While John Ford might be best known for westerns like Stagecoach and The Searchers, he earned Academy Awards for other projects like The Grapes of Wrath and The Quiet Man. Now, Olive Films delivers the high definition transfer of the latter, a romantic drama/comedy set in Ireland.
When the Irish-American ex-boxer Sean Thornton (John Wayne) arrives in Ireland, he’s looking to find his way in his ancestral home. But he’s quickly sucked into a conflict between his new wife, Mary Kate (Maureen O’Hara), and her brother, Red (Victor McLaglen), over her dowry and land. Culminating in a battle royale between the two men, the story is ultimately the transformation of a couple’s relationship and a struggle for respect.
Thanks to Olive’s attentive details, fans will experience audio commentary from Joseph McBride, a biographer of John Ford, and a tribute to Ford by Peter Bogdanovich. There’s also a tribute to Maureen O’Hara (with Ally Sheedy, Hayley Mills, and Juliet Mills) and a 1992 featurette written and hosted by Leonard Maltin.
Fans of older films will rejoice at the way this 1953 winner for Best Director and Best Cinematography translates on Blu-ray. With stellar performances by Wayne, O’Hara, and Best Supporting Actor nominee McLaglen (one of five additional nominations), the film shares a story that is still important today. What do we value? How do we earn respect? All of this matters, just not necessarily how we think it does.