Jane Fonda stars as the 41st century sexy astronaut who travels in a pink space craft with an interior lined with fake fur. Barbarella is sent on a mission to disarm a weapon, because "the universe has been pacified for centuries". The President of Earth tells her, "Your mission, Barbarella--find Durand Durand."
On Lythion, planet 16 in the system Tau Ceti, Barbarella crash lands in the ice and forests of Weer, tunnels into the Labyrinth of the City of Night, then makes her way to SoGo. The city is evil, ruled by the sexy Great Tyrant (Anita Pallenberg).
Great Tyrant: "You have a good memory, pretty pretty. Yes, sometimes I like to go out among my people, be like them, ordinary, 'evil' as you call it. So, I'm your little one-eyed wench. I'm also the Great Tyrant."
Barbarella: "That's nice."
Great Tyrant: "It amuses me immensely. Now I believe you are interested in the whereabouts and welfare of a certain party, yes?"
Barbarella: "As a matter of fact I am. I'm here under the orders of the President of Earth, I'm looking for Durand Durand."
Great Tyrant: "I'm not talking of him. I'm speaking of the angel!"
Great Tyrant: "Yes, Pygar. He has escaped the labyrinth. Crime. He has destroyed twelve of my black guards. Crime. And he dares to deprive me of a pleasure unique in SoGo, an Earthling. Crime. Crime. You want your fine-feathered friend? Look, there he is."
Barbarella: "De-crucify the angel!"
Great Tyrant: "What?"
Barbarella: "De-crucify him or I'll melt your face!"
Dildano: "A life without cause is a life without effect. Are you typical of Earth women?"
Barbarella: "I'm about average."
Dildano: "The password will be: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch."
In bizarre SoGo, Barbarella has many strange adventures and lots of non-explicit sex. Barbarella is accustomed to sex with pills, and tells a suitor, "Make love? But no one's done that for centuries." Many sci-fi intellectuals object to Fonda being a "sex object". Not me. It's one of my favorite films, and I've seen it dozens of times. What I like is that it's "so 60's it hurts" and it has a strong element of fantasy. Serious Science Fiction fans believe sci-fi is simply a view of the future. No. Sci-fi is fiction with a scientific basis. It does not have to deal with the future and fantasy is important because it is foolish to imagine that our present model of science will not change.
When BARBARELLA was released it was a critical and box office failure. However, it has since become a major cult movie, especially on home video. The film is very influential in the pop music world. Duran Duran, Fuzzbox, Kylie Minogue, Jamiroquai, Scott Weiland, Matmos, Prince, and others have paid tribute to BARBARELLA.
Soundtrack songs were written by Bob Crewe and Charles Fox. They are: "Barbarella", "Drag Me Down", "Love Theme from Barbarella", "I Love All the Love in You", "The Black Queen's Beads", and "An Angel is Love". Others in the cast include: John Phillip Law (Pygar), Milo O'Shea (Durand Durand), Marcel Marceau (Professor Ping), Claude Dauphin (President of Earth), Serge Marquand (Captain Sun), Veronique Vendell (Captain Moon), Catherine Chevallier (Stomoxys), David Hemmings (Dildano), Ugo Tognazzi (Mark Hand), Lina Maryan (Gara Granda), Antonio Sabato (Jean Paul), and many others. Anita Pallenberg's lines were dubbed in by Joan Greenwood. Marcel Marceau's lines are dubbed in. Jane Fonda performs her own lines in both the English and French versions.
The Barbarella comic was created by Jean-Claude Forest. Writing credits are Claude Brule, Terry Southern, Roger Vadim, Vittorio Bonicelli, Clement Biddle Wood, Brian Degas, Tudor Gates, and Jean-Claude Forest. Music was composed by Michel Magne and James Campbell. Roger Vadim, who was married to Jane Fonda at the time, directed.
Like other movies I watch frequently, BARBARELLA is "ambient TV" for me now. That is, I talk on the phone, write a letter, etc. while the sound track provides ambience. I hear everything but don't see the entire film.