The Adult Illustrated Fantasy Magazine Fan Page
Release Date - October 10, 1968 in Theaters. March 4, 1991 on VHS. January 26, 1994 on LaserDisc. June 22, 1999 on DVD. July 3, 2012 on Blu-ray. March 6, 2018 on Blu-ray with DVD and Digital.
Running Time - 1hr. 37min.
MPAA Rating - PG (14A in Canada)
Distributor - Paramount Pictures
The Internet Movie Database
- Audio: English (Mono Dolby TrueHD), French (Mono Dolby Digital), and Spanish (Mono Dolby Digital)
- Subtitles: English, English (For The Deaf And Hard Of Hearing), French, Spanish, and Portuguese
- 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. Originally when this movie was first released in 1968, it was rated M; Suggested for Mature Audiences. It was re-released in 1977 with the nudity removed and was re-rated to PG. When it was released on home video, the uncut verson was used but incorrectly list it as rated PG.
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 Star Trek the original series.
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 - The year is 40,000 on Planet Lythion where Barbarella (Jane Fonda) makes a forced landing during a secret mission to find the lost evil scientist Durand Durand. Once there, she must use her skills, style, beauty and eroticism to vanquish evil in the form of robots and monsters. See Barbarella do her thing in the wild excessive machine, in the biting bird cage, in the chamber of dreams, in the labyrinth of love, in the deadly doll house, in the palace of pleasure. You'll find adventure beyond your imagination, when you get lost in space with Barbarella!
(images from the 1999 DVD)