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1970, Warner Bros., 187 min, UK, Dir: David Lean

Initially planned as a return to the small-scale storytelling of David Lean’s BRIEF ENCOUNTER days, RYAN’S DAUGHTER instead became an epic contest between the director and the Irish landscape, as he attempted to tell the tragic story of a married Irish woman (played by Sarah Miles, wife of the film’s screenwriter, Robert Bolt) and her affair with a shell-shocked British soldier (Christopher Jones). A flawed gem, the film boasts some great performances (John Mills, who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar, and Leo McKern) and some still-underrated ones (Robert Mitchum, as a meek schoolteacher). Freddie Young’s astonishing cinematography ranks with his best work on LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and DOCTOR ZHIVAGO.

1965, 20th Century Fox, 132 min, UK, Dir: Ken Annakin

Stuart Whitman, Sarah Miles, Robert Morley, James Fox and the ever-delightful Terry-Thomas star as a group of lovably crack-pot aviators, inventors and villains competing to win a London-to-Paris air race in 1910, in director Ken Annakin’s irresistible combination of epic adventure and slapstick comedy.

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