Dinner and a Movie: 'The Quiet Man' and Irish-spirited brisket

The Food Dude shares ideas for what to watch and what to eat on St. Patrick's Day.
by Dave Cathey Published: March 13, 2012

Not everyone can fit into Sean Cummings Irish Pub on Saturday. Nor can McNellie's, Tapwerks or Saints contain everyone wanting to either celebrate their Irish heritage or pretend to have Irish heritage this St. Patrick's Day.

And not everyone likes to drink Guinness Irish Stout or Jameson Irish Whiskey.

But that doesn't mean you can't have a good time and celebrate your Irishness (or lack thereof) with some spirits.

For this dinner and a movie discussion, I thought it might do to consider a family film as those are the most likely folks to be home on Saturday night.

There are many great films set or about the emerald isle. For me, the list begins with “The Quiet Man.” John Wayne and John Ford made a lot of memorable films together, but “The Quiet Man” is my favorite. And director Ford's love letter to his Irish heritage, starring Wayne and Maureen O'Hara is riddled with family connections.

O'Hara's younger brothers Charles Fitzsimons and James Fitzsimons (though in this picture he went by the last name Lilburn) play Hugh Forbes and Father Paul. Scene-stealing Barry Fitzgerald, who portrayed Michaleen Og Flynn, and Arthur Shields, who played the protestant clergyman Cyril Playfair, were also brothers. Ford also employed his older brother Francis Ford, who plays Dan Tobin. Ken Curtis, whom American would embrace as Festus on “Gunsmoke,” was newly married to John Ford's daughter Barbara, which won him a bit part as an accordion player.

The Duke brought his four kids to the location shoot in Ireland, and each ended up with a role in the horse race scene.

“The Quiet Man” took years for Ford to see to fruition. He'd optioned rights on the story in the 1930s but refused to begin production unless it was shot in Technicolor and on location in Ireland. Neither practice was common for those days, so Ford went on to other projects before Republic Pictures stepped up to meet Ford's demands.

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by Dave Cathey
Food Editor
The Oklahoman's food editor, Dave Cathey, keeps his eye on culinary arts and serves up news and reviews from Oklahoma’s booming food scene.
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