A New York City doctor, who is married to an art curator, pushes himself on a harrowing and dangerous night-long odyssey of sexual and moral discovery after his wife admits that she once almost cheated on him.
A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.
In the Eighteenth Century, in a small village in Ireland, Redmond Barry is a young farm boy in love with his cousin Nora Brady. When Nora gets engaged to the British Captain John Quin, 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 the Irish gambler Chevalier de Balibari. He helps Chevalier and becomes his associate until he decides to marry the wealthy Lady Lyndon. 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
Warner Bros. would only finance the film on the condition that Stanley Kubrick cast a Top 10 box-office star (from the annual Quigley Poll of Top Money-Making Stars) in the lead. Ryan O'Neal was the #2 Box Office Star of 1973, topped only by Clint Eastwood. Ironically, this was his only time in the top 10, as exhibitors--who voted the list--attributed the success of Love Story (1970) (one of the top grossers at the time) to O'Neal's co-star Ali MacGraw, and named her to the list in 1971. The other top 10 stars were 3. Steve McQueen, 4. Burt Reynolds, 5. Robert Redford, 6. Barbra Streisand, 7. Paul Newman, 8. Charles Bronson, 9. John Wayne, and 10. Marlon Brando. Thus, the only actors Kubrick could cast in the role and receive Warners' financial backing for his decidedly noncommercial project were O'Neal and Redford. The other Top 10 stars were too old or inappropriate for the role (particularly in the case of Streisand, who would not assay a "male" role until Yentl (1983) in 1983). Both O'Neal and Redford were Irish, both had box-office appeal and both were young enough to play the role, though Redford was five years older than the 32-year old O'Neal in 1973. At the time O'Neal was the bigger star, having also garnered a Best Actor Oscar nomination for "Love Story". However, Kubrick apparently offered the part to Redford first, who turned it down, and thus O'Neal was cast. Redford's star would soon eclipse O'Neal's, as he would zoom to the top of the box-office charts the next year after the successes of The Sting (1973) and The Way We Were (1973), clocking in at #1 in 1974, a position he also would anchor in 1975 and 1976. O'Neal dropped off the Top 10 list after 1973. His '73 appearance to this day represents his sole appearance on that list. See more »
In this story set in the 18th century, Lady Honoria's makeup makes her look like a woman of the 1970s. 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 »
Some movies - I wish there were more of them - simply look like a series of great paintings. This film has that look. You could freeze-frame many of the scenes and swear you were looking at a Gainsborough, a Vermeer, a Hogarth or similar work of art by one the great artists of three to five centuries ago. It's just beautiful.
For that, we have Director Stanley Kubrick and Photographer John Alcott to thank. Being a three-hour movie, there are plenty of wonderful shots to admire, too. In addition, the costumes are lavish and authentic and the scoring is notable. It's no accident that Oscars were garnered for art/set direction, cinematography, costume design and scoring. Yeah, if you enjoy classical music, you'll really enjoy the soundtrack, too, under the guidance of conductor Leonard Roseman.
Not to be overlooked is the fine acting and the interesting and underrated story. I say "underrated" because this film, from what I've read, bored a lot of people and and it was a box-office flop. That's too bad because, frankly, I found the story (outside of the first 10--15 minutes) to be fascinating. As I watched, I kept wondering what strange occurrences will happen next to the lead character, "Redmond Barry/Barry Lyndon," played beautifully by Ryan O'Neal. (For most of the movie, he's called "Redmond Barry," so I will refer to him as that.)
Overall, this was a low-key adventure story about the rise-and-fall of a "scoundrel" back in late 18th century Englishman. "Mr. Barry" is an Irishmen living in England who winds up dealing with a number of people: Irish, English, Prussian, French. His dealings with these people are bizarre at times. While he mainly is shown doing what he can to promote himself, for either monetary gain and prestige of a name and power, he's not all bad. There is a compassionate side to him, but it only shows itself in small doses. It makes him all the more interesting to watch, because you don't always know how he's going to react to his circumstances, which change radically every few years.
We witness his rise to prominence and then his fall when his "sins begin to find him out," as the Bible would describe. It's quite a roller coaster ride.
This is an emotional, involving story, and a feast for the eyes and ears. It's quite different, too, certainly not the average fare from Kubrick. I can only hope this comes out on a high-definition disc some day. Admirers of this film need to see this in all its glory.
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