Faith and begorrah! "The Quiet Man" is one of the most beloved movies about Ireland and its people. John Wayne's swagger, traditional Irish music, beautiful scenery -- what's not to love? Test your knowledge of the movie here.
The locals are curious about why Sean has moved to this tiny village, but they soon learn the answer. His mother was a native, and he was born and spent much of his childhood there. In fact, he hopes to buy the very cottage in which he was born.
The movie opens with the main character, Sean Thornton, disembarking at the train station in Castletown, Ireland. It doesn't take long for him to realize things are a little different here as the locals take their time gossiping, even though the train is already several hours off-schedule.
Sean moves from the U.S. to the tiny village of Innisfree. Castletown is a larger town a few miles away where the locals go for more shopping options.
Sean has spent most of his life in the United States, specifically in Pittsburgh. That is where he established his home and his career.
The film is narrated by the parish priest, Father Peter Lonergan. He plays a role in the plot as well, but we first meet him as our narrator and we see events from his perspective.
Michaleen navigates the area in a horse and buggy. We first meet him when he picks Sean up at the train station and takes him to his new home.
Sean spots Mary Kate as she is herding a group of sheep in a field near the village. He is immediately taken by her beauty and although she notices him, she does not seem as enamored.
After seeing Mary Kate at mass, Sean waits outside the church until she comes out. When she appears, he offers her some holy water from the font outside the church, but she slaps away his hand and stomps away.
White o'Morn is the farm, complete with a thatched-roof cottage, that is the object of Sean's desire. He is determined to get it, no matter the cost.
Will Danaher is already the largest landholder in the area, but he isn't satisfied yet. He is determined to buy the adjacent property to increase his holdings, making him even more important in the village.
Mary Kate has a volatile relationship with Will, so although she barely knows Sean, she is happy when he outbids Will for the property. Her elation is mostly delight that Will was thwarted, rather than pleasure that Sean came out ahead.
The Wild Colonial Boy is a song that becomes something of a theme throughout the movie. It is appropriate since Sean has come to Ireland from the "Colonies."
Will and Mary Kate are brother and sister. Since neither is married, they live together and she takes care of the household duties as well as helping him on the farm.
Sean expects the cottage to be empty and abandoned, so he is surprised when he comes in and finds that a fire has been lit in the fireplace. He soon finds Mary Kate hiding in a dark corner.
Although she seems to be expressing an interest in Sean by coming to his cottage, Mary Kate is a fiery woman with a mind of her own. When he kisses her, she immediately slaps him.
Michaleen is Inisfree's matchmaker. He serves as a go-between, ascertaining whether two people are interested in exploring a relationship, and then proceeds to negotiate the terms of the potential relationship.
In the time and place portrayed in the film, a woman had to get permission from the head of her family in order to marry. In this case, Sean must ask her brother Will to allow the marriage.
Mary Kate is very proud of her fortune, or dowry. She has accumulated several pieces of furniture as well as numerous household items and a sum of money.
Will is a proud man, and losing White o' Morn to Sean was a blow to his pride. He is still very angry with the American and will not grant permission for the courtship -- or marriage -- out of spite.
Mary Kate is reluctant to submit her bonnet for the competition, but when she finally agrees, she is certain Sean will claim it. She is shocked, therefore, when he grabs the Widow Tillane's hat instead, leaving her bonnet unclaimed.
Some of the villagers hatch a plot to trick the stubborn Will into allowing the marriage. Knowing that he hopes to marry the Widow Tillane, they convince him that no woman wants to come into a household she will have to share with another woman, even if it is the man's single sister. Will immediately reverses course and allows the match, hoping it will increases his chances of getting the woman he wants.
The rules of courtship in Inisfree are strict and unflinching. An unmarried man and woman are not allowed to spend time together unless a proper chaperone is present, so Michaleen takes Mary Kate and Sean on their first date in his horse and buggy, and he sets the rules, including no touching.
Unhappy with Michaleen's strict courting rules, Sean takes matters into his own hands. Seeing a tandem bike leaning against a building in the village, he commandeers it and he and Mary Kate ride off together.
As Sean and Mary Kate are exploring an abandoned stone structure, a thunderstorm suddenly begins. Mary Kate is frightened and Sean holds her underneath an arch, although both get soaked anyway.
Will's announcement that he and the Widow Tillane will marry comes as quite a surprise, especially to her. She has no idea that Father Lonergan and the others have used her to trick Will into allowing Mary Kate and Sean to marry.
Sean was a prominent fighter in the U.S. but he has a dark secret. During a fight, he knocked out his opponent and the man died. This still weighs heavily on Sean and makes him reluctant to get into an argument that might lead to blows.
Mary Kate is proud, and she is upset that her brother is withholding her rightful dowry and that Sean is unwilling to step up and fight for it. Until she has her belongings around her, she does not consider herself a real wife, and so she sends Sean to the living room with his sleeping bag.
Sean was known as Trooper Thornton during his boxing days. The people of Inisfree gradually realize who their new neighbor is and find newspaper clippings about his career.
Sean does not completely understand Irish customs, so he is baffled about why the dowry is so important to his new wife. In addition, he knows that he is capable of killing without meaning to and has vowed never to land another blow on a man, so the idea of fighting Will is out of the question.
Refusing to fight for the dowry, Sean nevertheless becomes angry when Will refuses to budge, because his wife is upset. However, rather than insisting on getting the fortune, Sean simply tells Will he can have Mary Kate back.
The morning after their wedding, Sean and Mary Kate are surprised to see a wagon pull up in front of their cottage. Although he is hanging onto the cash, Will has been persuaded to give up the furniture, which is promptly unloaded and placed in the cottage.
Sean never needed or wanted the money Mary Kate had accumulated. He only pressed the issue because it was so important to her, so when Will finally hands it over, Sean tosses it into the fire to show how little it means to him.
Ever the entrepreneur, Michaleen knows an opportunity when he sees one. As the two men punch and wrestle their way through the fields and the village, Michaleen sets himself up as a bookmaker for those who want to make a wager.
Exhausted from their efforts, the two men pause between blows to refresh themselves at the local pub. While inside, their only argument is over who will buy the drinks.
As a further sign that all is now well in the Thornton/Danaher family, Will goes to his sister's new home after the fight ends. There the three of them sit down for dinner together.