Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Barbarella (1968)

Starring Jane Fonda, John Phillip Law, Anita Pallenberg, Milo O'Shea, Marcel Marceau
Directed by Roger Vadim
(actor & director credits courtesy

In the distant future, the Earth sends a beautiful female agent to an alien world to find a rogue scientist and the deadly weapon he's invented.

A weird mixture of sci-fi and exploitation, with Fonda finding herself unclothed on several occasions, this movie is pretty much a mess in my opinion.  Although there are some dynamic visuals and impressive sets reminiscent of the designs in the Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers comic strips, the plot's pretty much a convenience to place Fonda in sexual situations, both literal and figurative, with the various men she encounters.  Some tongue-in-cheek humor almost redeems the film, with the most clever usage being in the opening credits, designed by the talented Maurice Binder, which try to hide Fonda's naked body as she doffs a spacesuit.  But there's not enough of this to help all these elements add up to a worthwhile film.

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