Because Turner Classic Movies showed it back last March (and my DVR still held on to it, thank goodness) I finally was able to catch up with John Ford's Irish anthology film THE RISING OF THE MOON (1957). I was well aware of director Ford's previous Irish epic THE QUIET MAN (1952) which is rightly considered a classic and is a film that I dearly love. This film seems to be much less well-known and there really is no excuse beyond the sadly obvious - this one does not have an identifiable American movie star at its core. Also, I guess, the anthology format works against it for broad audience acceptance which I think is a real shame. I love anthology movies and all three of the tales told here are really entertaining with great humor and fine wit at every turn. I suspect that the producers or Ford himself may have feared the lack of star box office appeal as evidenced by the inclusion of Tyrone Power as the narrator and host of all three tales. This gives a slight
Hollywood sheen to the stories that
are otherwise populated by dozens of fine Irish actors drawn from that
country's stage and film community. The film was shot completely on location in Ireland (except
for the Powers segments, I assume) and part of the fun of watching is to see
the wonderful sights of that land circa the 1950's. The black & white
photography is so beautiful I only once or twice wished for it to be in color
so I could see the natural vistas in their green glory.
THE RISING OF THE MOON is a fantastic, entertaining picture and one I plan to rewatch around St. Patrick's Day if possible. If you can get your hands on it maybe you'll enjoy laughing along with Mr. Ford and his collaborators too. Warner Archives sells it on DVD if Turner isn't available in your neck o'the woods. I recommend it!