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
Duran Duran, whose positronic ray, if not recovered, could signal
the end of humanity. Outfitted in an array of stunning 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 Duran Duran
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.
The film's missing scientist character famously inspired the band
name of '80s pop stars Duran Duran. 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, All Movie Guide