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In 1975 the world was at Stanley Kubrick's feet. His films Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and A Clockwork Orange, released in the previous dozen years, had provoked rapture and consternation--not merely in the film community, but in the culture at large. On the basis of that smashing hat trick, Kubrick was almost certainly the most famous film director of his generation, and absolutely the one most likely to rewire the collective mind of the movie audience. And what did this radical, at-least-20-years-ahead-of-his-time filmmaker give the world in 1975? A stately, three-hour costume drama based on an obscure Thackeray novel from 1844. A picaresque story about an Irish lad (Ryan O'Neal, then a major star) who climbs his way into high society, Barry Lyndon bewildered some critics (Pauline Kael called it "an ice-pack of a movie") and did only middling business with patient audiences. The film was clearly a technical advance, with its unique camerawork (incorporating the use of prototype Zeiss lenses capable of filming by actual candlelight) and sumptuous production design. But its hero is a distinctly underwhelming, even unsympathetic fellow, and Kubrick does not try to engage the audience's emotions in anything like the usual way.
Why, then, is Barry Lyndon a masterpiece? Because it uncannily captures the shape and rhythm of a human life in a way few other films have; because Kubrick's command of design and landscape is never decorative but always apiece with his hero's journey; and because every last detail counts. Even the film's chilly style is thawed by the warm narration of the great English actor Michael Hordern and the Irish songs of the Chieftains. Poor Barry's life doesn't matter much in the end, yet the care Kubrick brings to the telling of it is perhaps the director's most compassionate gesture toward that most peculiar species of animal called man. And the final, wry title card provides the perfect Kubrickian sendoff--a sentiment that is even more poignant since Kubrick's premature death. --Robert Horton
This film is breathtaking, gorgeous. Every time I watch it, I am moved by the fine language, the clothes, the setting! Read morePublished 1 month ago by Christina
Like 2001 or Eyes Wide Shut, you may scratch your head and ask yourself, "why am I watching this? Read morePublished 1 month ago by Khriss Bliss
Pure Artwork... Stanley Kubrick truly had a talent for bringing out Incredible performances from his Actors... This Movie is Stunning... It's MIND BLOWING.... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Big Lebowski
This is the greatest Kubrick film by far and I'm not saying that just because I'm in it.Published 1 month ago by Lord Bullingdon
Case study of a self-centered grabby buzzard who just didn't know when to quit which also has you feeling sorry for him by the time the work is through. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Cameltow- Albuquerque
One of my favourite "period" pieces - right up there alongside Pride and Prejudice (the BBC/A&E Co-pro) and Wuthering HeightsPublished 2 months ago by Nadia Olynyk
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|Barry Lyndon on Blu?||
As Warner Brothers has evidently abdicated their responsibility, maybe Criterion Collection would take on the High Definition transfer and BluRay release of "Barry Lyndon." CC's website offers an opportunity to suggest titles for them to consider. I suggest fans of this masterpiece... Read More
Apr 23, 2010 by M. Hickey | See all 14 posts
No. Although there is a fair amount of dialogue in other languages (German, French), "Barry Lyndon" has never had subtitles for this dialogue, including the original theatrical release. One can generally comprehend what is being said from the context, tone of voice and performance.
Apr 23, 2010 by M. Hickey | See all 2 posts
Theatrical trailer & list of awards/nominations. My copy lists Production Notes on the back, but there is none to be found.
Jan 17, 2010 by Kerry J. Koenig | See all 2 posts
|"Amazon Exclusive" vs the Blu Ray Release||Be the first to reply|
|The Soundtrack||Be the first to reply|
|This should clear up the arguments about the aspect ratio.....||Be the first to reply|