The Quiet Man: 12 things you never knew about the iconic Irish film starring John Wayne & Maureen O'Hara
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The Quiet Man: 12 things you never knew about the iconic Irish film starring John Wayne & Maureen O'Hara

THE QUIET MAN usually tops the list of 'must see' movies for St. Patrick's Day each year, and for good reason.

John Ford's classic 1952 romcom was filmed almost entirely in Ireland and stars John Wayne as a 'Yank' who returns to his ancestral Irish village, falling for a fiery farm girl played by Maureen O'Hara in the process.

Here are 12 facts you probably didn't know about one of Ireland's most treasured films of all time, The Quiet Man...

1. Naming process

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The two lead characters - Sean and Mary Kate - were named after director John Ford's first name (in Irish) and the two ladies John Wayne loved the most - Mary (his wife) and Kate (Katharine Hepburn).

2. Original title

According to John Ford, Republic Pictures head Herbert J. Yates disliked the title and wanted the film renamed "The Prizefighter and the Colleen".

Ford disagreed as he was worried the title would give the plot away. Luckily, he prevailed.

3. Rough shoot

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Maureen O'Hara broke a bone in her hand while slapping John Wayne during the scene when they first kiss.

Since the movie wasn't being filmed in sequential order, she couldn't wear a cast to fix the fracture.

If that wasn't enough, poor Maureen had no stunt double for the scene when Wayne drags her across the fields back to the village - and was left bruised by the rough terrain.

4. Personal favourite

Maureen O'Hara in later life (Image: Getty)

Nevertheless, Maureen O'Hara later revealed that The Quiet Man was her favourite of her films, and is even said to have listened to its soundtrack shortly before her death aged 95 on October 24, 2015.

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5. Irish tongue

The Quiet Man is one of the few Hollywood films in which the native Irish language is spoken.

Other movies featuring Irish scenes include Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959), The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006) and The Guard (2011).

6. Truly an Emerald Isle

Maureen O'Hara in Cong, Co. Galway during filming (Image: YouTube)
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The colour green can be seen somewhere in EVERY shot in the film - but not on any of the actors' costumes except for Maureen O'Hara's green floral dress in the cemetery scene.

7. Historical criticism

The Quiet Man may have helped propagate a few myths about Ireland (Picture: iStock)

Despite its beautiful portrayal of the Irish countryside, the film has been criticised by some for its "idealised" and "unrealistic" portrayal of the Irish Free State in the 1920s.

8. Classic pairing

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John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara starred together in 5 motion pictures altogether (Image: Getty)

The Quiet Man was the second of five movies that paired John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara - the other four being Rio Grande (1950), The Wings of Eagles (1957), McLintock! (1963) and Big Jake (1971).

9. Restor-station

John Wayne at Ballyglunin Train Station in The Quiet Man (Image: Ballyglunin.com)

The train station featured in the film, located in Ballyglunin, Co. Galway, fell into repair in the six decades since the film's release but was restored last year thanks to a huge €80,000 grant from the Irish Government.

The famed location was saved from dereliction in 2017 when the Ballyglunin Community Development Company (BCDC) raised over €30,000 – with a little help from Irish Hollywood stars Liam Neeson and Gabriel Byrne along the way.

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Ballyglunin has since received a further €80,000 from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to help it become a major tourist hub.

10. Cottage replicas

Replica Quiet Man cottages in Cong (left) and Maam Cross (Image: TripAdvisor)

A replica of the famous thatched cottage in the movie is located at Maam Cross in Co. Galway.

There is also a replica in the village of Cong in Co. Mayo - where much of the film was shot.

11. 'Quiet Man Crazies'

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The sun sets over Lough Corrib near Cong in the west of Ireland (Image: iStock)

The movie's fans who visit Cong to see the sites where it was filmed are called 'Quiet Man Crazies' by some locals - but they're a friendly lot really!

12. E.T. easter egg

A scene in 1982's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial features a television playing the classic moment when Wayne and O'Hara lock lips.

The easter egg was a deliberate one by director Steven Spielberg - who viewed John Ford as one of his biggest inspirations.

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You can view the clip 45 seconds into the above video!