"Killing is the Doone way... not ours." ~ Sarah Ridd (Barbara Flynn)
After her husband's violent and merciless death at the hands of a Doone, spirited Sarah Ridd went to the stronghold of the clan for justice and instead found cruelty. Refusing Sir Ensor's payoff, she left and never looked back. Fearful that her son, John, would lose his life in vengeance, she bid him to forget his revenge, but still harbors a powerful grudge against the family who murdered her husband.
Now left alone to raise three passionate children, her life grows considerably easier when John takes over his father's managing of the farm. Years pass and tragedy again strikes when her brother, Rueben Huckaback, is flogged and robbed by the Doones. His own quest for vengeance leads her son John into danger when he is summoned to London to face Judge Jeffreys, England's most dangerous and powerful lawman. John returns home safely, but her world is again shattered by the revelation that Annie has intentions to marry Tom Faggus, her godfather and a well-known highwayman.
That night John also reveals his secret love for Lorna Doone. But many obstacles lie in Sarah's way, and it will take courage and determination to face them. For dealing with the Doones can be a bloodthirsty business...
One of Sarah's most enduring traits is that she's very emotional and forgiving... she goes through hell in the duration of the movie - from her husband's murder to the final thought of loosing her son to vengeance - and still comes out the strongpoint of the Ridd household. What drew me to her was her willingness to sacrifice her personal opinion for her children, whether it was reluctantly consenting to Annie's marriage to Tom, or to John's determination to go after the wayward husband and possibly loose his life in the process. Her open charity to Lorna is also excellent. Physical description aside, this is one woman who will remain a strong character in my mind for a long time.
For me, it was when John brought Lorna home. Undoubtedly, Sarah knew that the Doones would not take this marriage well, and that the girl would have to flee for her life. Having constrained a hatred for the clan that murdered her husband for some time, it must have been difficult to look into Lorna's frightened brown eyes and give her the motherly welcome that was anticipated by her son.
"I've just lost my husband! Do you think I want to burry my son as well?"
"I came here for justice... but what I find is mockery. May God forgive you for your cruelty."
"I always knew he'd come to no good one day!"