Maureen O'Hara once admitted that she and John Wayne had to get one scene from "The Quiet Man" perfect on the first take or director John Ford would have "strung us up from our toes."
The famous film, which tells the story of a boxer who returns to his native Ireland to purchase his old family farm, helped to create an image of Ireland in American popular culture that has persisted into modern times.
With the relationship between Maureen O'Hara and John Wayne at its core, "The Quiet Man" has regularly been lauded as one of the best and most important Irish films of all time.
That on-screen chemistry notwithstanding, O'Hara and Wayne were under immense pressure to get the film's famous cemetery scene right in one take.
"It’s everything that happens right up to the embrace and kiss," O'Hara wrote in her memoir "Tis Herself: A Memoir."
"We had to get it in one take because our clothes were sopping wet when we finished. If we missed it, then our costumes would have to be cleaned, dried, and ironed.
"Our hair would have to be washed, dried, and reset. Makeup would have to be reapplied. These things take hours and hours to do and cost thousands and thousands of dollars for each take. We got it in one."
The subsequent kissing scene was shot in a separate take, O'Hara suggested in her memoir.
She said she enjoyed "electric" chemistry with Wayne because she was the "only leading lady big enough and tough enough" for him.
O'Hara also revealed that received praise from "The Quiet Man" fans for decades after the film's release for her performance in the cemetery scene.
O'Hara's memoir provided insights into her experiences in the film industry, her relationships with fellow actors and directors, and her personal life. She discusses her roles in classic films like "The Quiet Man" and "Miracle on 34th Street," as well as her interactions with notable figures such as John Wayne and John Ford.
Critics and readers appreciated the candid and engaging storytelling in the book. O'Hara's strong personality and her ability to share both her triumphs and challenges resonated with readers, offering a behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood's golden era. The memoir also sheds light on the struggles she faced as a woman in a male-dominated industry.
* Originally published in October 2022. Updated in August 2023.