Doing It for the Art: Ford had desperately wanted to make this film for years, but had trouble finding a studio to back it. He finally made a deal with Republic Pictures — which specialized in Westerns — to film a Western for them in exchange for their VERY reluctant backing on Quiet Man. The Western Ford made was Rio Grande. The Quiet Man went on to become the ONLY movie Republic ever made to earn a Best Picture Academy Award nomination. Ford won his fourth Best Director for this.
Fake Irish: John Wayne and Ward Bond were Americans and Victor McLaglen was English.
The town elder — the grizzled bearded fellow who jumps up from his deathbed once he hears the epic donnybrook — was played by John Ford's brother Francis Ford. The story has it they had not spoken to each other in years, but John asked Francis to star in this film and they were very amicable toward each other during production. Francis died a year later.
Throw It In: At the end of the film, Mary Kate whispers something into John Wayne's ear. It was an unscripted bit of dialogue that John Ford insisted O'Hara say to Wayne in order to get an unexpected reaction on Wayne's part. The three were the only ones who know what was whispered — and now only O’Hara is left.