From news snippets in May of 1969, it looks as if Stephen Boyd was set to film The Quiet Man, a remake of the famous John Wayne classic movie set in Ireland. I have seen some of the movie and read the full short story by Maurice Walsh. I actually like the novel best, and I can see how this would have been a brilliant role for Boyd. In the book, the ‘quiet man’ , whose name in the novel is Paddy Bawn Enright, is described as having broad shoulders, deep set blue eyes and a moody brow.
The movie was to be for National Television Associates (so perhaps a TV movie?). Production was set for April 15th in Ireland in a production agreement between Bernard Tabakin of NTA (National Television Associates) and Michael Bromhead of Alliance International Film Corp. of London, according to the Los Angeles Times (March 21, 1969). John Wilson was set to direct the project. Apparently when Boyd was in London, set to film this, he hopped on a plane and took off for Paris for a few days. Rumor has it he was visiting Brigitte Bardot. Nothing is heard of again about this production, sadly.
Now we can only speculate as to who would be playing the fine Irish lass Ellen Roe O’Danaher in this movie? Samantha Eggar comes to mind as a good choice, but that’s just my imagination.
Interestingly, Boyd seems to have had an admirer in the original The Quiet Man star, movie actress Maureen O’Hara! Maureen once lamented the lack of male cinema studs in 1960, but she specifically pointed out Stephen as being “an example of the old fashioned kind of virile male star you don’t see in pictures now.” Maureen was also on hand to proffer her fellow Irishman a kiss when he became a U.S. citizen during a ceremony in Los Angeles in 1963. O’Hara came from Dublin and Stephen from Belfast.