THE DVD SHELF: Vintage TV Musicals "Marco Polo" and "Babes in Toyland," Plus "The Quiet Man"

By Steven Suskin
10 Mar 2013

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Theatregoers heading to the Irish Repertory Theatre production of Donnybrook! — which has just been extended Off-Broadway through April 28 — might want to take a look at the real thing. John Ford's The Quiet Man has just been released on Blu-ray in a 60th Anniversary special edition by Olive Films, a new label that has been bringing us an assortment of interesting films. Ford won the Best Director Oscar. Cinematographers Winton Hoch and Archie Stout won as well, and no wonder; this is the lushest, greenest, Technicolorest Ireland that e'er we've seen. Well, maybe not; but it is all quite colorful. "The Quiet Man"— which tells of an American boxer who flees to his ancestral home in Innisfree after killing a man in the ring — was filmed entirely in Ireland. The location filming remains a thing of local legend, and served as inspiration for Marie Jones' 2001 Olivier Award-winning comedy Stones in His Pockets. John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara star as the boxer and his red-haired colleen, although the festivities are pretty much stolen by Barry Fitzgerald as the local facilitator, matchmaker and all-round busybody.

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(Steven Suskin is author of "Show Tunes," "The Sound of Broadway Music: A Book of Orchestrators and Orchestrations," "Second Act Trouble," the "Broadway Yearbook" series and the "Opening Night on Broadway" books. He also pens's Book Shelf and On the Record columns. He can be reached at