Ryan’s Daughter (1970)

ryan's-daughter-poster“Don’t nurse your dreams, Rosy. You can’t help having them, but don’t nurse them. Because if you nurse your dreams, they tend to come true. ” – Father Collins

Number of Times Seen – 1 (1 May 2014)

Brief Synopsis – A David Lean epic tale about life in a small Irish village in the early part of the 1900’s.

My Take on it – Anyone who is a fan of David Lean and his Epic masterpieces knows that eh knows how to do these kind of movies extremely well.

I personally am a HUGE fan of The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) and can also appreciate the genius in Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Doctor Zhivago (1965), but I found this movie to mostly just creep along.

The first 2/3 of this 3 hour epic was very slow and deliberately depressing and the story only starts to move after the 2 hr mark.

The problem is that without the background told in the first 2 hours, the emotional and powerful final hour wouldn’t be nearly as poignant.

In and of itself, this movie (although it drags along) works, but since it was made by Lean, it’s only natural to want to compare this to his earlier Epics and when doing that, this movie is so much weaker than his other epics.

After this movie got skewered by critics upon it’s release, Lean stopped making movies and only returned behind the camera 14 years later for A Passage to India (1984).

John Mills won a Best supporting actor Oscar for his role as the village idiot.

Although I have never read it, I have heard that this movie’s main plot is based on Madame Bovary.

Bottom Line – Epicly done by Lean, but the story is very slow and depressing during the first two hours and only picks up and makes complete sense during the final hour.

Rating – BAFTA Worthy


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12 thoughts on “Ryan’s Daughter (1970)

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