Ulysses (1967 film)

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Ulysses (1967 film dvd cover).jpg
DVD cover
Directed by Joseph Strick
Produced by Joseph Strick
Screenplay by Fred Haines
Joseph Strick
Based on Ulysses
by James Joyce
Starring Barbara Jefford
Milo O'Shea
Music by Stanley Myers
Cinematography Wolfgang Suschitzky
Edited by Reginald Mills
Distributed by British Lion Films
Release date
14 March 1967 (USA)
June 1967 (UK)
Running time
132 min.
Country UK
Language English
Budget $900,000[1]
Box office $2,300,000 (US/ Canada)[2]

Ulysses is a 1967 British-American drama film loosely based on James Joyce's novel Ulysses. It concerns the meeting of two Irishmen, Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus, in 1904 Dublin.

Starring Milo O'Shea as Leopold Bloom, Barbara Jefford as Molly Bloom, Maurice Roëves as Stephen Dedalus, T. P. McKenna as Buck Mulligan, and Sheila O'Sullivan as May Golding Dedalus, it was adapted by Fred Haines and Joseph Strick and directed by Strick. Haines and Strick shared an Oscar nomination for the screenplay.[3]

Making of the film[edit]

This was the first film adaptation of the novel, 45 years after its publication.

The film was shot on location in Dublin on a modest budget.[3] Although the novel is set in 1904, the film portrays the city as it was in the 1960s.

Critical reception[edit]

Strick earned a BAFTA and Golden Globe nomination and an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

The film was entered into the 1967 Cannes Film Festival.[4] Festival organizers deleted some of the French subtitles without informing the director.[3] When Strick noticed the deletions during the film's screening, "he stood up and yelled out that this film had been censored," Strick's son David told the Los Angeles Times.[3] "He went upstairs to the projection booth and turned off the switches. He was then pushed down a flight of stairs by festival goons. My father and his associates withdrew the film immediately from the festival," David Strick said.[3]

Pauline Kael described it as "an act of homage in the form of readings ... plus slides." Stanley Kauffmann called it "a facile and ludicrous reduction."[5]

Rating and censorship[edit]

Ulysses was originally rated "X" in the UK after extensive cuts were demanded by BBFC censor John Trevelyan. However, director Joseph Strick replaced the offending dialogue with a series of screeches and sounds, thus rendering the scenes unintelligible. Eventually the film was released uncut in 1970, and the rating was reduced to "15" for the video release in 1996.[6]

In New Zealand, the film was originally restricted to adults over 21 in gender-segregated audiences.[7][8][9] The rating was reduced to "M" (suitable for mature audiences over 16) in the 1990s.[10]

The film was not approved for general release in Ireland until 2000; however, it was screened at the Irish Film Theatre (a private film club) in the 1970s.[citation needed]


The large number of characters in the novel is reflected in the large cast of the film. The cast, in order of credit:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Show Biz's Mr. Diversification Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times (1923–Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 24 September 1967: n16.
  2. ^ "Big Rental Films of 1967", Variety, 3 January 1968 p 25. Please note these figures refer to rentals accruing to the distributors.
  3. ^ a b c d e McLellan, Dennis (4 June 2010). "McLellan, Dennis. (2010, June 4). ''Joseph Strick dies at 86; independent filmmaker brought 'Ulysses' to big screen''. The Los Angeles Times". Latimes.com. Retrieved 13 February 2011. 
  4. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Ulysses". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 11 March 2009. 
  5. ^ Robert Messenger, "Censors of the dirty '60s". The Canberra Times, 3 September 2001, p. 12
  6. ^ "British Board of Film Classification". Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  7. ^ Brittenden, Wayne. The Celluloid Circus: The Heyday of the New Zealand Picture Theatre. New Zealand: Godwit (Random House), 2008, p. 134. ISBN 978-1-86962-146-9
  8. ^ "Segregated audience at a screening of Ulysses". Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand. 
  9. ^ Andrea O'Neil (2015-10-08). "Movie sex segregation for racy 1967 film Ulysses - 150 years of news". The Dominion Post. 
  10. ^ "Film & Video Labelling Body of New Zealand". Retrieved 4 January 2011. 

External links[edit]