Barry Lyndon (1975)
I was watching the Jason Statham remake of The Mechanic (the Charles Bronson original is better) when Statham, playing a contract killer, put on a record. The piece that came on was identified as Schubert’s Trio in E Flat, Op 100. “That’s beautiful, “ said my wife, who was watching it with me (she likes action flicks, cowies etc too – I am a lucky man). “It’s from Barry Lyndon” replied I. Which started me thinking. Anyone who identifies classical music with movies, who immediately thinks of a film when they hear a symphony orchestra playing, may need to get more of a life. Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries? Blues Brothers. Bach, Toccata and Fugue in D Minor? Rollerball (the James Caan original is better than the remake). Donizetti, Mad Scene from Lucia di Lammermoor – The Fifth Element. And I confess even more, mea culpa, mea culpa. If I happen to hear Delibes, the Flower Duet from Lakme, I always think of the British Airways advertisement. Was O Fortuna from Orff’s Carmina Burana written only for battle scenes in movies, for background music in coming attractions and for Old Spice/ Am I the only on or do others suffer from the same condition? Which brings me back to Barry Lyndon. Movie so so, but great filming, beautiful locations and good battle scenes. Plus a lot of memorable, and lovely, classical music.
The rise and fall of an Irish rogue in aristocratic 18th century England.
Title card: [End title card] EPILOGUE It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarrelled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor they are all equal now.
irst meeting, Schubert’s Trio in E Flat as accompanying music:
Various scenes, Handel’s Sarabande (the film theme):
Production was moved from Ireland to England after director Stanley Kubrick received word that his name was on an IRA hit list for directing a film featuring English soldiers in Ireland.