A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous façade, there is revealed a person of kindness, intelligence and sophistication.
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.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Stanley Kubrick based his original screenplay on "The Luck of Barry Lyndon" (republished as the novel "Memoirs of Barry Lyndon, Esq."), a picaresque tale written in serial form in 1844 by William Makepeace Thackeray. The serial, which is told in the first person and "edited" by the fictional George Savage FitzBoodle, concerns a member of the Irish gentry trying to become a member of the English aristocracy. Thackeray based the novel on the life and exploits of the Irish rakehell and fortunehunter Andrew Robinson Stoney, who married (and subsequently was divorced by) Mary Eleanor Bowes, the Countess of Strathmore, who became known as "The Unhappy Countess" due to the tempestuous liaison. The Countess of Strathmore is one of the ancestors of Queen Elizabeth II. The revised version, which is the novel that the world generally knows as "Barry Lyndon", was shorter and tighter than the original serialization, and dropped the FitzBoodle, Ed. device. It generally is considered the first "novel without a hero" or novel with an antihero in the English language. Upon its publication in 1856, it was entitled by Thackeray's publisher "The Memoirs of Barry Lyndon, Esq. Of The Kingdom Of Ireland Containing An Account of His Extraordinary Adventures; Misfortunes; His Sufferings In The Service Of His Late Prussian Majesty; His Visits To Many Courts of Europe; His Marriage and Splendid Establishments in England And Ireland; And The Many Cruel Persecutions, Conspiracies And Slanders Of Which He Has Been A Victim." See more »
When Barry and Lord Bullingdon fight a duel, a coin is tossed to determine who shoots first. When alternate shots are taken in a pistol duel, the challenged always shoots first and the challenger shoots second. Barry should have shot first followed by Lord Bullingdon. See more »
[two figures visible on the horizon prepare to duel. Three witnesses stand between them]
Gentlemen, cock your pistols! Gentlemen...
...aim your pistols!
...had been bred, like many other young sons of a genteel family, to the profession of the law.
And there is no doubt he would've...
...made an eminent figure in his profession...
[...] See more »
While this is, in my opinion, not the best of Kubrick's films, it is in no way a bad film of his... some have claimed it is overlong and dull, but I don't think so. From what I've heard, it does the novel justice, and I believe that is what Kubrick went after, more than anything else. That is admirable, for a man who throughout his career was known for making unfaithful film adaptations of famous and popular novels, much to the dismay of the authors. The film perfectly presents everything from the time period in which it takes place... something that few, if any, other films have accomplished. It deals with the life of Redmond Barry, his ups and downs. The first half has us feeling sympathy with him, and shows his rise to a high position and gain the name Barry Lyndon, and everything that entitles. The second seems to turn us a little more against him, as he goes through the expected downfall that must always follow an unexpected rise to high life. Through the film he gets desensitized and careless. We follow him through most of his life, and an uneventful one it is not. As all other Kubrick films, the visual side is probably the most prominent one of the film, as he grants us several long looks at the beautiful sets and locales, and there are more than a few of his trademark shots slowly zooming out from the focus point to display the surroundings. The plot is great, and almost constantly developing. It is narrated with a good sense of irony and clever social satire on the time period. There's plenty of humor in the film to make the three hour run-time seem less long. The pacing is good and thorough without the film being slow(though I do admit that it isn't a film for those who are not used to long, visual films). The characters are well-written and credible. The acting is excellent all the way. Not even the child-actors seemed less than perfectly convincing. The costumes and sets are great. From what I understand, there is no detail in the film that is even slightly historically inaccurate. That is quite impressive for a film that takes place about a century and a half before it was made. I have heard of great deals of work done to keep many films accurate, but I don't believe one exists that manages to do so with such perfection as this. Even the very language that they speak is accurate. The special effects in the film also deserve mention here... for a film that is almost thirty years old, it's impeccable how believable and convincing the effects are... I couldn't tell how most of them were done. Kubrick was indeed one of the most brilliant directors ever... he was not only a master at his craft, he was also one of the most innovative and inspiring film-makers to have ever lived. I recommend this great piece of cinema to anyone who has an interest in the time period the film is set and any fan of Stanley Kubrick. Don't miss this one. Not his greatest, but a truly great one nonetheless. 10/10
73 of 103 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this