January 01, 2005

John Ford movie to be dubbed... in Irish

Jim McCloskey sent me this example of what he means about the new wave of enthusiasm for Irish as a second language that he recently wrote about here. It's from the Irish Times, Wednesday, December 29th, 2004, which refers to modern Irish as ‘Gaelic’.


Fans of `The Quiet Man,' filmed in Ireland in 1951, plan to dub the John Ford classic into Irish.

The Quiet Man Movie Club, which has 200 members worldwide, has lined up Irish actors to speak the lines of John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara.

Fora na Gaeilge and Udaras na Gaeltachta are ready to fund the project in conjunction with TG4 and an independent production company, Telegael. However, permission must be sought from Paramount Pictures, which owns the rights to the Oscar-winning movie. The classic has already been translated into 12 languages including French, German, Russian and and Japanese.

A spokesman for the Quiet Man Movie Club, Mr Des McHale, said: "If John Wayne can speak in German and Japanese, then why not Irish also?

"The film was mostly shot in Gaeltacht areas in Cos Mayo and Galway and it still has a huge following in the west of Ireland. It was the first Technicolor film to be shown in Ireland, the first that showcased the country abroad. It attracted thousands of tourists to the country.

"It's only fitting that the dialogue should be dubbed by the voices of native Gaelic speakers to help it win an new audience and add it to our rich Gaelic folklore."

Mr McHale, a mathematics professor at University College Cork, said the club had e-mailed executives in Paramount to see if they would give the green light.

The author of 50 books, Mr McHale recently published Picture The Quiet Man — An Illustrated Celebration.

The book contains rare photographs from the set of the film while it was shot here in the summer of 1951. It was launched in The Quiet Man snug in The Rathmines Inn in Dublin.

Among the attendance was the family of a Meath garda, Richard Farrelly, who wrote the film's theme song, Isle of Inisfree, while travelling on a bus from his home in Kells to Dublin.

The Quiet Man tells the story of retired prize-fighter Sean Thornton who returns to his Irish roots and falls in love with the fiery Mary Kate Danaher.

Posted by Geoffrey K. Pullum at January 1, 2005 01:35 PM