Barry Lyndon


An Irish rogue wins the heart of a rich widow and assumes her dead husband’s aristocratic position in 18th-century England.

ACTORS : Ryan O’Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee, Hardy Krüger


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In the eighteenth century, in a small village in Ireland, Redmond Barry (Ryan O’Neal) is a young farm boy in love with his cousin Nora Brady (Gay Hamilton). When Nora gets engaged to British Captain John Quin (Leonard Rossiter), Barry challenges him to a duel of pistols. He wins and escapes to Dublin, but is robbed on the road. Without an alternative, Barry joins the British Army to fight in the Seven Years War. He deserts and is forced to join the Prussian Army, where he saves the life of his Captain and becomes his protégé and spy of Irish gambler Chevalier de Balibari (Patrick Magee). He helps Chevalier and becomes his associate until he decides to marry the wealthy Lady Lyndon (Marisa Berenson). They move to England and Barry, in his obsession of nobility, dissipates her fortune and makes a dangerous and revengeful enemy.

One of Kubrick’s best and most misunderstood

Not his best(2001), but Barry Lyndon is a beautiful film that is so easily dismissed. I am fond of Stanley Kubrick’s movies, and I honestly think Barry Lyndon is one of his best. I am not sure about it being underrated, but it is almost certainly misunderstood. Yes it is long, and yes it is slow. The length didn’t bother me, and neither did the pace actually. The slow pacing as others have said is deliberate, it is essential to the rhythm of this film. Even if you can’t adjust to the film’s pace, so many other things compensate, especially the authentic period look, the ravishingly beautiful photography, Kubrick’s superb direction and a hypnotizing music score. The story is well constructed, as is the dialogue, while the acting is fine. Ryan O’Neal and Marissa Berenson have often been criticised, but I think their bloodlessness and vacancy are a strength rather than a weakness. That aside, Leonard Rossiter, Hardy Kruger and especially Leon Vitali give fine supporting performances, while the climatic duel scene is definitive and the narration from Michael Hordern is excellent. So all in all, actually an excellent film.


Mr. Majestyk

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