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I watched RYAN'S DAUGHTER (1970) for the very first time just now.

the main thing i knew about this film is that is was DESPISED by critics in 1970, then (just like DR ZHIVAGO) it went on to be a HUGE HIT (although not as much as ZHIVAGO)

I have said before that I think one of the biggest mistakes in life is to be consistently excellent at everything you do, because if you are, then people will line up to nitpick and tear you down. there is no savaging quite so intense as the savaging of a film that is attempting, in earnest, to be a good movie and maybe falls short in some departments.  (on the flip side of this, ROGER CORMAN can crap out something shot with no second takes on an 8 day schedule using 15% stock footage and atrocious dubbing and LEONARD MALTIN will just barely be able to write a FOUR STAR REVIEW for it because, hey, it's hard to type with one hand. )

this is a fine movie, a GLORIOUSLY GORGEOUS MOVIE, there were NUMEROUS MOMENTS where I literally said out loud "***damn, this movie is GORGEOUS!"

There's not much plot and no real need for it to be 3 hours, but honestly, it's SO LOVELY, the time really flew by for me.

poor SARAH MILES was not given enough of a role to give a truly great performance, although she is very good and becomes more warm and likeable as the picture progresses.

my only real issue with the film was, oddly, the performance of JOHN MILLS, who was a BRILLIANT ACTOR and one whose work I admire greatly. his character could in all honesty have been cut from the film, and he has some dreadful scenes early on that caused me to nearly turn off the film, but he rallies and does some good work in the last scene. Still, it's a pale shadow of his work in TUNES OF GLORY, GREAT EXPECTATIONS and HOBSON'S CHOICE.

It boggles me mind that MILLS won the best supporting actor Oscar for the only "off" performance I've seen from him while TREVOR HOWARD- who is the ROCK of the movie and really saves a lot of it with his sometimes funny performance- went unnominated.

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I love the movie (was lucky enough to see it on a big screen; seeing it on a small one doesn't do it justice). It's such a beautifully shot film. Ireland is like a main character. I admit, it's a bit too long, (road show length, though it ultimately wasn't released that way), but I'm never bored when I watch it. Yes, the critics had their scalpels out, but it did get some good reviews.

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On 3/21/2021 at 5:34 PM, LornaHansonForbes said:

WHAT?!?!?!

BILLY BARTY WAS *GREAT* IN WILLOW!!!!!!

PHILISTINES!!!!!!! 

Wouldn't be the first or last time that the Razzies went after a performance that wasn't bad. I still think the ultimate in Razzies being wrong was over Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest. That wasn't one of the worst performances of 1981; it was one of the very best.........

 

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15 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

 I still think the ultimate in Razzies being wrong was over Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest. That wasn't one of the worst performances of 1981; it was one of the very best.........

 

... OF ALL TIME EVER, yes. 
Absolutely.

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20 minutes ago, Hibi said:

Yes, the critics had their scalpels out, but it did get some good reviews.

IRELAND It is, I think my favorite place I have ever traveled. RYANS DAUGHTER Is also one of the most physically beautiful films I’ve ever seen. It is a very watchable film! (Especially that STORM SCENE!!!)

In reading up on it I could not actually find one single good review. In fact, several articles went into great detail about how heartbroken David Lean was by the treatment he received from the New York film critics, Who were just absolutely vicious, in fact they took him aside a private dinner and excoriated him for the movie. Which just boggles my mind.

I mean, I would personally rate “Ryan’s daughter” three stars out of four, but if you wanted to give it four out of four I would understand. Anything less than three though, I just don’t get it. It is by no means a bad movie in ANY sense!

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Just now, LornaHansonForbes said:

Yeah the real, non FAYE DUNAWAY one. They’re showing some of her best today. 

I saw Baby Jane let week on Movies! My sisters and I used to watch that when we were kids and enjoy how grotesque it was

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Speaking of, I have a question some of you may know, and I maybe ought to put it in the “information please” thread, but I never ever leave general discussions.

At the very beginning of “possessed” (the 1947 one) when Crawford walks into the diner there is a sign on the building next-door that says “steel tape repaired here.”

What the Hell was steel tape and how was it repaired?!
is it still a thing?

**There is not a Wikipedia entry for “steel tape “

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1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I have said before that I think one of the biggest mistakes in life is to be consistently excellent at everything you do, because if you are, then people will line up to nitpick and tear you down. there is no savaging quite so intense as the savaging of a film that is attempting, in earnest, to be a good movie and maybe falls short in some departments.  (on the flip side of this, ROGER CORMAN can crap out something shot with no second takes on an 8 day schedule using 15% stock footage and atrocious dubbing and LEONARD MALTIN will just barely be able to write a FOUR STAR REVIEW for it because, hey, it's hard to type with one hand. )

There's not much plot and no real need for it to be 3 hours, but honestly, it's SO LOVELY, the time really flew by for me.

I'm no David Lean fan, and watch Roger Corman's best with both hands, but I'd agree with the critics that found it "meh".  Lovely to look at and listen to, but decidedly un-epic to go with the epic scenery, John Mills' performance is way too Oscar-bait contrived, and Robert Mitchum, bless 'im, doesn't quite seem like a son of the Old Sod. 

This, coming in after another review of Michael Collins, which did feel (too much) like a more passion-project about the Troubles, but here, Lean's epic feels more like "Look, I'm using it as an Epic Backdrop!"

And admit it, what joke did you think of, when the forbidden-romance scenes kept "metaphorically" cutting to two horses in the field?  There were so many to choose from.

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Just now, LornaHansonForbes said:

Speaking of, I have a question some of you may know, and I maybe ought to put it in the “information please” thread, but I never ever leave general discussions.

At the very beginning of “possessed” (the 1947 one) when Crawford walks into the diner there is a sign on the building next-door that says “steel tape repaired here.”

What the Hell was steel tape and how was it repaired?!
is it still a thing?

Mr Google says steel tape is a tape measure, like carpenters use. My assumption is that when there was a steel shortage back then, replacement of damaged tape might have been difficult so repairs were in order and may have required solder? Best guess anyway.

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11 minutes ago, LuckyDan said:

Mr Google says steel tape is a tape measure, like carpenters use. My assumption is that when there was a steel shortage back then, replacement of damaged tape might have been difficult so repairs were in order and may have required solder? Best guess anyway.

I can see that, but I’ve never ever broken a tape measure in my life. Maybe they didn’t used to be as dependable...

 But would there be THAT much of a demand for tape measure repair that you would literally put a sign in your window that you fix it? Or were people just measuring the HELL out of EVERYTHING in the 40s?

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Unrelated, but damn, there is a portion of POSSESSED (1947)- A big scene between Heflin and Crawford when they first meet after Raymond Masseys wife has died- where the film is in BAD SHAPE! It’s actually visually distracting it almost looks like someone’s pouring rice on them while they argue.

I’m really surprised after all this time and all the number of showings this film has had and the fact that it’s been on DVD that this one particular scene hasn’t been repaired, Because really it’s noticeable the damage to the negative.

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1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

IRELAND It is, I think my favorite place I have ever traveled. RYANS DAUGHTER Is also one of the most physically beautiful films I’ve ever seen. It is a very watchable film! (Especially that STORM SCENE!!!)

In reading up on it I could not actually find one single good review. In fact, several articles went into great detail about how heartbroken David Lean was by the treatment he received from the New York film critics, Who were just absolutely vicious, in fact they took him aside a private dinner and excoriated him for the movie. Which just boggles my mind.

I mean, I would personally rate “Ryan’s daughter” three stars out of four, but if you wanted to give it four out of four I would understand. Anything less than three though, I just don’t get it. It is by no means a bad movie in ANY sense!

I first saw Ryan's Daughter on the very big screen of the Empire Cinema in London's Leicester Square, in the Summer of 1971, days before I was leaving for my first trip to Ireland. That was a perfect time to see it, and I remember liking the movie very much. How it put me in the mood for my overnight crossing to Ireland, from Holyhead to Dun Laoighaire! I thought the sensuality of the film really worked. Christopher Jones and Sarah Miles were interesting actors who often played odd characters, and the chemistry between them really sizzled (as I recall, I was quite young and haven't seen the film since). 

Of David Lean's "big" films, I've never seen Zhivago, and, despite my affection for Lawrence, I still feel that Lean's masterpiece is A Passage to India. And speaking of the score, there are echoes of Jarre's score for Ryan's Daughter in his score for A Passage to India.

 

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8 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

But would there be THAT much of a demand for tape measure repair that you would literally put a sign in your window that you fix it? 

Interesting history here from Wired

Steel tape measures were apparently quite expensive, with the only alternative being the old wooden measuring devices that folded on hinges.  Repair was more economical than replacement. 

 

 

 

 

 

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You know, the more I think about RYAN’S DAUGHTER, the more I like it. I bet it did a lot of repeat business, because I would definitely watch it again. 
I just kept waiting for there to be some sort of fatal, devastating flaw to eXplain why the movie was so badly received. I mean I know critics are idiots, but ****.

And while I’m not nuts about John Mills’s character, he certainly didn’t ruin the movie ( Although I think it would’ve made the film even better if they had made the character of the village idiot a lot younger. Like maybe even a kid of 12 or 13. )

I had read that the actor who plays the British soldier was so terrible that he never worked again after making the film, and I really didn’t find that to be the case. I understand he was dubbed, but visually, his performance wasn’t lacking for me.

.And I also read that it offended some people who thought it belittled the 1916 Irish uprisings. I have absolutely no idea how you could see that movie and get that impression.

I wonder how the film was received in England tho...
 

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2 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

God, I bet it’s INCREDIBLE ON THE BIG SCREEN!!!!!!!!

It was. That storm scene!. I wonder how long Lean waited to get that on screen.

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44 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

You know, the more I think about RYAN’S DAUGHTER, the more I like it. I bet it did a lot of repeat business, because I would definitely watch it again. 
I just kept waiting for there to be some sort of fatal, devastating flaw to eXplain why the movie was so badly received. I mean I know critics are idiots, but ****.

And while I’m not nuts about John Mills’s character, he certainly didn’t ruin the movie ( Although I think it would’ve made the film even better if they had made the character of the village idiot a lot younger. Like maybe even a kid of 12 or 13. )

I had read that the actor who plays the British soldier was so terrible that he never worked again after making the film, and I really didn’t find that to be the case. I understand he was dubbed, but visually, his performance wasn’t lacking for me.

.And I also read that it offended some people who thought it belittled the 1916 Irish uprisings. I have absolutely no idea how you could see that movie and get that impression.

I wonder how the film was received in England tho...
 

Christopher Jones.  Yes, they had to redub all his dialog, but I couldnt tell the difference. He still worked, but his career never really took off. Think he was "difficult" to work with.

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43 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

You know, the more I think about RYAN’S DAUGHTER, the more I like it. I bet it did a lot of repeat business, because I would definitely watch it again. 
I just kept waiting for there to be some sort of fatal, devastating flaw to eXplain why the movie was so badly received. I mean I know critics are idiots, but ****.

And while I’m not nuts about John Mills’s character, he certainly didn’t ruin the movie ( Although I think it would’ve made the film even better if they had made the character of the village idiot a lot younger. Like maybe even a kid of 12 or 13. )

I had read that the actor who plays the British soldier was so terrible that he never worked again after making the film, and I really didn’t find that to be the case. I understand he was dubbed, but visually, his performance wasn’t lacking for me.

.And I also read that it offended some people who thought it belittled the 1916 Irish uprisings. I have absolutely no idea how you could see that movie and get that impression.

I wonder how the film was received in England tho...
 

I don't remember that the film was totally panned in New York. I think that the newspapers and magazines that still exist, like The Times and the New Yorker, were hard on it, but others were kinder. It's just that we had seven or eight dailies in those days, and many of them gone, and without web presences to preserve their reviews.  The film must have been a hit with the public in London, to some extent, because it played at the huge Empire Theatre for more than a year.

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1 hour ago, Swithin said:

I first saw Ryan's Daughter on the very big screen of the Empire Cinema in London's Leicester Square, in the Summer of 1971, days before I was leaving for my first trip to Ireland. That was a perfect time to see it, and I remember liking the movie very much. How it put me in the mood for my overnight crossing to Ireland, from Holyhead to Dun Laoighaire! I thought the sensuality of the film really worked. Christopher Jones and Sarah Miles were interesting actors who often played odd characters, and the chemistry between them really sizzled (as I recall, I was quite young and haven't seen the film since). 

Of David Lean's "big" films, I've never seen Zhivago, and, despite my affection for Lawrence, I still feel that Lean's masterpiece is A Passage to India. And speaking of the score, there are echoes of Jarre's score for Ryan's Daughter in his score for A Passage to India.

 

Yes, I remember there was a dust up with the rating as they pushed and got a PG rating and their love scene was fairly explicit. I think you saw Miles breast briefly.

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Just now, Swithin said:

I don't remember that the film was totally panned in New York. I think that the newspapers and magazines that still exist, like the Times and the New Yorker, were hard on it, but others were kinder. It's just that we had seven or eight dailies in those days, and many of them gone, and without web presences to preserve their reviews.  The film must have been a hit with the public in London, to some extent, because it played at the huge Empire Theatre for more than a year.

I know the Daily News liked it because they used a quote in the newspaper ads.

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2 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

IRELAND It is, I think my favorite place I have ever traveled. RYANS DAUGHTER Is also one of the most physically beautiful films I’ve ever seen. It is a very watchable film! (Especially that STORM SCENE!!!)

In reading up on it I could not actually find one single good review. In fact, several articles went into great detail about how heartbroken David Lean was by the treatment he received from the New York film critics, Who were just absolutely vicious, in fact they took him aside a private dinner and excoriated him for the movie. Which just boggles my mind.

I mean, I would personally rate “Ryan’s daughter” three stars out of four, but if you wanted to give it four out of four I would understand. Anything less than three though, I just don’t get it. It is by no means a bad movie in ANY sense!

Yes, he was invited to some NY Critics group which he had assumed would be a friendly question and answer session and instead some of the critics (led by Pauline) attacked him over the film and he felt humiliated. He didnt attempt another film for many years later (India).

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2 hours ago, Hibi said:

Yes, he was invited to some NY Critics group which he had assumed would be a friendly question and answer session and instead some of the critics (led by Pauline) attacked him over the film and he felt humiliated. He didnt attempt another film for many years later (India).

Yes, the National Society of Film Critics, I think. He thought it was a dinner to honor him. It was only drinks, and the critics lit into him about what an awful movie Ryan's Daughter was. Lean was shellshocked and didn't make another film for years. It's been a long time since I've seen the film. IIRC, the critics hated Christopher Jones, thought Robert Mitchum was badly miscast as the shy schoolmaster, and basically hated the Romeo & Juliet aspect of the film. If you go to the Dingle peninsula in Ireland (incredibly beautiful), they have preserved some of the sets, I believe, and people still talk about the time when Hollywood came to their part of the world.

John Mills' character is very much Oscar bait, and one could wish that he had won his Oscar for one of his many wonderful performances. If you look at his filmography starting with In Which We Serve, he had an amazing run of good films.

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