Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 45


Audience Score

User Ratings: 33,509
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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 Seti system and promptly crash-lands. She then spends the rest of the film discovering the joys of interstellar sex with a keeper of feral children (Ugo Tognazzi), a blind, beatific angel (John Phillip Law), and an inept revolutionary named Dildano (David Hemmings). Slowly but surely, she also finds her way to Durand Durand by moving from one exotic, Wizard of Oz-style locale to another. Along the way, she meets the kindly Professor Ping (a surprisingly verbal Marcel Marceau), a Eurotrash dominatrix named the Great Tyrant (Rolling Stones gal pal Anita Pallenberg), and the Concierge (Milo O'Shea), a strangely familiar lackey of the Great Tyrant who tries to destroy Barbarella with his great big organ of love. Jean-Claude Forest, who created the character Barbarella in 1962 for V-Magazine, served as visual advisor on the adaptation. The film's missing scientist character famously inspired the band name of '80s pop stars Duran Duran (who altered the spelling slightly). Almost two decades later, the film also inspired electronic act Matmos, which was named after the aqueous personification of evil unleashed by the Concierge at the movie's climax. ~ Brian J. Dillard, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Barbarella

All Critics (45) | Top Critics (6)

Audience Reviews for Barbarella

  • Apr 30, 2013
    This gets two stars only for the lovely Jane Fonda. Fonda is not called upon however to use her acting chops to any great extent. I can see why this would become a cult favourite but in reality, this is just a fascinating piece of rubbish.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 05, 2013
    One of the most dated films out there, "Barbarella" is a bad, boring, arduously slow and pointlessly bland sci-fi flick that doesn't often even a semblance of what can be considered entertainment. Jane Fonda does nothing more than look beautiful and, from time to time, undress, and although this would normally be reason enough to give the film a watch, the amount of nudity in it is kept to such a disappointingly bare minimum that you feel cheated in that aspect as well. All in all, there's just no real reason to pay "Barbarella" any attention. It's campy and vacuous and poorly-directed, and that's not even the tip of the metaphorical iceberg.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Jul 22, 2012
    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.
    Greg S Super Reviewer
  • May 20, 2012
    Scouring the video store shelves in search of something interesting I feel like I should see often yields surprising results, but I wasnâ(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 â~psychocardiogramsâ(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. Thereâ(TM)s plenty of innuendo and double entendre (one of the characters is named Dildano!), but really itâ(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 doesnâ(TM)t really live up to its cult status. The spectacularly low-budget sets and effects, Fondaâ(TM)s ever-changing and increasingly revealing outfits, and the fun and funky psychedelic lounge music throughout stand out as highlight, but itâ(TM)s far from a good movie. Amazingly Fonda turned down both BONNIE AND CLYDE and ROSEMARYâ(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 BARBARELLAâ(TM)s favour (as Iâ(TM)m certain there was plenty on set). Itâ(TM)s the sort of film which you know youâ(TM)re going to like or hate before even starting it, and Iâ(TM)m not surprised that it has its fans. Unfortunately, Iâ(TM)m not one of them.
    Mark R Super Reviewer

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