The Adult Illustrated Fantasy Magazine Fan Page
Release Date - October 10, 1968 in Theaters. VHS released March 4, 1991. Laserdisc released January 26, 1994. DVD released June 22, 1999.
Running Time - 1hr. 38min.
MPAA Rating - PG (originally "Rated M" meaning "Suggested for Mature Audiences")
Distributor - Paramount Pictures
The Internet Movie Database
- Audio: English (Dolby Digital mono) and French (Dolby Digital mono)
- 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
- Theatrical Trailer - 3min.
Director - Roger Vadim
Writer - Jean-Claude Forest, Claude Brulé, Terry Southern, and Roger Vadim
Producer - Dino De Laurentiis
Cinematographer - Claude Renoir
Editor - Victoria Mercanton
- Jane Fonda - Barbarella
- John Phillip Law - Pygar
- Anita Pallenberg - The Great Tyrant
- Milo O'Shea - Concierge, aka Durand Durand
- Marcel Marceau - Professor Ping
- Claude Dauphin - President of Earth
- David Hemmings - Dildano
Music - Score:
Composer - Michel Magne
Music - Songs:
- The Glitterhouse - "Barbarella"
- The Glitterhouse - "Drag Me Down"
- The Glitterhouse - "Love Theme From "Barbarella""
- The Glitterhouse - "An Angel Is Love"
This movie wasn't made by Heavy Metal, but it is loosely based on the first episode of the story, "Barbarella" by Jean-Claude Forest. The first episode unfortunately was not printed in Heavy Metal. Heavy Metal only printed the third episode, "The Moon Child!", which was published in each issue from February to July 1978.
This movie was released almost a decade before Heavy Metal magazine was even created. So, even though Barbarella appeared in Heavy Metal, this movie was made at a different time in our culture. A time, in 1968, where love, peace, and the sexual revolution had a strong influence on the culture. Imagine the look of Austin Powers mixed with the set design and production values of the original Star Trek.
Before re-watching the movie, what I remembered about the film was that it was a very sci-fi story with some sexual undertones. However, after seeing it again, I didn't realise how much sexuality is in this movie. The film is almost like a space "road movie", where Barbarella takes a journey towards a destination, while meeting interesting characters along the way. In doing so, she also stumbles upon her own journey of sexual exploration.
Another thing that I forgot is how often she becomes the damsel in distress, needing to be rescued. And even though she's sent out to be the hero, she never really does much saving without the help of the people she meets.
But what really makes this a good movie is that it doesn't take itself too serious. I don't think I'd exactly call it a comedy, but it's made to be just a fun, innocent, sci-fi, fantasy. Jane Fonda plays the character well and really set the mark for Barbarella to become a legendary icon. And although the score can be unnecessarily overpowering at times, the songs have an uplifting catchy 1960's flow to them that work well with the movie. The title song easily gets stuck in my head for days.
Barbarella was a product of the times. It captures the 1968 culture wonderfully. Don't take yourself too seriously. Peace. Beauty. Love. Honesty. Fun.
Description On The Back Cover - Barbarella is marked by the same audacity and originality, fantasy, humor, beauty and horror, cruelty and eroticism that make comic books such a favorite. The setting is the planet Lythion in the year 40,000, when Barbarella (Jane Fonda) makes a forced landing while traveling through space. She acts like a female James Bond, vanquishing evil in the forms of robots and monsters. She also rewards, in an uninhibited manner, the handsome men who assist her in the adventure. Whether she is wrestling with Black Guards, the evil Queen, or the Angel Pygar, she just can't seem to avoid losing at least part of her skin-tight space suit!