In the midst of the many wonderful films made by Stanley Kubrick, it is strange to note how rarely people mention "Barry Lyndon".The film portrays an unusual young Irish man, Redmond Barry, and his endeavours as he is forced to leave his home and tries to make good his life elsewhere. His life away from home starts out as a career in the British Army; only to evolve in surprising ways and lead to as different places as a position of trust within the Prussian Army and later a title of nobility, gained by what our time can only measure as rather disgraceful means.Some consider Barry <more>
Lyndon a slow and tedious film and it is in deed past three hours in length, but this is because of the artistic flow of a film that strays not only to tell a tale about a man who is by no means neither hero nor villain, but also a film which is in no hurry and takes the time for every detail to sink into the mind and heart of the viewer. Some of the scenic images in "Barry Lyndon" are in themselves pieces of art, rendered with a passion for the landscapes and the man-made structures within them.The myth that all scenes were recorded using no artificial lighting no doubt stems from the very realistic lights during indoor takes, and some of them truly did not feature artificial light. This is but one of the many details that so easily conveys a sense of a realistic portray of the era; the 18th century and the time after the seven-year war in the later half of the century. The impressive atmosphere and the wonderfully picturesque scenarios along with the fact that the entire plot moves at a calm pace makes this film a very pleasant experience."Barry Lyndon is", amidst Kubricks' many masterpieces, a film so easily dismissed due to length and the fact that it is overshadowed by others, but I deeply recommend this film to anyone who would like to see a film both for the plot line, the story and the pure enjoyment of the images presented. Stanley Kubrick made many great films and this one is most definitely one of them! KimotoCat
I can't believe that there are people who find this dull. (by Spleen)
In fact it's one of Kubrick's most gripping pictures, with a narrative drive second only to that of "Dr. Strangelove" and it's unquestionably a more glorious creation than, say, anything he made in the 1950s . English director Michael Powell while attributing a similar failing to one of his own works says that Kubrick fell into "the trap of the picturesque", but while I admire Powell as a creator, the judgment is absurd: at the VERY least, each lush image shows us people not just occupying a part of the screen but inhabiting a world, and tells us much about <more>
their relation to that world. Many shots are indeed amazing and beguile the eye, but they don't have the effect they do simply because they would make nice postcards.THIS, I feel sure without having read Thackeray , is the proper way to adapt a long story from novel to screen. Each scene is either allowed as much time as it needs to make its point and its impact, or it's cut altogether - you won't catch Kubrick skating too quickly over his material for no better reason than to fit it all in. The third-person narration consisting of witty, beautifully crafted sentences - it's about time I did read Thackeray almost performs a kind of dance with the images, gliding in just when we need it, taking a step back when we don't. So rarely is even third-person narration used so well. And as always, Kubrick's musical sense is unerring. My impression at the time was that I was listening to mid-eighteenth century music that gave way to pieces from the classical era as the hero started to move in higher and higher circles. I was more or less right. But then I noticed Schubert's name in the credits - and I realised with a start that I'd been listening to, had even started tapping my feet to, a Schubert piece I was familiar with, without the anachronism registering.It's a pity Kubrick stopped making epics after this. Look at the ones he's responsible for: "Spartacus" not a project Kubrick was fond of, admittedly, but still the most magnificent of all Roman epics "2001" the most magnificent of ALL epics , and "Barry Lyndon". The last of the three is by no means a poor cousin.
The World of Stanley Kubrick: A young rapscallion makes good in 18th century Europe. (by Captain_Couth)
Barry Lyndon 1975 has to be Stanley Kubrick's most realized project that he has ever taken. A big task for the maverick director. For a film like this to be made during the free wheeling seventies had to take some big stones. One must admire Mr. Kubrick for even trying to produce and direct such a complex and expensive film that had all the ear markings of a financial and personal disaster. Not only did Kubrick manage to out do his last epic "2001" but he has created a movie that not only showcases the untapped acting abilities of Ryan O'Neil, but a beautifully lensed film <more>
that uses minimal lighting , gorgeous sets, perfect balance, positioning and meticulous timing. I have never seen such a magnificent film such as this one. Every shot and frame plays out like an eighteenth century oil painting.A young Irish man of lower class has the strangest quirk of luck. After participating in an illegal duel, young Barry is forced to flee from his home village. After being accosted by some gentlemanly highway robbers, Barry winds up cross country and becomes a conscripted soldier. Rising in rank, Barry is sent to fight in the Seven's Year War. Whilst in battle he watches his friends and fellow soldiers being slaughtered in combat due to poor tactics and leadership. Having enough of this life of hardship and struggle, Barry uses his god given talents to do what he has to do in order to survive and become a man of proper social standing.I was very impressed with this movie. I've put off watching this film until recently. Some have told me how long and boring this movie was. Others have said it was pretty self serving and not worth watching. But after seeing part of it on T.C.M., I just had to find a copy of my own. The film is over three hours in length but they go by very quickly because Barry's story is so captivating. Kubrick poured his heart and soul into this film. The results are on the screen. He's clearly a master film maker. His reputation is cemented forever with this movie. Ryan O'Neil impressed the hell out me with his role as Barry Lyndon. He gives the character some dignity and depth that no other actor could have possibly given to the title role.Overall I would have to give this film one of my highest recommendations. This is one of my top ten films of all time. If people tell you not to watch this masterpiece ignore them. I advise you to get a copy and enjoy. For a film like this you need to set aside a weekend afternoon to fully appreciate a film such as this. Believe me you will not regret it.Highest recommendation possible.It doesn't matter whether you watch it on D.V.D. or V.C.D. because the transfers are excellent on either format.
Barry Lyndon is one of my favourite films of all time. Kubrick's craftsmanship is impeccable. The film is slow and dreamy in its pace which, along with the scenic shots, establishes a romanticised watercolour view of the period somewhat like a Carpenter landscape . In fact, Kubrick has set up almost every shot indoor and out like a painting. This romanticism provides an interesting counterpoint against Lyndon's less than admirable actions throughout the film. I would have to say that the best acting in Barry Lyndon comes from some of the minor actors. Leonard Rossiter delivers a <more>
fantastic portrait of the arrogant Captain Quinn, with exaggerated facial expressions and movements eg. like in the dance scene, or when his engagement to Nora is announced that are perfect for the self-aggrandising bluster of this character. Leon Vitali as Lord Bullingdon also gives an insightful performance as Barry's stepson.
In the Eighteenth Century, in a small village in Ireland, Redmond Barry Ryan O'Neal is a young farm boy in love of his cousin Nora Brady Gay Hamilton . When Nora engages to the British Captain John Quin Leonard Rossiter , Barry challenges him for a duel of pistols. He wins and escapes to Dublin, but is robbed on the road. Without any other alternative, Barry joins the British Army to fight in the Seven Years War. He deserts and is forced to join the Prussian Army, saving the life of his captain and becoming his protégé and spy of the Irish gambler Chevalier de Balibari Patrick <more>
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, dilapidates her fortune and makes a dangerous and revengeful enemy.Stanley Kubrick is certainly among the ten best directors of the cinema history and it is not necessary to make any comment about his awesome work. "Barry Lyndon" is a piece of art, and watching this film, the viewer has the sensation that is seeing pictures at an exhibition. Further, if he or she randomly pauses the DVD on any scene, will have a magnificent painting on the screen of the TV. Therefore, the landscapes, set decoration, art direction, costume design and cinematography are simply spectacular. The music score is one of the most beautiful of the cinema history, with classy and top-notch selection of wonderful classical music. Ryan O'Neal gives his best acting in the best role of his career, an the whole cast is amazing in their intense performances. The long story is engaging, with the narrative in off, in a shameful period of Europe history, telling the raise and fall of an ambitious man initially driven by a lost love. This movie is highly recommended for viewers that appreciate arts. My vote is nine.Title Brazil : "Barry Lyndon"
Like Stepping Into a Classical Painting (by evanston_dad)
I'm reading Thackeray's "Vanity Fair" even as I write this comment, and what strikes me about "Barry Lyndon" now that I've read something by the author who wrote it is how much the film recreates the experience of reading Thackeray. "Vanity Fair" is nearly 700 pages of nothing much happening, yet it's all fascinating. That's "Barry Lyndon." Ryan O'Neal plays the eponymous protagonist, and Marisa Berenson his beleaguered wife in this costume drama that follows the exploits of our dear rogue Lyndon from young manhood to weary <more>
middle age. And that's really it for lead characters. Neither O'Neal nor Berenson registers much, but no matter. The true stars here are the film's magnificent and jaw-dropping production design, followed closely by its score, which, like in other Kubrick films, incorporates previously existing classical compositions that are perfectly matched with the material. Every shot in this film looks like a painting, which was Kubrick's intention and why he used such a square aspect ratio. The meticulous details of 18th Century court life make this movie endlessly fascinating, even if many viewers have complained that it's emotionally distant a criticism that could apply to more than one Kubrick film .I loved "Barry Lyndon" the first time I watched it, thought it was hollow and lacking the second time I watched it, and then went back to thinking it a masterpiece the third time I watched it. Let's see how I feel after a fourth viewing. As for now, it's my third impression that sticks.Grade: A
Opulent costume drama from the great filmmaker (by pooch-8)
Kubrick's adaptation of Thackeray's Barry Lyndon sharply divides fans of the great director's work, as the languid pace and seemingly interminable running time -- not to mention Ryan O'Neal's questionable performance in the title role -- are cherished by some and deplored by others. Little argument will be made against John Alcott's Academy Award-winning cinematography or Ken Adam's production design, however, and Kubrickian motifs are manifest in the gallery of characters' wide-ranging displays of cowardice, guile, duplicity, avarice, jealousy, greed, and <more>
cruelty. Marisa Berenson is terribly short-changed in her role as the Lady Lyndon, but a number of other performers are given the opportunity to create a handful of memorable moments -- especially Arthur O'Sullivan albeit briefly as the charming, intelligent highwayman and Patrick Magee as the Chevalier. Love it or hate it, Barry Lyndon will remain essential viewing for aficionados of the director, who enjoys taking his usual shots at the more discouraging aspects of human behavior.
Spoilers herein.Kubrick is a hard filmmaker to touch. He's obviously competent, even brilliant in some ways. And a few of his films -- `Strangelove' comes to mind -- make enough sense superficially that one is not compelled to go farther. The problem is that Kubrick never gives us much hint that his films are a whole different beast than the others on the shelf at the video store. I think he relished the confusion.Most films tell a story in the old fashioned way: time moves, things happen, characters act. In these films, the story is largely apart from the storytelling. Because film <more>
is different than everything else, the means of storytelling are unique to film. And because film is still new, we have lots of room for discovering how to tell a story.So we have the vast majority of filmmakers and viewers who think of a film purely in terms of the story. But we have another group of people who watch the storytelling, and perhaps like myself don't demand that much from the story itself. That's why we admire empty stylists like De Palma, but of course prefer master visual storytellers like Kurosawa.The holy grail is when the narrative of the conventional threads and the cinematic ones mesh, or are coordinated in some clever way. By cinematic threads, I mean a narrative invested in the very fabric of the camera, like `Marienbad,' like `Pillow Book,' like Welles' `Othello,' or with the aid of actors like `Sweet and Lowdown,' or `Vanya on 42nd Street.' There's a sublime joy to parallel immersion in both the story and cinematic narratives.But sometimes along comes a Kubrick to confound us. I spent a lot of time with `Eyes Wide Shut' before understanding it, because I was looking for the tie with the story. But Kubrick has the equation the other way around. The primary narrative anchor is in the cinematic narrative. The story isn't a skeleton around which the filmmaking takes place, rather an annotation or an incomplete dream that results from it. Jarmusch, Malick, and Kar-wai Wong `In the Mood for Love' have this same attitude, with minor twists.Freed from limiting expectations, I am now able to enjoy `Barry Lyndon' in more the way I think Kubrick saw it. It is not a story about a Black Irish told through pretty pictures. It is a visual tone poem on the seduction of beauty, with a dissonance between natural beauty and cosmetics. The primary story is visual. It needs space. It needs time. `2001' has the same cinematic narrative, with the `cosmetics' being logic; the minor twist in `Clockwork' is that the cultural cosmetic is in the future. The part of the narrative that O'Neal contributes is a loose stitching of this to plot elements as seasoning to help our digestion: war/ gambling, arbitrary privilege, duals and duels, face and body costumes, superposition of languages.The ironic point is that Kubrick tricks you into soaking up the lushness, and doesn't punish you at the end. That's why you leave the theater feeling guilty and not knowing why. He takes away one of our legs -- the story -- and sends us to wander in America, not quite sure what has happened to us. Can you think of any other artist with that power?
Considered one of Thackeray's best novels "Barry Lyndon" comes to light in a brilliant fashion under the direction of Stanley Kubrik with Ryan O'Neal in the title role.A young Irish profligate of the 18th Century finds himself involved in the Seven Year's War in Europe. A born opportunist he deserts as a soldier and by all foul means seeks to improve his status by marrying a countess. He is now one of the new aristocracy...Mr. Barry Lyndon!The film version of Barry Lyndon's adventures as a cheat, as a spy, as a gentleman of the realm is absolutely flawless. I have <more>
only high praise for the uniform quality as we go from scene to scene. The lighting in particular is striking, much like a classical painting. The photography is excellent....sweeping vistas of the European countryside with red-coated soldiers drawn up in battle lines and dropping in disarray under enemy fire....indoor scenes of elegance with people feasting or playing at cards, all bathed in soft candlelight Every scene is backed by well-chosen music gleaned from the classics. The choice is so good one might think it was written for the film. The art director too can be proud of the meticulous costumes, wigs and make-up; and the aging of the characters is well done and acceptable.There is also a lovely array of characters both old and young with interesting faces like those you would see in an old Rembrandt. As a character I especially like the old count who suffers terribly from an argument with the new Mr. Lyndon. Another memorable scene is the outburst of the Countess's son who refuses to accept his step-father and endures a thorough thrashing. There are poignant scenes too when Barry's little son comes to grief....and these are the days too when differences are solved by pistol or sword.All in all a well rounded film. I find it much more satisfying than "Russian Ark" which is praised so highly. This film is filled with beauty and adventure and proves once again that "what goes up must come down"....and so we have the rise and fall of Barry Lyndon!