Warner Bros. Studio Burbank, Calif....843 6000

BARRY LYNDON

KUBRICK'S IRISH ODYSSEY






When Stanley Kubrick landed in Ireland over two years ago to film the adventures of William Thackeray's Irish rascal, Barry Lyndon, he never guessed that his troublesome hero would be doing battle this Christmas in London and Dublin with "Jaws," the biggest money-maker of all time.

Kubrick began his Irish odyssey in the autumn of 1973 with two lorryloads of cameras and a giant script under the working title of "The Luck of Barry Lyndon." It was strange to see this film-maker, apparently obsessed by the difficult present and more difficult future if one could judge by films like "Dr. Strangelove," "A Clockwork Orange" and "2001 - A Space Odyssey," settle for a land that was knee-deep in the past and not particularly green at that time of year.

But the Kubrick caravan had clearly arrived. Some 2,000 muskets and bayonets arrived from London and negotiations began with the Irish Army to supply the men behind them. Horses were hired to pull gun carriages.

Soon gaps had been opened in waving cornfields down in Waterford, camera dollies had been erected, tents pitched .. the scene was set for the first major sequence in the film, the battle of Warburg. At about the same time, the local branch of the I.R.A. held a meeting and the seeds of distrust were sown.

Those early days were carefree. Before the camera Marie Kean strolled along the path admiring flowers. The wardrobe people were concerned mostly with velvets, ribbons, lace and garters. Over in Waterford's industrial estate, two empty factories were taken over for costume fittings for later scenes.

Small hotels dependent on a fickle tourist trade burst with pride paging names for which a Hilton would give its penthouse suite. Ryan O'Neal's pony tail swung wildly every time he heard his name over the loudspeaker. A little bit of Hollywood had fallen off the merry-go-round and landed in Ireland.

Vast scenes took shape from brief sentences in the script and the Kubrick (more)

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machine was in gear. From dawn villages stirred out of their long sleep and leapt to life with the sound of generators, prop wagons, mobile canteens, cara vans, horseboxes, camera cars, buses, lorries, jeeps and assorted conveyances.

Huntsmen abandoned the hunt, dole queues disappeared, women abandoned their kitchens and children their classrooms to work for the famous film-maker from London. His money could move mountains and almost did.

Pensioners on the way to the post office stopped their bikes and stood in awe as the English and the French fired volley at each other without a single casualty. A chambermaid on her morning rounds stood in awe too - before a dressing table that bore so many pills and bottles that she thought she was in a chemist's shop. It was a collision of two different worlds - an image which would well be appreciated by a certain master painter one of many craftsmen who made up the Kubrick battalions. The man was driving through County Waterford one day. Suddenly a farmer drove his tractor out of a. gap on one side of the road and disappeared again through a gap on the other side. The master painter applied his brakes, but impact was inevitable. Suffering from shock, the man sat in his vehicle until the farmer returned with his cows. He proceeded to tackle the farmer about the crash.

"Look, my man," said the farmer, "Everybody round here knows that I have to cross the road this time every morning to get the cows. So, off with you....

It was indeed a collision of two worlds.

The battle of Warburg had to be abandoned because of heavy rain. Cattle bawled behind battle lines. Tired soldiers were replaced with fresh ones. Yet the cameras always rolled, for Kubrick always had alternative work and was likely to change his tactics morning, noon and night.

Every night cans of film were driven up the coast road to Dublin for dispatch to laboratories in London. And each night the previous night's cargo, now processed, was driven back to Waterford for viewing by the governor.

Hawk Productions soon took over another vacant factory, this one for the making of saddlebags, kits, flags, swords, furniture, wagons and dummies. Kubrick's store houses began to look like art galleries.

The vitality of this human dynamo in an oversized coat could be felt right down the extended lines. He could spot a watch on a soldier's wrist a mile off. It might take him days to say goodbye to a scene, yet he could break an actor's heart in an hour to get what he wanted in seconds. Or he could make

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the actor a star for life.

As scenes were shot again and again, the dialogue was picked up by everyone around. At night in the local pub, one was sure to hear that day's lines getting better with the Guinness ale.

Those early days on "Barry Lyndon'were indeed tough, but there was nobody big enough to call Kubrick "a son-of-a-bitch.'1 His behavior often seemed extravagant, even cruel, but such may be the prerogative of genius.

Liam Redmond came closest to a confrontation. It was 9 o'clock on the ninth night of a particular scene. Liam was playing Old Brady of Brady Manor House, and he was to welcome the gentlemen of the King's army into his house with the words: "Gentlemen, this is a. very happy occasion...

From behind his viewfinder, Stanley Kubrick shouted "action" for the umpteenth time. It was as if the previous nine days of this scene ha.dn't taken place. Liam began:

"Gentlemen, this is gone beyond a. joke...."

The other actors and assembled crew stifled back their laughter and embarrassment as Liam continued with his lines. Kubrick simply yelled "cut," and added, "Liam, I don't think you got the first line right."

Singlemindedness. It was seen again in the matter of Captain Fagan, a fatherly character in the story. Godfrey Quigley, who ha.d played the prison chaplain in "A Clockwork Orange, " was offered the part, but couldn't take it because of previous commitments.

Ray McAnally was soon doing riding lessons to play Captain Fagan. He duly arrived on set, vigorous, battle anxious and fully costumed. Kubrick took one look and said "no." He rescheduled the picture and waited for Quigley.

These were the days of the long shot. The camera eagled-eyed the route marches at a safe distance. From the Comeraghs to Moorstown Castle, the 16-stone Quigley and the stiff-upper-lipped Leonard Rossiter led the redcoats from camp to camp to the sound of fife and drum.

Then came the day when we almost saw the first army mutiny since the Curragh. A force of 500 men had marched into Moorstown Castle 29 times since 7 o'clock in the morning. It was now darkening and Kubrick still wasn't satisfied.

As the soldiers marched in, Ryan O'Neal, a mere private, was to be (more)

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standing at the entrance saluting the officers. Suddenly he was to recognize Captain Fagan, his old friend from Ireland. It was the moment of mutual recognition that Kubrick was trying to perfect.

By the 29th march-past, the soldiers were getting a bit frayed at the edges. Expletives, whistles, jeers and other forms of abuse were rising from the ranks. But Kubrick, as is always the case, won the day. He wheedled and cajoled the soldiers into staying. Miles back up the road he has assistants and managers of every description pleading with the backed-up traffic to hold their hour. And the Kubrick lenses, also called "the gems," got the sequence they sought.

One day Stanley Kubrick told Godfrey Quigley that he was thinking of killing him. Godfrey didn't relish the idea, knowing what the director was capable of thinking up. It was all over in seconds. A few blood bombs burst inside the Captain's immaculate uniform and he hit the dust, several times, of course, to be comforted by friend Lyndon. "Any time Stanley wants me back, I'll be back," said Godfrey as he left for his theatre engagement. "He's the very best there is."

Marie Kean also holds Kubrick in the highest esteem and thought nothing of doing a scene 30 times. "I was well used to that working for David Lean and Roman Polanski," she said.

Archie Sullivan amused the governor in the part of an old Irish rogue. It seemed to be for his own amusement that Kubrick shouted "again," as he smiled at Archie giving life to the character.

"Where are you bound for, young fella?'~asks Archie of Barry Lyndon outside a village in Kilkenny. "I'm after coming from Waterford, Sir, and I'm on my way to Dublin."

Just before Christmas, Kubrick called a break. We all needed time to "rekubricate" away from Stanley and he probably knew it. Two months later we gathered again, this time at Ardmore Studios.

Stamina was restored. Smiles had replaced blank stares. People said, "good morning." It was spring. There were some new faces, new managers, but most of the sloggers had survived.

The Kubrick family - Stanley, wife Christiane, and three daughters moved into a house in Leixlip. The O'Neals, Ryan and daughter Tatum, took a place in Leopardstown. Hardy Kruger and Patrick Magee hired rooms in a hotel in Ballsbridge. As did the female lead, the beautiful Marisa Berenson.

The stage was set for the second phase of "Barry Lyndon." The soldier(more)
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mg days were past and it was now the time of wine and women, elegance and wealth, gaming tables and duels.

The Slazengers were away when the gates of Powerscourt, County Dublin, were opened for the Kubrick circus. The 40 Volkswagen vans and scores of other vehicles wound through the stately grounds on their way to the mansion. The deal had been done for 1,000 pounds a day.

The main hall was soon converted into a German gaming room, lit only by candles - quite a feat to film in such light, but Kubrick did it. An ocean of wax accumulated on the floor but Kubrick left the place as he had found it, in perfect condition, for the fire that was to sweep the house a few months later.

Kubrick was also the last big-timer to take over Dublin Castle before the Europeans. He moved cautiously here too, like a fawn around an abattoir.

In the castle, he watched a man go to work on the window of the throne room. The man's methods were not quite craftsmanlike. Kubrick called his art director: "Who is that guy? Does he want us to be fired out of here before we even begin?"

According to the script, the Castle was the Berlin home of an Irish-born playboy extraordinary. The part was played by Patrick Magee, who had worked for Stanley Kubrick in "A Clockwork Orange."

In setting up the illusion, the Castle had lost much of its normal decor. The Round rooms had suffered most - here the pictures of the signatories of the 1916 Proclamation were stacked up unceremoniously, faces to the wall.

For me, unlike Red Hugh O'Donnell, there was no escape from the Castle. In St. Patrick's Hall I enjoyed an Irish stew in the company of an aristocratic lady who protested that her Equity rate was far below her I3ritish rate.

I'm sure the late Viceroy, the Duke of Marlborough, would have raised Kubrick to the most illustrious Order of St. Patrick for obtaining such beautiful ladies for the Castle.

Without knowing it, we were now into the last week of shooting in Ireland. The Phoenix Park was the location for a scene involving Hardy Kruger and Ryan O'Neal riding in a carriage. Between takes Kubrick was listening to the radio it was a time of endless bomb scares and similar hoaxes.

Suddenly Kubrick was gone, back to his family in Leixlip. The sun had

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begun to fade before he could be coaxed back to Dublin Castle and then only with guarantees that civil war had not broken out.

Days of indecision and rejection followed. Ryan O'Neal began to get stomach pains. Then came the last day.

It was a Thursday morning. The news in Dublin was that buses had been hijacked, roads had been blocked. There was much confusion. I3ombs went off.

In Dublin Castle, a hairdresser answered a phone, panicked and it was the end. Stanley Kubrick had slipped out into the traffic in Dame Street and bolted for I~eixlip. The curtain had come down on Barry Lyndon's adventure 5 in Ireland.

As a smokescreen, Kubrick's people issued a call for the crew to report to Powerscourt the next morning. In fact, the exodus to England had already begun.

The art director had found Kubrick's immediate requirements in Wilton house in Salisbury and the real call was for 8 a. m. on the following Monday morning.

Barry Lyn don's premature departure from his native shores had probably cost the country millions of pounds in all sorts of spin-offs, from an epic film production such as this.

"Barry Lyndon" is written for the screen, produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick and stars Ryan O'Neal and Marisa Berenson. For release world-wide by Warner Bros.


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