My favorite film: Gee!! I never noticed THAT before...

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My favorite film: Gee!! I never noticed THAT before...

Post by rohanaka »

(Boy... I had a hard time figuring out WHERE to put this thread... but I hope TRIVIA is as good a place as any)

Ok… the “gauntlet” has officially been thrown down.. (sorry Ollie…. But you have this coming… ) I have to talk about The Quiet Man now... ha. :)

And I suppose I could have just posted this all in an already existing thread for The Quiet Man… but I wanted to go a little further than that. (And folks… this is a big step for me because I am not a “thread starter by nature… ha. So please bear with me) I am making this an “open thread” so anyone else who has a favorite movie of their own that they want to talk about is welcome to post their OWN list of “Things you never noticed or thought about before”. And I will start the ball rolling with a few “rambling thoughts” I wanted to share on my favorite movie of all time…. THE QUIET MAN. And if any of this looks familiar to some…. I borrowed some of this from posts I made WAY back late last summer at TCM because as a “seasoned” TQM fan…. It was fun for me to realize there was just still so much about this film that I had not fully appreciated in past viewings. And I am sure as I keep pulling this movie out again and again over the years, there will be even MORE that I find that I never noticed before.

So… “Without Further Eloquence”, (ha) I give you my first official thread here at SSO.

You know....usually I watch films for their stories. Sure, I can also appreciate good "filmmaking" while I do that---though I readily confess that my technical knowledge leaves A LOT to be desired. But, honestly I usually just more or less get caught up in understanding the story....its themes...the characters and their motivations...etc Ask me about almost any movie I've seen and I can tell you why I like or dislike the story or characters. But I am usually clueless when it comes to being able to tell you how it was filmed, directed, edited, etc.

Maybe it's because I like to get to know a good movie like I get to know people...I am a very "talky-chatty" kinda person. No--really!! You might not have noticed that about me yet, but it's true! So I guess the story and characters in a movie are what I relate to the most--because talking to people and sharing stories are things I enjoy. And let's face it...the characters and the plot of a film are really what movies are all about. (Otherwise, you are just filming scenery, ha!)

But having said all that, over the last year or so, I have come to have a much deeper appreciation (more than ever before) for the filmmaking process in general, and for John Ford films in particular. And lately I am so "in tune" to my new "Ford sense" that I have been watching a lot of old favorites with a much closer than normal eye. ( I feel kinda like Spiderman with his spidey sense...except I can't crawl around on the ceiling or swing from a web or anything. HA!)

But I AM noticing there are more things about these movies than I realized--in the characters, the storylines and themes, the scenery, the music...and also (certainly) in the technical aspects of the films as well. I realize I am a new member here, but I have popped in many times in the past to read and observe… and I have been hanging out a LOT (way more than I should) over at TCM for a while now. And so, my fellow post-ers (especially those of you w/ dual citizenship) … since reading all YOUR thoughts and comments in various places is what has led me to hone all my new found film watching skills... I want you all to know...I blame you. HA!

So... as my first official entry in the Gee I never noticed THAT before thread.... here is my list of 8 THINGS ABOUT THE QUIET MAN THAT I NEVER NOTICED, REALIZED, OR THOUGHT ABOUT BEFORE :

1) The wonderful colors....I know that they have always been a part of the film...but the costumes and the scenery just seem so alive. I am sure this is the whole technicolor thing--( I remember hearing in the little documentary at the end of my vhs tape about how the head guy at Republic wanted to use a lesser quality (and less expensive) process....I am so glad that did not happen. And for whatever reason, the colors were just so much more vibrant to me this time around....the emerald greens... the blue in the sky....Mary Kate's blue dress---and that RED hair--just awesome! ("That red hair is no lie!") Even the color and texture in the horses' manes was so could almost feel it.

2) John Wayne's use of facial expressions....they were over the top in certain places in this film. I know I've seen it all before....but for some reason it just impressed me all the more the way he could communicate (without speaking) exactly what he was thinking. (This is not a quality in his acting that I have really appreciated in the past) . Examples: when he sees Mary Kate for the first time...I remembered he looked surprised....but the man's eyes literally almost bug out of his head. He really doesn't seem sure if he is seeing her "for real" the first time. And later when he is talking to Rev. Playfair about his "situation" with Mary Kate and why he doesn't want to fight....he is all smiles as the Vicar offers him a drink...and then he grows all quiet and solemn when he hears the other man say that he better not drink after all because he'll be in "training"now. It's like his face just falls...very slowly at first, but then all at once as he reverts back to the serious thoughts on his mind. And then of course there is the look of disbelief and shock when you see him in the flashback scene in the boxing ring. I know I have seen these all before...but I just had a deeper appreciation for the way he communicated it all non-verbally.

3) John Wayne is a "firebug" (HA!) I don't know how many times I saw him throw a lighted match or cigarette around (just about every time he got mad maybe) and it wasn't always outside....some of his "tosses" were indoors!! (I also noticed this tendency in his character in McClintock the last time I watched that one too).Didn't he ever hear of an ashtray?? OH MY GOLLY!! I've seen him toss those flaming sticks around before, but I guess it never registered with me exactly what he was doing until recently. I think it is a great "method" that seems to work for him in certain settings. (Liberty Valance is a great example). But could you just imagine real life??

" burned a hole in the Persian rug...AGAIN!" or..."Duke--how many times have I told you not to set fire to the living room curtains???" If he did something like that in my house, I think I'd have to take a broom to him or something. (after I put out the fire, of course) HA! :lol:

4) There is a scene where Sean and Danaher meet and argue at the pub, and then later Sean is buying everyone drinks, and he keeps losing his mug to everyone else (especially Michaeleen Flynne) It's all a lot of slight of hand and it's very subtle. If you are focusing on the characters' faces, you will likely miss it. But it is priceless. ( I think I may have noticed this before, but did not remember it or really appreciate it before now)

5) There is some old guy just standing around in front of the fireplace at the Widow Tillane's house when Sean is there arguing with Danaher about buying the cottage. Don't ask me who he is or why he is there, but never in all the times of watching this have I ever seen him there until this last time I watched it. When the maid introduces Danaher at the door, Will walks right past him. And this guy is just standing there like a statue sort of looking off in the distance. He never speaks or shows any interest whatever in the conversation at hand....WHO is that guy and why is he there??? Inquiring minds wanna know.

6) Steven Spielberg must have gotten his skill at finding "faces" from watching Ford movies. My husband and I have a "thing" we say when we see someone that has an interesting "character" sort of face...we say they have a "Spielberg face". ( Grizzled--looking old men...women who look work worn and have a sort of quiet wisdom in their expression. Even somebody who just looks a little bit "devil may care") But lately I have realized that Ford has a REAL knack for choosing faces as well.. and he had this going on all over the place in The Quiet Man. With the townsfolk especially, but also in the flashback scene when Sean is in the boxing ring. And you know all about who each of those characters are just by looking at their faces....where they come from ...what they are thinking...maybe even what their voices would sound like if they opened up their mouths to speak. After noticing all this, I have since come to revise my whole concept of what constitutes a "Spielberg Face" and started calling them "Ford Faces" instead.

7) When Michaeleen is talking to Mary Kate for the first time as "the matchmaker" and they are in her parlor--if you look out the window behind her--you can clearly see water falling outside the window--as if it is raining. And then when the camera is on water. I noticed this several times, and I wonder if this really is rain--or is there maybe a "mill" or something running behind the house on that side and that is the water I am seeing?? I suppose it could have been raining on the day they filmed her part and not when they filmed him, but I am doing my best to refrain from using the "B" word (blooper). But it really struck me as unusual. So I went back and looked at this thing again a couple of times and I do think that it really was a “blooper” kinda thing…. because it is happening in more than one window in two different rooms. And also on the day in question--when they filmed the outside sequence as he is arriving in his little cart to start the official matchmaking proceedings, it is obviously not a "rainy" day--so unless this is some sort of freak Irish rainshower where it rains outside one window of your house and not the other--I think this may be one of those "oops" kinda moments.

Not that it is all THAT big a deal… but it was just something that caught my eye. I am sure Ford probably never dreamed one day over 50 yrs later, some old woman like me with nothing better to do with her time would be sitting in her living room with the vcr remote control playing it backwards and forwards to see if what she thought she noticed was really there. HA! More likely, he took the attitude that my dear departed Grandma used to take when someone had a little smudge on their sleeve or a button that might have a loose thread...."It won't be noticed on a galloping horse!" Nice to know that even 'heroes" like Ford have an off day now and then. Gives me a little hope that my own personal boo-boos in life are survivable too!

8 Barry Fitzgerald and Arthur Shields are brothers. ( I learned this from the little documentary at the end of the tape....I hadn't watched that in years) HA!!! That explains a lot!! NO WONDER every time I've seen Shields in other movies...I always start out thinking he's Fitzgerald instead. DUH!! (I know…. I still have a LOT to learn to catch up w/ all you more learned folk, don’ t I??? ha.

So there you have it...I am sure if I tried, I could think of a lot of other things to add to my list. But then you all would probably fall asleep reading this--I should have warned you it was a long post...(did I mention I was a talky/chatty kinda person???)

And if you have managed to make it to the end of this ridiculously LONG post (without snoring..ha) I hope you will have a list of your own to share with me sometime. Because again… this is an “open” thread for these sorts of thoughts on OTHER favorite films… (I know.. no matter HOW much I like this film... it doesn’t have to always be “all about The Quiet Man” HA! ) Thanks for letting me share! :D
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Re: My favorite film: Gee!! I never noticed THAT before...

Post by knitwit45 »

Hi neighbor!
I never noticed someone standing in front of the fireplace before, and I've watched and loved The Quiet Man for years upon years.
Either in a review, or in a commentary, it has been said that the green of Ireland was in itself a star of the movie. The colors are so rich they almost hurt your eyes. Even the whitewashed cottage is stunning in its brightness.
Rohanaka, did you realize the entire movie cast was a "family'" affair? Besides Fitzgerald and Shields, O'Sullivan's brother was one of the IRA men, Huston's brother was the old man on his "deathbed" and John Wayne's children were the 2 on the wagon at the horse race.
The rain outside the window is so effective when Mary Kate peers out into the night, watching Sean walk away from her. It looks like tears running down her face and tears running down the window. Lovely moment.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this movie.
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Re: My favorite film: Gee!! I never noticed THAT before...

Post by rohanaka »

Hiya Neighbor !!!
knitwit45 wrote:I never noticed someone standing in front of the fireplace before, and I've watched and loved The Quiet Man for years upon years.
Yep... he's there alright. And I never noticed him before either. He's just hanging around for no apparent reason (maybe he's just there holding down the carpet..ha)

I liked you comment about the brightness of the colors and the green being a "star" of the film. It is so true. The colors really all just "pop" in this movie.

And yes, I did know about the "family angle'. I have been learning that Ford did that a lot in his films. Maureen O'hara's brothers, Duke's kids, and John Ford's brother all had a part in this one for sure. (and PS... I LOVED Francis Ford in this film. He is a total crack up. I have started watching for him in all the Ford films... and he isn't in all of them... but he was in a LOT of them.... and usually playing some grizzled old bearded guy without a lot of dialouge.... but just there to add to the atmosphere) .

(I'm Kathy by the way... a little easier to spell than my screen name... ha)
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