Ryan’s Daughter was made in Dingle in the South-West of Ireland in late 1968 and during 1969. The great film director David Lean had a resounding commercial success in 1965 with “Dr Zhivago” and expectations were high for this movie. When it was released in the U.S. in 1970, it was met with dire critical reviews which resulted in David Lean not making a movie again for another fourteen years, until “A Passage to India”. However in retrospect, Ryan’s Daughter” is now regarded as a masterpiece albeit a slightly flawed one.
Sarah Miles gives one of her great performances in the title role. She had played another beguiling Irish girl in 1965 in “I Was Happy Here” which is another film work seeking out. Robert Mitchum was cast against type as the placid dedicated teacher. Although John Mills won an Oscar for his performance, I do not like it. He is a good actor but here he seems to be doing too much mugging about. Leo McKern and Trevor Howard give solid performances as does Christopher Jones. Jones did not make another film for nearly 25 years. The scenery is absolutely awesome as is the colour photography. Definitely a film to see and appreciate.