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Barry Lyndon (1975) Poster

(1975)

Goofs

Factual errors 

The Narrator says: "It would require a great philosopher and historian to explain the causes of the famous Seven Years' War." Actually, the reasons for the Seven Years' War are quite clear and well known. Prussia had invaded a rich Austrian region 16 years before, which Austria wanted to reconquer with its allies. Meanwhile, Britain and France were fighting for almost a century (with some relative peaceful years) over worldwide colonies. Stanley Kubrick probably wanted to make a statement about the uselessness of war.

Anachronisms 

When Barry and Bullingdon fight, there is a map of the world in the background, with a decorative picture of a steam train on it. The film is set in the 1700s, but the steam train was not invented until the 1820s.
When Barry is escorted to the Prussian border, in the disguise of the Chevalier, when the coach and horses leaves the ch√Ęteau, wide tracks (that could only be made by modern vehicles) are clearly visible on the gravel drive.
In the first battle one of the British Soldiers can be seen with an 1873 45/70 Trap Door Springfield Rifle.
Captain Potzdorf and Colonel Bulow (the commander of the Prussian regiment into which Barry was pressed), wear mustaches. No officers in the Prussian army wore facial hair, with the exception of hussar (light cavalry) officers. Facial hair fell out of fashion for gentlemen (and therefore, officers, who were considered gentlemen), from the end of the 17th century until after the beginning of the 19th. Mustaches became common in the German army only after that time.

Audio/visual unsynchronised 

The position of Lady Lyndon's fingers while playing the harpsichord with the orchestra. The fingering is close, but certainly not correct.

Character error 

When Barry disguises himself as Lt. Fakenham to desert from British army, he should have riding boots. Instead, he wears the gaiters that soldiers serving on foot wore. That would stand out, to any soldiers of the day, and lead to his immediate detection. (Potzdorf, for example, wears riding boots; as a captain, his rank would require him to ride.)

Continuity 

When Barry steals Lt. Fakenham's horse and uniform, he neglects to steal his riding boots, however in the very next scene, he is wearing riding boots.
In several scenes (notably when Barry Lyndon is arrested/pressed into the Prussian service), candle length varies between shots.
When Barry breaks up the meeting between his cousin Nora and Captain John Quin, the light shifts from right to left and back again several times.
When Barry first meets the Chevalier di Balibari, there's a small side table with a coffee pot to the right, but when the Chevalier is viewed from the front, the table is gone.
When Barry disguises himself as Lt. Fakenham and crosses to Prussian lines, he rides wearing riding boots; in subsequent scenes, with the woman farmer and Potzdorf, he wears infantry gaiters.
When Lord Bullingdon is alone trying to write out some work with Bryan Lyndon after the tutor has left, the amount of space remaining on his page varies between shots.
The spoon in the German woman's hand and the position of the hand holding the baby as she feeds her baby.
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The sky as Barry passes the inn on his journey to Dublin.
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Blood on Toole's face and Barry's hair ribbon during the fist fight.
The drinking cup in the hand of Seamus Feeny, when Barry first meets Captain Feeny and Seamus at the inn.
While the Chevalier is gambling with Lord Ludd (after he and Barry escape into Saxony), we see the Chevalier cheating: there is a cut to his right hand, under the table, where he drops a card (the four of clubs) from his sleeve and into the palm of his hand. Immediately before this cut, his right hand is resting on the gaming table and his left arm is by his side. Immediately after this cheat-cut, his right hand remains on the table and he brings his left hand above the table to drop the palmed card (the card that we just saw him palm into his right hand).

Factual errors 

The flags shown in the scenes of Barry's service in the Prussian army are from three different regiments. The flag with a white background and grey/silver-grey vertical stripes is that of the Royal Guard regiment, the yellow with white corner darts is that of Fusilier Regiment Nr 39, and the dark flag looks like it could be the flag of Infantry Regiments Nr 2, 8, 13, 28 or 54, all of which had black flags with varying colored details. The regiment's uniform distinctions of white lapels, cuffs and collar make it look like Regiment Nr 13, which was known as a hard-fighting, hard-drinking unit.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

In one part of the film, Barry is rowing a boat peacefully on a lake with a dog sitting obediently in the boat. The dog is a Yellow Labrador which was first bred in 1899. But though it's not yet christened as "Yellow Labrador" and not yet intentionally bred, there's no reason why a dog like this shouldn't exist in that time.

Revealing mistakes 

A short scene where Barry is cutting firewood with an axe. The wood in the pile and the piece he is cutting all have cleanly sawed ends. If he had a saw, he would be using it, as an axe is a poor tool for cutting wood. Chopping and splitting, yes, but not cutting.

Spoilers 

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Anachronisms 

When Sir Charles Reginald Lyndon dies, the voice over says that the Saint James' Chronicle wrote: "Died at Spa in the kingdom of Belgium: the right honorable Sir Charles Reginald Lyndon". Belgium didn't exist as a kingdom until 1830. In the mid-1700s it was a colony called Austrian Netherlands.

Anachronisms 

In some versions of the movie Lady Lyndon is said to have attempted suicide with strychnine. The term "strychnine" was not used until the isolation of that compound was announced in 1819.

Continuity 

When Brian dies in his bed, the first shot shows Barry's hand holding his son's - in the next shot they are not holding them, only 1,5 minute later Bryan asks his parents to hold his hands.
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Revealing mistakes 

Bryan has long, straight, blond hair in the film. In the short scene where the little boy is shown to fall off his horse we can see that he has short curly brown hair.

Revealing mistakes 

When Lyndon is lying on his bed, his leg amputated, on the white bed and amputated leg view, there is a piece of body hair shaking in air on the camera lenses.

See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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