LOVE ACTUALLY: A Century Of British Romance

~1910~Ryan's Daughter

Lean’s epic style contributes to the film’s sense of romantic delirium.
Chicago Reader


David Lean


  • Robert Mitchum
  • Trevor Howard
  • Christopher Jones
  • John Mills
  • Leo McKern
  • Sarah Miles
  • Barry Foster
  • Marie Kean
1970, 206 mins, UK
Romance | Drama

This truly romantic epic represents the 1910s as David Lean (Lawrence of Arabia) directs the tour-de-force Ryan’s Daughter, set during World War I and the Easter Rising insurrection of Ireland.

Loosely based on Madame Bovary, this overlooked masterpiece follows Rosy (Sarah Miles), resident of a small Irish village and daughter of local innkeeper Tom Ryan (Leo McKern). Rosy is unhappily married to a drab schoolmaster Charles Shaughnessy (Robert Mitchum, who is completely against type). Edgy and unsatisfied, she begins a dangerous affair with British officer Randolph Doryan (Christopher Jones), despite the tension of Wartime and the threat of her nationalist neighbours finding out. Her indiscretion has far reaching consequences however, leading to tragedy and ultimately disgrace.

With Lean’s signature grandiose scale and production, this romance is taken to dizzying heights with great visual impact.

    • Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Cinematography – Academy Awards 1971
    • Best Actress in a Leading Role – Academy Awards 1971