Ryan's Daughter
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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 Michael (an Oscar-winning turn by John Mills) innocently uncovers evidence of… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 50%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"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
"It doesn't transfigure the world. It embalms it."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"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."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"If you are looking for a breath of fresh Eire, you are in the wrong movie."
‑ Phil Hall, Film Threat
"An awe-inspiringly tedious lump of soggy romanticism."
‑ Tom Milne, Time Out
"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."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"The best thing about this much-vaunted, overlong Irish epic love triangle is its gorgeous photography."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Ryan's Daughter takes far too long to say much too little."
‑ John J. Puccio, Movie Metropolis
"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
"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
"Some hippie-dippiness dates the picture, but the vérité posturing of Lean's peers looks a lot kitschier in retrospect"
‑ Bill Chambers, Film Freak Central
"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."
‑ , Film4
More reviews for Ryan's Daughter on Rotten Tomatoes