Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick) 1975 **** 5/13/2017

Stanley Kubrick and John Alcott have photographed some of the finest places and things in Christendom.  The performance of Redmond Barry by Ryan O’Neal progresses coherently to Barry Lyndon, and with an effective affect partially granted by the actor’s striking Irish eyes.  Lyndon goes from love with his cousin (Gay Hamilton) to a duel for her honor, which he wins.  To avoid the police, for he has shot and presumably killed an English officer, he flees to Dublin with 20 guineas in his pocket.  He is relieved of his money and horse by a Highwayman (Arthur O’Sullivan).  From there he is swept up by the 7 year war, first with the red-jacket English army, then by impressment in the Prussian forces.  He becomes a spy, then a gambler with an Irish chevalier, until he finally marries Lady Lyndon (Marisa Berenson), and returns to England with an ersatz title.  From there the movie descends by tragedy.  His much loved son dies, thrown from a horse, and he drowns then in debt and drink.  Lady Lyndon’s first son Lord Bullingdon (Leon Vitali) returns to (not unjustifiably) settle the scores of his youth with Barry, and a duel between the two (in a beautiful bird-filled shell of a church) leaves the older man with only one leg and a banishment to Ireland or the continent, on a 500 guinea annuity.

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