In Paris during the summer of 1914 a succession of brief liaisons begins and ends with a soldier and a tart, but on the way moves humourously and sometimes poignantly through a fascinating panorama of society and of attitudes to love.
After an in-flight anti-gravity striptease (masked by the film's opening titles), Barbarella, a 41st century astronaut, lands on the planet Lythion and sets out to find the evil Durand Durand in the city of Sogo, where a new sin is invented every hour. There, she encounters such objects as the Exessive Machine, a genuine sex organ on which an accomplished artist of the keyboard, in this case, Durand Durand himself, can drive a victim to death by pleasure, a lesbian queen who, in her dream chamber, can make her fantasies take form, and a group of ladies smoking a giant hookah which, via a poor victim struggling in its glass globe, dispenses Essance of Man. You can't help but be impressed by the special effects crew and the various ways that were found to tear off what few clothes our heroine seemed to possess. Based on the popular French comic strip. Written by
There was no Durand-Durand and no death ray in the original comic; the city was built around a monster that belched gas through a series of ducts, and the Great Tyrant wore an eye patch even in her true identity. See more »
When Mark Hand suggests having sex to Barbarella, she expects him to have "pills" for it. Later she is shocked that Dildano has them because only Earth People know of them. Neither man is from Earth. See more »
Stand by for a message from Dianthus, President of Earth and Rotating Premier of the Sun System.
See more »
In the opening credits, the letters in the words move around in an attempt to obscure Barbarella's nudity. See more »
'Camp: so outrageously artificial, affected, inappropriate, or out-of-date as to be considered amusing.'
'Barbarella: Queen of the Galaxy' is the epitome of 'camp.' The year was 1968, I was in my first year of graduate school, about to get married. I knew of 'Barbarella' but I had never seen it, until today. I think waiting 36 years has actually made the experience better. This is not by any definition a good movie. Jane Fonda, a very bright actress, plays Barbarella suitably as an 'innocent' sent on a mission to a distant galaxy to find the Earthling scientist Durand Durand and bring him back, along with his invention. The story itself is secondary, the charm of the movie resides in all the sexual situations that innocent Barbarella finds herself in. A perfect vehicle for the wild 1960s. The package blurb says 'she acts like a female James Bond.' Hardly. More like a female Austin Powers, and some of the characters would have fit better in a Monty Python movie.
The DVD is fine for an old movie, although blemishes are quite evident. What puzzles me is the 'PG' rating listed on the package and the disk. The opening scene, of Barbarella getting out of her space suit in the weightlessness of her spacecraft, clearly shows her breasts, and her nude butt. Very nice breasts and butt, at that, nonetheless inconsistent with a 'PG' rating. Plus many other scenes in the movie show groups of men and women in alluring positions, again with some obvious female nudity. So anyone who plans to view this movie with those under 18 should be aware of this. For an adult audience, it should not be an issue at all.
May 2013 update: It is now on Netflix streaming movies, with a rating of "R", and comes across very well.
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