Barry Lyndon

Barry Lyndon

Blu-ray Disc - 2011
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A gentlemanly rogue travels the battlefields and parlors of 18th century Europe determined to make for himself the life of a nobleman through seduction, gambling and dueling in this methodical film showing the rhythm and life of the period.
Publisher: [United States] : Warner Home Video, 2011.
Edition: Widescreen ed.
Branch Call Number: BLU-RAY FICTION BAR
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (184 min.)
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Feb 13, 2019

For anyone who loves Thackeray's novel, Stanley Kubrick's film is a challenge. Yes, the book's plot is quite faithfully followed (except for the gut-punch ending), the period details are exquisite--certainly including the dumbfoundingly beautiful candle-lit interiors that became the film's most famous single aspect--and the language of the dialogue authentic. But, but, but . . . the first person, almost completely unreliable narration of the novel is completely suppressed in favor of making Barry something of a cipher, which suits, perhaps, Ryan O'Neal's acting skills as Kubrick wanted them (perhaps the director wanted this actor for his boxing skills, including his invariably smooth movement; in Paper Moon and Nickelodeon, O'Neal is just fine--and he also boxes). The cinematic Barry is a slippery, untrustworthy con artist with a taste for luxury--as he is in the novel--but he is not the ultimately repulsive scoundrel seemingly without any moral center that Thackeray created and that, come to think of it, is rather like Alex the droog in A Clockwork Orange, Kubrick's just-previous project, though Barry is worse. It's worth noting that the secondary characters are marvelously well cast and that the pastiche score that winds up generously excerpting Schubert's second piano trio is utterly magnificent. So this is a movie that grows better as one watches it and thinks about it in contrast with its source. And by all means, before or after seeing it, read Thackeray's Barry Lyndon. --Ray Olson

JCLIanH Nov 05, 2018

I put this off for years because I thought the combination of the period piece setting and the 3 hour running time would be less than compelling, but it's Stanley Kubrick and I really should have known better. Barry Lyndon is a treat. It's a beautifully filmed subversion of the heroic epic. A charming and satirical magnum opus about an all-around scoundrel conniving his way into a position of wealth and power before getting his ultimate comeuppance.

Aug 06, 2018

This is my new favourite Kubrick film. Surprisingly hilarious and yet tragic at the same time.

Jun 10, 2018

Vanity Fair for guys. Despite the source material, this is not a comedy but a tragedy, and Kubrick is an odd but effective fit. Some scenes go on too long -- yes, this person is suspicious, this one is attracted, etc., we get it -- but this is three hours of authentic gorgeousness. Kubrick's style is not slow, but stately. The weak link is Ryan O'Neal, whose career was hot at the time, His come and go Irish-American accent is astounding in a film this meticulous, and overall, he is the worst actor in the cast. But maybe that was why he was hired; his character is a blank slate the viewer can imagine himself being.

Apr 23, 2018

I believe this is the last of Stanley Kubrick's great films. Everyone comments on the incredible cinematography , attention to detail , scenes using only natural light, and the soundtrack. These are all outstanding. However the story of Barry Lyndon's rise and fall is also excellent entertainment . With a plot that is full of twists and turns bookended by two tension filled duels. The acting is excellent , even Ryan O'Neal,who I previously dismissed as a lightweight , is more than competent here. The one minor flaw is the switching back and forth between English, French, and German. Kubrick, usually a stickler for detail drops the ball on this one. Why not have the characters speak in the native tongues the movie is set in and use subtitles.

Oct 31, 2017

Watching this movie is similar to walking thru the finest art museums of Europe. Every frame will seem hauntingly familiar, as though you had seen a painting, somewhere, that reminded you of what you are now viewing. Without a doubt, this is the most wonderful cinematography ever made. In truth, the story line is secondary to the primary purpose--to show off the art of composition, lighting, framing, design, and all the other elements of the visual arts. Kubrik's deep knowledge of 18th and 19th century painting and of that era's music combine to form a visual and aural delight. In addition, fans of character development, of costuming, and of period pieces will not be disappointed.

May 02, 2017

Essentially, "Barry Lyndon" is most beautiful film ever made. Ridley Scott's "The Duellists" is a close second.

Apr 12, 2017

No doubt one of Kubrick's best movie he's made. Beautifully conceived; the attention to detail is stupendous. The cinematographer John Alcott won an Oscar for his work & he utilized NASA lenses to film the candle-lit scenes. Brilliant cast & Ryan O'Neal is well suited for this role since he plays this dim Irish man who desperately wishes to be among the upper English nobility in the 17th century. One of my favourite films indeed!

Jan 03, 2017

Aweful Movie but not Stanley Kubrick's worse that would go to 2001: A Space Odyssey & Eyes Wide Shut.

Mar 22, 2016

This is a 1975 British-American period drama written, produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on the 1844 novel "The Luck of Barry Lyndon" by William Makepeace Thackeray.
The film recounts the exploits of a fictional 18th-century Irish adventurer.
Thackeray tells a jaunty, humorous tale, but Kubrick changes and shows an essentially tragic story in such a deliberately distorted way that it might look more interesting with an extra duel or two.
After all, however, I enjoyed this old-fashioned yet fascinatingly and emotionally engaging drama.

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Mar 07, 2011

Gearoid thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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