Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Et Dieu... créa la femme (1956)

I heard that ...And God Created Woman caused a shock when it was released. Now that I've seen it, I can see that throughout the movie the sexuality of Brigitte Bardot was exposed deliberately.

Juliete (Bardot) lives with her foster parents in St. Tropez. From the first scene we can see that she is not an ordinary girl: She sunbathes in the front yard, completely naked. Her boyfriend Antoine (Christian Marquand) thinks she is easy. Her foster mother cannot stand the scandal anymore and decides to send Juliette back to the convent, but Antoine's brother, Michel (Jean-Louis Trintignant) agrees to marry her, after being fed the thought by Carradine (Curd Jürgens), a wealthy businessman who secretly loves Juliette.

Juliette makes many provoking gestures, like in the crowded bus scene, or the way she walks, which I think over-acted, but perhaps Roger Vadim told her to walk that way. She is not as bad as people think, for having overheard what her boyfriend thinks about her, she determines to keep her dignity. At first she marries Michel so that she can still stay in St. Tropez, but slowly she realizes that a husband like Michel is hard to get. Michel believes in her, while others think she is only a toy. She tries to be faithful to him and finally her happiness is to see him smile. She leaves a message to Carradine that she doesn't like the apple anymore. (Cannot remember the line exactly. The apple symbolizes the forbidden fruit. In the beginning of the movie, Carradine and Juliette talk about Eden, the devil and the apple.) The return of Antoine to St. Tropez triggers the fatal incident, and who gets the blame but poor Juliette? Luckily Juliette has Michel who does anything to keep her and wise Carradine who saves the day.

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