Barry LyndonDirector: Stanley Kubrick
With ornate imagery reminiscent of paintings from the story's 18th century period, Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's novel depicts the rise and fall of a sensitive rogue in the British aristocracy. Young Irishman Redmond Barry (Ryan O'Neal) leaves home to seek his fortune after apparently killing an English officer in a duel. Through a series of mishaps and accidents, Barry winds up fighting with the Prussian army in the Seven Years' War under the command of Capt. Potzdorf (Hardy Kruger); at war's end, Potzdorf enlists Barry to spy on a shady Chevalier (Patrick Magee). Instead, Barry joins up with the Irish Chevalier to flee Prussia and live as gamblers among Europe's elite. Wishing to climb even higher, Barry soon meets the beautiful Lady Lyndon (Marisa Berenson), marrying her for her fortune after her older titled husband dies. Her son Lord Bullingdon (Leon Vitali), however, despises the upstart Barry, and, regardless of how his mother may feel, sees to it that the re-named Barry Lyndon will never be able to stake his claim to the entrenched aristocracy. Coming after Kubrick's esteemed hits 2001 (1968) and A Clockwork Orange (1971), Barry Lyndon opened with high expectations and met with decidedly mixed responses to its restrained tone. Even with Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Director (and wins for Cinematography, Art Direction, Costumes, and Adapted Score), Barry Lyndon was a box office failure, as mid-'70s audiences increasingly turned away from such narrative challenges as its epic length and muffled emotions. Since then, Barry Lyndon has gained in stature, taking its place among the formidable artistic achievements of Kubrick's career.
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Cast & Crew
|Ken Adam||Production Designer|
|Milena Canonero||Costumes/Costume Designer|
|Brian Cook||Asst. Director|
|Vernon Dixon||Set Decoration/Design|
|Robin Gregory||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Jan Harlan||Executive Producer|
|Leonard Rosenman||Musical Arrangement|
|Bill Rowe||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Ulla-Britt Soderlund||Costumes/Costume Designer|
|Michael Stevenson||Asst. Director|
|David Tomblin||Asst. Director|
|Roy Walker||Art Director|
|Bernard Williams||Associate Producer|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Stanley Kubrik's 1975 film on a low-born Irish upstart (Ryan O'Neil) who leaves his home after a family feud to pursue wealthy opportunities. Ryan O'Neil was not a great choice for the lead role. One can see that he's rather uncomfortable in playing a period piece: his accent sounding more and more American each step into the movie. The screenplay is well balanced and the story is well paced. As always, Kubrik's obssession with detail and stylized scenes bring out vivid images of 18th century Europe. Filmed in natural light, this narrative epic's brilliant direction and cinematography alone makes it a worthwhile viewing experience.
One of my all-time favorite movies. Yes, the pacing is very slow but that was the 18th century. The ponderous music sets the tone just right. Barry is the classic tragic hero who causes his own downfall, leaving destruction in his wake. Kubrik's movies always require at least 2 viewings.
This film once again displays Kubrick's excellent use of the environment to create a vivid visual experience. It is perhaps one of the most beautifully shot films I've ever seen. Aside from the scenery, the performances are upstanding and the story is witty. This film is another entry in a fabulous tradition of films that only a great director like Kubrick could have created.
Is how Harvard Lampoon regarded this when it first appeared. However, both Fellini and Scorcese regard this as a masterpiece. Who you gonna believe..? This holds up incredibly well. It makes all those Merchant Ivory films look positively limp. BL is subtle and funny, deeply upsetting and EXTREMELY beautiful. So Ryan was not a great choice for the lead, but he doesn't get in the way either. By the end of the first half you may be exhausted and not really care what happens, but keep watching as the downfall of Barry is chilling and exciting. There are some wrong notes(the epilogue is pointless)but this is a great film.