On the DVD
This two-disc special edition would seem to be everything for which champions of Ryan's Daughter would wish. It presents the film in its original 206-minute running time, and preserves the original aspect ratio of the theatrical 70mm presentation. The audio commentary views the film from a variety of perspectives, including Miles, Lean's widow, Lean's biographer, Robert Mitchum's daughter, and directors John Boorman and Hugh Hudson. These and others are also featured in an illuminating new three-part documentary, "The Making of Ryan's Daughter," which also features archival interviews with Lean, and is candid enough to address the film's less-than-welcome reception with critics and audiences. Rounding out this set are two period documentaries that went behind the scenes of the production. --Donald Liebenson
Rose is a young woman who is trying to come to terms with adulthood and sexuality in the small world of an Irish village. There arn't many good young men around so she has her sights set on an older, single, male schoolteacher, played by Robert Mitchum. Well, after a fanciful marriage and still a virgin, Rose discovers that the teacher isn't such a hot lover, which leaves Rose a bit disappointed.
"There must be more." She tells her priest, played by Trevor Howard.
"Be careful what you ask for Rose." he tells her, "Because as sure as hell you'll get it."
And then the movie starts.
When this film first came out, I was so spellbound by it that I went to the cinema to see it repeatedly, unlike any other movie. I became totally absorbed in the sheer epic of such a simple love story: the photography, the sensitivity, the location and the characters. Why couldn't other film-makers tell a story with such grace, style and sensuality? Well, I found out that other film-makers didn't have the big budgets that Director David Lean had. So I wonder, could David Lean have made a film on a small budget? Thank God he didn't. We have been left such a rich legacy of fine films from this master craftsman.
Critique Pauline Kael panned Ryan's Daughter so badly when it first came out and David Lean took it so hard and personally, that he didn't make another film for fourteen years. Perhaps Ms Kael wasn't sensitive but Mr. Lean's sensitivity shows through more in this film than with most others he's made. Thank you for your artistry Mr. Lean.Read more ›