I saw this movie last night as part of the Boston Irish Film Festival. It was fantastic. Very well done. Lots of clips from the movie, interviews from different people (Jim Sheridan, Martin Scorsese, local town's people, Maureen O'Hara, John Ford's family members, professors, etc, etc) and video clips of John Ford and some photo stills of his personal photos. Gabriel Byrne was the narrator for the film, but it was in spots. He wasn't talking throughout the whole movie, but plenty enough, if you know what I mean.
The movie was about John Ford's dream and struggle with making The Quiet Man. Hollywood studios thought it was just a "silly little Irish movie" so he had to cut deals and pull strings and get help from John Wayne in order to get the movie made. Most people who talked about him, talked about how grumpy he was, how stubborn he was, unpleasant at times to work for, always got his way, but in the same sentence they'd say how they were so glad they worked for him rather than not to have worked for him. At the end of the day, everyone that worked for him was considered his family.
The documentary was much better than I had expected. The producer of the film spoke briefly before the movie aired. She read an email from the director because he does not fly and could not make it to the festival. He badly wanted to be, but there was just no way he could be. After the film there was a Q & A with the producer.
I asked her if the film will be released on DVD and she said yes, but not maybe until either late summer or by the end of the year. There are some other film festivals it will be showing at from now until the end of the summer, and they can't have it out on DVD until all of those are done. She also said that it will be airing Christmas Day in Ireland, but everything will be in Gaelic. So there will be voice overs for all the english speaking parts that were in the film. I think that would be very interesting to hear. I hope we might get to see that digitally, if possible in December. If not, by then we all should be able to purchase it on DVD on Amazon all over the world she said.
The Quiet Man, with it's fantasy village called "Innisfree" brings the small town in Ireland called Cong, so many visitors each year who cannot get enough of The Quiet Man. The film shows the town today and how tourists flock there to take tours to where scenes were filmed, the store fronts that were changed by John Ford, and to see the famous White O' Mourn cottage, that unfortunately is in ruins and is just a foundation of rocks right now. This year marks the 60th Anniversary of The Quiet Man, and the producer said there are efforts in the works to try to rebuild the cottage as it appeared in the movie, and there are some planned events that will take place commemorating the film on its anniversary.
I was glad to hear that the documentary will be available to everyone later in the year. When it is available, we will post that news on here. Stay tuned.
Here is what Gabriel said last year about The Quiet Man as part of his film retrospect at MOMA: