Few movies can boast such a stunning range of locations as The Quiet Man, which was filmed largely in Ireland, in picturesque rural Galway and south Co. Mayo.
It was one of the first color films ever shot outside of North America and many members of the crew fell in love with their surroundings and brought their families back to Ireland on vacation.
The village of Cong straddles the border of Galway and Mayo and is perhaps the most famous of the film’s locations. Cong now hosts a museum dedicated to the movie and visitors can take guided tours to the locations where the famous fight scene was shot, where Sean Thornton and Mary Kate Danaher courted, and to see the Dying Man’s house, Pat Cohan’s Bar and the Reverend Playfair’s House.
The village’s appearances in the film transformed the area from a sleepy parish in the west into a hub for tourists from all over the world with thousands of the movie’s fans flocking to pay homage.
Nowadays the local Ashford Castle castle is a five-star hotel and Rory McIlroy and his wife Erica Stoll recently married there.
Oughterard, Co Galway
The beautiful stone bridge where Sean dreamed that his mother told him about White O Mornin Cottage is located just outside Oughterard. The bridge is clearly signposted and remains completely unchanged since the 1950s. A small plaque of Wayne sitting on the bridge is all that marks it out from any other bridge in rural Ireland but locals are used to tourists turning up and asking for directions. Feel free to pose for pictures as Maureen O’Hara and John Wayne - you won’t be the first or the last!
Lettergesh Beach, Co Galway
In The Quiet Man, the sandy strand of Lettergesh comes alive with the swirl of bagpipes, the thundering clash of hooves and the cheers of crowds with a betting slip in their pockets.
Today the beach is much the same as it was nearly 70 years ago and for horse lovers you can even go riding on the strand.
Ballyglunin Train Station, Co. Galway
Seen in the very first scene of the film, the railway station was closed for good in 1976 and gradually became derelict. Recently however locals began to fundraiser in order to restore it to its former glory and fans the world over - including Liam Neeson and Gabriel Byrne - pulled together to raise $35,000 for the project.
Maam, Co Galway - White O'Morn Cottage
“Do you think he’s sell?” John Wayne asks of a beautiful cottage.
“I doubt it,” is the reply.
“Well don’t bet on it because I’m buying it!” he brashly concludes.
Now few would be interested in living in the cottage just south of the parish of Maam: the former icon of cinematic history long ago fell into disrepair and now nothing much more remains of it than the bones of its old structure.
The beloved cottage was the subject of a lengthy media and PR battle, and was eventually given protected status by the local council in 2015, but no steps have been taken to enforce the current owner to take the appropriate protective or restorative measures.
Have you visited any of The Quiet Man's filming locations? Tell us in the comments!