Roger Vadim

Roger Vadim

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Les Liaisons Dangereuses Review


Very Good
Roger Vadim, who showed a remarkable lack of self-restraint in films like Barbarella and Don Juan (or If Don Juan Were a Woman), was far more muted in his jazz-infused updating of Dangerous Liaisons, set in then-modern-day Paris but keeping the guts of the story nearly intact.

In Vadim's rendition, Valmont (Gérard Philipe) is married to Juliette de Merteuil (Jeanne Moreau), and together they get their kicks by preying on the weaknesses of other high-society types. Juliette sets her sights on Cecile (Jeanne Valérie), soon to be married to someone who has crossed her in the past, and sets Vamont onto turning the innocent (but naive and manipulatable) girl into a sexpot-in-training. Meanwhile, Valmont falls in love with the genuinely virtuous Marianne (Annette Vadim), and a love-quadrangle soons spins out of control.

Continue reading: Les Liaisons Dangereuses Review

...and God Created Woman Review


Good
This is the movie that made Brigitte Bardot famous -- especially since she appeared nude in the first scene and many that followed.

Her character, a brazen sexpot, loves one brother but marries another. In the sun-drenched French Riviera, Bardot vamps it up and gets poor, poor hubby (Jean-Louis Trintignant) into endless fights and predicaments. And yet the men continue to fawn over her. Such is the point -- timeless and devilishly accurate, but hardly deep. Swept Away threw this idea for a twist, with much better effect (and also on the beach).

Continue reading: ...and God Created Woman Review

Spirits Of The Dead Review


Very Good
A rare '60s oddity, Spirits of the Dead takes a weird premise and makes it even weirder. How weird? Try classic Edgar Allen Poe stories given a 1960s spin -- one that lambasts the whole free love/no morals movement the way that only the Frenchies could do. And stars some of the biggest stars of the era -- Fonda! Bardot! Delon! -- and is told in three short pieces, courtesy of three big-time directors -- Fellini! Malle! Vadim!

Roger Vadim takes his Barbarella star Jane Fonda through a very loose interpretation of "Metzengerstein," with Fonda as an aristocrat bored of the constant orgies and swift executions of her enemies. She ends up falling for her cousin, but when he rejects her, she burns down his stable, taking him along with it. Strangely, the cousin ends up possessing the spirit of a horse, which the countess ends up fascinated with anew. It's the weakest of the three shorts, but it's worth seeing if for no other reason than to see Barbarella trot out her French. (To be honest, that might be the only reason -- the story just doesn't make much of an impact.)

Continue reading: Spirits Of The Dead Review

Don Juan (Or If Don Juan Were A Woman) Review


Very Good
So what if Don Juan were a woman? I'm not sure if she would behave something like Brigitte Bardot's 1973 rendition of the famed lover, but it's considerably fun to watch her strut her stuff.

In Roger Vadim's interpretation of the Latin lover, Jeanne (Bardot) eats men for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She takes a married politician and immediately ruins him by having him photographed at one of her orgies. She uses a hapless folk singer for sex and then leaves, prompting him to slice his wrists and bleed to death while strumming his guitar. She even extends her wiles to corrupting women, luring the innocent wife of a grotesquely self-absorbed businessman into the sack, then turning the tables on both members of the couple.

Continue reading: Don Juan (Or If Don Juan Were A Woman) Review

The Game Is Over Review


OK
Decades before "GAME OVER," there was The Game Is Over,

Jane Fonda strikes what often seems to be Barbarella redux, though that film was still two years away for her. This collaboration with then-husband Roger Vadim (in French) is very bad any way you look at it, although it does offer copious shots of Jane in various stages of undress (for about the first hour of the film, that's all there is, really) and a Graduate-esque ending that sort of makes the exercise worthwhile.

Continue reading: The Game Is Over Review

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Roger Vadim Movies

...and God Created Woman Movie Review

...and God Created Woman Movie Review

This is the movie that made Brigitte Bardot famous -- especially since she appeared nude...

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