Moviedrome Mondays: Barbarella (1968)

Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox personally feels that erotic French filmmaker Roger Vadim is not really a good director (read here) in his introduction to the 1968 science-fiction cult classic Barbarella. As one might have guessed, the film is based on Jean-Claude Forest’s comic book series of the same name (read here). The episode’s original airdate was June 26th, 1988 (read here). Anyone interested in reading the episode transcript, you can read it here. Despite having seen only three of Vadim’s films (this one, And God Created Woman and Pretty Maids All in a Row), I personally feel that Cox could potentially be wrong here because I love all three of the aforementioned titles. Nevertheless, Cox is correct when he calls Barbarella entertaining. I also agree with him that the production design and costumes serve as the standout aspects of the film (read here). I also enjoyed lead actress Jane Fonda’s portrayal of the title character. Interesting bit of trivia for my readers, Fonda was also married to director Vadim during this period (read here). For those interested in my favorite films of director Roger Vadim, read here. Also, you readers might be pleased to know, that I found a youtube link of Cox introducing this film on Moviedrome.

Here is the youtube link of Alex Cox’s introducing this film on Moviedrome

Also, here is a youtube link to the US trailer



14 thoughts on “Moviedrome Mondays: Barbarella (1968)

  1. I think Vadim was of his time, and good enough for me. ‘Barbarella’ is such fun, I don’t see how anyone couldn’t like it. And Jane is very sexy to look at too. It’s a win-win, in my book.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. I like Barbarella too. I agree with Pete–it’s a film of its time directed by a director of its time. It’s visually very interesting. Jane Fonda moved way beyond it and I’m glad. A lot of her 70s work is stellar.

  3. I saw Barbarella on Moviedrome many years ago, I was confused then, watched some clips on Youtube not long ago, that orgasm machine, highly amused this time. The only thing that seemed missing was the indicated, but never fulfilled, female pleasure activities between Barbarella and The Great Tyrant (Anita Pallenberg).
    This may sound crazy but I’ve heard it suggested that Barbarella might have indirectly helped make it possible for characters like Ellen Ripley to have the impact that they did.

  4. I find it very interesting that the character of Barbarella may have led to more lead female heroines of that sort. Thanks for the info 🙂 Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂

  5. I’m talking about Fonda’s performances, yes, but also the quality of films she appeared in after Barbarella. They Shoot Horses…Klute. Coming Home. To me these are superior films. As is On Golden Pond. But that’s just me.

  6. I’m talking about Fonda’s performances, yes, but also the quality of films she appeared in after Barbarella. They Shoot Horses…Klute. Coming Home. To me these are superior films. As is On Golden Pond. But that’s just me.

  7. I think since I am more of a directors kind of person, I tend to focus more on who the director is then the actor/actress aspect. Klute is very good, Coming Home is good, but it has been a long time since I have They Shoot Horses Don’t They and On Golden Pond so I would have to revisit those two. 🙂

  8. I have seen a few of Vadim’s films, ‘And God Created Woman’ (both versions), ‘Night Games,’ ‘Pretty Maids All in a Row,’ ‘Metzengerstein’ (his segment from Spirits of the Dead), ‘The Game is Over’ and ‘Barbarella.’ Technically, I found his films adequate. Some are entertaining while with others I was bored. I don’t think you could put him in at the level as other filmmakers of his time like Malle, Truffaut, Chabrol and Melville for example.

  9. Your opinion of Roger Vadim is not too much different from a lot of other people. For me, And God Created Women (the first version), Barbarella and Pretty Maids All in a Row are his best movies. You are right that it would be a stretch to say that he ranks up there with Louis Malle, Francois Truffaut, Claude Chabrol and Jean-Pierre Melville. Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂

  10. I always enjoyed Barbarella,always thought it was a hoot….a French take on our own Flash Gordon. I can’t sit here and say I’m a Vadim fan because I probably haven’t seen any of his other films other then a single viewing of “Pretty Maids……”
    I thought Jane Fonda looked great here and the fantasies elements were well done…the film LOOKS terrible today but it isn’t a bad film.

  11. Roger Vadim was French so I can totally see why you would view it as their take on Flash Gordon – very astute 🙂 Pretty Maids All in a Row is my number one favorite of his films. Personally, I am more of a Russ Meyer kind of guy than a Vadim kind of guy so I would rank the films of Meyer much higher than that of Vadim’s. This, despite the fact that I only saw three of Vadim’s films. Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂

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