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Ryan's Daughter (Two-Disc Special Edition)

4.4 out of 5 stars 247 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Ryan's Daughter: Special Edition (Dbl DVD)

Lovely, headstrong Rosy (Sarah Miles) cannot forsake her passionate romance with the handsome British officer (Christopher Jones). Yet there is a greater love ? the devotion of her reserved schoolteacher husband Charles (Robert Mitchum), who stands by Rosy when her illicit affair leads to a charge of treason. Two honored alumni of Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago director David Lean and screenwriter Robert Bolt frame this brooding tale within the expansive beaches, craggy cliffs and heathered hills of Ireland's Dingle Peninsula. Freddie Young's lush cinematography and John Mills' memorable portrayal of a town simpleton won Academy Awards.* The remarkable movie containing them casts a haunting spell.

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In 1970, Ryan's Daughter had the distinction of being the first David Lean film to be included in Playboy magazine's annual "Sex in the Cinema" round-up, thanks to a back-to-nature sex scene that earned the film its R rating. This old-school epic went on to win two Academy Awards for Best Cinematography and Best Supporting Actor for a grotesquely made-up John Mills as the cruelly put-upon village simpleton. But the years have not been quite kind to Ryan's Daughter. This brooding and storm-tossed epic is lovely to look at, but hard to hold with its miscast principles and unsympathetic characters. The film is set in 1916 in a British-occupied Irish village on the seacoast of Western Ireland. Lean's Ireland is a world apart from the colorful characters and close-knit community of John Ford's The Quiet Man. The village is populated by hooligans, slatterns, and traitors. No wonder the local priest (Trevor Howard) is compelled to haul off and slap several of his parishioners, including Rosy Ryan, the dreamy-eyed romantic daughter of the local "publican." The "graceless gal," as the priest calls her, is married to "a good man," a middle-aged local schoolteacher (a cast-against-type Robert Mitchum). She has enough money, and she has her health. But it's not enough, she declares. Enter--at the film's hour mark--a shell-shocked British officer (Christopher Jones) with whom she enjoys an illicit and scandalous affair that offers the promise of the "satisfaction of the flesh" for which she yearns. Ryan's Daughter reunited Lean with Robert Bolt, the screenwriter of Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago. Alas, the third time was not quite the charm. Miles and Jones generate little heat and Rosy's heedless behavior rouses even less audience empathy. Little in Maurice Jarre's sweeping score equals the high notes of his Oscar-winnings scores for Lawrence or Zhivago. But the landscapes, magnificent and foreboding, cast a ravishing spell of their own. Ryan's Daughter, too, will be embraced by those who have a soft spot in their hearts for love stories set against the backdrop of historical events and this Hollywood epic that in the year of M*A*S*H and Five Easy Pieces, was stubbornly out of style. --Donald Liebenson

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


Special Features

Audio Commentary: Commentary by: Lady Sandra Lean, Sarah Miles, Trine Mitchum (Robert Mitchum's Daughter), Assistant Director Michael Stevenson, Second Unit Director Roy Stevens, Art Director Roy Walker, Assistant Editor Tony Lawson, Location Manager Eddie Fowlie, Stuntman Vic Armstrong, Biographer Stephen M. Silverman, Directors John Boorman, Hugh Hudson and Richard Schickel Documentaries: Vintage Documentaries: Ryan?s Daughter: A Story of Love; Film Night: We?re the Last of the Traveling Circuses Documentary: The Making of Ryan?s Daughter (A 4-Part 35th-Anniversary Documentary): Storm Rising, Storm Chaser, Storm Catcher, The Eye of the Storm Audio Commentary: Commentary by: Lady Sandra Lean, Sarah Miles, Trine Mitchum (Robert Mitchum's Daughter), Assistant Director Michael Stevenson, Second Unit Director Roy Stevens, Art Director Roy Walker, Assistant Editor Tony Lawson, Location Manager Eddie Fowlie, Stuntman Vic Armstrong, Biographer Stephen M. Silverman, Directors John Boorman, Hugh Hudson and Richard Schickel Documentaries: Vintage Documentaries: Ryan?s Daughter: A Story of Love; Film Night: We?re the Last of the Traveling Circuses Documentary: The Making of Ryan?s Daughter (A 4-Part 35th-Anniversary Documentary): Storm Rising, Storm Chaser, Storm Catcher, The Eye of the Storm Audio Commentary: Commentary by: Lady Sandra Lean, Sarah Miles, Trine Mitchum (Robert Mitchum's Daughter), Assistant Director Michael Stevenson, Second Unit Director Roy Stevens, Art Director Roy Walker, Assistant Editor Tony Lawson, Location Manager Eddie Fowlie, Stuntman Vic Armstrong, Biographer Stephen M. Silverman, Directors John Boorman, Hugh Hudson and Richard Schickel Documentaries: Vintage Documentaries: Ryan?s Daughter: A Story of Love; Film Night: We?re the Last of the Traveling Circuses Documentary: The Making of Ryan?s Daughter (A 4-Part 35th-Anniversary Documentary): Storm Rising, Storm Chaser, Storm Catcher, The Eye of the Storm Audio Commentary: Commentary by: Lady Sandra Lean, Sarah Miles, Trine Mitchum (Robert Mitchum's Daughter), Assistant Director Michael Stevenson, Second Unit Director Roy Stevens, Art Director Roy Walker, Assistant Editor Tony Lawson, Location Manager Eddie Fowlie, Stuntman Vic Armstrong, Biographer Stephen M. Silverman, Directors John Boorman, Hugh Hudson and Richard Schickel Documentaries: Vintage Documentaries: Ryan?s Daughter: A Story of Love; Film Night: We?re the Last of the Traveling Circuses Documentary: The Making of Ryan?s Daughter (A 4-Part 35th-Anniversary Documentary): Storm Rising, Storm Chaser, Storm Catcher, The Eye of the Storm

Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Mitchum, Sarah Miles, John Mills, Trevor Howard, Christopher Jones
  • Directors: David Lean
  • Writers: Robert Bolt
  • Producers: Anthony Havelock-Allan
  • Format: Dolby, Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: Unknown
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 7, 2006
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (247 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000CBG5PQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,956 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Ryan's Daughter (Two-Disc Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
I first saw this film when it came out, it haunted me for days. The score9 by Maurice Jarre) and the photography(Freddie Young won a most desevred Oscar for) is breathtaking and Sarah Miles is so beautiful she takes your breath away. Set in Ireland during World War I and the British occupation of Ireland. Rosy Ryan( Sarah Miles) sets her cap for the local school master played by the great Robert Mitchum. They marry and her life is not what she expects until a British Officer enters it while she is tending bar. The chap is played by Christopher Jones who was the Colin Farrell of his day. The scene in the pub when they meet is one of the most tender loving scenes ever filmed. The affair that follows brings heartache to all. The villagers in this small Irish town gives lynch mobs a bad name. The pleasure they exact from teasing the village idiot(played by John Mills and may I add with beauty and heart) and later taking their revenge on an innocent person they believed to be the traitor. I don't want to give away the ending ot the story but I just purchased it and watched it for the first time in thirty years and was reminded what a storyteller David Lean was. Candace Serviss
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you're like me, you already own everything else by David Lean (KWAI, LAWRENCE, ZHIVAGO, PASSAGE, and all those Criterion gems), and you'll want to add this "lost" epic to your collection. I have 4 all-time fave directors, and the other 3 are Hitchcock, Kubrick, and Kurosawa. If you share my taste in films, grab this one.

Warner Home Video has done yet another amazing job here. Oh, my God, how beautiful is this movie?!! The anamorphic transfer and Dolby Surround make it look and sound like it was filmed last week. The stark tragedy (cribbed from MADAME BOVARY) is set in gorgeous coastal Ireland during the 1916-21 Rebellion, with a truly impressive cast. Mitchum, Howard, Mills (who won an Oscar), McKern, and lovely Sarah Miles--all of them never better than they are here. Christopher Jones, though not in their league, is used to good effect. Freddie Young's Oscar-winning cinematography and Maurice Jarre's wistful score round out the package. The result is a work of great power and intelligence.

The critics in 1970 trashed RYAN'S DAUGHTER for its old-fashioned technique and romanticism, and they dismissed it as "Lean's Folly." Well, they were wrong. You've heard the expression, "His biggest flop is better than everyone else's best effort." This film proves it. Nobody makes movies like this man. Nobody. This is a voluptuous example of the lost art of cinematic storytelling.
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Format: VHS Tape
Ryan's Daughter is a wonderful, sensual love story set on the rugged, west sea coast of Ireland. It is about community, religion, tradition, youth, discovery, want, war and infidelity. And Sarah Miles is very sexy in her roll as the disillusioned Rose.
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.
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Format: DVD
...including the Amazon.com critic. I daresay that Ryan's Daughter is David Lean's greatest movie - yes, even better than Dr. Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia. Unlike the critics who lambasted the "miscasting" of the actors, I say that Sarah Miles (the younger adulteress) and John Mills (the village idiot) - both of whom earned Oscar nominations, with Mills winning his outright - were perfect for their roles, as were performances by Trevor Howard (the in-your-face yet wise priest), Leon McKern (the blustery yet traitorous father/publican), and Christopher Jones (the war-torn and lonely British Major). Even American Robert Mitchum played a believable duped, middle-aged husband - Irish accent and all. But no, the critics were quick to dump on Mitchum for taking a part outside his typical tough-guy role. It was like the critics expected him to beat the tar out of the British Major in the end (I guess then they would have been satisfied.) But Mitchum did something that the critics failed to see before - the man acted his role perfectly.

Overall, the plot is tight for a three-hour-plus long movie and each scene adds to the overall plot. The amazing thing about this script is that you can't help to root (and feel sorry) for the adulteress, her soldier lover, her husband, the priest, the Irish rebels, the British soldiers, even the village idiot. The only people you hate outright are the narrow-minded, hateful, lazy villagers. You even feel sorry for the publican who finds himself in an impossible position as he betrays first the rebels and then his own daughter.

Outstanding acting aside, the cinematography of Ryan's Daughter is incredible. You cannot help but be amazed at the beauty and grandeur of the coastline of Western Ireland.
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