While visiting Cong village, County Mayo for the 60th anniversary and the first “The Quiet Man” Festival, Irish Hollywood legend Mareen O’Hara spoke about just how special this iconic movie has become over the last six decade.
She said “You have no idea what the film means in the whole world…you can go to China, you go to Japan, you go to South America, you go to Argentina in particular - where everybody thinks they're Irish - and all they talk about is, 'Oh the film The Quiet Man. Oh tell us this, tell us that, tell us the other'. It was the dream of our life to make it."
When asked whether she realized the movie would be such a hit she told RTE “We were so thrilled and so excited to be doing a movie in Ireland about Ireland... I couldn't tell you our pride, and also our fear that it wouldn't be shown as we remembered and as we wanted our native land to be shown."
“The Quiet Man” is often considered to be “stage Irish” or perhaps a little twee. When asked whether she was every embarrassed over this she said “No! Because it wasn't! Where did you get that rubbish?! Honest to God! That it was stage Irish?! Are you going to answer me? No. No, ok? Well, then, I won't nag you anymore."
The feisty 91-year-old red-head is still keeping the secret of what she said to John Wayne during the famous kiss scene. All she would say to the RTE documentary makers was ”If you had to confess it in confession then you'd never go to confession again!"
She described Wayne as “wonderful to work with”.
She also spoke to the crew about the director John Ford, referring to him as “an old divil” and said that “The Quiet Man” was “his life" and "what he wanted to leave when he kicked the bucket".
Here’s the original trailer for “The Quiet Man”: