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Jane Fonda





Paramount, 1968.  Directed by Roger Vadim.  Camera:  Claude Renoir.  With Jane Fonda, John Phillip Law, Anita Pallenberg, Milo O'Shea, David Hemmings, Marcel Marceau, Ugo Tognazzi, Claude Dauphin, Antonio Sabato, Talitha Pol, Serge Marquand, Véronique Vendell, Maria Thérèse Orsini, Catherine Chevalier, Sergio Ferrero, Giancarlo Cobelli, Nino Musco, Chantal Cachin, Romolo Valli, Franco Gulà, Barbara Winner, Carla Rousso, Umberto Di Grazia.

Barbarella, a beautiful 41st-century astronaut, is ordered by the President of Earth to find Durand-Durand, an Earth scientist who has disappeared with the secret of the Positronic Ray, the ultimate weapon.  Landing on the planet Lythion, Barbarella is attacked by carnivorous dolls manipulated by two seemingly sweet twin girls.  Bearded hunter Mark Hand rescues her and reveals that Durand-Durand is in the city of Sogo.  Barbarella shows her appreciation by making love to him in the "old-fashioned" way that has long been replaced on Earth by exaltation-transference pills.

Taking off again, Barbarella accidentally crashes into a labyrinth inhabited by outcasts from Sogo.  Once the kindly orchid-chewing Professor Ping has repaired her spaceship, the blind angel Pygar flies her to Sogo after his will to fly is restored by Barbarella during a sexual therapy session in his nest.  The pair are soon captured by Sogo's Black Queen and her concierge; Pygar is subjected to a mock crucifixion and then seduced by the Queen, while Barbarella barely escapes being pecked to death by hundreds of birds.

Dildano, her rescuer and head of the local underground revolutionaries, agrees to help her find Durand-Durand; in return, Barbarella shows him how to make love by means of finger-touching while under the influence of the exaltation-transference pills.  But Dildano's bumbling assistance only leads to Barbarella's recapture by the concierge, who is revealed as none other than Durand-Durand himself.  The wicked scientist tries to kill Barbarella by sealing her in a machine that induces fatal sexual pleasure; instead, Barbarella's stamina causes the machine to blow all its fuses.

Durand-Durand then attempts to destroy the Black Queen, but she retaliates by releasing the viscous substance that surrounds the city and has fed off its evil.  As Sogo crumbles around them, Pygar clutches Barbarella and the Black Queen in his arms and flies off with them.  When Barbarella asks Pygar why he saved the evil but seductive Queen, he smiles slyly and says, "An angel has no memory."

The film is based on the comic strip "Barbarella" by Jean-Claude Forest (Paris, 1964).

Music includes:  "The Black Queen's Beads" by Charles Fox and Bob Crewe; "Barbarella," "Love Love Love Drags Me Down," and "I Love All the Love in You," music and lyrics by Charles Fox and Bob Crewe, sung by The Glitterhouse; and "An Angel Is Love," music and lyrics by Charles Fox and Bob Crewe, performed by The Bob Crewe Generation.

American Film Institute Catalog


Additional photos courtesy of Rikke