And God Created Woman (1956 film)
|And God Created Woman|
French theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Roger Vadim|
|Produced by||Claude Ganz
|Written by||Roger Vadim
|Music by||Paul Misraki|
|Editing by||Victoria Mercanton|
|Distributed by||Éditions René Chateau
28 November 1956
21 October 1957
|Running time||95 minutes|
|Box office||$4 million (US)|
And God Created Woman (French: Et Dieu… créa la femme) (1956) is a French drama film directed by Roger Vadim and starring Brigitte Bardot. Though not her first film, it is widely recognized as the vehicle that launched Bardot into the public spotlight and immediately created her "sex kitten" persona, making her an overnight sensation.
When the film was released in the United States by distributor Kingsley-International Pictures in 1957, it pushed the boundaries of the representation of sexuality in American cinema, and most available prints of the film were heavily edited to conform with the prevailing censorial standards of 1957.
An English-language remake of the film was directed by Vadim and released in 1988.
The film narrates the experience of Juliette, an 18-year old orphan with a high level of sexual energy. She makes no effort to restrain her natural sensuality—lying nude in her yard, habitually kicking her shoes off and walking around barefoot, and disregarding many societal restraints and the opinions of others. These factors cause a stir and attract the attentions of most of the men around her.
Her first suitor is the much older and wealthy Eric Carradine (Curd Jürgens). He wants to build a new casino in town, but his plans are blocked by a small shipyard on the stretch of land which he needs for the development; the shipyard is owned by the Tardieu family.
Antoine, the eldest Tardieu son, returns home for the weekend to discuss the situation and Juliette is waiting for him to take her away with him. His intentions are short-term, and he spurns her by leaving town without her.
Tiring of her antics, Juliette's guardians threaten to send her back to the orphanage. To keep her in town, Carradine pleads with Antoine to marry her, which he laughs off, but his naive younger brother Michel, secretly in love with Juliette, rises to the challenge and proposes. Despite being in love with his older brother, she accepts. When Antoine is contracted to return home for good, the trouble starts for the newlyweds, and all the men in her life come to realize what she means to them.
Critical reception 
When the film was released in the United States, Bosley Crowther, the film critic for The New York Times, found Brigitte Bardot attractive but the film lacking and was not able to recommend it. He wrote, "Bardot moves herself in a fashion that fully accentuates her charms. She is undeniably a creation of superlative craftsmanship. But that's the extent of the transcendence, for there is nothing sublime about the script of this completely single-minded little picture...We can't recommend this little item as a sample of the best in Gallic films. It is clumsily put together and rather bizarrely played. There is nothing more than sultry fervor in the performance of Mlle. Bardot."
Film critic Dennis Schwartz wrote, "The breezy erotic drama was laced with some thinly textured sad moments that hardly resonated as serious drama. But as slight as the story was it was always lively and easy to take on the eyes, adding up to hardly anything more than a bunch of snapshots of Bardot posturing as a sex kitten in various stages of undress. The public loved it and it became a big box-office smash, and paved the way for a spate of sexy films to follow. What was more disturbing than its dullish dialogue and flaunting of Bardot as a sex object, was that underneath its call for liberation was a reactionary and sexist view of sex."
At the time of its release the film was condemned by the Catholic League of Decency. Currently, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 73% of critics gave the film a positive review, based on eleven reviews."
- Tino Balio, United Artists: The Company The Changed the Film Industry, Uni of Wisconsin Press, 1987 p 276
- Et Dieu... créa la femme at the Internet Movie Database.
- And God Created Woman at AllRovi.
- Crowther, Bosley. The New York Times, film review, 22 October. 1957. Last Retrieved 17 December 2007.
- Schwartz, Dennis. Ozus' World Movie Reviews, film review, 3 April 2004. Last Retrieved 18 June 2008.
- And God Created Woman at Rotten Tomatoes. Last Retrieved 18 June 2009.
- Et Dieu... créa la femme at the Internet Movie Database
- And God Created Woman essay at the Criterion Collection by Chuck Stephens
- And God Created Woman selected scenes at YouTube