Ryan's Daughter


Ryan's Daughter

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Reviews Counted: 17

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,736


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Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.8/5

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Movie Info

This romantic war drama takes place in the political turmoil of Ireland in 1916. While the British battle European aggressors in World War I, The Irish Republican Army makes a secret deal with the Germans for a cache of weapons to battle British rule. Charles (Robert Mitchum) who meets rosy (Sarah Miles) on a return trip to Dublin. They fall sin love and marry, but Rosy has an illicit affair with British officer Randolph Doryan (Christopher Jones). Tim O'Leary (Barry Foster) is the IRA gun runner waiting for a shipment of German rifles to arrive by sea on the West coast of Ireland. When evidence of the affair (a military button) is paraded in the streets to discredit the unfaithful Rosy, Charles ignores the indignant neighbors. He does tell British authorities of the impending gun shipment in an effort to halt reprisals from the occupied forces. IRA loyalists break in to their home, stripping Rosy and shaving her head when they believe she is the one who tipped off the British. Leo McKern plays Rosy's father, and Trevor Howard plays the kindly Catholic priest. John Mills won an Oscar for his portrayal of the village idiot Michael as did cinematographer Freddie Young for his excellent lensing of this wartime romantic triangle.

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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
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Critic Reviews for Ryan's Daughter

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (6)

  • 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.

    Nov 6, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • An awe-inspiringly tedious lump of soggy romanticism.

    Jun 24, 2006

    Tom Milne

    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.

    Mar 8, 2006
  • It doesn't transfigure the world. It embalms it.

    May 9, 2005 | Rating: 2.5/5
  • 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.

    Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Ryan's Daughter

Even though I hated this movie, I decided to be creative and present my review in the form of three haikus. Enjoy! RYAN"S DAUGHTER: 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
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
jay nixon

Super Reviewer


Depending on one's point of view,David Lean's RYAN'S DAUGHTER, is either an epic romantic tragedy or a film whose extravagant production overwhelms what might have been a genuinely affecting drama. It may have been a rare misfire or a self-indulgent mess,this was in fact the only movie David Lean did during the entire decade of the 1970's. Written by Robert Bolt,who had far more to chew on with his impressive screenplays of other David Lean masterpieces like "Lawrence of Arabia",and "Doctor Zhivago". RYAN'S DAUGHTER tells the story of a headstrong pub owner's daughter(Sarah Miles)living in a coastal town in English-occupied Ireland in World War I. She fulfills a childhood dream by marrying her handsome school teacher(a poorly cast Robert Mitchum got the part,but Lean insisted on either Peter O'Toole or Omar Sharif),only to be disappointed by the realization he is actually a passionate bore. She is subsequently all to open to fall in love with a shattered,shell-shocked,yet handsome British soldier(Christopher Jones),who has been sent to complete his duty in her otherwise sleepy town. Despite its simplicity,it was originally released theatrically, in November of 1970, in Super-Panavision 70MM,and it many cities was shown on the curved screens designed for the already abandoned Cinerama format(which was huge during the 1960's). It was given a sweeping lavish "Zhivago" style score by Maurice Jarre,while the cinematopgraphy was directed by the great Freddie Young-who would win one of its two Oscars. The other went to veteran John Mills(Oscar winner for Best Supporting Actor in 1970)as the village idiot.

Mister Caple
Mister Caple

Super Reviewer

guilty pleasure

Bob Stinson
Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer

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