In this variation on director Vadim's own, more acclaimed Et Dieu Créa La Femme (1956, the same title in French), the vamp Robin Shea marries charming carpenter Billy Moran, only to get out... See full summary »
Rebecca De Mornay,
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Antoine promises to take the orphaned Juliette away from St. Tropez after a party where she has wandered onto the yacht of the urbane Eric. But in the morning the bus and Antoine zip by Juliette's stop and she runs into the field to capture the rabbit she set free moments before. About to be sent back to the orphanage by her foster mother, she identifies with the rabbit. Antoine's younger brother Michel comes to Juliette's rescue with a marriage proposal and she accepts. Eric wants the brothers' shipyard as a casino site and brings Antoine back to St. Tropez. Life gets complicated. Written by
Dale O'Connor <email@example.com>
"Et Dieu... crea la femme" is Brigitte Bardot's breakout film. She explodes on the screen, overwhelming the audience (the male audience by sure). I bet that women, as well, are shocked by the thought that such a rival-bomb can exist.
The movie itself have always been underrated. It was a scandal at the epoch and we can easily see why. Actually, the erotic atmosphere created by BB in "Et Dieu... crea la femme" is amazing even for today standards (immensely superior to that of current movies, in my personal opinion). At any rate, the scandal made the movie be automatically considered bad (needless to say, people went crazy to see it). Curiously enough, a dozen of years later several ugly movies were automatically considered good by the critics because of the scandal they raised!
Now that our modern eyes no longer see the scandal, we may judge "Et Dieu... crea la femme" a nice film, made VERY special by Brigitte Bardot's presence. The stunning locations of a still tourism-free Cote d'Azur are beautifully photographed. The story is interesting and entertaining. Melodrama is systematically avoided. The script contains a good deal of typical French wit: sharp, cynical, but with a melancholic subtext. A couple of instances. The mature gentleman Eric Carradine, trying to justify Juliete's bad behavior "I am the only one to be guilty of that" and the old woman "Don't delude yourself, sir...". Again Carradine "I fell in love with a young girl and I gave money for her to marry another man. How do you call it?" and a friend "I call it wisdom".
Bardot brilliantly plays Juliete, a remarkably interesting character. Probably, more than her free and mindless attitude toward love affairs, Juliete's true personality may be described as anarchist selfishness. She doesn't give a damn for others. She just does everything she wants, not caring people's opinions, prejudices or feelings. She loves animals, though. A further point of interest is that, according to her own autobiography, BB's personality has some in common with that of Juliete's. I don't comment Brigitte's sex-appeal. Words are not enough, just look at her and enjoy. The life at the village on the sea and the various other characters are described with accuracy. Jurgens, Trintignant and the remainder of the cast work well.
The cult-scene of the movie is Juliete's Mambo dance. Here we understand what Europeans of the 1950s thought to be a torrid scene. We also see that they were right!
Seeing the movie, many are displeased that (seemingly) a dose of heavy slaps turns the wild Juliete into a devoted spouse. That looks machist ideology. Well, to begin with, to beat guilty women is just a realistic and predictable behavior in the low class environment of a village of fishermen in the 1950s. But, above all, do you think Juliete-Brigitte tamed by few hits? Come on! She accepts the slaps only because in that very moment she has thought it good to take them. But who knows the future? Believe me, Juliete is far from being tamed, and the end of the film by no means coincides with the end of the story...
In spite of possible criticism, I like "Et Dieu... crea la femme". Right or wrong, this film has a relevant place in the history of cinema.
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