Barbarella

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Screenshot of Jane Fonda as Barbarella

Barbarella (aka Barbarella: Queen of the Galaxy) is a 1968 tongue-in-cheek erotic science fiction film about a sexy Earth government agent (played by Jane Fonda) who is on a mission to find mad scientist Durand Durand and stop him from resurrecting the "neurotic irresponsibility" of war in a peaceful universe. On her journey, she encounters many strange creatures and compromising situations that help her to discover what the mild-mannered Solar System has lost in its enlightened but dull existence.

Directed by Roger Vadim. Screenplay by Terry Southern, Roger Vadim, and Claude Brulé, based on the comic Barbarella by Jean-Claude Forest.
See Barbarella do her thing! taglines

Barbarella[edit]

  • A good many dramatic situations begin with screaming.

Pygar[edit]

  • An angel does not make love, an angel is love.
  • But you're soft and warm! We're told that Earth beings are cold.
  • An angel has no memory

Dialogue[edit]

[From the theme song.]
Singer: Barbarella, psychedella / There's a kind of cockle shell about you…
Chorus: Barbarella, Bah-Barbarella…

[A nude Barbarella answers her wallscreen call from the President of Earth.]
President: Barbarella?
Barbarella: Mr. President!
[The President takes a long look, then greets her officially.]
President: Love.
Barbarella: Love.
[The President turns away from the screen.]
Barbarella: Just a moment — I'll slip something on.
President: Don't trouble yourself. This is an affair of state.

[The President speaks of Durand Durand's invention of a "positronic ray" weapon.]
Barbarella: Why would anybody want to invent a weapon?
President: How should I know?
Barbarella: I mean, the universe has been pacified for centuries… sir.
President: What we know of it. The trouble is, we don't know anything about Tau Ceti or its inhabitants.
Barbarella: You mean they could still be living in a primitive state of neurotic irresponsibility?
President: Precisely.
. . .
Barbarella: Something must be done!
President: Yes. And you are the girl who must do it.
Barbarella: Why me?!
President: Barbarella! I have no armies, or police… and I can't spare the Presidential Band. Besides, you're a five-star, double-rated astronavigatrix. Your mission, then.
[Barbarella abruptly stands straight and salutes.]
President: Find Durand Durand, and use all of your incomparable talents to preserve the security of the stars.

[Barbarella thanks Mark Hand for saving her from the vicious biting dolls.]
Barbarella: I'm so grateful for what you've done, I hardly know how to begin to thank you. I'm positive I can get you some sort of recompense from my government. I mean, if— if there's anything you need, or that I can do, please tell me.
Mark Hand: Well, you could let me… make love to you.
Barbarella: "Make love", did you say?
Mark Hand: Yes!
Barbarella: What do you mean? You don't even know my psychocardiogram!
Mark Hand: Eh?
Barbarella: Well, on Earth, for centuries, people haven't made love unless their psychocardiogram readings were in perfect confluence.
. . .
Barbarella: Do you have any pills?
Mark Hand: Pills?!
Barbarella: Oh, never mind. I have some here.
Mark Hand: Uh, b-b-uh… what is this pill?
Barbarella: It's an exhaltation transference pellet, of course.
Mark Hand: Hmm. I know nothing of this.
Barbarella: I see. Well, on Earth, when our psychocardiogram readings are in perfect confluence, and we wish to "make love", as you call it, we take an exhaltation transference pellet, and remain like this — here, let me show you…
[She kneels across the chamber from him, stretches out her hand, and closes her eyes.]
Barbarella: … for one minute, or until full rapport is achieved.
. . .
Mark Hand: Ah! I don't care for that!
[He points toward the bed.]
Mark Hand: This! This is what I mean. This! The bed.
Barbarella: That?! But nobody's done that for centuries! I mean, nobody except the very poor, who can't afford the pills and the psychocardiogram readings.
Mark Hand: Why not?
Barbarella: 'Cause it was proved to be distracting and a danger to maximum efficiency! And… and because it was pointless to continue it when other substitutes for ego support and self-esteem were made available.

[As Barbarella dreamily wanders around her repaired ship after making love with Mark Hand…]
Mark Hand: And now, Barbarella… don't you agree with me? That in some things, the old-fashioned ways are best after all?
Barbarella: What? Oh, that. Yes, I must admit it was rather… interesting. Still, I see what they mean by saying it's distracting.

[Barbarella meets the blind, angelic ornithanthrope Pygar.]
Barbarella: I'm from the planet Earth. My name is Barbarella.
[He reaches out and caresses her face.]
Pygar: But you're soft and warm! We're told that Earth beings are cold.
Barbarella: [slyly smiling] Not all of us.

[Two men, ominously advancing on a supine Barbarella, are stabbed from behind by a menacing one-eyed woman (who we'll later learn is the Great Tyrant).]
Great Tyrant: Hello, Pretty-Pretty.
Barbarella: [uneasily] Hello.
[Barbarella stands.]
Barbarella: Thank you very much.
Great Tyrant: Do you want to come and play with me? For someone like you I charge nothing.
[Barbarella tries to run, but the woman grabs her by the arm and draws her close.]
Great Tyrant: You're very pretty, Pretty-Pretty.
Barbarella: My name isn't Pretty-Pretty, it's Barbarella.

[Escaping from the Great Tyrant, Barbarella hears a nearby commotion.]
Barbarella: That's screaming! A good many dramatic situations begin with screaming.

[Barbarella draws Pygar's hand across some raised lettering.]
Barbarella: Pygar, come. Tell me what that means.
Pygar: "Chamber… of Ultimate… Solution".
Barbarella: I don't like the sound of that.

The Chamber: Ye who have chosen to die, be welcome! To terminate the bitterness of life, you are entitled to select from three exciting and surprising forms of death, one of which awaits beyond each of the doors you see before you. Should you fail to choose, you will be given to the Mathmos. There is no appeal.

[The Concierge leads Barbarella to a room, where the menacing woman emerges, both eyes now intact.]
Great Tyrant: So, my Pretty-Pretty, we meet again.
Barbarella: You! The little one-eyed wench!
Great Tyrant: You have a good memory, Pretty-Pretty. Yes, sometimes I like to go among my people. Be like them. Ordinary. "Evil", as you would call it. So… I'm your little one-eyed wench. I'm also the Great Tyrant.
Barbarella: Well! That's nice.
Great Tyrant: It amuses me immensely! Now I suppose you're interested in the whereabouts and welfare of a certain party, yes?
Barbarella: W— yes, I am! I'm here on the orders of the President of the Republic of Earth. I'm here to find Durand-Durand.
Great Tyrant: I'm not talking about him! I'm speaking of the angel!
Barbarella: Pygar?
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!
Barbarella: Where is Pygar?
Great Tyrant: You want your fine-feathered friend?
[The Great Tyrant nods her head toward something behind Barbarella.]
Great Tyrant: There he is.
[A curtain of snow dissolves to reveal Pygar, tied to a crossbar, wings spread as if crucified.]
Barbarella: Pygar!
Great Tyrant: Amusing, isn't it, Pretty-Pretty? Don't you feel like playing?
. . .
[Barbarella surreptitiously draws Pygar's concealed blaster and grabs the Great Tyrant.]
Barbarella: De-crucify the angel!
Great Tyrant: What?
Barbarella: De-crucify him or I'll melt your face!
. . .
[The Concierge relieves Barbarella of her discharged weapon.]
Great Tyrant: So it was a trick, was it? You should have saved your tricks for… for…
Concierge: For the birds, Your Majesty?
Great Tyrant: Yes! Yes, the birds! The birds! Give her to the birds!

[As Barbarella is dragged off, the Great Tyrant lays out Pygar and sinuously crawls over him.]
Great Tyrant: Tell me, my fancy, fuzzy freak — what do you think of, when you make love to Barbarella?
Pygar: Make love? I do not understand.
Great Tyrant: Don't be coy with me — you are in no position. If only you had one eye in your head…
[In his "touching" style, he caresses her… features.]
Great Tyrant: … you would see what a delight I am! My face, my body — all my things are a delight! An exquisite delight.
Pygar: What is it you want?
Great Tyrant: I shall share my delights with you. You shall make love to me.
Pygar: An angel does not make love. An angel is love.
Great Tyrant: Then you're a dead duck. Guards! To the Mathmos with this winged fruitcake!

[In an obvious homage to Hitchcock's The Birds, Barbarella is being chewed on (and disrobed) by colorful birds.]
Barbarella: This is really much too poetic a way to die!

[Barbarella falls down a chute into a room filled with phallic transport tubes, operated by a wiry, caped man.]
Dildano: The password — quickly!
Barbarella: I don't understand!
Dildano: Are you not a political prisoner?
Barbarella: I don't think so.
Dildano: Then you're not one of us.
Barbarella: I'm from Earth.
Dildano: Earth! Planet of the revolutions! W-w-will you join our cause?
Barbarella: What cause? Who are you?
Dildano: I-I'm Dildano, head of the revolutionary forces. This is our headquarters.
. . .
Barbarella: I suppose you realize you've saved my life.
Dildano: A life without cause is a life without effect.
Barbarella: Well, I-I'm sure I could get you a substantial recompense from my government.
Dildano: Earth woman. Shall I tell you what I would like?
[She gives him a rather pleased look.]
Barbarella: I think I know.
[She moves toward a bed and begins to undress.]
Dildano: No! No, not like that! Like on Earth, on-on-on Ea— on Earth! The pill! I-I-I have the pill!
Barbarella: But… uh… Couldn't we do it your way? I don't want to change your traditions.

[Dildano tries to enlist Barbarella's aid in defeating the Black Queen.]
Dildano: She sleeps alone in a room above the Mathmos, surrounded by a wall of impenetrable energy, to which she alone has the secret key. There exists, however, a second secret key, which my agents have located, and is now in my possession. You want to discover the whereabouts of Durand Durand. I want to capture the Black Queen. You follow my meaning.
Barbarella: If you really do have the second secret key… why haven't you used it already?
Dildano: Ah!
[He looks confused.]
Dildano: Ah. Ah — ah! Because our forces have not as yet been strong enough! The capture of the Black Queen, ah… has to be associated with a military… coup! Hmm. With your weaponry and spacecraft, this can be brought about. With the Black Queen in your control, you can get her to divulge the whereabouts of Durand Durand!
Barbarella: Yes, I see.
[He turns to look at her, relieved.]
Dildano: Good.

[Dildano arranges a clandestine meeting with Professor Ping.]
Dildano: Our rendezvous point will be at 1600 hours. And our password will be… "Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch".
Barbarella: You mean, the secret "Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch"?
Dildano: Exactly.

[Dildano looks at his secret chute map.]
Dildano: The time is right! The Queen is in her Chamber of Dreams.
Barbarella: What about the key?
Dildano: Ah, the key.
[He brings over a case and opens it, revealing… nothing.]
Dildano: There is the secret key.
Dildano: Where?
Dildano: It's invisible, of course. Only an invisible key can open an invisible wall.

[Barbarella survives the Concierge's deadly musical orgasm machine, but it overloads, the cables catching fire.]
Concierge: I don't believe it! Wretched, wretched girl! What have you done to my Exsexive Machine?! You've undone it! You've undone me! Look! The energy cables are shrinking! You've turned them into faggots! You've— you've burned out the Exsexive Machine! You've blown all its fuses!
Barbarella: [sighing] My goodness!

[The Concierge, revealed as Durand Durand himself, rants about his new purpose.]
Durand Durand: I speak of the dignity… the nobility of pure evil!
. . .
Barbarella: What have you done with the positronic ray?
Durand Durand: Oh, so that's it.
Barbarella: What does it do?
Durand Durand: All persons and objects in its path are de-minimalized to the fourth level.
Barbarella: You mean—
Durand Durand: That's right. Replaced in the fourth dimension, irretrievably.
. . .
[Dr. Durand explains his reluctance to attack the Black Queen.]
Durand Durand: Whoever succeeds in killing her will be put immediately to a horrible death. Hence my prudence.
[His manic expression turns to one of dismay.]
Durand Durand: I find horrible the idea that one could do to me, that which I do to others.

[Barbarella tries to rouse the Queen in her Chamber of Dreams.]
Barbarella: Wake up, Your Majesty! You must wake up!
Great Tyrant: Vade retro, Earth girl! I know you don't really exist.[N]
Barbarella: That may be, Your Majesty, but we'd better stick to what we see.

[Barbarella and the Great Tyrant are in a small bubble inside the swirling lava-lamp-like Mathmos.]
Barbarella: Where are we?
Great Tyrant: In the Mathmos, and alive!
Barbarella: I can see that, but why?
Great Tyrant: It seems the Mathmos has created this bubble to protect itself from your innocence.
. . .
[The women's bubble is deposited on solid ground, breaking open.]
Great Tyrant: You are so good, you made the Mathmos vomit.

Taglines[edit]

  • See Barbarella do her thing!
  • The space age adventuress whose sex-ploits are among the most bizarre ever seen.
  • Who can save the universe?

Cast[edit]

External links[edit]

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