Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Barry Lyndon (1975)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Barry Lyndon (1975, UK)

In director Stanley Kubrick's three-hour visually-stunning costume period-drama (with astonishing, gorgeous candlelit cinematography by John Alcott, oil painting-like tableauxs, and superb costuming) adapted from William Makepeace Thackeray's 1844 novel with stately voice-over narration by Michael Hordern - about the rise and fall of an opportunistic rogue:

  • the opening duel scene was set in 1750s Ireland - with the film's opening line: "Gentlemen, cock your pistols. Gentlemen. Aim your pistols. One! Two! Three!" - resulting in the death of 'Barry Lyndon's father Redmond Barry over a horse sale altercation: (Narrator: "Barry's father had been bred, like many sons of genteel families to the profession of the law. There is no doubt he would've made an eminent figure in his profession had he not been killed in a duel which arose over the purchase of some horses")
  • in the film's second fateful dueling scene, impetuous and jealous young Irish rogue son Redmond Barry (Ryan O'Neal) was competing against suitor Captain John Quin (Leonard Rossiter) for the affection of his pretty cousin Nora Brady (Gay Hamilton) - with Barry's stubborn assertion: ("I'm not sorry and I'll not apologize")
  • afterwards, Barry joined the British Army, where he engaged in a bare fist-fight with a burly fellow soldier Poole (Pat Roach)
  • during the battle scene (of the Seven Years' War), British soldiers marched toward the French troops in rows and were mowed down in the Battle of Minden - Barry's friend Captain Grogan (Godfrey Quigley) died in a muddy ditch
Barry In the British Army During Seven Years' War
  • after deserting the Army, Barry had a brief affair with a young, pretty Prussian-German war bride and peasant mother Lieschen (Diana Korner) whose husband was away at war; the lonely woman served him a candlelight dinner while also feeding her one year-old baby boy Peter, and asked him: "You are sometimes lonely?...Would you like to stay with me?"; at their sad farewell the next morning after they professed their love for each other, the sardonic off-screen voice-over stated: "This heart of Lieschen's was like many a neighboring town that had been stormed and occupied several times before Barry came to invest it"
  • Barry admitted to nobleman Chevalier de Balibari (Patrick Magee) that he had spied for Prussian Captain Potzdorf (Hardy Krüger): ("I have a confession to make to you. I'm an Irishman...")
  • Barry noticed the beautiful Lady Lyndon (Marisa Berenson), the Countess of Lyndon - who was married to aging and terminally-sick Sir Charles Lyndon (Frank Middlemass); a seduction scene occurred in his first flirtatious meeting with her in a gamester session, lit only with candlelight casting a reddish glow; he continued to pursue Lady Lyndon in a stately courtship and ultimately married into her wealth - becoming Barry Lyndon
Barry's Encounters and Subsequent Romance & Marriage With Countess of Lyndon (Marisa Berenson)
  • their marriage turned out to be very unhappy: ("Lady Lyndon tended to a melancholy and maudlin temper, and, left alone by her husband, was rarely happy or in good humor. Now, she must add jealousy to her other complaints and find rivals even among her maids"); their state of marriage was exemplified by the scene of Lady Lyndon witnessing Barry's unfaithfulness in the garden with a maid; he subsequently gave her a sincere apology while she sat motionless and passive in her bath, but then kissed him
  • Barry's detestable teenaged step-son Lord Bullingdon (Leon Vitali) accused his father of years of physical abuse toward him and the Lyndon family during an afternoon concert in the drawing room: ("...his brutal and ungentlemen-like behavior, his open infidelity, his shameless robberies and swindling of my property, and yours"); Barry retaliated by brawling against his step-son for defaming him in front of an audience
  • in a sad death scene, Barry's 9 year-old son Bryan (David Morley) was thrown from a horse (given as a birthday present) and paralyzed three days earlier - his parents were at his bedside when he expired
  • the film's lengthy third duel scene was between Barry and his stepson Lord Bullingdon ("I have not received satisfaction") with pistols in a barn - Lord Bullingdon fired first but misfired, then Barry shot his pistol into the ground to avoid confrontation; during the second round of firing, Barry was hit in the left leg (he required amputation)
  • in the final shot of the film, aging, sad and gray-haired Lady Lyndon reacted sorrowfully and wistfully to Barry's name as she signed his yearly annuity/bribe (to stay away from her and England) of 500 guineas, to be sent to him in Ireland

Dueling Death of Redmond Barry's Father

Second Duel Involving Son Redmond Barry

Deserter Barry's Brief Affair with German Peasant Woman and Farewell

Melancholy Lady Lyndon in Bath and Barry's Apology for Unfaithfulness

Barry's Step-Son Lord Bullingdon

Third Duel With Step-Son

Lady Lyndon Signing Barry's Yearly Annuity


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