What happened to Daniel in the Longest Ride

The Longest Ride
What happened to Daniel in the Longest Ride

Theatrical release poster

Directed byGeorge Tillman Jr.
Written byCraig Bolotin
Based onThe Longest Ride
by Nicholas Sparks
Produced by

  • Marty Bowen
  • Wyck Godfrey
  • Nicholas Sparks
  • Sheena Easton


  • Britt Robertson
  • Scott Eastwood
  • Jack Huston
  • Oona Chaplin
  • Jason Fabian
  • Alan Alda

CinematographyDavid Tattersall
Edited byJason Ballantine
Music byMark Isham


  • Fox 2000 Pictures
  • Temple Hill Entertainment
  • TSG Entertainment

Distributed by20th Century Fox

Release date

  • April 10, 2015

Running time

128 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$34 million[2]
Box office$63 million[3]

The Longest Ride is a 2015 American Neo Western romantic drama film directed by George Tillman Jr. and written by Craig Bolotin. Based on Nicholas Sparks' 2013 novel of the same name, the film stars Britt Robertson, Scott Eastwood, Jack Huston, Oona Chaplin, and Alan Alda. The film was released on April 10, 2015 by 20th Century Fox.


Professional bull rider Luke Collins (Scott Eastwood) meets Sophia Danko (Britt Robertson), an art student at Wake Forest University, after she attends a PBR event. On the way home from their first date, they spot a car crash in the woods and help rescue an elderly man from the vehicle, along with a box full of letters.

In the hospital, Sophia visits the 91-year old man she rescued, Ira Levinson (Alan Alda). He explains the letters are what he wrote as a teenager to his late wife, Ruth, and she offers to read them to him, which tell the story of how they met and fell in love in 1940.

In flashbacks, Ruth (Oona Chaplin) tells a young Ira (Jack Huston) that she wants a big family, and he eventually proposes to her before leaving to fight in World War II. However, Ira is shot during an attack and is later informed that he can no longer have children, news that causes distance between Ruth and him when he returns. Regardless, they decide to make it work and move in together, decorating the house with many paintings that Ruth and he love.

Back in the present day, Ira is moved to a nursing home where Sophia continues to visit. Luke continues bull riding as Sophia and he fall in love. Luke attends an art exhibit with Sophia, which he finds disinteresting, and they realize how different their two worlds are; Luke says he does not feel their relationship will work. Sophia goes to Ira for advice, who tells her how he and Ruth made it work. In flashbacks, it is revealed that Ruth, a school teacher, became attached to a young student named Daniel McDonald after finding out she and Ira wouldn't have children of their own. They wanted to adopt him but Daniel's uncaring relatives wouldn't allow it.

Luke is injured while riding and is rushed to hospital. He is advised not to ride again but he refuses to accept that his career is over. Following an argument, Luke and Sophia break up. In flashbacks, Ira and Ruth break up because she cannot see a life without children in their future. However, weeks later, Ruth returns as she cannot live without Ira. Decades later, now 80 years old, Ira wakes up to find Ruth has died in her sleep. One night, a woman knocks on his door, claiming to be the wife of Daniel McDonald, the child they almost adopted when they were younger, and informs Ira that Daniel, who later became a professor of physics and astronomy, has died. She gives him a portrait of Ruth that Daniel had painted, with a message on the back that reads: "Ruth Levinson, third grade teacher. She told me I could be anything I wanted to be when I grew up".

Sophia and Luke are contacted by Ira's attorney who tells them that he has died and an auction will be held for his collection of paintings. Meanwhile, Luke wins his last ride, and the event championship, but feels disappointed because Sophia is not there to share it with him. Going to the auction, he buys the first piece of art, Daniel's "Portrait of Ruth". Sophia and Luke reconcile with a kiss after he tells her he will not ride anymore because what he really wants is to be with her for the rest of his life. The auctioneer then reveals that Ira's clause in the auction rules was: whoever buys Daniel's portrait will receive the entire collection, worth almost $200 million, as it is the piece of art that meant the most to him.

A year later, Luke and Sophia, now married, have built a museum dedicated to Ira and Ruth and their paintings. Luke takes Sophia to Black Mountain College where Ira and Ruth used to spend their wedding anniversary. They sit under the same tree and read Ira's letters together.


  • Scott Eastwood as Luke Collins
  • Britt Robertson as Sophia Collins (née Danko)
  • Alan Alda as Ira Levinson
  • Melissa Benoist as Marcia
  • Jack Huston as Young Ira
  • Oona Chaplin as Young Ruth
  • Lolita Davidovich as Linda Collins
  • Gloria Reuben as Adrienne Francis
  • Naomi Eckhaus as Ruth
  • Barry Ratcliffe as the Auctioneer
  • Peter Jurasik as Howie Sanders
  • Brett Edwards as Jared Middleton
  • Hunter Burke as David Stein
  • Alina Lia as Brooke
  • Rango the bull as Himself[4]



In April 2014, Fox 2000 Pictures set a film adaptation to be released on April 10, 2015, with George Tillman Jr. in final talks to direct, Craig Bolotin adapting the screenplay, and Britt Robertson as Sophia Danko, Oona Chaplin as Ruth, Scott Eastwood as Luke Collins, Jack Huston as Young Ira, and Alan Alda as old Ira.[5][6][7][8][9]


Principal photography began on June 16, 2014, in Wilmington and Winston-Salem, North Carolina.[10][11][12] On July 28, filming started in Jacksonville, where a major rodeo scene was shot. The PBR was the technical advisor and producer for all of the bull riding events.[13] PBR bull riders doubled for Scott and appeared in the film.[13] The crew then moved to Winston-Salem at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum.[14][15]


Box office[edit]

The Longest Ride grossed $37,446,117 in North America and $25,498,698 in other territories for a worldwide total of $62,944,815.[3]

In its opening weekend, the film grossed $13,019,686, finishing third at the box office behind Furious 7 ($59,585,930) and Home ($18,532,280).[3]

Critical reception[edit]

The Longest Ride has received negative reviews from critics. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 31%, based on 124 reviews, with an average rating of 4.4/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The Longest Ride is less manipulative than the average Nicholas Sparks film, but it's still saccharine and hopelessly contrived — not that it'll matter to the target audience."[16] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the film has a score of 33 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[17]

The Longest Ride earned an average grade of "A" in CinemaScore poll on an A+ to F scale,[18] marking the first Sparks feature adaptation to earn an A in 11 years since The Notebook (2004).[19]


2015 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Drama The Longest Ride Nominated
Choice Movie Actor: Drama Scott Eastwood Won
Choice Movie Actress: Drama Britt Robertson Nominated
Choice Movie: Breakout Star Scott Eastwood Nominated
2016 People's Choice Awards Favorite Dramatic Movie The Longest Ride Nominated

Home media[edit]

The Longest Ride was released on DVD and Blu-ray on July 14, 2015.


  1. ^ "THE LONGEST RIDE (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. April 23, 2015. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  2. ^ Busch, Anita (April 8, 2015). "Box Office Preview: 'Furious 7' Riding The Wave, 'Longest Ride' In Rearview Mirror". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "The Longest Ride (2015)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  4. ^ "Professional Bull Riders - Professional Bull Riders star bull Rango passes away". September 16, 2014. Retrieved August 14, 2020.
  5. ^ Kit, Borys (March 17, 2014). "George Tillman Jr. in Final Talks to Direct 'Longest Ride' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  6. ^ Yamato, Jen (May 5, 2014). "Britt Robertson Boards Nicholas Sparks Romance 'The Longest Ride'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  7. ^ "Oona Chaplin To Star In Nicholas Sparks' 'The Longest Ride". redcarpetpretendings.com. Archived from the original on July 20, 2014. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  8. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (May 29, 2014). "Jack Huston To Star In Fox 2000′s 'The Longest Ride'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  9. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (June 5, 2014). "Alan Alda Joins 'The Longest Ride' At Fox 2000". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  10. ^ "'The Longest Ride', starring Britt Robertson, begins filming in Wilmington, NC on June 16". www.onlocationvacations.com. May 29, 2014.
  11. ^ "Nicholas Sparks' The Longest Ride Filming In NC". www.witn.com. June 5, 2014.
  12. ^ Powell, Ben (June 17, 2014). "'The Longest Ride' begins filming in Wilmington". wect.com. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
  13. ^ a b "Professional Bull Riders - Filming underway on 'The Longest Ride'". Professional Bull Riders. Archived from the original on April 23, 2019. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  14. ^ Humphrey, Amanda (July 29, 2014). "Filming for 'The Longest Ride' under way in Jacksonville". newbernsj.com. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  15. ^ "Local organizations offered money to provide extras for 'The Longest Ride' - myfox8.com". myfox8.com. August 6, 2014. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  16. ^ "The Longest Ride". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved October 28, 2022.
  17. ^ "The Longest Ride Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 5, 2015.
  18. ^ "The Longest Ride". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on April 5, 2015. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
  19. ^ Anthony D'Alessandro (April 10, 2015). "Diesel-Fueled Social Media Spurs 'Furious 7′ In Second Lap; 'Longest Ride' Branded With 'A' CinemaScore – Late Night Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 11, 2015.

  • Official website
  • The Longest Ride at IMDb
  • The Longest Ride at Box Office Mojo
  • The Longest Ride at Rotten Tomatoes
  • The Longest Ride at Metacritic
    What happened to Daniel in the Longest Ride

Who is Daniel in The Longest Ride?

Based in the Nicholas Sparks novel, the movie features Scott Eastwood (as a bull rider), Britt Robertson, Oona Chaplin and Jack Huston, as well as New Orleans resident Floyd Herrington as "Daniel McDonald." He was at the premiere with his parents, actress/producer Nicelle Herrington ("Mr.

What happened to Ira and Ruth in The Longest Ride?

Though it becomes difficult for Ruth to adjust to life with Ira afterward—she leaves him at one point—the two reconcile and have a wonderful relationship, until Ruth dies in her sleep of old age. Ira even keeps writing her love letters.

Does The Longest Ride have a sad ending?

There is a couple of sad parts, but for the most, it's a happy ending. This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler) The Longest Ride has the happiest ending I can think of from a Nicholas Sparks book.

What happened to Luke Collins in The Longest Ride?

Luke was severely injured during a ride on Big Ugly Critter, renamed Rango for the film. After the accident, doctors urged him not ride again because suffering a similar head injury would kill him.