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Visual Index ~ The Quiet Man's Best Shots


One of the specific things the series Hit Me With Your Best Shot has taught me over the years is how great John Ford is as a director. When I was younger I never liked his films much but now I end up wanting to talk about every other scene in whichever film I'm watching of his; it's easy to marvel at the way he's staging and shooting his stories as an adult. His Ireland themed location-shot romantic dramedy classic The Quiet Man (1952) won the directing and cinematography Oscars in its year. It took the latter surely for those lush emerald landscapes and beautiful pops of color like blue dresses and flowers and The Queen of Technicolor's fiery mane. It inexplicably lost Best Picture in its year (to the oft-reviled The Greatest Show on Earth) but it obviously contributed to the decision to hand Maureen O'Hara's her recent highly deserved Honorary Oscar as its the movie most often cited when people talk about her gifts. But the movie sure is fun and sexy, too.

As usual the Best Shot participants wove interesting personal details and insights into their posts. We even have our first father & son article (!) as befits a film that's a clear family favorite in some homes.

Click on any of the 10 images in rough chronological order to read the 14 corresponding articles at these fine blogs & pinterests.

Images that were made by an enormously talented pair of image-makers to be read as quickly and deeply as possible....
-Antagony & Ecstasy


 As if she's a forest spirit that has stepped out of Celtic folklore.
-The Film's The Thing (Son)

It’s thematically and technically effective, but it’s also a gorgeous and unusual shot. 
-Coco Hits NY 

There are plenty of images to pull from “The Quiet Man” that confirm the Academy’s judgement
- Nebel Without a Cause 

This may very well be the start of a new actressing obsession for me...
-A Fistful of Films 

I’m choosing this as my Best Shot because it reminds me that as husbands, we are called to scoop up God’s grace and bring it just a little closer to our wives.

They may have layers and layers of clothing on, but that is downright erotic. For 1952, it's practically porn
-Dancin Dan on Film 

'"a good Christian act.'"
- Sorta That Guy 

There's more to its cinematography than those outdoors scenes...
-Film Actually 

In every scene you can tell that they'd like to chuck the customs to get to the consummation. Except when it's time to get to the consummation...
- The Film Experience 

Ford was a master of filling every frame with visual information...
-The Entertainment Junkie

Unlike anything else in this particular film... 
-Dusty Hixenbaugh 

Imagine how an inhabitant from the fictitious 1920s Irish community of Inisfree might react to an episode of Fox’s EMPIRE...
-Paul Outlaw  

Although I respect any person’s right to say no—even married people c. 1950s rural Ireland—it really grinded my maidenly gears...
-Video Valhalla  

So, the story takes the same path as expected... the meeting, banter, spats and misunderstanding, conflict, and finally, reconciliation.
-The Film's The Thing (Father)


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Reader Comments (12)

Not sure if you got my email. Here's mine:

March 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSquasher88

Just three scenes fascinated ten of the 13 participants – that is uncanny for a film with so many beautiful shots.

March 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

well 3 scenes have the bulk of it but there are a few others. but yeah. i also thought that was weird because i screengrabbed like 25 images ;)

March 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Ah, there are so many lovely shots, I couldn't participate in the usual way, but here's a few more that have always tickled me:

1. Sean scoops up some holy water and Mary Kate dips her fingers in his palm.
2. Mary Kate's bonnet is the last one remaining.
3. The look on Michaleen's face when he sees the broken bed. "Impetuous!" "Homeric!"
4. While Mary Kate chides Sean for planting roses and no potatoes, he counters with "and no children" then picks and hands her a yellow wildflower with an apology. I thought this was a wonderful shot. She later wears the flower on her jacket.

March 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPam

You missed mine, Nate!

I mean, it's up there...because it was the most popular scene, but you know what I mean :-P

March 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

Great director, gorgeous film, and a totally addictive series of posts.

March 18, 2015 | Unregistered Commentergoran

I posted my best shot last week in the Hit Me Globe Trotting post. Is there a better way to send you our link so we'll be included?

March 18, 2015 | Unregistered Commenteri/fwp

God, she is so beautiful.

March 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

i/fwp -- I'M SO SORRY I MISSED IT. added now. also including you in next link roundup

andrew -- OOPS. i had a rough nite last night. NOT DUE TO DRINKING he hastily adds. and i saw your post but i guess since two other people chose the shot i mistakenly got confused and thought i'd added it.

Mareko -- right. so happy for the turnout here and that more people will now realize how much she deserved her Honorary Oscar :)

March 18, 2015 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

No worries! It was a popular scene, but you kind of have to expect that. I mean, the film is FULL of beautiful shots, but that was a MOMENT in all the best possible ways.

March 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

You missed mine as well; I sent it to the previous post on "The Quiet Man". It's at my Livejournal under the title "Not Quiet Enough." Surprisingly, no one else seems to have chosen my shot as of yet.

March 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAllison Tooey

Thank you Nathaniel. That was really generous of you. So excited to read everyone else's thoughts. You've made me want to go seek out other John Ford movies.

March 18, 2015 | Unregistered Commenteri/fwp

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