Review: ‘Ulysses’

Ulysses [from James Joyce's novel] is a healthy, promising cinematic piece of flora, nightblooming and carnivorous. Filmed entirely in Ireland, with a cast almost entirely Irish, the picture concentrates on the trio of primary characters - Leopold and Molly Bloom and student Stephen Dedalus. Although their tales overlap, the primary emphasis is on the two males leaving the last 20 or 30 minutes to Molly's famous libidinous soliloquy.

Ulysses [from James Joyce’s novel] is a healthy, promising cinematic piece of flora, nightblooming and carnivorous. Filmed entirely in Ireland, with a cast almost entirely Irish, the picture concentrates on the trio of primary characters – Leopold and Molly Bloom and student Stephen Dedalus. Although their tales overlap, the primary emphasis is on the two males leaving the last 20 or 30 minutes to Molly’s famous libidinous soliloquy.

Barbara Jefford’s Molly is handsomely overblown, a wasted garden of a woman who yearns for a man with a passion that almost causes the screen to pulsate yet depriving Leopold of his marital rights because she so abhors another possibility of pregnancy. Milo O’Shea’s Leopold Bloom is a realised example of the degraded, dejected husband – his dignity rapidly fading, but still capable of dreaming of lost sexual prowess.

Maurice Roeves’ Stephen Dedalus might have been more impressive had some of the many flashbacks been used to better fill in his past – viewers are only told that he comes from an unhappy home, with a failure of a father.

1967: Nomination: Best Adapted Screenplay

Ulysses

Ireland

Production

Continental/Walter Reade. Director Joseph Strick; Producer Joseph Strick; Screenplay Joseph Strick, Fred Haines; Camera Wolfgang Suschitzky; Editor Reginald Mills; Music Stanley Myers; Art Director Graham Probst

Crew

(B&W) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1967. Running time: 140 MIN.

With

Barbara Jefford Milo O'Shea Maurice Roeves T.P. McKenna Martin Dempsey Sheila O'Sullivan
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