FROM MY OWN PRIVATE COLLECTION "Barry Lyndon" (1975)
Typically, when lists are drawn up of Stanley Kubrick's best works, they usually include Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining and, sometimes, Full Metal Jacket. Very rarely does Barry Lyndon show up at all. And that's a shame, because it's a great piece of work.
Starring the late Farrah Fawcett's beau Ryan O'Neal in the title role, the film tracks the life of a young Irishman who eventually makes his way into English nobility during the 18th century.
He's forced to leave his home after he's convinced that he's killed Captain Quin (Leonard Rossiter), a sissy of a man who's set to marry the one person Barry loves, his cousin Nora (Gay Hamilton).
For Clockwork fans, the film acts as something of a reunion for many of the cast members. Patrick Magee, Godfrey Quigley, Anthony Sharp and Philip Stone each have roles here that are very different from what they brought to the sci-fi picture.
While I don't understand the almost unanimous shunning, I will admit that the film is long. Very long. Coming in at 184 minutes, the movie is Kubrick's lengthiest, and it does feel like a bit of a marathon.
The first act seems to fly by, but once Barry joins the army, the movie takes its time. I can't immediately think of which scenes were the most irrelevant, but the film could have managed a tighter editing job.
For those seeking a point of reference, Lyndon is a cross between Amadeus and The Patriot, though not as controlled as the former yet much more rewarding than the latter. It is something serious film buffs and Kubrick fans should give a try, assuming they have three hours to spare.
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