Yes I know this is not a precode movie, but I still believe it belongs in this section. Mainly because there is no way this movie would have been released today with just a PG rating.
Cast: Jane Fonda, Dave Hemmings
Writer: Terry Southern – based on the comics by Jean Claude Forest
Director: Roger Vadim
The story involves a top level space secret agent named Barbarella (Jane Fonda). Imagine a hotter female version of James Bond, but in space. She is on a mission to find the evil Durand Durand (Milo O’shea) so that she can bring him back to Earth and destroy his weapons. Along the way, she meets up with other men and a woman who help her with her quest and in return she helps by having sex with them.
The so-called love scenes are the best parts of the movie. They are so absurd and crazy, but are not played for just laughs, which in turn makes them extremely funny. In one scene, a man wearing a fur suit seduces Barbarella into having sex with him. After she agrees, he removes his suit and is covered with thick body hair. Another funny scene involves her being trapped in a machine that is supposed to give you the most intense orgasm ever, so that you end up dead. However, the machine can’t take the intensity of her erogenous zones, so it short circuits and is destroyed.
It’s easy to dismiss this movie as just being a male fantasy and I won’t argue that point. But this was made very shortly after, or possibly during, the sexual revolution. Before that time, women were not as free to express any type sexual liberation. Now I’m not saying that woman had to have sex with many partners to feel liberated, but to even have that idea was very taboo at that time. In each scene where sex is occurred, the choice always was with the woman. The only time it was not was when she gets trapped inside the machine, which she ends up destroying.
This almost would be a good double feature with Stanley Kubrick‘s “2001: a Space Odyssey“. Both movies were released in the same year and the special effects are very different. Kubrick was working on getting a realistic version of space, while Vadim was trying to capture the silliness of the comic series. Many Sci-Fi movies try too hard to make their movies appear more serious than they actually are. “Barbarella” knows that it’s a bit cheesy and doesn’t try to hide it.
Barberella’s awesome, Vern. Cheesy and fun, with a nice dash of Jane Fonda nakedness thrown into the mix. 😀 Whats not to love? You’re right, there is a lot of decent humor here…
I wouldnt double feature it with 2001, though, I’m thinking more along the lines of Flash Gordon!
Thanks Fogs. I agree that Flash Gordon would work better as a double feature. It just surprised me that both 2001 and Barbarella were released just a year apart and the level of effects between the two are light years apart
I agree that Flash Gordon would be a perfect double feature. It’s the only thing that comes close. ….Although i am intrigued by pairing it with 2001…. or Moon Zero Two, perhaps?
Thanks for the comment Barry. I have never heard of Moon Zero Two before. I will have to look for that one.
This was one of the first films with nudity that I can remember seeing. Yeah, it’s cheesy as hell but dammit, how can you not have fun watching this film while being turned on by Jane Fonda? Plus, she still looks goods.
Thank you Steve for the comments. I love this and movies like “Logan’s Run” because you could have massive amounts of sex and nudity and still be rated PG. I urge everyone who reads this to check out the reviews on his blog Surrender to the Void. It’s like a having a film class right on your PC. He goes into great details not just about the movie,but about the production too.
To be honest I have never watched this film and only have seen a few bits and pieces. I see it’s streaming on Netflix so i will add it to my queue.
To be honest with you. It’s Jane Fonda’s bits and pieces that are worth watching in this movie. Thanks for the comments.
I just got Flash Gordon on blu-ray for my birthday. I think I am going to watch it with Barbarella. I can’t believe it is PG, and yes, her bits are delicious in this film.
Don’t expect a great movie and you will enjoy this very much. The first five minutes alone is worth full price in my opinion. Thanks for the comments
I have tried to sit through this a few times now. It is pretty awful. Each time I take about as much as I can then I have to turn it off. Jane Fonda was smoking hot back in the day though. Have you seen her in Cat Ballou?
I won’t disregard anyones hated of this movie because it can get pretty bad, but I love the cheesyness of it. I will look out for Car Ballou. Thanks for the comment
I actually know somebody who ran that exact double feature. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it there to see how it turned out – I had my doubts though I have to say!
I wish my theatres around me would play more classic double features. I would love that. Thank you so much for the comments Nr. Rumsey
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