The Quiet Man appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.37:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The transfer delivered an appealing presentation.
Sharpness consistently appeared positive. Only a few slightly soft shots materialized, so the majority of the movie demonstrated good clarity. I noticed no issues with jagged edges or shimmering, and edge enhancement remained absent. I did see a little digital noise reduction, and a couple of tiny specks cropped up along the way.
Colors were strong. With a firm green base, we also got a nice mix of red, yellows and blues. These looked lush and vivid in fine Technicolor fashion.
Blacks seemed deep and dense without too much heaviness. Shadow detail worked similarly well, as dimly-lit shots were appropriately clear and thick. I found little about which to complain here and thought the Blu-ray brought the movie to life in a positive manner.
I thought the DTS-HD MA monaural audio of Quiet Man was perfectly adequate for its age. It didn’t exceed expectations for a mix of its era, but the audio was more than acceptable. Speech lacked edginess. The lines weren’t exactly natural, but they seemed distinctive and without problems.
Effects were a little flat, but they showed no distortion and displayed acceptable definition. Music was pretty lively given its age, as the score sounded reasonably bright and concise. No background noise was noticeable. All together, I found the soundtrack aged pretty well.
As we move to extras, we open with an audio commentary from John Ford biographer Joseph McBride. He offers a running, screen-specific look at cast/crew as well as story/characters, but McBride mainly addresses the career of director Ford and how Quiet Man fit in his filmography.
This makes the chat much less “screen-specific” than usual, but McBride gives us a good overview. He digs into themes and personal issues well and makes this an enjoyable, informative piece.
A few featurettes follow. A Tribute to Maureen O’Hara lasts nine minutes, 29 seconds and includes comments from actors Hayley Mills, Juliet Mills and Ally Sheedy. They offer personal memories of their interactions with O’Hara. We get some enjoyable anecdotes.
Don’t You Remember It, Seanin? goes for 17 minutes, 20 seconds and presents a “visual essay” from historian/John Ford expert Tag Gallagher. “Remember” mixes movie clips with Gallagher’s interpretation of characters/themes here and in other Ford flicks. A few decent nuggets emerge but the overall impact remains lackluster.
A look at history, Free Republic goes for five minutes, 22 second, and involves author Marc Wanamaker. “Free” gives us information about Republic Pictures, with an emphasis on how the studio connected to Quiet Man. We find a short but interesting summary.
We hear from filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich via The Old Man. In this 12-minute, 18-second piece, Bogdanovich recounts his chats with Ford and what he learned. Bogdanovich makes this about himself too much of the time, but he contributes some decent memories.
Finally, The Making of The Quiet Man gives us a 27-minute, 49-second piece from 1992. Leonard Maltin narrates, and we also find notes from son Michael Wayne, daughter Toni Wayne, 2nd AD Andrew McLaglen, and archival comments from director John Ford and actor John Wayne.
“Making” tells us about the project’s origins and development, the relationship between Ford and Wayne, sets and locations, cast and crew, unfilmed scenes, editing, and release. No one will view “Making” as a hard-hitting program. Instead, it maintains a light, amiable tone and that works, as this becomes a likable and informative program.
An eight-page booklet completes the package. It presents a short essay along with photos and archival advertisements. While not a great piece, the booklet adds a little value.
A dreamy, romantic vision of Ireland, The Quiet Man fares best when it concentrates on its delightful supporting characters. When it sticks with its leads, though, it seems less endearing. The Blu-ray brings us very good picture along with perfectly adequate audio and a few useful bonus materials. Quiet Man doesn’t wow me, but it comes with some entertainment value.