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Ryan O'Neal and Marisa Berenson star in director Stanley Kubrick's lavish adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's classic 18th-century novel about the rise and fall of a sensitive and dashing rogue, The Memoirs of Barry Lyndon, Esq.. Forced to leave Ireland after killing an English officer in a duel, handsome young Redmond Barry (O'Neal) seeks his fortune as a soldier in Prussia, as a spy then as a gambler living among the elite of Europe. He changes his name and marries an aristocrat (Berenson) for her wealth, but the acceptance he seeks finally eludes him.]]>
Top Customer Reviews
When Stanley Kubrick delivered his film "Barry Lyndon" to Warner Bros. in 1975, the studio's namesake was long gone, and that was probably for the best since he may have chosen not to release what is the ultimate feather pen movie and also Kubrick's greatest masterpiece. If asked to do the impossible and name the best film ever made, I wouldn't hesitate to give my vote to "Barry Lyndon."
Plodding? Yes. Dull? To those who demand rapid fire editing, it may be the dullest movie ever. For those who appreciate fine literature and fine art, "Barry Lyndon" is an absolute feast, visually, aurally, and dramatically. Based on an obscure novel by William Thackeray, it's the story of an Irish lad climbing the ranks of English society, alienating everyone in his path.
As Redmond Barry, Ryan O' Neal's Irish brogue comes and goes, but despite that inconsistency, he acquits himself well. Also worth noting is Michael Hordern's narrator, often seeming to express disapproval for the main character as he perceptively surveys his exploits.
The real star of the film is Kubrick and his production team who recreate the 17th century in a way that makes the viewer truly appreciate what life must have been like at the time. Watching the women, most notably the beautiful Marisa Berenson, sashaying about in glamourous dresses, one wonders how they could endure the apparent discomfort of such cumbersome clothing. It's no wonder they took so many baths.Read more ›
Having recently watched the 16x9 Hi-Def Blu-Ray discs of "Eyes Wide Shut" and "A Clockwork Orange" (after having watched the old standard DVDs a number of times), I can say that Hi-Def makes an important difference with Kubrick's movies -- not just because they are gorgeously photographed, but because the richness of the images conveys so much essential, visceral meaning that even a slightly degraded picture (i.e., standard DVD) actually impairs the work's emotional fullness, clarity and expressiveness. So much of "Barry Lyndon" consists of pure image and music, and so many of the images are meant to intoxicate, that the film needs to be seen in the best possible technical presentation.
Short of a new 35mm print, a 16x9 Blu-Ray disc displayed on a big 1080 set in the dark, uninterrupted, is the way to watch all of Kubrick, perhaps especially "Barry Lyndon." Now, finally, Warners Brothers Home Entertainment will release "Barry Lyndon" in Hi-Def on Blu-Ray disc on May 31, 2011. Yes, that means you have to buy it again, but if Warners' Hi-Def releases of their other Kubrick films are any indication, it will be worth it. With any luck, this Hi-Def release should accelerate the recent critical rehabilitation of this tragically under-appreciated masterpiece.
AMAZON.COM, if you are going to continue to provide customer reviews, PLEASE STOP mixing reviews for separate products together; The QUALITY OF INDIVIDUAL RELEASES IS DIFFERENT AND AFFECTS THE CUSTOMER'S DECISION TO BUY!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Artistic talent is instantiated in this stunning film. This film lurches forward with a methodological determination at its own pace and is exquisitely matched by the astounding... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Joseph Annunzio
This was a masterful depiction of a narcissist who will stop at nothing to manipulate people for his own benefit.Published 12 days ago by Amazon Customer
I was amazed. I just happened upon this movie while watching TCM. I looked the movie up on Amazon and there it was. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Barbara Fracchia
I remember enjoying this epic as a twenty-something when it came out in '75, so because my twenty-something daughter loves historical drama, we queued it up last night. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Peter C. Cunniff
I can't add anything better about the critique of this movie than has already been said. Watch this movie several times. After the first, read many reviews and articles. Read morePublished 24 days ago by LynnC
So slow and boring. Great director and this won awards for wardrobe and background stuff, but it showcased a movie to miss. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Paul A. Spangler
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