Just in time for the high holiday, make sure you check out the headliner film for the green season. John Ford directs this story of American boxer returning to his birth home in the west of Ireland. The story, truthfully, is a bit weak and more than a bit misogynistic, but the humor is right on, delivered mostly by the inimitable Barry Fitzgerald. John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara play the romantic leads with a cast rounded out with Victor Mclaglen, Ward Bond, Mildred Natwick and literally, the rest of the family. Ford, O’Hara and Fitzgerald all got their relatives cast the same way Ron Howard always casts his brother in a bit part. If you have never seen the movie, it’s similar to saying you have never seen “White Christmas”
The movie was filmed in and around the village of Cong in Connemara, in the west of Ireland. For years the cottage used stood on the grounds of Peacock’s (pronounced Paycocks) hotel at Maam Cross on the main road that leads from Galway to all the villages of the west. ( And on that dark road, the street lights at Maam Cross are the only ones for over 50 miles…)
Anyway, ex boxer Wayne arrives and immediately has a “schwing!” sighting of O’Hara and launches full pursuit of the redhead, fighting her brother along the way. All works out in the end, but there are some key one liners and the course of true love never runs smooth.
Enjoy the humor, the scenery, the sentimental movie of an Ireland that is long gone…and if you are ever in Ireland, in the village of Cong, you can see Sean Thornton carry his Mary Kate home…