But the topic this week is favorite love scenes in movies, and I do have a favorite--the graveyard scene from The Quiet Man. Its a movie I have loved since I was young. (my Irish Grandma was born on St Patrick's Day, even before DVD;s we watched it whenever it was on.) Let me tell you a little about this film and my favorite scene.
I am sometimes yes, sometimes no on John Wayne, it depends on the movie. But I think it can be said that more than any other actor of the golden age of Hollywood he worked well with strong female leads. He didn't mind sharing the screen time with them, actually upped his game when he had one to work against. This is true all the way to his last movie, The Shootist, where he worked across from Lauren Bacall. Of all those strong willed females costars, the very best was Maureen O'Hara. I have always loved Maureen O'Hara. I think she was one of the most beautiful actresses ever to appear on film, and one of the few who was equally lovely in both black and white or color. (Most actresses look better in one or the other. Bette Davis, or Greta Garbo, looked better in black and white. Elizabeth Taylor looked better in color.) She was great in alot of movies, (I particularly like her in How Green was my Valley, one of my favorite films) but she was at her very best when working with John Wayne and being directed by John Ford.
Which brings me to The Quiet Man. This romance about a boxer who kills a man in the ring, retires to his native Ireland to find peace and quiet, only to find he has to fight to keep the woman he loves almost didnt get made. The studio didnt think there was any money in it. But Ford,Wayne, and O'Hara all wanted to make the film, and the studio wanted to keep them happy so after a number of trade-offs they were all allowed to trek off to Ireland with some technicolor cameras and make this movie.
The story is surprisingly mature for a 50's romance. When Mary-Kate's brother refuses to pay her dowry to her husband, she refuses to sleep with him, saying that without the money that belongs to her, she is just chattel changing hands from brother to husband. Sean,who has plenty of money for both of them from his boxing career doesnt understand why she cares about the money. At one point, to evade the censors, Mary Kate tells the whole story to her parish priest-in Gaelic. In one of the funniest lines in the film, the priest tells her "Ireland may be a poor country but here a man sleeps in a bed with his wife and not in a bag on the floor..."
Eventually everything works itself out, of course and all live happily ever after.
If havent seen this movie you should. TCM almost always runs it around St Patrick's Day, or if you can get the DVD with the commentary by Maureen O'Hara you will learn all about the making of the film and the history of the locations as well.
Now to my favorite scene. When Sean goes courting Mary Kate, he learns that there is an elaborate local custom in which courting couples are escorted to various activities, by the local marriage broker. On ther first date, the walking out together, they evade their chaperone and go wandering across the countryside, and end up in an old cemetary, where this happens.