#218: Barry Lyndon (1975)

When and how did I watch this?

October 3rd, 2015, on Amazon Prime.

Had I seen this film already?


What did I know about the movie before watching it?

It’s a Stanley Kubrick film, so I expected excellence.  As mentioned in the previous post, this sucker was long, and I’m glad we had a Saturday evening to get this one done.

What do I know about it now?

The movie moved along far better than I expected.  You’d think a 70s film set in 18th century Britain would trudge on, but it flowed as well as a wide river. It encapsulates the ups and downs of life so well and dramatically; we sympathize with Barry from the start, and grow cold to him by the end. He befalls numerous tragedies yet prevails, but then stumbles upon great fortune and squanders it all, and it’s exactly what is expected of humans in the given situations.  We laugh at how ridiculous his situations are at times, yet the narration over the events remind us that we’re watching a seemingly natural progression, punctuated by these hitches that befall Barry. At the end, we’re left to simply say, “Hm,” and that’s when you know a story is well told and complete.

What are some themes in the film?

Pride, greed, fortune and fate/destiny, deception

Did this affect me personally?

Not personally, but it’s still a memorable and well put together film that I won’t soon forget. It also caused me to think and write in a British manner.

Why is this ranked #218?

Partially because it’s Kubrick, but mostly because it’s a complete story, wrought with humor, catharsis, and peril. I think it’s placed in the correct spot.

Did my wife watch/like it?


Would I watch it again?

I’m not sure.  Again, the length makes a replay daunting, but once it gets rolling, it’s hard to stop.

Would I recommend it to a friend?

Yes.  It’s not an action thriller or a special effects orgy, but anyone would find this film fascinating if they’re willing to take the time.

Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?

Without question.  Kubrick was brilliant, and this one shows off his directorial skills and his ability to pace and slow things down when appropriate.

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