By Joe Kirkish*
CALUMET -- The Quiet Man is Club Indigo's choice for March at the Calumet Theatre -- this Friday, March 7 -- as the annual tribute to the wearin' of the green.
The movie, now considered one of the most memorable uses of Ireland as its base, was created, ironically (and well), as a labor of love from Hollywood's Republic Studios; and the cast is comprised of Hollywood stars mixed in with some of the best from the Auld Sod as well. The result: the kind of classic that American audiences never tire of seeing over and over.
John Wayne performs to tell the story of Sean Thornton (John Wayne), who was born in Inisfree, went to Pittsburgh where he became a prize fighter, then left to settle in his homeland with a dark secret accompanying him. There he meets a charming red-headed beauty, Mary Kate (Maureen O'Hara), and after a tempestuous initial relationship they fall in love. Despite her brother's reluctance to a wedding, and thanks to the good offices of a wily marriage broker, the priest, the vicar, and the townspeople -- and after a wildly rousing homeland go-around -- the film settles down to the makings of a lively romantic comedy. But not before director John Ford has his pleasure in creating the battle-to-end-all-Irish-set-battles to complete this decidedly Hibernian tribute to historic film making.
With a supporting cast including Barry Fitzgerald, Ward Bond, Victor McGlaglen, and Mildred Natwick, how could the film not succeed? But with cinematographer Winton Hock's gorgeously shot scenery and Victor Young's appropriately Irish music, the film's historic place in great film making has been cinched.
The movie begins at 7:15 p.m., preceded at 6 p.m. by a Hibernian buffet from the Irish Times, including corned beef specially imported from Dublin. (For those not eating meat during Lent, a special, also appropriate, substitute will be supplied.) Cost for both food and film, $20. Film alone, $5. There is a special discount for kids ten and under.
The Quiet Man has been sponsored by the Shelden Grill, Houghton, and the Irish Times, Laurium. For seating at the buffet, call the Calumet Theatre before 5 p.m. Thursday, March 6, at 337-2610.
*Author Joe Kirkish, host of the Club Indigo film series, is a local photographer and film critic.