“…like brute beasts.”

I believe that Murray Melvin‘s performance as Reverend Samuel Runt is almost entirely about brittle innuendo, and that his officiating words in the wedding ceremony scene are mildly hilarious. A constricted and self-loathing ascetic portrayed to satiric extremes.

Keep in mind that the marriage ceremony between Redmond Barry (Ryan O’Neal) and Lady Lyndon (Marisa Berenson) happens in this clip around the 50-second mark, and that 110 seconds later he’s blowing smoke in her face. That’s not much of a honeymoon. It’s also one of the ugliest martial moments ever portrayed in a major motion picture.

As I pointed out 13 years ago, the smoke in the face moment kills Barry Lyndon‘s sense of muted joie de vivre (such as it is) and in fact signals the beginning of the “dead zone” section. It lasts for a good 40 to 50 minutes until the duel scene comes along and saves the film from itself.

I was all but unanimously slapped down after posting this opinion during the late Dubya era.