Found in: Last Movies
Barry Lyndon

Barry Lyndon

classified 12A

Last Movies


Please note: This was screened in March 2024

Stanley Kubrick
Ryan O'Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee
185 mins, 1975, UK
Primary language

Following the collapse of his long-gestating Napoleon project, Stanley Kubrick turned to this lesser-known novel by the author of Vanity Fair, William Thackeray, set at the time of the Seven Years War.

Ryan O’Neal is deliberately awkward as Kubrick’s Lyndon, who embarks on a tour of 18th-century Europe, encountering battles, gambling houses and stately homes in pursuit of wealth, title and a family to call his own.

Kubrick insisted on filming using only natural or historically-accurate light sources, with scenes often lit only by candles, to faithfully recreate the look of the period, taking inspiration from the era’s great visual stylists like Gainsborough and Hogarth, resulting in a considered, painterly aesthetic.

Barry Lyndon is likely the last film seen by Charlie Chaplin, star of numerous silents including The Kid (1921) (which is, in turn, incidentally the last movie watched by Franz Kafka), who sent a telegram to Kubrick, thanking him for his ‘beautiful film’ and for lending him the print.

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