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Barbarella
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Reviews & Ratings for
Barbarella More at IMDbPro »

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134 out of 177 people found the following review useful:

the most beautiful film ever made

10/10
Author: vampiremovies from Suffolk, uk
11 August 2003

This film is beautiful. From the gorgeous Jane Fonda, and sexy Pygar to the wonderful costumes, and the very shiney sets, there is nothing ugly in the whole thing.

Unbelievably silly it has some fantastic lines of dialogue like "de-crucify the angel or I melt your face!" Great characters, a killer lava lamp, fur lined space ship and a villain called Duran Duran.

The evil organ of desire scene, and the opening strip tease still manage to be erotic, even though this film is dated. Cult with a capital C, this is never going to appeal to a mainstream audience, and yet remains my favourite movie of all time. A classic. And very pretty pretty.

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87 out of 105 people found the following review useful:

Essential Sci-Fi

10/10
Author: jskinner-1 from Buffalo, NY
14 December 2004

This is eye candy from start to finish-- *including* one of the most baroque title sequences ever concocted (long before digital technology made this kind of playful titling standard). It's Franco-Italian design all the way through, a celebration of petroleum products and the best of the lava lamp aesthetic. Hard to tell if it's a parody of sci-fi or a parody of porn, or same difference is probably the point. There are some very stylized, sadomasochistic uses of Jane Fonda's long legs, at the same time that Fonda delivers the wittiest lines, in a very witty screenplay by Terry Southern (of Doctor Strangelove fame): "Decrucify my angel immediately!" (Kids, see if you can spot the Chucky in this 1968 precursor.) Skeptics should stay the course to learn what Duran Duran has to do with Barbarella. And Barbarella with the Black Queen. And the Black Queen with the Rolling Stones. And if you don't know what camp is, then you have to see Barbarella: even if the film is more sublime than camp, a kind of psychedelic Brechtian fantasia. (If that's not a contradiction in terms, then this isn't on my sci-fi shortlist.) One to own, to watch again and again.

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66 out of 77 people found the following review useful:

The greatest psychedelic science fiction sex comedy ever made!

Author: Infofreak from Perth, Australia
26 March 2003

I first saw 'Barbarella' on TV as a small child in the 1970s and along with 'The Omega Man', 'One Million Years B.C.', and 'Jason and the Argonauts' the movie blew my tiny little mind! I think my interest in cult and bizarre began from seeing this classic slice of 1960s psychedelic trash for the first time. This is one of the silliest movies ever made, but still one of the most entertaining. Jane Fonda, then at the peak of her sex kitten period (history lesson - this was before "radical Jane" and "corporate Jane"), has never looked lovelier than in this movie, and manages to really pull off Barbarella's wide-eyed innocence. Anita Pallenberg (co-star of 'Performance' and then Keith Richards' "old lady") is stunning as The Great Tyrant, even if her voice is dubbed, and her handful of scenes with Fonda are unforgettable. The rest of the eclectic supporting cast includes cult favourites John Phillip Law ('Diabolik') as Pygar, the blind angel, David Hemmings ('Profondo Rosso') as Dildano a revolutionary, and Milo O'Shea ('Theatre Of Blood') as renegade Earth scientist Duran Duran. 'Barbarella' contains some of the most striking and surreal images of the 1960s (the doll attack scene is one of my all time favourites!), and is definitely one of the most bizarre science fiction movies ever made. Like many of the 1960s more excessive movies it is a real love it or hate it proposition. I love it of course, and think it, Russ Meyer's 'Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!', and Roger Corman's 'The Trip' are the three greatest 1960s trash classics. This is simply absolutely essential viewing for all 1960s buffs, science fiction or otherwise. Long live 'Barbarella'!

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50 out of 62 people found the following review useful:

Pop Art

Author: Bucs1960 from West Virginia
25 July 2002

I'm not sure if I liked this film or hated it!! It reminds me of "Danger:Diabolik", that flash trash movie also with John Phillip Law. It is bright and loud and trashy with a little soft porn thrown in for good measure. It does tend to hold your interest throughout, maybe because you can't wait to see what outrageous scene will assault your senses next. And oh, all that phallic symbolism! Roger Vadim certainly exploited Jane Fonda in this one and she would probably like to forget the whole thing....but you've got to admit she doesn't look too bad in that plastic see-through bustier. John Phillip Law, who is a handsome devil(oops, angel), plays the part of the blind angel, Pygar, without emotion or feeling....but he played every character he ever portrayed exactly the same way. He wasn't much of an actor but it works here. This film screams the 60's, so turn on, tune out, plug in your lava lamp and take a look at it. You'll love it or hate it but you are guaranteed to have fun with it. It's the epitome of pop art!

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42 out of 48 people found the following review useful:

Sexed-Up and Super-Silly

7/10
Author: gftbiloxi (gftbiloxi@yahoo.com) from Biloxi, Mississippi
17 August 2005

If you're looking for a cult classic, they don't come much stranger than sexed-up and super-silly BARBARELLA, the peculiar tale of an intergalactic secret agent (Jane Fonda) sent to a rebel planet to find a mad scientist named Duran Duran (Milo O'Shea.) Directed by Fonda's then-husband Roger Vadim, the film is less concerned with creating a coherent storyline than it is in finding inventive ways to strip Fonda of her already skimpy outfits.

In this it is remarkably successful, and Fonda actually has both enough sex appeal and round-eyed innocence to carry the thing off, emerging as something like a Barbie doll; John Philip Law strikes a similar note as the sexy but equally innocent "angel" Pygar. The designs are 1960s psychedelic with as many Freudian twists as the film's makers can come up with, and when all is said and done you can't help but roll your eyes in amusement.

True enough, BARBARELLA was probably much more entertaining back in the days LSD, and indeed one might read the entire thing as an acid trip time machine. No one in the cast takes the film very seriously, and neither should you; when all is said and done it has all the depth of a pancake, not so much funny as merely amusing and appealing to a very high-camp sensibility. But as cult movies go, it ranks right up at the top. Give a party and show it on a double bill with FLESH GORDON! Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer

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51 out of 69 people found the following review useful:

All the plot of a high-budget porn...

Author: Raptor in Black from San Francisco
5 March 2003

Really and truly, this could be the plot of one of the more "high-brow" types of porn. I watched this with a bunch of other girls for a class, and we could not stop laughing the entire time.

See Jane Fonda meet men from around the galaxy, and have sex with them! Dare your friends to count how many times she changes her costume!! Sparks deep philosophical discussion, like what exactly the writers were on when they wrote this. Great fun, not to be missed!

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36 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

'Camp: so outrageously artificial, affected, inappropriate, or out-of-date as to be considered amusing.'

8/10
Author: TxMike from Houston, Tx, USA, Earth
13 May 2004

'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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26 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Pure Candy

7/10
Author: kcfireplug from United States
16 October 2006

If you're looking for a quality science fantasy experience, you will probably be disappointed in BARBARELLA, which tells a typical story of an intergallactic astronaught who is sent on a mission to save a brilliant scientist from the clutches of an evil force that threatens to destroy the universe.

On her quest she finds daunting foes, unexpected comrades and twists and turns like any good superhero story should have. The only problem is that her world is made up of Christmas lights, cellophane and balsa wood, and it's all held together with scotch tape.

However what some might consider schlock entertainment, I saw it as pure camp all the way, with some hysterical situations and outrageous costumes draped over not-so-difficult-to-look-at actors (especially our babe-o-naught Ms. Fonda), and to top off the cake we have an icing of infectious music by comedic composer Charles Fox (9 to 5, Foul Play) and singer/songwriter Bob Crewe.

This is pure candy all the way so don't expect any nutrition here, but if you let it happen instead of looking for more, you may find yourself inspired to watch it again and again, when you don't feel like using any brain cells in this dimension.

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37 out of 63 people found the following review useful:

Response to Stamper

9/10
Author: mini-15 (mini-14@excite.com) from United States
27 January 2005

Stamper's assessment of Barbarella is accurate, but all the reasons he states is why I love this movie. The plot is cheesy, the dialogue ranges from goofy to corny, the special effects are pre-George Lucas, and the tag line of "an angel IS love" is testimony to the worst remnants of goof ball 1960's culture. However, the set and costume designs are unbelievable, and the opportunity to observe Jane Fonda and Anita Pallenberg gallivanting about attired in fabulously sexy outfits is worth the price of admission. Yes, Jane is a leftist wing-nut, but she was a stone fox in 1968, and I'm happy somebody made the effort to document this for posterity. And all Anita has to do is say "pretty pretty" in that low, sexy voice, and I understand why Brian, Keith, and Mick all lined up for a taste of this ultra hottie.

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32 out of 54 people found the following review useful:

Beyond imagination

4/10
Author: Albrecht Gaub from Madison, Wisconsin
9 March 2003

This is a movie you have to see, or you will not believe it. Categories like "good" or "bad" simply do not exist in the aesthetic limbo in which this film was made. I should mention I saw Barbarella in a movie theatre in Montreal, and there is no other city in the world where Barbarella's "parlez-vous français?" (uttered twice!) sounds more hilarious.

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