Combustible Celluloid
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With: Maureen O'Hara, Martin Scorsese, Peter Bogdanovich, Jim Sheridan, Joseph McBride, Aissa Wayne, William Dowling, Charles F. FitzSimons, Gabriel Byrne (narrator)
Written by: Stephen Walsh
Directed by: Sé Merry Doyle
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 92
Date: 03/24/2015

John Ford: Dreaming the Quiet Man (2012)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Innisfree for All

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Last year, Olive Films released a beautiful Blu-ray of John Ford's color The Quiet Man, and now they follow it up with this feature-length making-of documentary; it probably could have been an extra on the previous disc, but we don't know exactly how this might have compromised the picture and sound quality of the film, so perhaps this was the better choice.

John Ford: Dreaming of the Quiet Man doesn't go very deep, but it is thorough. It shows the tourist industry that has sprung up in the town where the movie was shot, it goes into the career of John Ford, and then it looks at the making of the movie itself. Thankfully the fiery Ms. Maureen O'Hara is around to tell her story. She worked with Ford three times in her career, and she seems to remember many details from the shoot, such as breaking her hand on John Wayne's jaw when she slaps him. There's a good story about the original author of the story, Maurice Walsh, who was regarded in some circles as one of the great authors.

I love The Quiet Man, and it's one of my personal favorites of John Ford's films, but this documentary helps underscore the idea that Ford was, and still is, arguably the greatest director in the history of cinema. It may not be easy to tell from a viewing of one or two of his films, but the more one sees, the more one becomes convinced that John Ford was the cinema. So, if you love movies, see The Quiet Man first, then see this documentary, and then begin exploring the rest of Ford's rich filmography.

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