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Racing against impending blindness, a monomaniacal genius feeds off his own love life to create a novel he hopes will change the art form of fiction forever. James Joyce got his way, but at an enormous price.
“In Bed With Ulysses” tells the intriguing and sometimes comical story of how the novel that is widely considered the greatest work of modern fiction was created, detailing the toll “Ulysses” took on its author and his family, the shock waves it caused around the world, the fight to censor and suppress it,and its ultimate liberation and impact.
The movie lets fresh air into “Ulysses” like a gust from the Irish Sea … “In Bed With Ulysses” is a film that strips away the academic clutter surrounding that kaleidoscopic novel to reveal the vital human pulse between its lines. NY Times
The film serves as an excellent introduction to the novel as well as to Joyce’s life and work for both students and other interested readers … “In Bed With “Ulysses” exudes a deep appreciation of Joyce’s insight into the human condition, especially the myriad complexities of love. The film’s evident affection for the novel and effortless charm make it worth watching both for those new to the novel and those who can recite passages by heart … underscores the beauty and power of Joyce’s language … rare home-movie footage of Joyce. The James Joyce Quarterly
In a trim 80 minutes, the directors survey the whirling circumstances of Joyce’s creation as the author dragged his family from country to country, mooching, making do, imagining Nora’s infidelities at every turn. Chicago Tribune
“In Bed With Ulysses” inspires viewers to want to read the novel and finally understand for themselves what all the fuss is about. Highly recommended… Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO)
A fascinating, human look at the author and his most famous novel … a vital telling of Joyce’s life, focusing on “Ulysses,” filled with archival photos, discussions of its censorship controversy and visits to the places in the text. There’s even a film clip of Joyce and his wife Nora walking together on a city street. LA Times
“I just couldn’t get into it,” says a typical interview subject about the famously challenging work. Fortunately, this incisive documentary serves as a handy primer for the uninitiated, both to the book’s literary richness and the backstory behind its writing and controversy-laden publication. Hollywood Reporter
Rendering James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922) accessible to the common reader makes an ambitious task, so this film intercuts three approaches. First, as Joyce wrote about what he had lived, it offers a biography of Joyce (1882-1941) and wife Nora’s knotty relationship, often using vintage photos and footage. Second, we see both the rehearsal and the performance of a multi-character reading from the novel, stressing its humor and the flow of its language. Third, literary types discuss the book and the epic history of its composition, publication, censorship, and ultimate vindication. The filmmakers’ enthusiasm and beautiful montage are engaging. Kathleen Chalfant is a knockout reading Molly Bloom.
VERDICT Those of us who have struggled with the novel need all the encouragement we can get. Library Journal
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Public Performance Rights
Purchase of “In Bed With Ulysses” includes public performance rights which enables an institution to screen the film to its students, faculty and staff, on campus where no admission is charged and where there is no off-campus advertising. Institutions may purchase digital streaming for an added fee. If an institution wishes to hold a screening of “In Bed With Ulysses” when admission will be charged, the event is advertised off-campus, and/or members of the general public are invited and admitted, written permission from Rosner Educational Media is required, and an additional fee may be charged based on the nature of the event.
To Order the Film
Educational use is available exclusively from Rosner Educational Media. To order, please send an email to
with the following information:
1. the name and address of the institution that wishes to make the purchase
2. whether or not the institution wishes to purchase streaming rights
Educational Use License Package $350
Public Libraries / High Schools $195
Lifetime Streaming Rights $495