Don Juan (Or If Don Juan Were a Woman) (1973) Poster

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The 2 Je t'aime women together in BB's last film. Erotic!
zensixties17 October 2003
Brigitte Bardot stars here in her last film along with Jane Birkin, the other singer who recorded the Serge Gainesbourg hit, "Je t'aime". This film is worth seeing, as we see BB's and Vadim's evolution from "And God Created Woman" to this post-sixties over-the-top comedy-drama.

We get some great nude scenes with Brigitte and Jane, and BB's character Jeanne is someone fed up with men, so she resorts to seduce and destroy tactics. As in "And God Created Woman" she's pretty much playing herself, but with an exaggerated storyline of driving men to ruin, murder, and suicide. The campy ironic humor is there in such scenarios as seducing a priest as well as setting up a fake menage-a-trois to madden a bete homme. Also a scene with Robert Walker Jr. (Charlie X in Star Trek TOS) where the price she asks for making love is no less than his life, which he takes seriously. The ending is a multiple meaning one as BB saves a man who makes her "pay for her sins" (though he's unappreciative). I think the end hits home for Brigitte in real life saying in effect, "look you male-dominated world, you've made my life hell". And it's the last scene she ever did on film. Worth seeing for it's erotic quality (but what BB film isn't), the submarine home, the early '70s fashions, and the camp.
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"Raise the Edge of Your Gown - We're Goin' Through Hell!"
dwingrove9 September 2003
A veritable orgy of campy decor and even campier dialogue ("If there's one thing I can't stand, it's being treated the way I treat other people!") this would-be erotic extravaganza stars an ageing and puffy Brigitte Bardot as a jet-set nymphomaniac - who fancies herself a reincarnation of the 16th century Spanish seducer. Both the film and its heroine labour under the delusion of being a whole lot sexier than they really are.

The "plot" (I use the term loosely) involves Bardot confessing to a dishy priest (Mathieu Carriere) how she drove one of her lovers to suicide. Half an hour into this mess, and you'll know how the poor b**tard felt. Undaunted by the tedium around her, Bardot seduces a married lawyer (Maurice Ronet) and they jet off to Sweden, supposed Paradise of Free Love. (Never mind if the Bacchanalian revels we SEE are no more steamy than your average Sunday school picnic.)

On a boat train to London, Bardot enjoys a lesbian frolic with the young and nubile wife (Jane Birkin) of a sleazy gangster (Robert Hossein). How the sight of Bardot and Birkin, nude in bed together, could be turned into such a non-event is still beyond me. No matter. Bardot sets her insatiable sights on a hippie musician played by Robert Walker, Jr. Yes, he's the son of Bruno from Strangers on a Train and 40s icon Jennifer Jones...although talent HAS been known to skip a generation.

Granted, Don Juan '73 is an abysmal movie, but there is fun to be had. Birkin looks heart-meltingly gorgeous and Ronet even tries to do some acting - though why he should bother when nobody else does is one of life's mysteries. Anyone who shares my weakness for bouffant hairdos, zebra-skin rugs and purple velvet flares will probably enjoy it. Still, the final impression is of Vadim, after 15 years as a high-style provocateur, struggling to keep up with a Flower Power audience. Is there any sight sadder than hipster who's been out-hipped?

David Melville
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And Bardot created Vadim.
dbdumonteil16 May 2004
Brigitte Bardot must have had a very strong personality to make "and God created woman" the smash hit it was at the end of the fifties.Vadim/Bardot,it's Pygmalion in reverse :an actress who had un petit je ne sais quoi who created the worst director of the whole nouvelle vague.Vadim made half a dozen of movies with BB,each one lousier than the one before.This one takes the biscuit:not only a good cast is wasted (Robert Hossein,Matthieu Carrière,Maurice Ronet,Jane Birkin)but most of the time ,the movie and BB's lines are unintentionally funny:how can we take seriously this priest ,BB's cousin?the macho Hossein and his wife who discovers Sapphic pleasures with Jeanne/Don Juan?

One cannot even call this farce "woman's lib" because Jeanne is chastised for having been a bad gal,like the true Don Juan.

NB:It's BB last real film;afterwards,she was to appear in a small part in "l'histoire très bonne et très joyeuse de Colinot Trousse-Chemise"(1973),which, in spite of its title ,was neither "très bonne" nor "très joyeuse".Then it was silence.Outside Garbo ,there's no other example of an actress ,still young (BB was 39),who calls it quits at such an early age.She became an animal rights activist -and still is-.
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I could imagine that films like this led to Bardot's early retirement
MartinHafer22 October 2010
Just after this film and a small part in one other, top screen star Brigitte Bardot retired from films at age 39. Perhaps she was just tired of the life, perhaps she was rich enough and more money held little attraction or perhaps appearing in crap like this film just took the joy out of the life of an actress. I suspect all three are quite likely reasons for this retirement--and you'd think an actress like her could have gotten roles better than this bilge!

The film is, in many ways, like a porno film without much sex--with a plot that weak and silly. Bardot plays an impossible to believe and completely amoral woman who takes delight in sleeping around and eventually destroying men....or at least casting them aside and letting them destroy themselves. She goes from one conquest to another and there is absolutely no depth or story--just wigs, nice fashions and, occasionally, a boobie. All this is, supposedly, told to a priest to whom she is confessing--like the plot from a bad porno film!!! The dialog, story and acting are all crap and the film doesn't offer enough salacious content to justify wasting your time---even if you see it out of curiosity. Dull, stupid and a waste of a beautiful and very talented woman. I give this film a 1 because I cannot see how anyone could make sex or Bardot dull--but they did! Talk about a waste of talent!!

By the way, one of the reviewers was particularly harsh towards director Vadim for this and many other travesties. Based on his films that I have seen (such as this, the 'remake' of "And God Created Woman", "Barbarella" and others), this attack seems entirely justified.
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Don't listen to the bad reviews !!!
adiovadia4 January 2019
One of the best film of Vadim and Bardot. Brigitte Bardot is amazing as always, and the plot is very interesting and touching . If you love French melodramas you should watch this one
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A generally exploitation-, and interest-, free zone.
alice liddell29 March 2000
Much less exploitative than you would expect, DON JUAN is a generally sympathetic account of how a female Don Juan, a kind of author-figure, wreaks havoc on weak-willed masculinity, before burning in a man-made hell herself. The misogyny of this outcome is tempered if we see the film less about Don Juan (the sex/death routine is not altogether digested), than BB retiring from a generally unyielding film-career, and the private, male-driven hell that was its result, giving the film an appealing relish of revenge. Of course, it is, if I may say so under IMDb guidelines, atrociously made, and becomes tiresome after about five minutes.
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A great film.
Screenrights14 October 2012
Some reviewers seem not to notice the golden irony that BB, who was ready to quit acting without needing a swansong, chose a vehicle, the value of which she could not fail to comprehend, in which men commit suicide after making love to BB. She is natural and resigned to the penultimate finale of her career. Maurice Ronet acquits himself perfectly as the torn antihero. He is the perfect foil to her underplayed and subtle excesses. This film didn't need any association with Don Juan to work more than adequately on several levels. Not only does it excel in irony but also in theatrical sarcasm with the 'God created woman' embroiled in a hellish inferno in a finale of post-modern design, her nemesis entombed in what might be an analogy for shifting sands. I feel that, in life, she was always lost, this belief reinforced when we exchanged pleasantries in Cannes in 1969.
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whatsupomar9 May 2018
To get it out of the way, I never believed that Roger Vadim created BB or vice versa. They were both products of a film era that needed urgently some sexual awakening with the difference that he was a not-so-hot writer-director while she was a force of nature waiting to unleash her power. And boy did she do it!

Almost two decades after "Et Dieu... créa la femme" (1956) and after trying for years to replicate its success with BB stand-ins (Jane Fonda, Annette Stroyberg, Rebecca De Mornay, etc.) Vadim reunited with Bardot for what must have seemed (to them) a terrific idea: BB, the eternal seducer as Don Juan, the seducer par excellence. BB playing a stud? Not on your life! Her part is of a female seducer who thinks she was Don Juan on a previous incarnation. Really.

I think all this Don Juan business is just an excuse to show some hanky panky between Bardot and Birkin since lesbian love scenes were very popular in the early 70s and Vadim gracefully obliged. After all, if he wanted to presume of remaining a cinema transgresseur, showing BB in a lesbian situation is not such a bad idea. However by 1973 Bardot was no longer BB, that half a child, half a woman that conquered the world. Mind you, her charm and personality was still there but her face showed the puffiness and lines of middle age in spite of being shot through filters and special lightning.

Maybe the Don Juan concept could have worked better ten or fifteen years before but, if you are a Bardot follower, you know she did something very similar in Julien Duvivier´s "La femme et le pantin" (1959) filmed in Spain. I say "similar" because the story, although based on a novel by Pierre Louÿs, owes a lot to Prosper Mérimée' s "Carmen", that gypsy dame who plays with men' s emotions, a part that seem designed for BB who was then at the top of her powers as the ultimate seductress. Who is Carmen but a female version of Don Juan?

In short this is a not-so-good-film that must be seen for several reasons. First of all because it marked the end of Bardot' s film career (she did another film in 1973 and that was it), also for the presence of two actors that are also true cinema legends, Maurice Ronet and Robert Hossein (both deserve better). Last but not least, some praise must go to the Eastmancolor cinematography by veteran cameraman Henri Decaë. The rest you can throw away, Vadim et all.
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Bardotsalvador29 December 2010
I saw this movie not long ago after many years of looking for it , this is the last time ever Brigitte Bardot and Roger Vadim will work together and this is the last time Bardot will be the star of a major movie her last movie was a small part in Colinot the following year meaning 1974 ,any movie with Bardot is worth watching she is always charming and perfect and so beautiful in this movie she is Don Juan or some type of Don Juan she is great I love the movie from beginning to end not long ago Jane Birkin she is in the movie too, she said to vanity fair the American version that the day she meet Bardot she was breathless as how beautiful she was she said Brigitte was flawless, BARDOT IS UNIQUE HER BEAUTY IS ALWAYS THE MAIN ATRACTION IN A MOVIE but she can be good too and very charming, she have the it, sadly she retired after 1974 and never comeback, today she is 78 years old and doing good for animals, she is the last super star alive
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