New Movies: Sex Odyssey, 40,001

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Comic-strip buffs, science-fiction fans and admirers of the human mammae will get a run for their money in Barbarella and will probably provide Barbarella with enough money for a run. Other moviegoers need take no notice. The only break-throughs in this husband-and-wife collaboration of Actress Jane Fonda and Director Roger Vadim are made by Miss Fonda's shapely torso through an assortment of body stockings.

These are ripped and ravaged by—among other things—a team of sharp-toothed mechanical dolls, a flight of angry budgerigars and a machine designed to kill its victims with sexual pleasure. Jane kills the machine instead, leading its operator to exclaim: "What kind of a girl are you—have you no shame?" Such are only a few of her picarisque adventures in the course of a solo intergalactic quest during the year 40,000.

Jane sets out in a pink spaceship, complete with psychedelic color effects and a cozy computer reminiscent of 2001's HAL. She heads back a year later in the arms of a beautiful blond, blind male angel (John Phillip Law). In between, she meets some topflight actors who are all too lost in space—Marcel Marceau as the wizardly Professor Ping, Claude Dauphin as the President of Earth, Ugo Tognazzi as a friendly inhabitant of Planet Lytheon. Her only really amusing encounter is with David Hemmings, an inept leader of the Lytheon underground who has a hankering to try the old earthling technique of sexual intercourse.

As Jane demonstrates, there have been some fundamental changes in the methods popular in the 1960s, which were discarded as too time-consuming and distracting.