The year is 40,000. After peaceful floating in zero-gravity, astronaut Barbarella lands on the frozen planet Lythion and sets out to find renowned scientist Durand Durand in the City of Night, Sogo, where a new sin is invented every hour. There, she encounters such objects as the Excessive Machine, a genuine sex organ on which an expert artist of the keyboard, in this case, Durand Durand himself, can drive a victim to death by pleasure, a lesbian queen who can make her fantasies take form in her Chamber of Dreams, and a group of ladies smoking a giant hookah which dispenses Essence of Man through a poor victim struggling in its glass globe. You can not help but be impressed by the special effects crew and the various ways that were found to tear off what minimal clothes our heroine seemed to possess.Written by
Ian McKellen flew to Rome to audition for a part. Although he didn't get it, he told Empire magazine that Jane Fonda cooked him breakfast while he was waiting to do his read through. See more »
When Barbarella exits her spaceship and almost gets hit by a falling piece of debris, a crew member's hand can be seen for a split second pushing the rock off the top of the ship. See more »
Stand by for a message from Dianthus, President of Earth and Rotating Premier of the Sun System.
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In the opening credits, the letters in the words move around in an attempt to obscure Barbarella's nudity. See more »
The version now on video in Australia is of the Laser Disc version which has a more "nude" opening credit scene. The difference in the credits occurs when 'David Hemmings' credit appears, from then on the floating titles reveal more of Jane Fonda than the original version and video did. See more »
Campy sci-fi based on the French comics has Jane Fonda playing the title role, a futuristic superhero who is asked by the President of Earth to travel to a distant planet and rescue a doctor. I can understand why this film has gained a cult following over the past few decades but to me this thing is still a pretty big mess and it's somewhat shocking watching the film to day and looking back and wondering what the original producers were thinking. I mean, if you look at the "story" of this thing, it's a complete mess and it's all over the place. I'm not exactly sure what they were trying to do in regards to the story but it's a complete misfire. Not for a single second do you care about Barbarella's adventure nor do you care about anything she's doing in the film. The reason the film remains entertaining is because it's simply so strange and surreal. Visually the film is quite impressive as a bunch of pulp. The set design and costumes are certainly memorable and the now laughable special effects have a mild charm to them. What really keeps the film moving is seeing someone like Fonda doing a role like this. She's very good in the role, there's no doubt about it, as she can handle the campy moments as well as deliver on the sexuality of the character. Her nude striptease that starts the film is certainly the highlight but they needed more of these throughout. John Phillip Law isn't all that "good" in the film but there's no question that his angel character is quite memorable. Director Roger Vadim doesn't bring enough life, energy or fire to any of the scenes to really make them work and that's certainly not good when you're dealing with a film like this one. BARBARELLA certainly deserves its label as a camp classic but it's just not entertaining enough to be fully rewarding.
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