Ryan's Daughter (1970) - Rotten Tomatoes

Ryan's Daughter (1970)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

The logic behind inflating Robert Bolt's minimalist romantic drama Ryan's Daughter into a 12-million-dollar epic seems to have been "When David Lean directs, it's a super-spectacular." Sarah Miles (who at the time was married to Robert Bolt) stars as Rosy, the daughter of Irish pub keeper Tom Ryan (Leo McKern). Married to tweedy, sexless schoolmaster Charles Shaughnessy (Robert Mitchum), restless Rosy has an affair with British officer Randolph Doryan (Christopher Jones). When village idiot Michael (an Oscar-winning turn by John Mills) innocently uncovers evidence of Rosy's indiscretion, the local gossips begin wagging their tongues. Shaughnessy chooses to remain above the scandal, assuming that Rosy will come to her senses. Later, Rosy's father informs on a group of IRA insurgents, hoping to keep the peace in his village. The locals assume that Rosy, still enamored of Doryan, is the informer, and exact a humiliating punishment. Realizing that his very presence has caused disgrace for Rosy, Doryan kills himself. For Rosy and Shaughnessy, life goes on...not happily ever after, just ever after. The film was lensed on location in Ireland by frequent Lean collaborator Freddie Young.more
Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Romance
Directed By: ,
Written By: Robert Bolt
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 28, 2006
MGM Home Entertainment


Sarah Miles
as Rosy Ryan
Robert Mitchum
as Charles Shaughnessy
Christopher Jones
as Randolph Doryan
Trevor Howard
as Father Collins
John Mills
as Michael
Leo McKern
as Tom Ryan
Barry Foster
as Tim O'Leary
Marie Kean
as Mrs. McCardle
Evin Crowley
as Moureen
Barry Jackson
as Corporal
Gerald Sim
as Captain
Des Keogh
as Lanky Private
Niall Toibin
as O'Keefe
Brian O'Higgins
as Constable O'Connor
May Cluskey
as Storekeeper
Pat Layde
as Policeman
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Ryan's Daughter

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (7)

Overlength of perhaps 30 minutes serves to magnify some weaknesses of Robert Bolt's original screenplay, to dissipate the impact of the performances, and to overwhelm outstanding photography and production.

Full Review… | November 6, 2007
Top Critic

An awe-inspiringly tedious lump of soggy romanticism.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Those who were jealous of [Lean's] previous successes decried the film as an utter failure, though of course it is not, it just isn't quite as good as his other movies.

March 8, 2006
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

It doesn't transfigure the world. It embalms it.

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

A disappointing failure of tone, a lush and overblown self-indulgence in which David Lean has given us a great deal less than meets the eye.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

It's insanely overproduced in Lean's standard epic style, yet somehow the crazy mismatches in scale contribute to the film's sense of romantic delirium.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Ryan's Daughter

guilty pleasure

Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer

Even though I hated this movie, I decided to be creative and present my review in the form of three haikus. Enjoy!


Needlessly drawn out
and boring love triangle.
David Lean's big fail.

There is no excuse:
great cinematography
can't save a snoozer.

Despite some good scenes
and production values, you
should skip this dull mess.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Visually stunning but dramatically drawn out love story. This takes far too long to tell it's sad tale but good performances and once again absolutely breathtaking cinematography compensate a great deal. The storm sequence is one of the most beautifully shot scenes I've ever seen in any film.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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