Roger back on the big screen
© The Irish Times - February
Six decades after Hollywood came to Connemara, a fictional
film about the making of The Quiet Man is to be made in the village
where the 1952 classic was filmed.
Former James Bond actor Sir Roger Moore, Aidan Quinn and Geraldine
Chaplin have signed up for the “romantic comedy”, based
on the impact of director John Ford’s arrival in Cong, on
the Galway-Mayo border.
Moore, returning to the screen after a 10-year gap, is also executive
producer of the film, Connemara Days , which is to be directed by
Kevin Connor and produced by Belfast company Causeway Pictures with
support from Fáilte Ireland.
Stacy Keach, star of Escape from LA, will play director John Ford,
who arrived in Cong in 1951 with the “Duke” John Wayne
and Maureen O’Hara. As The Irish Times Pictorial Weekly correspondent
Nouvelliste reported in July 1951, electricity had arrived into
Cong just a week before, and locals were paid 30 shillings a day
to work as extras.
In Dublin, there were queues for fuel, for jobs, for almost everything,
The Irish Times noted, but in Cong they were “queuing for
crisp pound notes”.
Nouvelliste, who spent the day on the set, was unsuccessful in
his efforts to get hired for a “street scene” –
wryly noting that Cong only had “two streets” in any
The Connemara Days plot concerns an 18-year-old girl, Heather O’Dea,
who falls for one of Ford’s assistant directors. Also lined
up to act in the film are Sarah Bolger ( In America ) and Thomas
Dekker ( Sarah Connor Chronicles ). In a statement issued yesterday
by Fáilte Ireland, Moore said he was very excited to be part
of a “delightful project”.
“ The Quiet Man was undoubtedly the best movie John Ford
ever directed. It is also one of my all-time favourite films,”
“The opportunity to revisit the time when Hollywood arrived
in Ireland to shoot it was simply too delicious an opportunity to
The script, based on a novel by Steve Mayhew, has been described
as “excellent” by director Kevin Connor, who also directed
Marco Polo and Black Beard , among other films.
“From the moment I first read the script, I loved it,”
Connor said. “Steve Mayhew has blended a terrific story of
the reaction of a rural community to Hollywood’s biggest stars
arriving, added to the looming electrification of the region, to
produce a touching, funny and endearing screenplay in the mould
of the great Ealing comedy classics.”
Fáilte Ireland says the film will provide a much-needed
economic stimulus in the region.