HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Viva Maria! Bombshells with real bombs
Year: 1965
Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Brigitte Bardot, Jeanne Moreau, George Hamilton, Paulette Dubost, Claudio Brook, Carlos López Moctezuma, Poldo Bendandi, Gregor Von Rezzori, Francisco Reiguera, Jonathan Eden, Roberto Pedret
Genre: Musical, Comedy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Maria Fitzgerald O’Malley (Brigitte Bardot) has been a bomb-flinging anarchist ever since she was a little girl. In 1907, she finds herself alone in South America after her father is blown up during his latest strike against the British Empire, and happens upon a travelling French stage troupe. Here she meets the like-named Maria (Jeanne Moreau) and partners with her to form a scandalously successful song-and-striptease act. Along with a colourful cast of acrobats, jugglers, a strong man and a magician, the ladies adventure across San Miguel, until imprisoned by sadistic dictator Rodriguez (Carlos López Moctezuma). Maria II falls in love with handsome freedom fighter Flores (George Hamilton), which further spurs Maria I to break out her sharp-shooter and bomb-making skills as the ladies become the unlikeliest of revolutionary heroines. Viva Maria!

An atypically frothy affair from Louis Malle, this superficially fits into a cycle of anti-capitalist anarchic comedies inflamed by the spirit of the Sixties, or the so-called “Zapata” spaghetti westerns set south of the border. Co-written by Malle and Jean-Claude Carriere, the film bears their surrealist wit with cartoon sight gags, sexual escapades and a hint of anti-Catholic satire, but remains primarily a glossy, Cinemascope romp foregrounding sexy stars, sumptuous South American scenery lensed by Henri Decaë, more explosions than a Michael Bay movie and a classy score from Georges Delerue.

Bardot and Moreau make a fine comic pairing, the former proving again she had plenty going for her beside blonde locks and a mesmerizing pout. Although unquestionably the more gifted actress, Moreau is rather subdued but her more sardonic sensuality contrasts nicely with Bardot’s girlish clowning. Their striptease act gets more daring with each performance - including one where the audience disrobes before they do! - and Malle playfully stages these musical numbers, referencing past masters from Vincente Minnelli to Stanley Donen.

Shame about George Hamilton and his OTT Spanish accent (“Aye yam driven to fight injoostice”), but an array of eccentric characters include Mexican horror regular Claudio Brook as the troupe’s ingenious gunsmith, whom Maria I shocks by advising how to built a gun that shoots round corners, the little boy constantly whose attempts to cop an eyeful of the Marias in action results in a slap from his mama, and a magician who clips hand grenades to his trained pigeons.

Malle imparts a lively, comic strip energy to proceedings, in compensation for the lack of genuine substance. Very 1960s in its allying of sexual with socio-political revolution, yet delivered with a uniquely surreal and erotic wit, as when Bardot hops into a carriage with three suitors and, it is implied, shags the bejeezus out of them. She saunters back home, looking quite radiant, the next morning and thereafter keeps score of her conquests from town to town. Or note the astonishing scene filmed with swirling cameras wherein the Marias overwhelm Rodriguez through sheer presence alone.

There is a scene where Maria II stirs the South American peasantry into revolution with a speech cheekily cribbed from William Shakespeare, that blurs the lines uncomfortably between social need and showbiz lark. A point Malle concedes when Maria I sharply rebukes her. Whereas Malle earlier injected a subversive, grownup subtext into his children’s comedy Zazie dans le Metro (1960), he doesn’t quite manage to elevate this above the level of a saucier Tintin adventure strip. Still, as cheery entertainment this is hard to beat and if you ever wanted to watch Brigitte Bardot mow down hordes of extras with a machinegun, this is the movie to see.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 4864 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: