Life for Ruth

Watch Life for Ruth

  • 1962
  • 1 hr 33 min
  • 7.1  (294)

Life for Ruth is a powerful drama film released in 1962, directed by Basil Dearden and starring Michael Craig, Patrick McGoohan, and Janet Munro. The movie is based on the novel by Lynette Radcliffe, and it revolves around the story of a young couple, David and Ruth, who experience a traumatic series of events that threaten to destroy their life.

Set in a small and conservative British town, the story starts with David (played by Michael Craig) and Ruth (played by Janet Munro) getting married and planning their future together. However, their happy life is soon interrupted when Ruth falls seriously ill, and her only chance of survival depends on a life-saving blood transfusion. Despite David's efforts to save his wife, Ruth refuses the transfusion because of her religious beliefs.

This choice leads to a bitter court battle, as the hospital authorities and David fight to save Ruth's life, while her fanatical parents and their religious community support her decision to die. The story explores the conflict between religious morals and medical ethics, as well as the impact of blind faith on the individual's right to live.

As Ruth's condition deteriorates, both physically and mentally, David finds himself alone and desperate, torn between his love for his wife and his duty to save her. Meanwhile, the town is divided and tensions rise, as conflicting opinions and beliefs clash. Public demonstrations, church sermons, and legal procedures all play a part in the unfolding drama, creating a tense and emotional atmosphere.

Throughout the film, the stellar performances of the main cast members add to the intensity of the story. Michael Craig delivers a powerful and emotional portrayal of David, torn between his love for his wife and his sense of duty. Janet Munro, in her last major film role, gives a sensitive and convincing performance as Ruth, portraying her character's agony and despair with a touching honesty. Patrick McGoohan, as the hospital consultant who fights to save Ruth's life, provides a convincing portrayal of a man who is dedicated to his profession and his duty to save lives.

The film's cinematography by Otto Heller is also noteworthy, particularly the stunning aerial shots that capture the beauty of the British countryside. The use of black and white photography adds to the somber and bleak atmosphere of the story, creating a sense of claustrophobia and oppression that reflects the pressure on the characters and the town as a whole.

While Life for Ruth is a film that is firmly rooted in its time and place, its themes and messages still resonate today. The conflict between the individual's right to choose and the cultural, societal, or religious constraints that may limit that choice is still an issue in modern society. The film's exploration of this conflict makes it a compelling and thought-provoking drama that will stay with viewers long after they've finished watching.

In conclusion, Life for Ruth is a powerful and emotional drama that tackles complex themes and issues with sensitivity and insight. Its strong performances, excellent cinematography, and tense atmosphere make it a standout film of its time, while its themes continue to resonate with audiences today. It is a film that deserves to be seen and appreciated, not only for its historical significance but for its timeless messages and relevance.

Life for Ruth
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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 33 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (294)