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The Quiet Man

Victor Young

This 1952 Technicolor classic remains one of the most beloved collaborations between director John Ford and star John Wayne, a pastoral departure from their usual Western fare. Based on a 1933 short story by Maurice Walsh originally published in the Saturday Evening Post, it stars Wayne as a retired boxer who returns to the Irish village of his birth to find unexpected romance with the incomparable Maureen O’Hara.

Like Ford and Wayne, composer Victor Young’s pre-1952 work was typically more closely identified with muscular fare –
Sands of Iwo Jima, Streets of Laredo and Rio Grande as well as such Cecil B. DeMille spectacles as Samson and Delilah and the Oscar-winning The Greatest Show on Earth, also made in 1952. But his work on softer, more romantic films like 1949’s My Foolish Heart and 1950’s September Affair nonetheless established his credentials as one of the most diverse composers from an era with no shortage of scoring legends. His work on The Quiet Man, however, is often ranked among his very best – a score of unparalleled melodic luminosity and orchestral color. Possessed of all the ebullient sweep typically associated with Hollywood studio films of the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s, Young’s work here goes several steps beyond, incorporating traditional Irish folk tunes and minstrel music in what is as much a tribute to the heart and soul of the Irish people as it is a salute to the iconic tandem of Ford and Wayne. An impassioned, heartfelt Hollywood classic.
The Quiet Man
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