W: Stanley Kubrick [based on the novel by
William Makepeace Thackeray]
DP: John Alcott
Ed: Tony Lawson
Mus: Leonard Rosenan
PD: Ken Adam
Cos: Milena Canonero & Ulla-Britt
Ryan O'Neal (Barry Lyndon), Marisa Berenson
(Lady Lyndon), Patrick Magee (The Chevalier), Hardy Kruger (Captain Potzdorf), Steven Berkoff (Lord Ludd), Leonard Rossiter (Captain Quin), Arthur O'Sullivan
A sumptuous schoolbook history epic from
Stanley Kubrick about the life of an 18th century lord, which is gorgeous to look at but about as interesting as watching paint dry (unless, of course, you really enjoy period
Kubrick brings his usual meticulous standard
to the adaptation of William Makepeace Thakeray's tome, aided by handsome cinematography and faithful production design, costumes and makeup. Where it falters is in the editing
and running time, which could have been shortened without detracting much from the story. Ryan O'Neal is also curious casting as the Irish rogue who manipulates his way into
English aristocracy after falling in love with a lady of wealth and becoming involved in a duel with an English soldier.
Critics seemed to enjoy it a lot more than
audiences did, with many calling it the best film of 1975. A bold statement considering the strength of some of the films released the same year. The filmmaking standard is of
much higher quality than the antiquated story, but as far as period adaptations go, this is of the very highest merit, despite the plot being a total dirge.
Did You Know:
Production was moved from Ireland to England after
Stanley Kubrick received word that his name was on an IRA hit list for directing a film featuring English soldiers in Ireland. Consequentially a number of scenes were never filmed to
prevent further controversy.