Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Quiet One (1952)

*Note: This post was written by the infamous, hubby. After 3 years about blogging about him and our doings, he has agreed to share his review of the movies that we're watching.*

I love video games. Some of my earliest memories are of those playing my Gameboy to pass the time on our family trips between Anchorage and Fairbanks (360 miles) as a child. As I grew older I never grew out of my fascination with video games and in time came to see interactive media as an art form (Roger Ebert’s disapproval is noted). Nowadays I would say I clock more than 1000 hours a year on my hobby of choice and that’s probably being conservative.

Recently I checked the online statistics of an action game I’ve been playing since early 2012. The database revealed that I had played this particular game for 200 hours in the past two years. Of course I remembered snippets of where that time had gone. A quick match before heading off to work or to unwind when I got home. A lazy Sunday afternoon could turn into a three hour session and so on. Month-by-month the hours had climbed. I had a blast and I don’t regret a thing, though the realization forced me to put in context how I had been spending my free time.

The thought came to me, for the time I’ve spent playing this one game I could have watched close to 100 movies I’ve never seen before. While I have no intention of giving up video games any time soon, I proposed to Amanda that we put together a list of the best movies to date and make an effort to watch the ones we haven’t seen over the months to come.

We put together the collection below of 148 titles which is a concatenation of the “best movies” lists from the American Film Institute and AMC. I was surprised to realize I’ve seen only a handful of the movies on the list and only around five since Amanda and I met. Some (e.g. E.T.) I haven’t seen in over 20 years.

We began our cinematic journey with a 1952 romantic-comedy The Quiet One, starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. I had never heard of the movie and Amanda’s reaction was less than enthusiastic.

“I’ve never liked John Wayne, I think his acting tends to be a bit wooden” she grimaced.
“Well in that case, woodn’t you like to get this one out of the way first?” my first bad pun of the evening.

The Quiet One is set in 1920’s Ireland as an Irish-American Sean Thornton (played by Wayne) returns to settle his family’s ancestral homestead. His new neighbors, the Danahers, are a brother and sister pair played by Victor McLaglen and Maureen O’Hara. Thornton’s attempts to court the sister Mary Kate Danaher are led astray by her brother Will’s refusal to her give consent to marry.

A common theme throughout the film is the clash between American and Irish customs, usually at Thornton’s expense. These misunderstandings are the source of many of the film’s humorous moments, but also the recurring conflict which is punctuated by the final confrontation between Sean and Will.

The humor is still crisp six decades later and more than once I caught myself laughing out loud. I will avoid spoiling the ending and let it suffice to say that we were both pleasantly surprised by this romantic comedy after all. While the 129 minute runtime seemed daunting at the outset, the film is well-paced and fills those two hours with a seamless narrative. In short, we wouldn't hesitate to recommend it for a date night with someone special.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like a great list. Sophie's Choice .... oh my gosh ....

    I didn't see it on the list but you should definitely see The Elephant Man. :-)