Brigitte Bardot stars in her penultimate film (she only has a cameo in her last) along with Jane Birkin, the Serge Gainsbourg “Je t’aime” girl. This film is well worth a look, as we can see BB’s and Vadim’s evolution from “And God Created Woman” to this post-sixties over-the-top comedy-drama.
We get some great nude scenes with Brigitte and Jane. BB’s character is someone fed up with men, so she resorts to seduce-and-destroy tactics. As in “God Created Woman” she’s pretty much playing herself, but with an exaggerated storyline of driving men to ruin, murder, and suicide. The campy ironic humor is there in such scenarios as seducing a priest as well as setting up a fake menage-a-trois to madden a bete homme. Also a scene with Robert Walker Jr. (Charlie X in Star Trek TOS) where the price she asks for making love is no less than his life, which he takes seriously. The ending is a multiple meaning one as BB saves a man who makes her “pay for her sins” (though he’s unappreciative). I think the end hits home for Brigitte in real life saying in effect, “look you male-dominated world, you’ve made my life hell”. Worth seeing for it’s erotic quality (what BB film isn’t?), the submarine home, the early ’70s fashions, and the high camp.

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.

Vadim imbues his film with a balls-out seventies sensibility, all bell bottoms and shag rugs. Bardot, one of the ultimate vamps of world cinema, is at her unmistakable best here, bored with the world around her yet overflowing with wanton lust. Unfortunately, the film never totally gels — is the point to show us how Jeanne jumps from one encounter to another without any remorse at all? That’s what Vadim gives us — and his ending tries to wrap up her life with a bit of deus ex machina that doesn’t satisfy at all.

Still, Don Juan is a rare shocker that turns the table on age-old expectations about gender and morality. There’s no surprise ending and little mystery along the way — just brash sexuality courtesy of one of cinema’s most notorious vixens.–_Roger_Vadim.mkv– Juan or If Don Juan Were a Woman 1973 — Roger Vadim.mkv Juan or If Don Juan Were a Woman 1973 — Roger

Subtitles:English (srt)

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