie. (where Mary Kate is caught hiding in the cottage (because she had come there to clean it up) and Sean grabs her and kisses her... and then she slaps him a good one before kissing him back, ha) I had NO idea what film it was and it bugged me everytime I saw ET (ha.. which was at least 3 or 4 more times) because I have always enjoyed the Duke (AND Ms O'Hara too) And keep in mind that this was way back before I could just go home and google it on the internet ,etc) And I guess back then I was too lazy (or too busy.... whatever you want to call it, ha) to go to the LIBRARY and look it up the old FASHIONED way,ha.

 

So it was maybe another five or six years later when I happened to catch TQM on either TBS or maybe AMC on St Pat's Day.... and when it got to that part of the movie.. and John Wayne lets out that yell before she screams.. ha. I sat up in my chair and yelled back, "FINALLY!!!" ha.

 

And I was a true fan, ever since.

 

Thanks again for your post. (OH.. and also for the GORGEOUS pics from HGWMV... that first one.. breathtaking)

 

PS: Miss G posted this youtube a while back, and I have held onto it ever since... TOO funny... I STILL say I want to go to a a party JUST like this!!! ha.

 

 

 

Edited by: rohanaka on Mar 10, 2010 12:53 PM

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Ok.. ha. I give up.. I can't seem to post any images to this thread.. it could be my technophobia is setting in.. ha. So instead I will just say.. The Quiet Man ROCKS!! ha.

 

Edited by: rohanaka on Mar 10, 2010 12:59 PM

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YAY!!!!!! ha... that's the pic!! My most fave one of all from the film. (thanks little sis!!) :D

 

And thanks Miss G and Ms Cutter too... I had NO idea..ha. I will see if I can figure it out if I ever want to try to post anything else in here... (OH great.. just when I finally figure out how to post the OLD way.. ha they have to go and add a new TWIST to things..don't they know I am inept and hard to train????????? ) ha.

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> {quote:title=derevna wrote:}{quote}

> Riverdance! I just love that tape! TCM should show it as a Musical. It is one of the best things ever done about folk dancing.

 

It is a rather charming dance, however I don't believe TCM has ever shown or would ever show straight-to-video musicals.

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> {quote:title=HollywoodGolightly wrote:}{quote}

> Poteen, huh? Is this kind of what you had in mind?

>

> 2nalee0.jpg

 

 

Yes, and as the bottle says, it's now legal. I believe it just became legal not too long ago.

Before that is was kind of a high alcohol content Irish home brew and illegal. The poor

Welsh. In America they have to play second-fiddle to John Bull's islanders. Such is the

chance narrative of history. There's always rarebit.

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