Ryan's Daughter

Ryan's Daughter

David Lean (1970)

AA Certificate


Our Score
Released five years after Doctor Zhivago, this romantic epic from David Lean was not so much roasted by the critics as incinerated. The story of a dreamy girl, who marries a stolid village teacher and then has an affair with a shell-shocked British officer, began as a script of Flaubert's Madame Bovary that Robert Bolt had written for his wife, Sarah Miles. Set in a bleak Irish village in 1916, it co-stars a courageously cast Robert Mitchum as the teacher, a mountain of a man who presses dried flowers and can't take his shirt off without blushing. Trevor Howard plays a priest, John Mills a village idiot, Christopher Jones the Byronic soldier, Leo McKern a publican posing as a Republican and Barry Foster is Michael Collins in all but name. Stories about the year-long making of the picture have duly entered movie legend (read them all in Kevin Brownlow's biography of Lean); as an overblown romance it has no equal and now looks like a masterwork, thanks in no small part to Freddie Young's Oscar-winning images of the wild Dingle Peninsula.


A woman married to a schoolmaster in a poor Irish village during the First World War has an affair with a British Army officer. But when the romance is uncovered, she is falsely accused of informing on local Republican insurgents - prompting the villagers to inflict a vindictive punishment. David Lean's epic romantic period drama, with Sarah Miles, Robert Mitchum, an Oscar-winning John Mills, Christopher Jones and Trevor Howard.

Cast & Crew

Charles Shaughnessy Robert Mitchum
Rosy Sarah Miles
Father Collins Trevor Howard
Michael John Mills
Major Randolph Doryan Christopher Jones
Thomas Ryan Leo McKern
Tim O'Leary Barry Foster
Mr McCardle Arthur O'Sullivan
Mrs McCardle Marie Kean
Moureen Evin Crowley
Captain Gerald Sim
Paddy Philip O'Flynn
O'Keefe Niall Toibin
Bernard Niall O'Brien
Joseph Owen O'Sullivan
Constable O'Connor Brian O'Higgins
Director David Lean
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: MGM - EMIGuidance: Edited for a sex scene and nudity.Available on: video and DVD