28 May 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network
New documentary Maureen O’Hara – Banríon Hollywood airs on TG4 this Christmas Day at 9pm
21 Dec 2020 : Nathan Griffin
Maureen O'Hara and John Wayne
As 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of O’Hara’s birth, the latest documentary from Dearg Films looks back over the life and career of one of the most extraordinary Irish women of all time.

The documentary, which airs Christmas Day at 9 pm on TG4, also looks to showcase how O’Hara wasn’t just a brilliant actress, but an accomplished singer, a respected businesswoman, and a champion of women’s rights.

Featuring rare archive and interviews with her family, friends, and co-stars, including Patrick Wayne, Stefanie Powers, and Hayley Mills, Maureen O’Hara – Banríon Hollywood promises to be the definitive account of the life and career of our first movie star.

“I have always been a huge fan of Maureen O’Hara ever since I met her when I was a teenager,” said Producer/Director Brian Reddin. “We ended up talking for over three hours about her career and it was an amazing experience. She was the first movie star I ever met and she was so kind and generous with her time, it left a lasting impression on me.”

Maureen O’Hara was the first Irish leading lady of cinema. She became a Hollywood superstar and a role model for every Irish actress who followed her on to the big screen.

“When I started making documentaries, she was always high on my list of subjects, and this year I finally got to make it,” continued Reddin. “She was an amazing woman and our first movie star. She paved the way for every Irish star that came after her.”

Her most famous film was The Quiet Man, but Maureen O’Hara was anything but quiet. She was a feisty, colourful, energetic, accomplished, talented, no-nonsense woman who mesmerised Hollywood and made her own rules. She enthralled and enchanted every director and leading actor she ever worked with and her list of co-stars includes some of the most famous actors of all time. She made over 65 movies in a career that spanned eight decades and received an honorary Oscar in 2014.

One thing that struck me about Maureen while making the documentary was her genuine and heartfelt fondness for Ireland. I saw it over and over again in countless pieces of footage. Bord Fáilte should have had her on a retainer. She sang the praises of Ireland every opportunity she got,” Reddin explained.

“She was a one-woman tourist machine. She spoke Irish on TV shows and in movies, she sang Irish songs in variety shows, and she raved about her homeland every time she was a guest on a chat show. She was unashamedly Irish. It was what made her different, what made her stand out, and she was never going to let Hollywood forgot it.”

 “I was lucky to have met her, luckier still to have spent time with the people in her life, her friends, her co-stars, and her family and I hope everyone tunes in on Christmas day to find out more about this amazing woman,” said Reddin.

The documentary was produced and directed by Brian Reddin, narrated by Carrie Crowley, Gerry MacArthur was the cinematographer and it was edited by Dave Dillon. The documentary is funded by TG4 and the BAI.

Maureen O’Hara – Banríon Hollywood airs on TG4 on Christmas Day at 21:00.

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