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Ryan's Daughter

  R HD Closed Captioning

David Lean

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Plot Summary

Academy Award-winning director David Lean ("Lawrence of Arabia," "Doctor Zhivago," "The Bridge On the River Kwai") tells the epic love story of a married Irish woman whose dangerous affair with a British soldier brings her accusations of betrayal. Set during the Irish uprising of 1916, this sweeping cinematic masterpiece, penned by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Robert Bolt ("Lawrence of Arabia," "Dr. Zhivago," "The Mission") received two Oscars, including Best Cinematography. Sarah Miles ("Blowup," "Hope and Glory"), who earned an Oscar-nomination for her portrayal of the love-torn wife, is joined by screen icon Robert Mitchum ("Cape Fear," "Farewell, My Lovely") and Oscar-nominee Trevor Howard ("Gandhi," "Mutiny on the Bounty," "Superman"). John Mills ("Goodbye, Mr. Chips," "Swiss Family Robinson") earned a well-deserved Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


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

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: It doesn't transfigure the world. It embalms it. – Vincent Canby, New York Times, Jun 24, 2010

Rotten: 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. – Variety Staff, Variety, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: 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. – Douglas Pratt, Hollywood Reporter, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: 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. – Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

ryans daughter

even after 30 plus years, this is not only a great film, but the most beautiful cinematography I have yet to see. rent or buy, you cant miss.

Gorgeous and Affecting

Not only breathtakingly beautiful to look at, but dramatically spellbinding and sincerely affecting. A host of superb performances and a score that, while repetitive, is original and nuanced enough to be dazzling, transform it from breathy to brilliant. I adored everything about this movie the first time I saw it. Do yourself a huge favor: watch it on a top-flight screen. That well-scaled shot early on of the main character standing on a cliffside over the surging ocean made me feel like I was going to fall in! An exceptional movie.

Not as bad as its reputation (3.5 stars)

This movie was panned upon first release, and is still considered to be the worst of Lean's epic period (1957-1984). That being said, the movie is not awful, and is especially beautiful to look at (director of photography Freddie Young won an Academy Award, his third straight in collaboration with Lean.) John Mills also won an Oscar for his portrayal of, well, the village idiot. Not up to par with Lean's other epics, and overlong, but it is still worth seeing, especially for fans of Lean's other epics (Bridge, Lawrence, Zhivago, and Passage.)

Ryan's Daughter
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  • $17.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 1970

Customer Ratings