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The Quiet Man

As well as one of  John Ford’s greatest box office successes, (1952), this is one of the best beer movies ever. When American Sean Thornton (John Wayne without a six-shooter, although there’s a decent bit of ride ‘em cowboy in a steeplechase over the sands) returns to  Ireland, land of his birth, he stops at a pub. “I’ll try one of those black beers,” he says. “Ah, a porter,” replies Pat Cohan (Harry Tyler), the publican, and hand-pumped porter it is for the rest of the film. Alas, you won’t find a lot of hand-pulled black stuff over there nowadays. At the wedding of Thornton and Mary Kate Danaher (Maureen O’Hara), Micheleen Flynn (Barry Fitzgerald) is given champagne and spits it out as if poisoned; a moment later, someone hands him a proper pint, to his enormous relief.

Put up with some American sentimentality about Ould Oireland—it has provided the money for Technicolor film stock that brings out the lush Galway countryside colours in a most vivid fashion. The sound quality is a clear clean effort and copes well with the amount of blarney thrown at it!

They don’t make films like this nowadays and they certainly don’t make men's headgear like you’ll see in this film.

Price-wise, look around: I got the single dvd for £4.99 in Morrisons; boxed with Rooster Cogburn it’s just £6.99 from Play.com.

  ©RKW  from the Spring 2006 edition of O-to-K