Viva Maria! Reviews
The best that I can guess about this film is that it's a satire of revolutions or revolutionary films. Many of the scenes are so over-blown and beyond practical conception that it's impossible to take them seriously. However, I can't be sure. The satire is far from clear. What is clear is how utterly annoying everything about this film is. The characters are broadly drawn types, the situations are ludicrous, and the attempts at comic bits are as bad as anything I've seen. I found myself counting down the seconds this film had left, and watching it became a chore.
Overall, I hated this film even though there might be a mystery satire somewhere beneath all the bullshit.
We've been told that famous French sex kitten Brigitte Bardot never made a film in America. However, that's really untrue. She made Viva Maria on location in Mexico and that's in America. This French made western comedy was directed by Louis Malle.
It's hard to believe that this was considered very racy and actually was one of the movies instrumental in starting the whole MPAA rating code for movies. It's hardly worth a PG-13 now. Although this movie was very popular around the world, (European Westerns were very popular at the time) but it wasn't so popular here in the States, and was even banned in some towns probably more for being anti-church and capitalist than anything sexual.
Maria I (Bardot) is a young girl in Ireland and Britain who helped her father make and explode bombs on the british. They later moved to Central America and slowly moved up to Mexico before soldiers killed her father. Maria walks into a circus and meets Maria II (Jeanne Moreau) who is a singer and dancer in the circus. The two of them team up and become an act.
Maria I accidentally tears some of her clothes and becomes the inventor of the strip tease. Maria II meets a young revolutionary, Flores (George Hamilton) who gets her involved in the Mexican revolution. Maria I is quick to help out. Together they incite the poor to fight a local dictator.
That wonderful 'TCM Imports' promo spot includes a few clips from this movie, which is what made me want to see it.
what a great film....;)