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Ryan's Daughter (1970)


Average Rating: 5.5/10
Reviews Counted: 16
Fresh: 8
Rotten: 8

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 5/10
Reviews Counted: 6
Fresh: 2
Rotten: 4

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.


Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 2,652



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 … More

Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
Robert Bolt
In Theaters:
Feb 28, 2006
MGM Home Entertainment


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Critic Reviews for Ryan's Daughter

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (8) | DVD (13)

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

Arguably David Lean's weakest film, this lushly photographed (it won Oscar for Freddie Young) period Irish romance is rambling and pointless, and feels like an occasion for Sarah Miles (then married to writer Bolt) to show off her beautiful body.

Full Review… | March 22, 2008

The best thing about this much-vaunted, overlong Irish epic love triangle is its gorgeous photography.

Full Review… | November 6, 2007
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Some hippie-dippiness dates the picture, but the vérité posturing of Lean's peers looks a lot kitschier in retrospect

Full Review… | February 22, 2006
Film Freak Central

If you are looking for a breath of fresh Eire, you are in the wrong movie.

Full Review… | February 15, 2006
Film Threat

Ryan's Daughter takes far too long to say much too little.

Full Review… | January 30, 2006
Movie Metropolis

Lean's depiction of provincial Ireland during the unrest of 1916 may suffer a little from its rather worthy romanticism, but this does not dilute its powerful, epic vision.

Full Review… | May 24, 2003

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

No one does 'Epic' like David Lean, although in this case, I'm not sure it was warranted. For the length of time the film lasts, there is still very little character development of some of the key characters and some would argue the pay off wasn't really worth it. While I can't quite understand why John Mills won Best supporting actor (although it seems true what they say, you play retard, you win awards - just don't go too far) and why Trevor Howard didn't win or was even nominated (apart from the at the Golden Globes). It's just one of those film I suppose, very much of its time and very much a David Lean film. Give me Doctor Zhivago or Lawrence of Arabia over this any day but that's not to say I didn't like it, Freddie Young definitely deserved to win for best Cinematography as it is beautiful throughout.

Anthony Lawrie

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

Ryan's Daughter Quotes

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