Summaries

The Quiet Man (1952)

Film and Plot Synopsis

In The Quiet Man, Sean Thornton returns from America to reclaim his homestead and escape his past. Once there, Mary Kate Danaher, a beautiful but poor maiden, and younger sister of ill-tempered “Red” Will Danaher catches Sean’s eye. A riotous relationship soon forms between Sean and Mary Kate; even with Will’s feeble attempts to keep them apart. However, Sean’s dark past threatens to break the two lovers up.

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‘The Quiet Man’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
The Quiet Man - Theatrical Poster - Courtesy of RKO PicturesThe Quiet Man begins with Sean Thornton (John Wayne) leaving his home in America to return to his birthplace in Ireland. Upon arriving he meets the colorful Michaleen Flynn (Barry Fitzgerald) and falls in love at first sight with a red haired Irish beauty named Mary Kate Danaher (Maureen O’Hara).

He visits the home he was born in and purchases it from the wealthy widow that owns it. Unfortunately he also gets on the wrong side of a suitor of the widow, Will Danaher, who also happens to be Mary Kate’s hot -headed brother. Will refuses to allow Sean and Mary Kate to court. Because of their local customs, Mary Kate will not court without her brother’s permission.

Sean’s new friends hatch a plot to deceive Will into allowing Mary Kate and Sean to marry. Will believes that after their wedding, the Widow Tillane will be his bride. During Sean and Mary Kate’s reception, Will blows up when he learns that he was tricked. He refused to give Mary Kate her rightful dowry. Sean does not recognize how important this custom is to Mary Kate and will not demand the dowry.

Mary Kate is devastated to not receive her inheritance. For her it is about the principle and not the money. She refuses to consummate her marriage until she has her dowry. She fears that she has married a worthless coward.

Unknown to Mary Kate, Sean was once a boxer who killed an opponent with a knockout punch. Sean has come to Ireland to forget the tragedy and begin a new life, not to fight. The locals have dubbed Sean a “quiet man” because of his desire for peace.

The lack of communication and knowledge of each other leads to a rocky beginning for the newlyweds. Father Lonergan and Reverand Playfair step in to counsel the young couple and help them to see things from a different perspective.

After a promising night, Mary Kate feels hopeless and boards a train for Dublin. This is the last straw for Sean who literally drags her off of the train to confront Will. It seems the entire town is following to see the long awaited confrontation.

Sean demands the dowry and finally receives it from an embarrassed Will. Sean then proceeds to throw it into a furnace with Mary Kate’s permission. This is too much for Will and the punches begin to fly. By the end of the melee, Sean and Will are friends and the Widow Tillane agrees to Will’s courtship.

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