Film Reviews, News & Competitions


Life For Ruth

Film Information

Plot: Ruth needs an urgent blood transfusion, but her father refuses consent on religious grounds, even though it means his daughter's death.
Release Date: 12th September.
Format: DVD & blu-ray.
Director(s): Basil Dearden.
Cast: Patrick McGoohan, Michael Craig, Janet Munro.
BBFC Certificate: PG.
Running Time: 91 mins (Blu-ray), 88 mins (DVD).
Country Of Origin: UK.
Language: English.
Review By: Paula Hammond.
Film Rating
3.5/ 5


Bottom Line

A powerful and provocative film, which offers no easy answers, but plenty to talk about. 

Posted September 10, 2022 by

Film Review

Michael Craig and Patrick McGoohan give memorably fiery performances as ideological opposites fighting to save the life of a gravely injured young girl in Life for Ruth. Co-starring Janet Munro in a BAFTA-nominated performance, this is a tense, emotionally-charged drama from director Basil Dearden, who may have made his name with Ealing titles such as The Blue Lamp, but wasn’t afraid to tackle the big issues such as race relations (Sapphire) and homosexuality (Victim). In Life For Ruth, the theme is religion.

Badly injured in a boating accident, John and Pat Harris’s daughter, Ruth, is rushed to hospital. They are told that an urgent blood transfusion is needed, but John refuses his consent on religious grounds – even though that would mean his daughter’s death. The ensuing trial forms the focus of the film, giving both leads plenty of material to channel their talents.

Dearden’s skilful handling of the material  manages to delver plenty of food-for-thought without descending into mawkish melodrama. And, of course, it’s always a joy to see Patrick McGoohan given the chance to shine. The result is a powerful and provocative film which offers no easy answers but plenty to talk about. 

Life For Ruth is featured here as a brand-new remaster from original film elements in its original theatrical aspect ratio.


• Brand-new interviews with actor Michael Craig and 1st assistant director Anthony Waye. 

• Archive career-retrospective interview with Michael Craig. 

• Theatrical Trailer.

• Image gallery. 

• Limited edition booklet written by Neil Sinyard.

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email:


Be the first to comment!

You must log in to post a comment