Classic Film : A Film You Loved Even Though You Thought You Wouldn't

A Film You Loved Even Though You Thought You Wouldn't

I think this will be my final thread. I thought it should be normal.

My candidate for my subject is:

Barry Lyndon (1975).

You might ask "Why did you expect to dislike a film directed by Kubrick?"

Answer: It's a 3-hour film starring Ryan O'Neal. It's bad enough to have to watch a 90-minute film with Ryan O'Neal. This promised to be double agony. And the supporting cast doesn't excite me much.

Also, even in university classes entitled "Victorian Novelists" the only Thackeray novel that is still read is "Vanity Fair". Probably the only people who read "Barry Lyndon" today are those who wish to compare it to the film.

But, when I first saw it, Kubrick's reputation overrode my objections. I was hoping I wouldn't fall asleep.

About a half hour into the film, I pretty much ignored the star's innocuous performance, concentrating on what a gorgeous looking film it is, as well as a story that was more interesting than I expected.

One of the most curious things about it is second-billed Marisa Berenson. Almost every time she's onscreen she doesn't speak.

Any thoughts on Barry Lyndon or other films that fit the category for you?

Mice work in mysterious ways.
No, dear. That's God.

Re: A Film You Loved Even Though You Thought You Wouldn't

The word "loved" may be a bit strong but I recall being impressed by David Mamet's Things Change (1988). I had not seen House of Games (1987) beforehand and was not too familiar with Joe Mantegna. He and Don Ameche - enjoying a revival of his career - are perfectly matched as a low-level mobster and the poor old dupe he's told to mind for a few days.

Both actors are wonderful here, each one underplaying his role nicely. There are few laugh-out-loud moments but the humor and drama blend consistently throughout.

Ameche left us a few years later and Mantegna is playing out his career on a wretched TV procedural but I'll always remember this film fondly.


PS Where are you going to be posting recipes?

Re: A Film You Loved Even Though You Thought You Wouldn't

Well, I gave Barry Lyndon a solid 10 here. I never saw it until 25 years ago, in part because the idea of a 3-hour movie didn't appeal to me. Ryan O'Neal's presence wasn't a deterrent, I don't think. The film is carried by camera work, costumes, sets, architecture, not acting.

Movies I loved but didn't think I would:

Come and See – Not the plodding Soviet propaganda I half-expected

Lost in Translation – Didn't like Bill Murray or Sofia Coppola, till this

True Grit (2010) – The original struck me as a routine oater.

Re: A Film You Loved Even Though You Thought You Wouldn't

Perhaps the most recent that comes to mind: Gone Baby Gone.

Perceived strikes against it going in: directorial debut by a not terribly compelling actor who also co-wrote the script (whose first venture into screenwriting I found simplistic and manipulative, despite its Oscar); the director's kid brother in the lead role; that awful hipster title.

What it delivered: arresting performances; complexly layered characters; sure-footed construction and pacing of a plot at once labyrinthine and vortex-like; gritty verisimilitude; a shattering conclusion derived from a devastating and ultimately irresolvable moral dilemma. And much to think about afterward.

Poe! You are...avenged!

Re: A Film You Loved Even Though You Thought You Wouldn't

All About Eve, an old movie all about the theahtah.

Re: A Film You Loved Even Though You Thought You Wouldn't

My Fair Lady. I bought this at a yard sale in 2013, kept putting it off thinking "Aacck! Look how long it is! Singing and wacky accents! I should call the dentist and see if he can bump up that root canal!"
I finally slapped it on on New Years Eve night...and I loved it!
Rex Harrison's way of sing/talking, perfect!
My favorite character: Colonel Pickering. Wilfred Hyde White, that guy was the bomb!
Never before understood the allure of Audrey Hepburn...until now! Yeah, I'd seen Sabrina, Breakfast at Tiffany's and Wait Until Dark, all many years ago. Maybe too many years ago, now I have a greater appreciation of classic movies. She's absolutely adorable in this movie, and that one scene when she walks out dressed for the ball...jaw, meet floor!
Surprised I knew half the songs already. But it has been around awhile, plenty of time to become an iconic musical.

That's right! You're about to be killed by a zamboni!

Re: A Film You Loved Even Though You Thought You Wouldn't

dizexpat, I honestly can't think of a title to add to your thread, though I'm sure there must be one, or possibly many.

But I just wanted to pop in to say I've enjoyed chatting with you on this board, and that I wish you well on the next part of your journey. Thanks for the many contributions you've made here.

EDIT: Oh, sorry! I just realized that you wanted a normal thread. So please indulge my post without a title. If I can think of one, I'll come back later to add it.

The time of the singing of the birds has come.

Re: A Film You Loved Even Though You Thought You Wouldn't

Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957)

For years, I was not a fan of Deborah Kerr and I didn't like smultzy movies about Heaven or religion.
But, this movie surpassed all my expectations once I saw it.
And, who would have thought that Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum would make such a great couple on screen anyway?

Re: A Film You Loved Even Though You Thought You Wouldn't

The Sound of Music

After hearing endless jokes and attacks on the movie, I expected it to be awful and boring. Instead, it was a pretty damn good musical. A little long perhaps and i didn't like every song but overall an enjoyable experience.

BTW, I was prepared to hate Barry Lyndon too. It sounded pretentious and Ryan O' Neal is one of my least favorite actors. But the whole thing is beautifully photographed and Kubrick makes O'neal almost believable as an 18th century Irish soldier of fortune.