Ursula leaves the convent where she was educated, to start living with her uncle, the count Ribera, and her aunt Florentine. When she arrives, she is confronted with a local drama: a ... See full summary »
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Ursula leaves the convent where she was educated, to start living with her uncle, the count Ribera, and her aunt Florentine. When she arrives, she is confronted with a local drama: a youngman from the village, Lambert, whose sister took her own life, accuses the count of being responsible for his sister's death, for having sexually assaulted her. The two men have a duel of honour, in which Lambert is severely wounded, and the count's honour is saved. Ursula acts as a nurse to Lambert, and falls in love with him, only to find out that Lambert is secretly her aunt's lover. One night, the count too, finds out his wife's affair, and again the two men fight, this time Lambert kills the count. Ursula helps him to escape. Florence, mad with jealousy and hatred for her niece, sets the police after him. Written by
The production was plagued with problems. Severe flooding happened in Spain during the filming. In addition, the director Roger Vadim, and actors Stephen Boyd and Brigitte Bardot all fell ill during the making of the movie. Stephen Boyd initially questioned whether he would work with Bardot again publicly (ironically he would work with Bardot again in 'Shalako'), but very quickly corrected his comments. His description of Bardot was that she had 'the mind of a child, but physically she was like a panther on the prowl.' He would later clarify his remarks to indicate that he 'loved' working with her, and that she won him over. They also became friends (See Vogue Magazine Feb 1958), and had a 'inside joke/word' they shared - 'beddibize'. See more »
The position of the bra and knickers (15th minute)hanging on the fence changes between shots. See more »
In 1956, Roger Vadim made a sensational debut as a motion picture director with 'And God Created Woman', a daringly erotic film that challenged conventional views of romanticism... Vadim presented the nude body of his young wife, Brigitte Bardot, in all the splendor of CinemaScope with beautiful Technicolor photography...
Along with Francois Truffaut, Louis Malle, Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Demy and Agnes Varda, Vadim was one of the founding members of the revolutionary French New Wave, to push the sexual archetype...
His subsequent films revealed him to be an accomplished European filmmaker with an eye for visual beauty and decorative elegance, but in content, his films have often been superficial and lacking in narrative strength... Sexual relations have been a recurrent theme in his films, the plot of which have often revolved around the undisputed beauty of his succession of wives - Brigitte Bardot, Annette Stroyberg, and Jane Fonda...
"The Night Heaven Fell" is the second collaboration between Vadim and Bardot... Vadim seems to have attempted to recapture the freshness and essence of the 'B.B.' he had helped to shape, but the re-creation escaped him, despite the careful choice of Albert Vidalie's novel and the casting of Stephen Boyd as leading man...
Bardot's innocently natural mannerisms had disappeared, and it seemed that she no longer needed Vadim to make use of her talents as an accomplished actress... Claude Autant-Lara succeeded much more with his film, 'Love Is My Profession,' playing Brigitte opposite Jean Gabin and Edwige Feuillere... Bardot came off as more than a sexual image, her persona giving life to the character she portrayed...
Filmed in Franco's Spain, "The Night Heaven Fell" is a sunburned film noir, beautifully photographed in Color and CinemaScope...
Bardot plays Ursula, a beautiful convent girl vacationing in a small village in rural Spain where her patient and passive Aunt Florentine and her rude uncle, the Count Ribera (Pepe Nieto), live... Upon her arrival, she's hunted by the handsome and forceful Lamberto (Stephen Boyd), who's looking to avenge the death of his poor sister...
The sexually repressed Florentine desires intensely Lamberto who kills her husband, seduces her, and escapes with her rebellious, capricious and highly provocative niece Ursula...
The air of harshness is at the heat of all of the main characters: Ursula's challenging sexuality; Count Ribera's lecherous advances; Lamberto's acts of vengeance; and most of all, the unusual beauty and natural charm of Florentine, played by the great Italian actress Alida Valli, from Carol Reed's The Third Man.
There's a scene in the film that takes place during the Count's funeral where we see Alida Valli stopping in the village streets and a veil covers her face... In front of Boyd, she takes off her dark veil, and stares, in silence, at his face... Her new feminist disposition was loading all her unconscious feelings...
In the fifties, Bardot emerged as a new type of sex symbol, flashing her sexual exuberance... Her performances as a child of nature responding to the call of sensuality, were a deliciously strange elixir to all of us growing up in that time...
Clothed in a breakaway towel, décolletage, bathing suits, or nude, this truly luscious coquette was enough to drive us into a kaleidoscope of dynamic excitement...
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