With Barbarella, Jane Fonda followed in the footsteps of Brigitte Bardot not just as director Roger Vadim’s screen muse and off-screen partner, but also in becoming an international sex symbol thanks to their collaboration, just as B.B. had in And God Created Woman (1956).
This comic book adaptation follows its titular heroine as she attempts to transport villain Durand Durand (Milo O’Shea) back to Earth from his prison on a distant planet. A crash landing at the end of her journey sets Barbarella off on a series of adventures involving angels, rebels, queens, living energy, and her discovery of the benefits of physical intimacy, long forgotten on her home planet. This is a film of high camp, revelling in opulent sets and imagery, with gloriously over the top performances from practically everyone but Fonda, whose reserve serves the character’s innocence perfectly.