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World War I seems far away from Ireland's Dingle peninsula when Rosy Ryan Shaughnessy goes horseback riding on the beach with the young English officer. There was a magnetic attraction between them the day he was the only customer in her father's pub and Rosy was tending bar for the first time since her marriage to the village schoolmaster. Then one stormy night some Irish revolutionaries expecting a shipment of guns arrive at Ryan's pub. Is it Rosy who betrays them to the British? Will Shaugnessy take Father Collin's advice? Is the pivotal role that of the village idiot who is mute? Written by
Dale O'Connor <email@example.com>
David Lean's production of "Ryan's Daughter"is an outstanding piece of cinematic artistry. It's a romantic drama set in a small village on the Irish coastline. The mood of the villagers is as changeable as the waves that crash upon the shore. David Lean uses the sea for dramatic effect as he alternates between the village people and the sea itself. John Mills as Michael the inquisitive village idiot is superb as we watch him play with a box of explosives. Sarah Miles plays Rosy torn between the love for her Irish schoolteacher husband (Robert Mitchum) and an unbridled passion for a newly arrived British officer (Christopher Jones). Village gossip virtually destroys Rosy's life. Trevor Howard as the local much-respected priest gives a compelling performance as one who tries to keep the peace in a troubled village. The shell-shocked officer with dreadful memories of his time in the trenches in France has a distinct presence on screen. His part requires little dialogue, the emotions being portrayed through eye and body language. Some of the loveliest scenes I thought were those of the high cliffs and broad beaches where Rosy often walked alone with the incoming tide.Unfortunately footprints in the sand can reveal the most intimate secrets! The wild storm in which the locals attempt to salvage boxes of ammunition from a shipwreck in raging seas is one of the most realistic and exciting sequences I have seen. We are reminded constantly in the film that the sea is the dominant player. Photography, sound effects and music blend into a perfect whole. In one word...a winner!
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