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The Quiet Man represents one example of how a director changes the work of an author when creating a movie for the general public. The Quiet Man, developed into a full-length movie directed by John Ford in 1952, followed the story written by Maurice Walsh in the 40’s. Changing the story line, Ford created a movie that the public would want to see.
Decades ago, film studios employed actors and directors to make movies for their studios. So movies produced by a studio often included the same actors, actresses, and directors. As a result, when casting The Quiet Man, the director’s choices were limited due to the studio contracts with the actors and actresses.
While writing the script, Ford realized that the movie must accommodate the actors in his studio. The main character, Shawn Kelvin, grew up in Ireland, moved to America, and then returned to Ireland according to the story. However, the only choice Ford had as the main character was John Wayne. John Wayne could not effectively talk with an Irish accent. Thus, Ford decided Shawn would grow up in America rather than Ireland preventing the need for an Irish accent. This is one example of how Ford changed the story to accommodate the actors.
Ford wanted to entice people to see The Quiet Man as well as other movies produced by the same studio. Thus, Ford inserted a twenty-minute fight scene involving John Wayne, who was one of the studio’s main actors, hoping that people would enjoy Wayne’s combative style, and would want to see other movies with John Wayne. Additionally, Ford inserted hints of sexual involvement such as the broken bed scene implying that the newlyweds had a honeymoon the night before, but in reality this did not happen. These are two examples of how Ford worked to get people to view the movie.
Ford improved the story by adding reality through stereotypes creating a believable film. Though the stereotypes he added would be unacceptable in a movie made today, they were considered acceptable for some people in the 1950’s.
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Ford successfully created a winning movie. Changing lines, enticing the public, and using stereotypes all contributed to its success. As a result of Ford’s changes The Quiet Man is now a classic.