With St. Patrick's Day on the horizon, we're heading back to the Old Country, for The Unenthusiastic Critic's first viewing of John Ford's ode to Éire, The Quiet Man (1952), starring John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Victor McLaglen, and Barry Fitzgerald.

This week we spend some time talking about the long and complicated relationship between John Ford and John Wayne, two Old Hollywood legends who are as responsible as anyone for shaping 20th Century America's concept of itself on-screen. Then, we're sitting down for Nakea's first viewing of The Quiet Man, a comic Irish romance that was a departure for both men from the Westerns that made them famous.

Michael's people come from Ireland, but Nakea—a self-described angry black woman from East Chicago—doesn't quite have the same tolerance for blarney, shenanigans, donnybrooks, and paddywhackery. Will the manly charms of conservative icon (and admitted white supremacist) John Wayne win her over?

What do you think?


0:00: Prologue: from The Quiet Man
0:37: Preliminary Discussion: John Ford and John Wayne
16:25: Interlude: From a 1974 Interview with John Wayne
18:27: Cultural Osmosis: Pre-Viewing Discussion of The Quiet Man
24:52: Original Trailer for The Quiet Man
26:27: The Verdict: Post-Viewing Discussion
1:06:05: Outro and Next Week's Movie

Notes and Links

—Movie Reviewed: The Quiet Man (dir. John Ford, Republic, 1952).
—Links: "Why John Wayne Remains an Icon of the Right," Adam Howard, MSNBC; "How John Wayne Became a Hollow Masculine Icon," Stephen Metcalf, The Atlantic; 1974 interview with John Wayne posted to YouTube by Common Sense Conservative; "The Quiet Man director John Ford died on this day in 1971 – Why is the film so popular?," John Deignan, Irish Central.
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