Irish Film Institute -Ryan’s Daughter

Ryan’s Daughter

Director: David Lean

Made by David Lean whilst he was on a run of films that included Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago, Ryan’s Daughter is arguably the most visually impressive film ever made in Ireland. Based on Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, the plot deals with Rosy Ryan’s (Sarah Miles) scandalous affair with a British officer. Most important, however, is the film’s distinctive epic scale; the production was long and drawn out while Lean waited for perfect weather conditions for his many and spectacular outdoor scenes, leading actor Robert Mitchum to comment that working with the director was “like constructing the Taj Mahal out of toothpicks.” Despite this, and the cool critical reception that the film received upon its release, it has since been recognised as a modern classic replete with spectacular footage of the beaches along the Dingle Peninsula, the breadth of which can only be fully appreciated on the big screen.

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