Today’s post is dedicated to Barbarella’s zero-gravity striptease! It was the first zero-gravity striptease ever shown on film. And since it’s also the opening sequence of my favourite movie Barbarella (known in some releases as Barbarella: Queen of The Galaxy). I thought it would make an appropriate first post for my new blog. Welcome! Here are some 1960’s space boobs…
This famous scene takes place inside the fur-lined cockpit of a really groovy spaceship, owned by 5- star double-rated Astro Navigatrix Barbarella (played by a young Jane Fonda). In the year 40000, the universe has been “pacified for centuries”. Humanity’s neuroses have apparently been conquered, and love is the only rule.
Having presumably just been for a spacewalk, Barbarella slowly loses her spacesuit piece by piece, while gleefully enjoying her own body floating in weightlessness. For her, undressing is a pleasurable act of self-love, as no-one is around to witness her (except for us and our ancient, barbaric neurosis, but don’t tell her that).
1960’s psychedelic music plays in the background…
There’s a kind of cockleshell about you…”
(What does that mean?!)
To create the effect of weightlessness, the cockpit set was rebuilt on its side, with a large sheet of plexiglass on top which Jane writhed around on as the camera filmed down into the cockpit. Aah the days before CGI… things felt so much more ‘real’ (even when they weren’t!)
Barbarella twists and turns in the zero-gravity while slowly and methodically peeling off layer upon layer of her spacesuit until it’s revealed that she is completely naked. Apparently in the future there’s also no need for underwear. Only the fonts of the opening credit titles hide her modesty (to varying degrees of success).
Suddenly, her viewscreen beeps- there’s an incoming message! Reaching downward she hits a big button on the fur-lined console which restores gravity, sending her falling softly into the thick shagpile with a squeal of delight.
Viewscreen on: it’s the President of Earth! Barbarella offers to quickly slip on some clothing, but the President replies with “Don’t trouble yourself…This is an affair of state…” (exactly what kind of work does Barbarella do for the government?)
The President warns Barbarella that their peace is now threatened by a renegade scientist named Durand-Durand (who was also the inspiration for the 80’s band) who ran away to Tau Ceti and created a weapon called a Positronic Ray.
“Weapon? Why would anyone want to invent a weapon?” Asks a naked Barbarella in wide-eyed wonderment. “The universe has been pacified for centuries.”
“As far as we know. Yet we know nothing of Tau Ceti or its inhabitants” warns the President.
“You mean they could still be living in a primitive state of neurotic irresponsibility?”.
“Precisely. And if they learn from this young scientist…the secret of the Positronic Ray…they will be able to shatter the loving union of the universe”.
“That might mean archaic insecurity…”
“You mean selfish competition and…”
“I mean war.”
“Bloody conflict among entire tribes…I don’t believe it.”
“Neither do I. But we can’t take a chance. Something must be done. Yes. You’re the girl who must do it.”
“I have no armies or police. I can’t spare the presidential band. Plus, you’re a 5-star Astro-Navigatrix. Your mission then: Find Durand-Durand…and use your incomparable talents to preserve the security of the stars…and our own mother planet.”
We soon find out what Barbarella’s “incomparable talents” are when she takes her fur-lined spaceship on all sorts of wild adventures which usually involves her removing more pieces of clothing. (Sensing a theme here?)
(Below: The President teleports over some weapons/possible sex toys for Barbarella to take on her dangerous mission…)
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