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Rated PG
Copyright 1968 Dino de Laurentiis Cinematografica.
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Barbarella - Jane Fonda! Ted Turner's little communist is sort of an intergalactic special agent.
  • Duran Duran - HEHEHE! (Sorry, his name gives me the giggles, and according to Leonard Maltin that is where the band got it from.) Mad scientist intent on conquering the universe, generally out to cause hate and discontent. Eaten by the Magmous.
  • Pygar - Last of the ornithothropes, he's an Angel, literally.
  • The Great Tyrant - Attractive and evil ruler of Lythion, she likes the word "pretty."
  • Dildano - Inept revolutionary who wishes to overthrow the evil empire, zapped into the fourth dimension.
  • Professor Ping - Kind scientist who assists the unfortunates banished into the labyrinth, also zapped.
  • Marcan - Barbarian guy in charge of herding wild children (Now that's daycare.), he saves Barbarella from the evil kiddies and introduces her to some old fashioned loving...
  • Alfie - The ship's computer.
  • The Magmous - A presence which surrounds the city and feeds off evil, it appears to be a huge lava lamp.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Ho Chi Minh's favorite exercise queen stars in this amazing piece of science fiction, oh yes, Jane Fonda. What really amazes me is the movie's PG rating, considering the fact that Barbarella's antigravity breasts go bouncing through a few scenes sans clothing. (Plus there's another woman hanging from leather straps later on.) Don't try and give me all that, "It was the 60's." crap either. Our heroine is dispatched to prevent a new weapon from destroying the harmony of the known universe. If one thing was threatening harmony it is this movie's soundtrack, I was toturing the cat by humming snippets to it. (Kitty actually fled the room.) After her spaceship crashes things really get weird, she encounters wild children, leather robots, Pygar, the Great Tyrant, and carnivorous parakeets. When Barbarella finally locates Duran Duran (Hehe! Sorry...) the scientist is a madman, seeking to conquer the universe and give her a fatal orgasm. I didn't stutter my friends, he straps the woman into a strange "pleasure organ/piano" thing and plays a tune which should kill her with ecstasy. It doesn't work, Barbarella shorts out the machine and it bursts into flames. Soon after this the Great Tyrant sets free the Magmous and all heck breaks loose, the end. If that wasn't warning enough I'm telling you now: This movie is all over the place and insanely groovy. After the shock of watching Barbarella strip out of her spacesuit in zero gravity (She's obviously laying on plate glass with the camera above her.), I noticed the red shag carpet covering the spaceship's interior top to bottom. For a state of the art spacecraft her ship had some issues, like the acid trip view screen and a disturbing habit of colliding with solid objects, like a planet. Let's not forget this is the future and all the messy pleasure associated with that disgusting habit of sexual intercourse has been overcome, now you just take a pill and hold hands... ...until Barbarella gets her pipes cleaned by Marcan, then she does agree "Wider is..." I mean, "The old ways are better."

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Orange shag carpet is the ultimate in spaceship decor.
  • Stingrays are used as draft horses on other worlds.
  • Sadistic children scream like a flock of seagulls.
  • In the future sexual gratification is achieved by taking a pill and holding hands. (My thoughts exactly...)
  • Orchids are not very filling.
  • Angels make nests.
  • Public suicide chambers need to be clearly marked.
  • Parakeets are carnivorous.
  • Having some woman smoke me in a bong is the stuff nightmares are made of.
  • The world will be swallowed by an evil lava lamp monster.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 5 mins - RANDOM GRATUITOUS BREAST SHOT! (Wait, this is PG?)
  • 17 mins - Earth's number one agent was just captured by two eight year old girls.
  • 19 mins - These weird kids are feeding her to mechanical dolls.
  • 43 mins - It's a flying sundae of death!
  • 47 mins - Lady, how exactly do you plan on hiding his wings?
  • 64 mins - Should have paid the electric bill Dildano...
  • 72 mins - Now that's a password.
  • 77 mins - Is there a guy in that bong?
  • 79 mins - Duran Duran (Hehe!) has her in this weird piano/organ thing, it's sucking her clothes off... ...and, um, doing other things.


  • The President of Earth: "What I must tell you is not only grave, it's a secret."
    Barbarella: "A secret?"
  • Great Tyrant: "I'm also the Great Tyrant."
    Barbarella: "Well, that's nice."

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note barbarella1.wav Marcan: "Barbarella!"
Green Music Note barbarella2.wav Barbarella: "Are you an Angel?"
Pygar: "I'm Pygar, the last of the ornithothropes."
Green Music Note barbarella3.wav Great Tyrant: "You're very pretty pretty pretty."
Barbarella: "My name isn't Pretty Pretty it's Barbarella."
Green Music Note barbarella4.wav Barbarella: "I'm here on the orders of the President of the Republic of Earth. I'm here to find Duran Duran."
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipbarbarella1.mpg - 2.1m
Pygar and Barbarella battle evil sundaes, it goes without saying that the enemy were not very well armed. The angel is out of shape and she is using a hand weapon...

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 ... 8 9 [10]
Re: Barbarella
Reply #73. Posted on October 23, 2011, 09:09:51 PM by Xaneth
I saw this when it hit VHS, in fact, it was the first VHS rental I ever made!  Fonda was hot in this one...
Re: Barbarella
Reply #74. Posted on July 24, 2012, 11:43:32 PM by FatFreddysCat
Just watched this flick for the first time after wanting to see it for many years aaaaand... it's an utter mess. But boy, Jane Fonda looked pretty freakin' hot.

I guess the remake that was spoken of earlier in this thread never came to pass, too bad. I'd heard at one time that Robert Rodriguez wanted Rose McGowan to play Barbarella (this was shortly after they'd worked together on "Planet Terror.") Now that would've been SMOKIN'!!
Re: Barbarella
Reply #75. Posted on July 25, 2012, 08:25:22 AM by Rev. Powell
Just recently watched this again after many, many years.  It was great kitsch but not as good as I remembered---I think most of the effect has to do with staring at the screen with utter disbelief as to what's going on. Since I knew the plot I found myself paying a lot more attention this time around to the crazy sets and costumes. Shag carpeting in a spaceship, oh my!
Re: Barbarella
Reply #76. Posted on July 25, 2012, 02:38:49 PM by FatFreddysCat
Shag carpeting in a spaceship, oh my!

Austin Powers would've been right at home, eh? :D
Re: Barbarella
Reply #77. Posted on February 19, 2014, 05:27:18 AM by Trevor
I believe this was banned in South Africa: looking at it today, I can't imagine why.  TeddyR
Re: Barbarella
Reply #78. Posted on May 17, 2014, 04:54:56 PM by BoyScoutKevin
I believe this was banned in South Africa: looking at it today, I can't imagine why.  TeddyR

I can't either, but how about the magazine serial (1962) and the book adaptation (1964), were they banned, too?

"I demand a remake."
Reading the original comic strip upon which this film was based, or, at least, the 1st volume, while out of order, one can see what elements were taken to make this film. But, a more faithful adaptation of the original comic strip would also make a good film. There's this scene in the original comic strip, which I don't believe was in the film, for example . . .

"Faking out a guard."
Barbarella and her BFF have to re-enter Barbarella's crashed spaceship to retrieve the weapons required by the rebels, but there's a guard. So, to distract him, Barbarella undresses, and then when he gets close enough to see what is going on, they grab him, and then in a series of sexual gymnastics, they leave him naked and virtually comatose, and so physically weakened, he can't get off the ground. This scene works, but . . .

"A more callow character"
It'd work better (i.e. "Private Lessons,") be more believable (i.e. "L'Anticristo,") and more credible (i.e. "Lair of the White Worm,") if the character was far younger and far less experienced than the character seen in the original comic strip.

But, how low can you go, ere you lose your audience?
19? 18? 17? 16? 15?

The filmmakers did lower the ages of two of the characters in the original comic strip. If they are 8 in the film, then they are 18 in the original comic strip or what seems to be the international age of majority in most works of fiction.

"It's reputation precedes it."
Maybe it's France
or maybe it's the 1st half of the '60's
or for some other reason, but . . .?
I was surprised at how straight-laced the original comic strip was.
Except for some . . .
talk of spanking, which we never see,
and a hint of a "menage a trois," in the last panel of the 1st volume of the original comic strip,
there's nothing really kinky about it. Which maybe why . . .

"Much to my surprise!"
You couldn't do it in 1968 or the year of the film, but there is talk of doing it as a TV series, as of last year or 2013, it was still being written without any casting decisions being made. The only question is what network here in the U.S. would it be seen on, as it would be appropriate for most of the TV channels, since it is no more risque than "Game of Thrones" or many of the shows now on TV.

And, oh yes, the film was turned into a stage musical in 2004.
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