Maureen O’Hara’s made well over 50 films. Here are some of her thoughts on some of her films.
Kicking the Moon Around (1938)
Director; Walter Forde
Maureen O’Hara’s role; Secretary
“Harry Richman was at Elstree and introduced me to the film’s director, Walter Forde. Forde asked me if I would deliver a line in the movie. I was not a cast member and do not consider Kicking the Moon Around part of my official filmography. I only agreed to deliver the line as a favour to Harry Richman for his having helped me with my screen test.”
Black Swan (1942)
Director; Henry King
Maureen O’Hara’s role; Lady Margaret Denby
“It had everything you could want in a lavish pirate picture: a magnificent ship with thundering cannons; a dashing hero battling menacing villains (Tyrone Power, Laird Cregar, and Anthony Quinn); sword fights; fabulous costumes… working with Ty Power was exciting. In those days, he was the biggest romantic swashbuckler in the world. But what I loved most about working with Ty Power was his wicked sense of humour.”
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Director; George Seaton
Maureen O’Hara’s role; Doris Walker
“I have been mother to almost forty children in movies, but I always had a special place in my heart for little Natalie. She always called me Mamma Maureen and I called her Natasha… when Natalie and I shot the scenes in Macy’s, we had to do them at night because the store was full of people doing their Christmas shopping during the day. Natalie loved this because it meant she was allowed to stay up late. I really enjoyed this time with Natalie. We loved to walk through the quiet, closed store and look at all the toys and girls’ dresses and shoes. The day she died, I cried shamelessly.”
Rio Grande (1950)
Director; John Ford
Maureen O’Hara’s role; Mrs. Kathleen Yorke
“The final instalment of John Ford’s cavalry trilogy, based on three short stories by James Warner Bellah that Ford had read in the Saturday Evening Post.” “From our very first scenes together, working with John Wayne was comfortable for me.”
The Quiet Man (1952)
Director; John Ford
Maureen O’Hara’s role; Mary Kate Danaher
“I have often said that The Quiet Man is my personal favourite of all the pictures I have made. It is the one I am most proud of, and I tend to be very protective of it.
I loved Mary Kate Danaher. I loved the hell and fire in her. As I readied to begin playing her, I believed that my most important scene in the picture was when Mary Kate is in the field herding the sheep and Sean Thornton sees her for the very first time.
It’s a moment captured in time, and it’s love at first sight.I felt very strongly that if the audience believed it was love at first sight, then we would have lightning in a bottle.
But if they didn’t, we would have just another lovely romantic comedy on our hands. The scene comes off beautifully.”
The Redhead from Wyoming (1953)
Director; Lee Sholem
Maureen O’Hara’s role; Kate Maxwell
“Another western stinkeroo for Universal. It was disappointing to be working on such a lousy picture while I was receiving praise for such a highly regarded piece of filmmaking (The Quiet Man).”
Our Man in Havana (1959)
Director; Carol Reed
Maureen O’Hara’s role; Beatrice Severn
“When we arrived in Havana on April 15, 1959, Cuba was a country experiencing revolutionary change. Only four months before , Fidel Castro and his supporters had toppled Fulgencio Batista… Che Guevara was often at the Capri Hotel. Che would talk about Ireland and all the guerilla warfare that had taken place there. He knew every battle in Ireland and all of its history. And I finally asked, “Che, you know so much about Ireland and talk constantly about it. How do you know so much?” He said, “Well, my grandmother’s name was Lynch and I learned everything I know about Ireland at her knee.” He was Che Guevara Lynch! That famous cap he wore was an Irish rebel’s cap. I spent a great deal of time with Che Guevara while I was in Havana. Today he is a symbol for freedom fighters wherever they are in the world and I think he is a good one.”
The Parent Trap (1961)
Director; David Swift
Maureen O’Hara’s role; Margaret “Maggie” McKendrick
“The Parent Trap wouldn’t have been as special without the remarkable performances by Hayley Mills.
I use the plural here because she really did bring two different girls to life in the movie.
Sharon and Susan were so believable that I’d sometimes forget myself and look for the other one when Hayley and I were standing around the set.”
Director; Andrew V. McLaglen
Maureen O’Hara’s role; Katherine Gilhooley McLintock
“There are so many great scenes in the picture. Audiences always rave about the fight sequence that takes place at the mine dump and ends in the mud. A total of forty-two cast members took part in the brawl, and nearly all of us ended up sliding down the bank into the mud pit below. The most dangerous stunt I perform in the picture was the fall from the ladder into the water trough.”