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Thread: Barry Lyndon

  1. #1
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    Barry Lyndon, is my favourite Kubrick film it was nominated seven times by the academy for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Costumes, and Best Adapted Musical Score.



    Barry Lyndon won for Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Costumes and Best Adapted Musical Score.



    It seems to me that this film is a hugely underrated, Kubrick did often polarise critics on his films but it is often the case that some of his other films receive more acclaim than this particular effort.Barry LYndon does not even make the BFI 100 list.Why is that and should this film be elevated to higher echelons of British greatness??



    Simon


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    Quote Originally Posted by Third Man
    Barry Lyndon, is my favourite Kubrick film it was nominated seven times by the academy for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Costumes, and Best Adapted Musical Score.



    Barry Lyndon won for Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Costumes and Best Adapted Musical Score.



    It seems to me that this film is a hugely underrated, Kubrick did often polarise critics on his films but it is often the case that some of his other films receive more acclaim than this particular effort.Barry LYndon does not even make the BFI 100 list.Why is that and should this film be elevated to higher echelons of British greatness??



    Simon

    I like the film but it is like Kubrick posed every shot like a pastoral painting. It was the most pictureque film I had every seen up to that date and Marisa Berenson naked in the bath helped too. But it was so slow - a "Rakes Progress" in slow-mo and I didn't care for the Ryan O'Neal character either.



    Uninvolving but hearing how Kubrick acted on "Eyes Wide Open" - he works against himself. He is (forgive me Heston looking for perfection in every frame of film.



    Most film lovers are not. Some of my favourite films are so ramshackled, if they had been released under Stanley K's name he would have retired in shame or shot himself. He is a sad lost to movies but not very prolific recently. I was worn out by the time Full Metal Jacket came out and have never seen it. The Tom Cruise film was torturous and you could see the actors and actresses were having no fun either.

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    Hardcore Kubrickians tend to like BARRY LYNDON best of all the maestro's work. I have others that I prefer, personally, but BL has its own set of passionate followers. Its probably best to not look for traditional narrative and emotional pleasures from it, or characters you can like or identify with, the movie doesn't seem to be playing that particular game: it's a slightly inhuman work, but that needn't be a problem: we need all kinds of films, they don't all have to be ingratiating or even warm.

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    It's one of the most sumptuously shot films ever...every shot is gorgeous; but for me the problem is the casting of Ryan O'Neal. Hopelessly out of his depth, I'm afraid, and the film as a whole fails as a result.

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    If I am thinking about the right film, what made a lasting impression for me was the battlescene where the camera was placed in the front British line when receiving musket fire from the enemy (French?) The effect when the enemy fired a volley straight at the camera was a heart stopper. One reads about armies in the 17th and 18th centuries just standing in line to give and receive musket volleys but written words cannot fully depict what this would actually have been like whereas this film for me was the next best thing to being there.

    A great film

    Brian L

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    Quote Originally Posted by penfold
    It's one of the most sumptuously shot films ever...every shot is gorgeous; but for me the problem is the casting of Ryan O'Neal. Hopelessly out of his depth, I'm afraid, and the film as a whole fails as a result.
    Nicely said - or "for want of a ha'paf of tar, the ship was lost!" Woodeness reached a whole new level - like a rabbit caught in the headlights. Imagine how a young O'Toole, Malcolm McDowell etc would have inhabited the role.



    One good thing - I was introduced to the Chieftains' music. Paddy Maloney et al

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    Was O'Neal Kubrick's choice, or was he picked as a 'name' by the company that funded the movie?



    Personally I do think it's very underrated, but I also agree that it would have worked better with a different actor in the lead.

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    Senior Member Country: Germany Wolfgang's Avatar
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    I think Robert Redford is his first choice who would have been better - it certainly would have benefited from someone more charismatic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfgang
    I think Robert Redford is his first choice who would have been better - it certainly would have benefited from someone more charismatic.
    Errrmmm.....I think he would have been even worse actually. David Hemmings?? Terence Stamp???

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: Germany Wolfgang's Avatar
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    Klaus Kinski!

  11. #11
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    Wolfgang, that's one hell of a suggestion! Which character would be best - Woyzeck, Nosferatu, Fitzcarraldo, or Aguirre?



    Nick

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    I'd go for 'Barry Lyndon the Vampire' myself :).

  13. #13
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    Funny, I can't imagine anyone else apart from O'Neal in the part of Lyndon.



    O’Neal’s persona was one of being innocent, naive and of a thoroughly inexperienced person, all of which the character Lyndon started out with, these traits were essential to the character as his downfall was due to the nefarious characters surrounding him and the temptations that his character was too weak to resist.



    Simon

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    Kubrick said that O'Neal was his first choice and he couldn't have made the film without him.



    I agree with all the criticisms made of him: out of his depth, deer in the headlights -- but if you turn them around you can see how they work for the character. Barry never fits in and his drive for success is motivated by this. But he's even more at sea when he becomes rich and secure than when he was struggling. Kubrick always said that if he couldn't get a brilliant actor like Peter Sellers he'd get a genuine "type" (like Slim Pickens who replaced Sellers in one role in STRANGELOVE). This may make sense of Kubrick's casting of Tom Cruise in EYES WIDE SHUT: maybe that awkward self-consciousness was again what he was after?

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    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Third Man
    Funny, I can't imagine anyone else apart from O'Neal in the part of Lyndon.

    O’Neal’s persona was one of being innocent, naive and of a thoroughly inexperienced person, all of which the character Lyndon started out with, these traits were essential to the character as his downfall was due to the nefarious characters surrounding him and the temptations that his character was too weak to resist.

    Simon
    I would agree here: Ryan O'Neal has the right quality for the role. He is supposed to be naive and inexperienced, but he also has a narrcisism and shrewdness that fit the part.



    I enjoyed this film a great deal, but I can see why many would not like it. It's slow and rather cold. But it is impressive and handsome, and as someone who always enjoys epics, Kubrick brings his imagination and his ability to create an entire world.

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    This is probably my favorite Kubrick film (either "Barry" or "Clockwork Orange").



    I always assumed part of the reason Kubrick picked O'Neil was he could cry convincingly ("Love Story") and there's that great emotional deathbed scene in "Barry."

  17. #17
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    Clearly Kubrick's masterpiece, I think the casting of O'Neal could never be bettered. Everything I've ever heard as criticism of a Ryan's performance only adds weight to the performance, to the character and to the film. Fine "acting" is not always what is required in a great movie, consider John Wayne in "The Searchers".

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    An absolutely beautiful film and very accessible, as are most Kubrick films. The ONLY problem I have with this film is the decision to cast Leonard Rossiter. Don't get me wrong I love watching Leonard Rossiter clown around in comedies but I think he took more away from the film than what he gave to it. The photography in BL is breath taking. Well done Stan, where ever you are.

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    Sorry nandywell , but I must disagree again. The casting of Rossiter, (to me at least) is superb and his dance sequence priceless. I'm not sure how well known he was when cast in Lyndon, but assume it was pre his "Rising Damp" fame, am I wrong ?

  20. #20
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy bentley
    Sorry nandywell , but I must disagree again. The casting of Rossiter, (to me at least) is superb and his dance sequence priceless. I'm not sure how well known he was when cast in Lyndon, but assume it was pre his "Rising Damp" fame, am I wrong ?
    Barry Lyndon was made in 1975 (released in December)



    Rising Damp started in 1974 but was a slow starter. It didn't become a big hit until its second series.



    But Rossiter was already quite well known on TV having been though Z Cars [as Det. Insp. Bamber in 8 episodes], guest appearances in things like Steptoe and Son and appearances in lots of TV plays (very popular in the 1970s). He was also a well known stage actor having been in the original stage play that Rising Damp was based on and many other hit shows. He had also done quite a few feature films including Oliver! (1968) [playing Sowerberry]



    Steve

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