THE QUIET MAN
If you are a fan of classic Hollywood movies, you have probably seen or heard of The Quiet Man, a 1952 romantic comedy-drama directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. The film tells the story of Sean Thornton, an Irish-born American boxer who returns to his ancestral village of Innisfree in Ireland, where he falls in love with the spirited Mary Kate Danaher, the sister of the local squire and his rival. The film is full of humor, romance, and drama, as Sean and Mary Kate face the challenges of Irish customs, family conflicts, and Sean’s dark past.
The Quiet Man is widely regarded as one of Ford’s masterpieces and one of the best films ever made. It won two Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Cinematography, and was nominated for five more, including Best Picture. It was also selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. The film is especially beloved by Irish audiences, who appreciate its portrayal of Irish culture and scenery.
One of the most remarkable aspects of The Quiet Man is that it was filmed almost entirely on location in Ireland, mainly in County Mayo and County Galway. Ford, who was of Irish descent himself, wanted to capture the beauty and authenticity of the Irish landscape and people. He chose many locations that had personal or historical significance for him, such as Cong, where his cousin was a parish priest, or Ashford Castle, where he stayed during the production. He also hired many local extras and actors, some of whom spoke Irish Gaelic in the film.
The filming locations of The Quiet Man have become popular tourist attractions for fans of the film and lovers of Ireland. Here are some of the most iconic places where you can relive the magic of The Quiet Man:
– White O’Morn: This is the name of the cottage that Sean buys from the widow Sarah Tillane, and where he lives with Mary Kate after their marriage. The cottage is located in Maam Valley in County Galway, near the village of Maum. It is a picturesque thatched-roof house surrounded by green fields and mountains. Unfortunately, the cottage is now in ruins, and located on private land, so permission should be sought from the landowner before visiting. Alternatively, you can find a replica of the cottage a short distance away on the grounds of Peacockes Hotel at Maam Cross.
– Cong: This is the village that doubles as Innisfree in the film. It is situated on the border of County Mayo and County Galway, on the shores of Lough Corrib. Cong is where many scenes of the film were shot, such as the church where Sean and Mary Kate get married, the pub where Sean meets Michaeleen Oge Flynn, the matchmaker, and the bridge where Sean drags Mary Kate back to her brother. Cong has a Quiet Man museum that displays memorabilia from the film, such as costumes, props, posters, and photographs. There is also a Quiet Man heritage trail that guides visitors to the various filming locations in and around the village.
– Ashford Castle: This is a medieval castle that was converted into a luxury hotel in the 19th century. It is located near Cong, on a 350-acre estate overlooking Lough Corrib. Ashford Castle is where John Ford and some of the cast and crew stayed during the filming of The Quiet Man. It is also where some scenes of the film were shot, such as the fishing scene. Ashford Castle is still a functioning hotel today, and one of its suites is named after John Wayne.
– Lettergesh Beach: This is a scenic beach on the Renvyle Peninsula in County Galway, where the horse race took place. The beach offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding mountains. It is also a popular spot for swimming, surfing, and walking.
– Ballyglunin Railway Station: This is a historic railway station in County Galway, where Sean arrives by train at the beginning of the film. The station was built in 1860 and closed in 1976. It is now preserved by a local community group that aims to restore it to its former glory. The station has a Quiet Man exhibition that showcases artifacts and information from the film.
These are just some of the places where you can experience The Quiet Man in Ireland. Whether you’re a fan of the film or not, you will surely enjoy exploring these beautiful and charming places that capture the essence of Ireland.
LOCATIONS & DIRECTIONS
Watched the Quiet Man being filmed at Glassilaun Beach, and also Lettergesch Beach, as a 6 year old child, with my younger brothers. My mother was from Glassilaun and moved to England as a young woman. She was a great admirer of John Wayne. First cousins now live above Glassilaun beach, and Lettergesch beach. Hopefully will get to take my daughter and grandson for a visit to this beautiful unspoilt area.
Watched the Quiet Man movie being filmed around 1950 on Lettergesch Beach, and also from Glassilaun Beach, and from the mountain Benhona which overlooks both beaches. John Wayne was my mothers favorite actor so she was out there watching parts of the Quiet Man being made. I have made many visits to Glassilaun over the years, visiting many cousins and aunts and uncles. I worked for the US Army Hospital in Heidelberg, Germany for many years, and am now retired close to Heidelberg.