Several years back, when I was a 30-year-old woman, I was feeling quite sad. I was in a video shop in Seoul when I came across Ryan's Daughter. The cover looked good, so I brought it home. Wow, I did I feel catharsis after watching this movie. The only thing that would have been better would have been able to meet the young male soldier in person! I have never seen such a deeply psychological probing of the female psyche as in this film. At that time, many women suffered under the yoke of a conservative male society. This is well displayed in this film. I am greatly impressed by the way <more>
Director David Lean sensitively explored the sexuality of the lead female character. The mix of the effects of war and love are well expressed.This is my favourite movie, and I when my daughter turns 30, I will undoubtedly recommend it to her. Thank you, David Lean.
When "Ryan's Daughter" first appeared, my mind was addled with leftist cant. Every entertainment had to pass a litmus test of relevance and adherence to popular political myths. Thus, when I finally saw the film on TCM last night it was a revelation.Having retired a few years ago, to live in the craggy paradise of Maine, I was especially overwhelmed by the visuals of the gun runners facing a raging sea; incredible cinematography, music, spare, yet powerful, and the seemingly impossible scurrying of the villagers, dwarfed by thundering waves and spray. I'm not sure if the <more>
visual or audio components were more successfully realized.We had visited Ireland 4 years ago, passing through the magnificent terrain and clustered villages near Dingle and the Cliffs of Mahre.As a photographer, I was astounded by the perfect portrayal of this startlingly beautiful region. By comparison, "The Quiet Man" looks theatrically artificial.The story seems to have caused most of the negative criticism. For me, Lean maintained a steady balance between scenic splendor and pinched, frustrated lives. All are suitably restrained and all too human. The result is a truly timeless film, life and lives confounded by ignorance and anger, but as universal as a Greek tragedy."Ryan's Daughter" can be compared without embarrassment to "The Dead", my other favorite Irish cinema.
The first time I saw "Ryan's Daughter", it did not register as strongly as Lean's other films. Though I found it visually impressive, the seemingly slight story seemed overblown and laborious. However, since then, with each successive viewing, I have come to the conclusion that not only is this the work of a superb artist at the height of his powers, but ultimately one of the great love "poems" the cinema has given us. A work of staggering beauty and sensitivity, a work of art of such extraordinary dimension and power, superlatives seem redundant and insulting. <more>
Instead it has to be felt, deep in the heart of the viewer, and as such, become part of the soul. A work of genius and a masterpiece. Thank you, David Lean and co.
More than 30 years after the movie was made, "Ryan's Daughter" needs to be compared with his other important works--'Lawrence of Arabia', 'Dr Zhivago', 'Bridge on the River Kwai' and 'A Passage to India'. Visually the three finest are "Ryan's Daughter," "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Dr Zhivago."Aurally--music and sound--the finest two are "Ryan's Daughter" and "Dr Zhivago"If performances make a movie, four of the movies were outstanding "Ryan's Daughter", "Dr Zhivago," <more>
"Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai." Yet why is "Ryan's Daughter" not considered the finest? There is no hero, there is no heroine--it is a film of anti-heroes. It is a film that focuses on the ugly side of human reality where everyone is a loser--husband, wife, lover, priest, soldier, revolutionary, and even the traitor. It provides a realism that we glimpsed in patches in 'Dr Zhivago' and 'A passage to India' -- a realism that almost eluded us in "Lawrence of Arabia"The film's strengths lie in two aspects that were most criticized some thirty years ago--its music and its screenplay. Hear Maurice Jarre's score today and you will realize the notes hark back to Lean's previous work mostly Zhivago and little of Lawrence with the comical allusions to the village fool's gait. Jarre's score in "Ryan's daughter" may not have the universal appeal of Lara's theme in Zhivago, but a close study of the score will unfold riches to the aural senses when compared to the simplistic Lara's theme.Bolt's original screenplay is as rewarding to study as "Jude the Obscure" to a student of Thomas Hardy or "Titus Andronicus" to a Shakespeare student. Bolt and Lean, of course provides food for thought--who is good and who is bad, who is ugly and who is beautiful, who is crippled and who is whole...It is easier to make lovely, heroic epics such as "Lawrence" or "Zhivago" than to make a film on losers and moral and physical cripples such as "Ryan's Daughter." I think this is Lean's and Bolt's finest work. It is also Robert Mitchum's finest work as it was in the case of Christopher Jones, Leo McKern and Trevor Howard. John Mills stood out among the fine performers because his character was spectacular.I am a great admirer of most of Lean's films and having seen the film thrice, I rate it as his best and perhaps his most complex yet mature work.
This movie l'd watched for first time in beginning of 90' on TV, maybe the last part, but now on DVD restoration l watched in complete way and David Lean looks like the same, true genius!!! Even three hours long the movie never boring you, all time is interesting, firstly by native Irish people who are the same in all history, good drinking, the women is jealous and the priest have to fix up everything, apart from that Mitchum in plenty form as old professor and Sarah Miles fantastic as flaming wife and the location is simply breathtaking, the Ireland's coastline provides a <more>
wonderful places to Lean tell your story, Mckern in another great performance too!! Anyway a movie to watch & revisit as well !!!
This is one of those magical films that benefit you from re-seeing time and again. Each viewing allows you to see a different part of the intricate personalities that have been created for this tremendous story of First World War Ireland at the time of the Easter Rebellion. The story is emotionally charged, and you can sympathise with - yet detest - each of the characters. That in itself is enough to make this a great movie. But then you add in Maurice Jarre's music and the cinematography of Freddie Young, the script by Robert Bolt, and David Lean's direction, and you have an <more>
exceptional film that deserved more than two Academy Awards. Jarre harks back to Is Paris Burning? and Dr Zhivago for his musical inspiration, with the military majesty of the one and the romantic layers of the other just right for this tale. Meanwhile Young played with the soft West Irish light, and the waves, the patterns of storms racing across sea and sky, and the vast, deserted expanses on which this strange mixture of loves is played out. It is a great film, truly among the top creations of Lean, Young and Jarre, and deserves to be watched time and time again.
David Lean's production of "Ryan's Daughter"is an outstanding piece of cinematic artistry. It's a romantic drama set in a small village on the Irish coastline. The mood of the villagers is as changeable as the waves that crash upon the shore. David Lean uses the sea for dramatic effect as he alternates between the village people and the sea itself. John Mills as Michael the inquisitive village idiot is superb as we watch him play with a box of explosives. Sarah Miles plays Rosy torn between the love for her Irish schoolteacher husband Robert Mitchum and an unbridled <more>
passion for a newly arrived British officer Christopher Jones . Village gossip virtually destroys Rosy's life. Trevor Howard as the local much-respected priest gives a compelling performance as one who tries to keep the peace in a troubled village. The shell-shocked officer with dreadful memories of his time in the trenches in France has a distinct presence on screen. His part requires little dialogue, the emotions being portrayed through eye and body language. Some of the loveliest scenes I thought were those of the high cliffs and broad beaches where Rosy often walked alone with the incoming tide.Unfortunately footprints in the sand can reveal the most intimate secrets! The wild storm in which the locals attempt to salvage boxes of ammunition from a shipwreck in raging seas is one of the most realistic and exciting sequences I have seen. We are reminded constantly in the film that the sea is the dominant player. Photography, sound effects and music blend into a perfect whole. In one word...a winner!
David Lean is not quite at his best here like he was with Lawrence of Arabia, Bridge on the River Kwai, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist and Brief Encounter, but Ryan's Daughter is a very good though flawed film . It is better than most directors' later films and did not deserve the critical roasting it got.There were a couple of things that weren't quite right with Ryan's Daughter. Christopher Jones, despite looking the part, is dreadfully stiff and wooden in his role, showing little involvement or range, by far the only weak link in the cast. And while the score from <more>
Maurice Jarre has its moments like the main theme, the tavern scene and the beach hallucination and is not bad music at all on its own, it is for me the weakest of his collaborations with Lean and doesn't fit within the film, sounding too inappropriately jaunty often especially Michael's theme in a film that would have benefited better with a lusher, more Celtic touch.However, Ryan's Daughter is a beautiful-looking film, with grand settings, rich use of colours and Freddie Young's sweeping Oscar-winning cinematography especially in the storm scene . It's superbly directed as ever by Lean, taking full advantage of the epic scope of the visuals and story and while deliberate he does succeed in making the story compelling and the characters interesting enough. The script from Robert Bolt is intelligent, witty and very thoughtful and never becomes over-the-top or slack, complete with a good balance of the personal, the historical and the political.With the story, it's deliberate in pace but never interminably so and is often very moving even if a few parts in the first half could have done with more meat , complete with the unforgettable storm scene. It is also one of Lean's more cohesive later stories, being less sprawling than Doctor Zhivago and less drifting than A Passage to India which are also both fine films . The historical backdrop is very effective, more so I feel than Doctor Zhivago's, and the characters are interesting and intimate.Apart from Jones, the performances are of a very high standard. Robert Mitchum was courageous casting and is a revelation in a different and gentler role to the tough guy roles he took on, while Sarah Miles is moving as one of the characters that evolves the most throughout the course of the story. Whether John Mills deserved his Oscar is up to debate, but what matters more to me was whether his performance is good and, while it is understandably one of the film's most divisive components, the almost unrecognisable Mills is very amusing and affecting as the village idiot. Leo McKern more than excellently portrays a hypocritical, cowardly and domineering father figure and Trevor Howard does a wonderful job providing the moral compass of the story. Barry Foster shows off briefly but is suitably intense and grittily dignified, likewise Gerald Sim's appearance is very brief but is very memorable.Overall, a flawed but very good and undervalued back then and now film from David Lean. It may not be quite a masterpiece, but it is not even close to a disaster. 8/10 Bethany Cox
I have trouble with Ryan's Daughter . It is astoundingly beautiful esp. in 70mm in the cinema . At its heart it is a story of a woman trapped in a violent time and suffocating society symbolised by her marriage. I don't really quite know how to express this: I have never liked films where there is mob violence. But is it a sign that Lean succeeded when I say I find these elements of this film disturbing? The sequence when the mob attacks Rosy are truly horrible.As for those who accuse Lean of racism I ask how would Rosy have fared in Derry in 1971?This is a dark story really,despite <more>
the beauty of the scenery, a story of deep seated hatred, of sexual repression and of treason. With those themes in play how is this a small story as some critics state.Whether Lean and his cast bring it all off I do not know. Sarah Miles has never been a favourite actress of mine but in this she glows on screen. Mills is really fine as is Howard and McKern but Mitchum never quite convinced me.Christopher Jones seems to have had problems with the part and Lean was unhappy but in many ways he is perfect. He is a cypher. A symbol of an outside world. Little more.It is ironic that he and Sarah Miles reportedly did not get along at all.But in the end this is an exquisitely made film. Lean was always a great craftsman. So in the end I still do not know what I think about Ryan's Daughter. I do know it makes me think about the themes at its heart. Is that a sign of the success of Lean? Perhaps.I am sure critics will keep arguing about it for another 40 years.