All rights belong to the author: Stanley Kubrick.
This is a short fragment for review the book. The full version can be purchased in the store.

BARRY LYNDON A screenplay by Stanley Kubrick Based on the novel by William Makepeace Thackeray

FADE IN:

EXT. PARK - DAY

Brief shot of duel.

RODERICK (V.O.)

My father, who was well-known to the best circles in this kingdom under the name of roaring Harry James, was killed in a duel, when I was fifteen years old.

EXT. GARDEN - DAY

Mrs. James, talking with a suitor; Roderick, at a distance.

RODERICK (V.O.)

My mother, after her husband's death, and her retirement, lived in such a way as to defy slander. She refused all offers of marriage, declaring that she lived now for her son only, and for the memory of her departed saint.

EXT. STREET - DAY

Mother and son walking together.

RODERICK (V.O.)

My mother was the most beautiful women of her day. But if she was proud of her beauty, to do her justice, she was still more proud of her son, and has said a thousand times to me that I was the handsomest fellow in the world.

EXT. CHURCH - DAY

Mother and son entering church.

RODERICK (V.O.)

The good soul's pleasure was to dress me; and on Sundays and Holidays, I turned out in a velvet coat with a silver-hilted sword by my side, and a gold garter at my knee as fine as any lord in the land. As we walked to church on Sundays, even the most envious souls would allow that there was not a prettier pair in the kingdom.

EXT. FIELD - DAY

A picnic. The Dugan family. Roderick.

RODERICK (V.O.)

My uncle's family consisted of ten children, and one of them was the cause of all my early troubles; this was the belle of the family, my cousin, Miss Dorothy Dugan, by name.

EXT. DUGAN MANOR HOUSE - DAY

A sprawling run-down Irish manor house with large garden, stables, barn and farm.

Idealized images of Dorothy.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Ah! That first affair, how well one remembers it! What a noble discovery it is that the boy makes when he finds himself actually and truly in love with some one! A lady who is skilled in dancing or singing never can perfect herself without a deal of study in private. So it is with the dear creatures who are skilled in coquetting. Dorothy, for instance, was always practicing, and she would take poor me to rehearse her accomplishments upon...

Dorothy talking with the exciseman.

RODERICK (V.O.)

... or the exciseman, when he came his rounds.

Dorothy talking to the steward.

RODERICK (V.O.)

... or the steward.

Dorothy sitting under a tree with the curate, reading a book.

RODERICK (V.O.)

... or the poor curate.

Dorothy talking to the apothecary's lad.

RODERICK (V.O.)

... or the young apothecary's lad from Dugan's Town whom I recollect beating once for that very reason.

Roderick, fighting with apothecary's lad.

RODERICK (V.O.)

The torments of jealousy she made me endure were horrible.

EXT. FIELD - DAY

Dorothy, like a greyhound released from days of confinement, and given the freedom of the fields at last, runs at top-speed, left and right, back and forth, returning every moment to Roderick.

She runs and runs until she is out of breath, and then laughs at the astonishment which keeps Roderick motionless and staring at her.

After catching her breath, and wiping her forehead, she challenges Roderick to a race.

RODERICK

I accept, but I insist on a wager. The loser must do whatever the winner pleases.

DOROTHY

Agreed.

RODERICK

Do you see the gate at the end of the field? The first to touch it will be the winner.

They line up together and start on a count of three. Dorothy uses all her strength, but Roderick holds back, and Dorothy touches the gate five or six paces ahead of him.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I was certain to win, but I meant to lose to see what she would order me to do.

Dorothy catches her breath, thinking of the penalty. Then she goes behind the trees and, a few second later, comes out and says:

DOROTHY

Your penalty is to find a cherry-colored ribbon which I have hidden somewhere on my person. You are free to look for it anywhere you will, and I will think very little of you if you do not find it.

They sit down on the grass. Roderick searches her pockets, the fold of her short bodice and her skirt, then her shoes; then he turns up her skirt, slowly and circumspectly, as high as her garters, which she wears upon the knee. He unfastens them and finds nothing; he draws down her skirt and gropes under her armpits. The tickling makes her laugh.

RODERICK

I feel the ribbon.

DOROTHY

Then you must get it.

Roderick has to unlace her bodice and touch her pretty breasts, over which his hand must pass to reach it.

DOROTHY

Why are you shaking?

RODERICK

With pleasure at finding the ribbon.

EXT. FIELD - DAY

Military review. One hundred English troops, a few mounted officers, a small military band, fifty local people.

The Dugan family, Roderick and his mother, Captains Best and Grogan.

Roderick admires the troops in their splendid uniforms.

RODERICK (V.O.)

About this time, the United Kingdom was in a state of great excitement from the threat generally credited of a French invasion. The noblemen and people of condition in that and all other parts of the kingdom showed their loyalty by raising regiments of horse and foot to resist the invaders. How I envied them. The whole country was alive with war's alarums; the three kingdoms ringing with military music, while poor I was obliged to stay at home in my fustian jacket and sigh for fame in secret.

INT. BALLROOM AT FENCIBLES - NIGHT

Dorothy and Roderick entering.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Once, the officers of the Kilwangen regiment gave a grand ball to which Dorothy persuaded my to take her.

Several cuts depicting the evening.

Dorothy ignores Roderick; dances, chats, laughs, drinks punch, and finally, strolls outside with Captain Best.

Roderick makes a half-hearted try at dancing with Miss Clancy.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I have endured torments in my life, but none like that. Some of the prettiest girls there offered to console me, for I was the best dancer in the room, but I was too wretched, and so remained alone all night in a state of agony. I did not care for drink, or know the dreadful comfort of it in those days; but I thought of killing myself and Dorothy, and most certainly of making away with Captain Best.

EXT. FENCIBLES BALLROOM - DAWN

The guests leaving and saying their goodbyes.

RODERICK (V.O.)

At last, and at morning, the ball was over.

EXT. ROAD - DAWN

Dorothy and Roderick on horseback together.

DOROTHY

Sure it's a bitter night, Roderick dear, and you'll catch cold without a handkerchief to your neck.

To this sympathetic remark, from the pillion, the saddle made no reply.

DOROTHY

Did you and Miss Clancy have a pleasant evening, Roderick? You were together, I saw, all night.

To this, the saddle only replies by grinding his teeth, and giving a lash to Daisy.

DOROTHY

Oh! Mercy, you make Daisy rear and throw me, you careless creature, you.

The pillion had by this got her arm around the saddle's waist, and gave it the gentlest squeeze in the world.

RODERICK

I hate Miss Clancy, you know I do! And I only danced with her because -- because -- the person with whom I intended to dance chose to be engaged the whole night.

DOROTHY

I had not been in the room five minutes before I was engaged for every single set.

RODERICK

Were you obliged to dance five times with Captain Best, and then stroll out with him into the garden?

DOROTHY

I don't care a fig for Captain Best; he dances prettily to be sure, and is a pleasant rattle of a man. He looks well in his regimentals, too; and if he chose to ask me to dance, how could I refuse him?

RODERICK

But you refused me, Dorothy.

DOROTHY

Oh! I can dance with you any day, and to dance with your own cousin at a ball as if you could find no other partner. Besides, Roderick, Captain Best's a man, and you are only a boy, and you haven't a guinea in the world.

RODERICK

If ever I meet him again, you shall see which is the best man of the two. I'll fight him with sword or with pistol, captain as he is.

DOROTHY

But Captain Best is already known as a valiant soldier, and is famous as a man of fashion in London. It is mighty well of you to fight farmers' boys, but to fight an Englishman is a very different matter.

Roderick falls silent.

EXT. SMALL BRIDGE OVER A STREAM - DAWN

They come to an old, high bridge, over a stream, sufficiently deep and rocky.

DOROTHY

Suppose, now, Roderick, you, who are such a hero, was passing over the bridge and the enemy on the other side.

RODERICK

I'd draw my sword, and cut my way through them.

DOROTHY

What, with me on the pillion? Would you kill poor me?

RODERICK

Well, then, I'll tell you what I'd do. I'd jump Daisy into the river, and swim you both across, where no enemy could follow us.

DOROTHY

Jump twenty feet! You wouldn't dare to do any such thing on Daisy. There's the captain's horse, Black George, I've heard say that Captain Bes

-­She never finished the word for, maddened by the continual recurrence of that odious monosyllable, Roderick shouts:

RODERICK

Hold tight to my waist!

And, giving Daisy the spur, springs with Dorothy over the parapet, into the deeper water below.

The horse's head sinks under, the girl screams as she sinks, and screams as she rises.

Roderick lands her, half-fainting, on the shore.

INT. MOTHER'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - DAY

Various cuts showing illness and convalescence. Roderick feverish: the doctor taking his pulse. Mother brings a tray of food.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I went home, and was ill speedily of a fever, which kept me to my bed for a week.

Dorothy visiting him.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Dorothy visited me only once, but I quitted my couch still more violently in love than I had been ever before.

EXT. DUGAN MANOR HOUSE - DAY

The air is fresh and bright, and the birds sing loud amidst the green trees. Roderick is elated, and springs down the road, as brisk as a young fawn.

He encounters an orderly whistling "Roast Beef of Old England," as he cleans down a cavalry horse.

RODERICK

Whose horse, fellow, is that?

ORDERLY

Feller, indeed! The horse belongs to my captain, and he's a better fellow nor you any day.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I did not stop to break his bones, as I would on another occasion, for a horrible suspicion had come across me, and I made for the garden as quickly as I could.

Roderick see Captain Best and Dorothy pacing the path together. Her arm is under his, and he is fondling and squeezing her little hand which lies closely nestling against his arm.

Some distance beyond them is Captain Grogan, who is paying court to Dorothy's sister, Mysie.

RODERICK (V.O.)

The fact is that, during the week of my illness, no other than Captain Best was staying at Castle Dugan, and making love to Miss Dorothy in form.

CAPTAIN BEST

No, Dorothy, except for you and four others, I vow before all the gods, my heart had never felt the soft flame.

DOROTHY

Ah, you men, you men, John, your passion is not equal to ours. We are like -- like some plant I've read of -- we bear but one flower, and then we die!

CAPTAIN BEST

Do you mean you never felt an inclination for another?

DOROTHY

Never, my John, but for thee! How can you ask me such a question?

Raising her hand to his lips.

CAPTAIN BEST

Darling Dorothea! Roderick rushes into view, drawing his little sword.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I pulled out a knot of cherry-colored ribbons, which she had given me out of her breast, and which somehow I always wore upon me, and flung them in Captain Best's face, and rushed out with my little sword drawn.

RODERICK

She's a liar -- she's a liar, Captain Best! Draw, sir, and defend yourself, if you are a man!

Roderick leaps at Captain Best, and collars him, while Dorothy makes the air echo with her screams.

Captain Grogan and Mysie hasten up.

Though Roderick is a full growth of six feet, he is small by the side of the enormous English captain.

Best turns very red at the attack upon him, and slips back clutching at his sword.

Dorothy, in an agony of terror, flings herself round him, screaming:

DOROTHY

Captain Best, for Heaven's sake, spare the child -- he is but an infant.

CAPTAIN BEST

And ought to be whipped for his impudence, but never fear, Miss Dugan, I shall not touch him, your favorite is safe from me.

So saying, he stoops down and picks up the bunch of ribbons, which Roderick had flung at Dorothy's feet, and handing it to her, says in a sarcastic tone:

CAPTAIN BEST

When ladies make presents to gentlemen, it is time for other gentlemen to retire...

DOROTHY

Good heavens, Best! He is but a boy and don't signify any more than my parrot or lap-dog. Mayn't I give a bit of ribbon to my own cousin?

RODERICK

(roaring)

I'm a man, and will prove it.

CAPTAIN BEST

You are perfectly welcome, miss, as many yards as you like.

DOROTHY

Monster! Your father was a tailor, and you are always thinking of the shop. But I'll have my revenge, I will! Roddy, will you see me insulted?

RODERICK

Indeed, Miss Dorothy, I intend to have his blood as sure as my name's Roderick.

CAPTAIN BEST

I'll send for the usher to cane you, little boy, but as for you, miss, I have the honor to wish you a good day.

Best takes off his hat with much ceremony, and makes a low bow, and is just walking off, when Michael, Roderick's cousin, comes up, whose ear has likewise been caught by the scream.

MICHAEL

Hoity-toity! John Best, what's the matter here?

CAPTAIN BEST

I'll tell you what it is, Mr. Dugan. I have had enough of Miss Dugan here and your Irish ways. I ain't used to 'em, sir.

MICHAEL

(good-humoredly)

Well, well! What is it? We'll make you used to our ways, or adopt English ones.

CAPTAIN BEST

It's not the English way, for ladies to have two lovers, and, so, Mr. Dugan, I'll thank you to pay me the sum you owe me, and I resign all claims to this young lady. If she has a fancy for school-boys, let her take 'em, sir.

MICHAEL

Pooh! Pooh! Best, you are joking.

CAPTAIN BEST

I never was more in earnest. Best exits.

MICHAEL

(in a towering rage)

You -- you! Hang you for a meddling brat, your hand is in everybody's pie. What business had you to come brawling and quarreling here, with a gentleman who has fifteen hundred a-year?

Michael runs after Best.

DOROTHY

(gasps)

Oh, I shall die; I know I shall. I shall never leave this spot.

CAPTAIN GROGAN

(whisper to Dorothy)

The Captain is gone.

Dorothy, giving him an indignant look, jumps up and walks towards the house.

CAPTAIN GROGAN

(in a soothing tone to Roderick)

This is a pretty way to recommend yourself to the family.

RODERICK

(shouts after Michael)

The man that marries Dorothy Dugan must first kill me -- do you mind that?

MICHAEL

(shouting back from a distance)

Pooh, sir. Kill you -- flog you, you mean! I'll send for Nick the huntsman to do it.

CAPTAIN GROGAN

You are a gallant lad, and I like your spirit. But what Dugan says is true. It's a hard thing to give a lad counsel who is in such a far-gone state as you; but, believe me, I know the world, and if you will but follow my advice, you won't regret having taken it. Dorothy Dugan has not a penny; you are not a whit richer. And, my poor boy, don't you see -- though it's a hard matter to see -- that she's a flirt, and does not care a pin for you or Best either?

RODERICK

Dorothy might love me or not, as she likes, but Best will have to fight me before he marries her!

CAPTAIN GROGAN

Faith, I think you are a lad that's likely to keep your word.

He looks hard at Roderick for a second to two, then he walks away, humming a tune, looking back at Roderick as he goes through the old gate out of the garden.

When Grogan is gone, Roderick is quite alone, and he flings himself down on the bench where Dorothy had made believe to faint, and had left her handkerchief and the ribbons and, taking them up, hides his face in them, and bursts into a passion of tears.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I must have sat for some hours bemoaning myself on the garden-bench, for the dinner-bell clanged as usual at three o'clock, which wakened me from my reverie.

EXT. DUGAN MANOR HOUSE - DAY

As Roderick passes the courtyard, he sees the Captain's saddle still hanging up at the stable-door, and his odious red-coated brute of a servant, swaggering with the scullion-girls and kitchen people.

MAID

The Englishman's still there, Master Roderick. He's there in the parlor. Go in, and don't let 'im browbeat you, Master Roderick.

INT. DUGAN MANOR HOUSE - DINING ROOM - DAY

Roderick enters and takes his place at the bottom of the big table; the butler speedily brings him a cover.

UNCLE

Hello, Roddy, my boy! Up and well? That's right.

AUNT

He'd better be home with his mother.

UNCLE

Don't mind her. It's the cold goose she ate for breakfast -- didn't agree with her. Take a glass of spirits, Mrs. Dugan, to Roderick's health.

It is evident that his uncle doesn't know of what happened, but Michael, who is at dinner too, and Harry, and almost all the girls, look exceedingly black and the captain foolish; and Miss Dorothy, who is again by his side, ready to cry. Captain Grogan sits smiling, and Roderick looks on as cold as stone.

His uncle is in high good-humor.

UNCLE

Dorothy, divide that merry thought with the captain! See who'll be married first. Jack Best, my dear boy, never mind a clean glass for the claret, we're short of crystal at Castle Dugan; take Dorothy's and the wine will taste none the worse. Mrs. Dugan and ladies, if you please; this is a sort of toast that is drunk a great deal too seldom in my family, and you'll please to receive it with all the honors. Here's to Captain and Mrs. John Best, and long life to them. Kiss her, Jack, you rogue; for faith, you've got a treasure.

RODERICK

(spring up)

His already?!

HARRY

Hold your tongue, you fool -- hold your tongue!

RODERICK

(shouting) ...

All rights belong to the author: Stanley Kubrick.
This is a short fragment for review the book. The full version can be purchased in the store.