Ryan's Daughter

Discussion in 'Movie Lounge' started by Steve Tannehill, Jun 16, 2007.

  1. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill New Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    I am at the intermission point of the great David Lean's Ryan's Daughter.

    I've never seen this movie before, but am a huge fan of Lean's Doctor Zhivago.

    Like Zhivago, Ryan's Daughter is a tale of adultery set against a political backdrop--this time the Irish revolutionary movement against the British during World War I. It features fine, fine character performances by Trevor Howard, Leo McKern, and Oscar-winner John Mills. Robert Mitchum impresses as the older schoolteacher, and Sarah Miles is vulnerable to a fault as the young woman who gets what she wants, yet wants more in life.

    Freddie Young's cinematography is breathtaking. Maurice Jarre's score is another character in the movie.

    On to part 2...

    - Steve
  2. DYohn

    DYohn Well-Known Member Donor

    John Mills and Sarah Miles are amazing in that film. Highly recommended viewing! Thanks for the spot update Steve, I am interested in what you think of the look in HD. (BTW is it Blu or HDVD?)
  3. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill New Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    It is the DVD--upconverted to 1080p via the Toshiba HD-XA2.

    Some of the leafy forest scenes betray the resolution of standard definition DVD, but the rest looks fairly incredible. This player's rep as an upconverting DVD player is well-deserved.

    - Steve
  4. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill New Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    I have mixed feelings after seeing all of it.

    The presentation, while very nice in quality, does not make up for the downer of a story.

    - Steve
  5. Shane

    Shane Active Member

    I've added this and Dr Zhivago to my Netflix queue. Thanks for bringing these to our attention.
  6. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill New Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    I watched some of the supplements. The movie was not a success, and there were many detractors in the day.

    But any movie by David Lean is worth considering.

    John Mills is indeed wonderful as the mute town idiot. It is jarring to see him interviewed and to realize just how good the transformation was.

    Robert Bolt's original story combined with David Lean's visual acuity is a match that will never happen again in cinema. The way a silent look speaks volumes, the way the visuals tell the story, not just show it. Like the footprints in the sand, and how one drags.

    The war flashbacks. The way Rose enters into Randolph's world for the first time, with it dark all around.

    The sex scenes. While tame by today's standards, they were frank and something I did not expect.

    And the brutality. Again, tame by today's standards, but jarring all the same.

    Ryan's Daughter is not a happy film. Even Doctor Zhivago has its tragic moments, but at least it ends upbeat.

    In retrospect, I think Ryan's Daughter will sit better with me in time. I'll be very curious to hear what you think of it, Shane. And Mike, David, Pete--please chime in with your thoughts.

    On a semi-related note, the Toshiba HD-XA2 performed stunningly well, with only the layer switches taking a little longer than I prefer (this is noted in the Secrets review, which gave the player a 95 rating overall, but noted the marginal layer switch timing).

    - Steve
  7. Mike Kelly

    Mike Kelly Active Member

    As I said in another thread, Ryan's Daughter was a date movie for me in 1970. It made quite a visual impression on the big screen. I have always had trouble with Robert Mitchum's character. It isn't because of the writing, as his character clearly understands what he is in for, when he decides to marry Rosie. I can't really fault his acting. He doesn't overdo the accent, and allows the decency in his part to shine through. It's just that it's Mitchum. Having seen him in so many films, it is just hard to accept him as a milquetoast. I think the same thing would happen if it was someone like Sean Connery. Christoper Jones was probably a mistake, though his haunted looks did the job. I think someone like Johnny Depp would do well in that role at the appropriate age. The supporting actors were all pros, though today I prefer Leo McKern's publican to the hammier John Mills and Trevor Howard. Sarah Miles was excellent and deserved her Best Actress nomination.

    I'm a big fan of David Lean. Even his early films like Brief Encounter and especially Great Expectations are real treats. While Ryan's Daughter isn't at that level, nor at the level of his other epics, I actually prefer it to Doctor Zhivago, though I suspect I'm in the minority there.
  8. Gosh, I haven't seen this film since its theatrical release. It really should be in my collection and it would be nice to watch it once again. Now that I am older, I will likely appreciate it more than I did waaayyy back then. :)
  9. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill New Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    Although I am currently spinning Lawrence of Arabia Superbit (another stunning upconversion), I actually have these two on my Criterion shelves. Time to take them for a spin!

    - Steve

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