Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Barry Lyndon Joins the Criterion Collection

Ryan O'Neal in Barry Lyndon (Photo: Criterion Collection)

By Tom Deignan, Contributor
December / January 2018

In the annals of classic Irish films, Barry Lyndon holds a strange spot. It has impeccable credentials: the stars include Irish American, Ryan O’Neal, (best known for Love Story, What’s Up, Doc?, and Paper Moon, also featuring his daughter Tatum) and Armagh native Patrick Magee. There’s also good source material – the novel The Luck of Barry Lyndon, by William Thackeray. The 1975 film was also directed by the great Stanley Kubrick. Barry Lyndon was the film he chose to make after classics such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange. For all of this, however, Barry Lyndon is rarely placed in the same category as Irish classics from The Quiet Man to Michael Collins. The folks over at the Criterion Collection are looking to change that, with a new Blu-ray restoration of the film. The Atlantic recently lauded this new release, adding: “The 18th-century high society (Kubrick) depicts is just as unsettling as the austere spaceships of 2001 and the violent dystopia of A Clockwork Orange.”

Barry Lyndon revolves around the title character (O’Neal), who journies from an Irish farm to military glory, before aiming for marriage and a position amongst the elite. The new Criterion release is packed with extra goodies. Not only has the film been digitally restored, there is also a new documentary featuring interviews with the film’s cast and crew, as well as excerpts from a 1976 interview with the famously-reclusive director. For hard-core film nerds there is a slew of material with the film’s tech crew, including cinematographer John Alcott, editor Tony Lawson and even a 1976 interview with Ulla-Britt Söderlund, who co-designed the film’s Oscar-winning costumes. All of this is wrapped up nicely with an essay by Irish American critic Geoffrey O’Brien. ♦

Leave a Reply


More Articles

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Irish Eye On Hollywood: August / September 2019

KEEPING UP WITH THE GLEESONS It’s the Gleeson family’s world. The rest of us just live in it. This autumn will be a...


Game of Thrones Set to be Turned into Tourist Attractions in Northern Ireland

“The world’s most popular show,” Game of Thrones, may have wrapped up, but that doesn’t mean you’ve...


Irish Eye on Hollywood:
May / June 2019

BUCKLE UP FOR BUCKLEY We may look back on 2019 as the moment the entertainment industry was conquered by Kerry native...


Irish Film Institute Unveils Century-Old Footage

The Irish Film Institute (IFI) was at the Consulate General of Ireland in New York in April to launch its Irish...