About My Year in Film The Stars Reviews Contact Image Map

Monday, 5 September 2011

Box Set Monday #9: Maureen O'Hara

The rules for "Box Set Monday" are that the box sets can only be created for the actors and actresses who don't already have them, so people like Bette Davis, Cary Grant etc. are immediately out, but seeing as it's my series, I'm going to make an exception for someone who does already have a box set, albeit an absolutely rubbish one. The lucky star (*cough*), who joins Deborah and Greer for "box setted" red heads, is Maureen O'Hara! I own the only box set manufactured for the great Irish lady and I can honestly say it is one of the worst you could ever buy. It contains The Quiet Man, Our Man in Havana, Lady Godiva, Against All Flags, Rio Grande, and The Rare Breed. The first two films I absolutely love, but the other four... well, let's just say I don't know what the manufacturers were thinking when they chose them! So, yes, today I'm going against the Box Set Monday rules and making a box set for an actress who already has one.

Sentimental Journey, 1946
Miracle on 34th Street, 1947
The Quiet Man, 1952
Our Man in Havana, 1959
The Parent Trap, 1961
Only the Lonely, 1991

Sentimental Journey is a sentimental (no, really?), tear-jerking melodrama about a young actress who, after finding out she has a terminal heart condition, decides to adopt a little girl so that her husband will not be alone when she herself inevitably dies. It's sickly sweet and probably not to everyone's taste but I think it's a necessary film for all Maureen fans to see, especially since it's one of the great lady herself's personal favourites.

I have to admit that the first version of Miracle on 34th Street I saw was the 1994 remake which I still absolutely love (Elizabeth Perkins + Richard Attenborough = fantasmagoricalness), but you can hardly make a Maureen O'Hara box set (even if it isn't actually real) without mentioning the wonderful, magical 1947 original. So don't wait until December to watch the sweetest Christmas film in the world about a determined young lawyer who proves to the cynical young woman he is in love with that Santa Clause is real (who really doubted that though? Not me...)!

In my opinion, you have a bit of nerve to call yourself a classic film fan if you haven't seen The Quiet Man ;D It's one of my favourite films of all time; everything about it is absolutely perfect, from the gorgeous scenery (luscious, green Irish countryside) to Maureen's fantastic performance as the young, fiery Mary Kate Danaher and John Wayne's equally fantastic Sean Thornton. Impetuous! Homeric!

Our Man in Havana is a brilliant film about an English expat, Jim Wormold (Alec Guiness) living in Havana with his daughter Milly, who accepts an offer to recruit a network of agents for the British Secret Service. Although the film is not primarily about Maureen's character, she does do a really wonderful job playing Jim's assistant/secretary.

There's nothing I can say about The Parent Trap that I haven't said before. I'm sure most of my readers know that it is one of my very favourite films and that I can watch it over and over again without getting tired of it. It's a really sweet, almost poignant at times, film about a pair of twins (both played by the always amazing Hayley Mills) who were separated not long after birth and meet by chance at a summer camp where they discover their connection and plot to get their divorced parents back together.

Yep, you're right, I included a film made later than 1970 in the box set. If you've seen Only the Lonely, then you'll know why I just had to include it. Maureen is unfathomably fabulous as John Candy's fierce Irish mother who disapproves rather strongly to her son's new girlfriend (Ally Sheedy), a Sicilian. It mixes comedy with a bit of melodrama, so keep the tissues handy! Oh, and did I mention that Maureen does a bit of Karate on an plane? (I really don't know if it's Karate but it's pretty nifty anyway! ;D)
Thanks for reading, everyone! Unfortunately, I can only do so many box sets myself because there isn't an inexhaustible list of actresses whose films I've seen enough of to create well rounded box sets, so I'm going to have to end the series (or put it on the shelf for a few months) in a couple weeks unless there are any more people who would like to participate. If you would like to write a "Box Set Monday" post, leave a comment, drop me an email, tweet me etc. and we'll take it from there :D


  1. What a great idea. I was just looking back at the posts you previously made and I quite enjoyed them. I would love to help out with one... one of these Monday's. I would like to do one for Jane Russell... I have been watching quite a few of her films lately and once I am finished watching the ones I have available... I would love to do one of these posts for you. What ya think? Feel free to email me... blamemameblog[at]gmail.com

  2. I've been meaning to see *Our Man in Havana*. It sounds like it's really good! I love Maureen and it amazes me how spunky she still is at 91!

    I will try to think if I have seen enough films of anyone else to do another boxset (if you wish it, of course). It would be a shame to end the series as it really is a great idea. Perhaps if you mentioned it on Tumblr some fans would come out? I don't know...?

  3. I agree with Audrey, it would be a shame to end such a great series. ;) I think I could give it a try -- perhaps with Ingrid Bergman. I don't think she has a box set, or at least not that I'm aware of! Let me know :)

  4. Confession: I never managed to finish Miracle on 34th Street.

    And I actually really like Rio Grande. Because John Wayne and Maureen are married. And then they fall in love again. I just love them too much. (I even enjoyed McLintock! There is no hope for me.)

    Nooooo! Box Set Mondays MUST NOT END. I read them every single time, even if I'm not deeply interested in the actress. (I don't always comment because Blogger is screwed up so much that I give up a lot.) I keep meaning to mention this...but could I possibly do a Jean Arthur box set? You can drop me a line if you like at audreyobsession(at)yahoo(dot)com


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...