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Barbarella (1968)

tomatometer

73

Average Rating: 6.3/10
Reviews Counted: 44
Fresh: 32 | Rotten: 12

Unevenly paced and thoroughly cheesy, Barbarella is nonetheless full of humor, entertaining visuals, and Jane Fonda's sex appeal.

50

Average Rating: 5.8/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 3

Unevenly paced and thoroughly cheesy, Barbarella is nonetheless full of humor, entertaining visuals, and Jane Fonda's sex appeal.

audience

57

liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 33,044

My Rating

Movie Info

A voluptuous outer space agent travels to another galaxy in search of a missing inventor in this science fiction send-up. Barbarella (Jane Fonda), an interstellar representative of the united Earth government in the 41st century, is dispatched to locate scientist Durand Durand, whose positronic ray, if not recovered, could signal the end of humanity. Outfitted in an array of stunning Star Trek/Bond girl outfits and cruising around in a plush, psychedelic spaceship, Barbarella travels to the Tau

Jun 22, 1999

Universal Pictures

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Latest News on Barbarella

May 22, 2013:
Comic Book Movies You Can Watch Online
Comic book movies are all the rage these days, and every year we see more of them hitting theaters...
August 7, 2009:
Barbarella Remake Back in Development
The "Barbarella" remake is back on track, with Robert Luketic attached to direct and Joe Gazzam...

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All Critics (44) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (32) | Rotten (12) | DVD (13)

The film is ugly on so many levels -- from art direction to human values -- that it's hard to know where to begin.

April 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (2)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Despite a certain amount of production dash and polish and a few silly-funny lines of dialog, Barbarella isn't very much of a film.

April 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Terry Southern's dialogue occasionally sparkles, and the imaginative designs, as shot by Claude Renoir, look really splendid.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Throughout the movie, there is the assumption that just mentioning a thing (sex, politics, religion) makes it funny and that mentioning it in some offensive context makes it funnier.

May 9, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's fun in a 'What were they smoking?' kind of way.

June 10, 2004 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Fonda looks sensational and glides through this romp like a dazed, ripe-to-the- touch innocent.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Campy sci-fi cult classic features violence, nudity.

June 17, 2014 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

A Flash Gordon-meets-Oz kitsch-fest stripping women's sexual revolution down to voyeuristic spectacle, flimsily dressed in cheap, see-through, psychedelic B-movie garb. Vadim imbues most scenes with a faux-arty lethargy that slumps into stiltedness.

December 27, 2013 Full Review Source: Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

One of the most memorable of comic book adaptations ever conceived...

June 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Roger Vadim's ultra-kitsch sci-fi classic somehow improves with age.

April 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

...like a lot of truly terrible things from the '60s, Barbarella has acquired the patina of the cult classic, which means that as the cultural context has changed we are able to enjoy it for reasons other than those intended by the filmmakers

September 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

"Barbarella" is the 1968 sci-fi that made Jane Fonda a household name. The opening credits feature a striptease that takes Fonda from a cumbersome space suit to her birthday suit. Her sex kitten looks were enough to drive young men crazy.

July 2, 2012 Full Review Source: CNNRadio
CNNRadio

Barbarella couldn't exist in any era but the 1960s and its delightful over-the-top qualities find an ideal expression in the ridiculous excesses of the time.

July 2, 2012 Full Review Source: Sci-Fi Movie Page
Sci-Fi Movie Page

Clearly inspired by 1960s Batmania, the hunka hunka burning camp that is Barbarella adapted French science-fiction comic books into gleefully oversexed cinematic pop art. [Blu-ray]

June 29, 2012 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

Without Jane Fonda, there isn't much to talk about. Yet with her, the film is enjoyable to watch, not only because she is so appealing to look at but because she has such a flair for the role.

June 27, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Emblematic of a freewheeling, free love culture that never really existed, it's a true camp classic, a unique amalgamation of pulp themes and a pseudo-historical treasure.

April 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

Cheerfully catch-all.

July 13, 2010 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

A kitsch cult classic.

July 13, 2010 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Most of this is soft-core nonsense, but snappy dialogue and design -- as well as the striptease routine that Fonda performs behind the opening credits -- have made it something of a cult favorite.

April 17, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

I just couldn't take my eyes off the screen.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: JoBlo's Movie Emporium
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

An awful film, certainly, but also undeniably watchable.

April 7, 2005 | Comment (1)
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Audience Reviews for Barbarella

A film that divides even the best lovers of camp and filth, Barbarella is a complicated film to review but an intoxicating one to watch. Far less than a real tale of a strong female warrior in the depths of space, Fonda's performance is one of innocence and sexual unrest. In her physical prime at the time, not much of the film is about the exploits of this space assassin and much more of it circles her body and the sexual shenanigans she gets herself into. Barbarella isn't even a real character, but more a sex addict with a capacity for learning that spans the length of her own petite hand. She always seems surprised or discombobulated, and she's supposed to be the professional asskicker that the film bodes. Though Barbarella isn't the crusading feminist icon I was hoping for, she is an interesting character, in that she finds interesting worlds and people to engage with. Little of the story makes proper sense and it really doesn't matter, because it's about the exploits of Barbarella. There are at least four sex scenes within the film, and plenty more alluded to and partially shown. She has sex with furry mountain men, angels, machines, and through futuristic means. She always seems surprised by what she's doing, but always willing, never satisfied by either her conquering of worlds or foreplay. The worlds she moves between often consist of partially nude nymphs, with alien exteriors. Though most of this is fun frolicking, there is consistently an ick factor: the time period. The sixties had a lot of it and it is reflected in the cheaply made sets, the tone deaf score and music, including that Tom Jones rip-off theme song, and the dialogue, filled with the overbearing "groovy"s and "great man"s of the day. There wasn't any womanly pride, no trace of feminism, but certainly the overtones of sexual revolution and reinvention. It is certainly a great film to see for the progression in Fonda's career or if you like kinky, exploitative, cheap, sci-fi from the sixties.
November 21, 2012
FrizzDrop

Super Reviewer

Based on some comic book I've never heard of, this is swingin' 60s campy sci-fi schlock romp about a gorgeous (and ditzy) outer space agent named Barbarella who is sent to search for a missing inventor and stop any evil threatening to wreak havoc upon the galaxy.

Barbarella is basically a bubbly female James Bond who wears a number of different skin tight space outfits, and somehow usually finds a way to lose varying degrees of said outfits throughout the course of her adventure.. In fact, the movie gets kicked off by having our title character float around in zero gravity and strip her clothes off as the opening credits "try" to cover up some of her more naughty bits.

This is not really a good movie, and it is quite campy, silly, and dumb, but even then, it is quite entertaining, and reasonably fun. The set and costume designs are really cheeky, the music is typical 60s poon palace music, and, despite not doing that great of an acting job, Jane Fonda definitely has a wonderful, likable, and certainly memorable presence as the title character. I also loved the hardly subtle dirty humor and sexual undertones here, definitely making this a product of its time.

If you're bored and want to kill some time (and maybe a couple of brain cells), and don't mind settling for dopey crap, then this would be a wise choice for viewing. It's not great, but it does at least put forth a little bit of effort, even if it ultimately comes up short.
September 2, 2012
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Curvaceous Barbarella flies across the galaxy in her swinging bachelorette pad searching for Duran Duran and, in the process, meeting a blind angel, smoking the Essence of Man in a city of sin, and breaking the Orgasmatron. Kinky, kitschy psychedelic sci-fi fun with unforgettable sets and costumes.
July 22, 2012
366weirdmovies
Greg S

Super Reviewer

Scouring the video store shelves in search of something interesting I feel like I should see often yields surprising results, but I wasn‚(TM)t quite prepared for the surprise I got from BARBARELLA: QUEEN OF THE GALAXY. I had a vague idea of what it was (kitschy sci-fi cult classic was my understanding), but, to my initial delight (but eventual disappointment), I had more in store, but perhaps also much, much less.

BARBARELLA is a bizarre, psychedelic tale of the sexual awakening of the titular (no pun intended) character, played by an startlingly young and alluring Jane Fonda, a woman sent by the Government of the Republic of Earth to search for scientist Durand Durand. Durand, whose spacecraft disappeared somewhere near mysterious planet Tau Ceti, is the creator of the Positronic Ray, a weapon of unspeakable power which the Earth government wish to retrieve before it falls into unfriendly hands. After crash landing on the planet, Barbarella encounters various odd people and creatures, all of whom seem to exist in a primitive world of sexual liberation. 41st century society has moved on from archaic penetrative intercourse it seems, opting instead for a meditative melding of ‚~psychocardiograms‚(TM) (think the virtual sex from DEMOLITION MAN, but less exciting), and Barbarella is initially appalled at the idea, yet after around 20 seconds of coercion from a creep in a bear suit, experiences the pleasures of the flesh for the first time. And so begins the erotic adventures of Barbarella, which include making love to a blind angel, being propositioned by a one-eyed dominatrix who may not be what she seems, and having her body literally played like an organ by the nefarious Durand Durand.

Unfortunately, it all sounds a little racier than it is. There‚(TM)s plenty of innuendo and double entendre (one of the characters is named Dildano!), but really it‚(TM)s not pushed far enough, and the film is a little tame. There are laughs to be had, and Fonda is fully committed to the campy lunacy of the script but BARBARELLA doesn‚(TM)t really live up to its cult status. The spectacularly low-budget sets and effects, Fonda‚(TM)s ever-changing and increasingly revealing outfits, and the fun and funky psychedelic lounge music throughout stand out as highlight, but it‚(TM)s far from a good movie. Amazingly Fonda turned down both BONNIE AND CLYDE and ROSEMARY‚(TM)S BABY to make this, so I guess you have to give her credit for the effort, and perhaps some chemical accompaniment would work in BARBARELLA‚(TM)s favour (as I‚(TM)m certain there was plenty on set). It‚(TM)s the sort of film which you know you‚(TM)re going to like or hate before even starting it, and I‚(TM)m not surprised that it has its fans. Unfortunately, I‚(TM)m not one of them.

tinribs27.wordpress.com
May 20, 2012
Mark Roulston

Super Reviewer

    1. Barbarella: What are you smoking?
    2. Pipe-smoking girl: Essence of man, darling.
    – Submitted by Heaven-Leigh C (2 years ago)
    1. Pygar: An angel doesn't make love; an angel is love.
    – Submitted by Heaven-Leigh C (2 years ago)
    1. Dildano: A life without cause is a life without effect.
    – Submitted by Steve W (3 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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