Viva Maria!

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Overview

Two of the most beautiful women in the European cinema of the 1960s -- Brigitte Bardot and Jeanne Moreau -- team up under the direction of Louis Malle in this engaging comedy/adventure. Maria Fitzgerald O'Malley Bardot is the daughter of an Irish political dissident who has traveled to Latin America with her father to take part in an anarchist political uprising. When her father is killed, Maria, left to her own devices, happens upon a traveling circus, where she strikes up a friendship with one of the ...
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Overview

Two of the most beautiful women in the European cinema of the 1960s -- Brigitte Bardot and Jeanne Moreau -- team up under the direction of Louis Malle in this engaging comedy/adventure. Maria Fitzgerald O'Malley Bardot is the daughter of an Irish political dissident who has traveled to Latin America with her father to take part in an anarchist political uprising. When her father is killed, Maria, left to her own devices, happens upon a traveling circus, where she strikes up a friendship with one of the performers, also named Maria Moreau. Maria O'Malley joins up with the carnival, and she works up a dance routine with Maria; the act is a smash hit, especially after the Irish Maria accidentally loses part of her costume during a performance. Despite their success, the two Marias find themselves increasingly distressed with the poverty and brutality of the peasants' lives, and they soon decide to use their talents in support of revolutionary leader Flores George Hamilton. Viva Maria!'s original ending was trimmed slightly for its American release, but the complete version was later released in the United States on DVD.
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Special Features

[None specified]
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Nathan Southern
Louis Malle's first officially credited collaboration with the ingenious Jean-Claude Carrière never sinks below the level of sheer charm and good humor. But as Carrière affirmed years later in an interview, Viva Maria! suffers slightly from over-length and an overabundance of influences (contemporary feminism, children's European fantasy adventure yarns, tall tales, anticlericalism, cabaret life and music, revolutionary politics). It may be that rare film with too many assets; at 119 minutes, the nonstop barrage of colorful sight gags, bawdy striptease musical numbers, double-entendres, and fervent battle sequences risks exhausting the viewer. Taken one scene at a time (or even one sequence at a time), the film never ceases to delight -- it feels like a two-hour trip to the carnival. But this Cinemascope picture might fare even better in a widescreen home-video format, a mode that will enable the viewer to take frequent breaks. The picture would certainly wear thin with repetition, becoming threadbare and transparent, were it not for an interesting narrative structure that imparts some much-needed depth by comically setting up racial and gender stereotypes before doubling back on itself and turning the tables (narratively) at the hour mark, to advocate the opposite -- racial/sexual equality and political liberation. On this note: decades later, Louis Malle remembered Fassbinder and his fellow students examining the film at Berlin University and reading it as a tract on varying approaches to political revolution -- a level of meaning that the director and his co-writer never consciously intended to impart to the picture! Viva Maria failed to impact stateside viewers upon its 1966 U.S. release, hitting the shores of the Atlantic in a dubbed version that decimated its chances. But its reputation improved considerably over the ensuing decades, and given its recent debut on widescreen DVD and in a retrospective of Louis Malle's films that toured the United States in mid-late 2005, it awaits new generations of admirers.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/5/2005
  • UPC: 027616921789
  • Original Release: 1965
  • Rating:

  • Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:57:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Brigitte Bardot Maria Fitzgerald O'Malley/Maria II
Jeanne Moreau Maria I
George Hamilton Flores
Claudio Brook Rodolfo
Paulette Dubost Madame Diogene
Gregor Von Rezzori Diogene
Carlos Lopez Moctezuma Don Rodriguez
Jose Baviera Don Alvaro
Poldo Bendandi Werther
Francisco Reiguera Father Superior
Adriana Roel Janine
Fernando Wagner Father of Maria II
Technical Credits
Louis Malle Director, Songwriter, Producer, Screenwriter
Suzanne Baron Editor
Odette Berroyer Makeup
Jean-Claude Carrière Songwriter, Screenwriter
Oscar Dancigers Producer
Henri Decaë Cinematographer
Georges Delerue Score Composer
Bernard Evein Art Director
Simone Knapp Makeup
Kenout Peltier Editor
Ghislain Uhry Costumes/Costume Designer
Lee Zavitz Special Effects
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Explosive Little Girl [4:08]
2. Main Title [3:06]
3. A Circus at the Circus [3:14]
4. The Hungry & the Lonely [6:02]
5. "Mary and Mary" [2:58]
6. A Showgirl is Born [9:08]
7. Love and Alcohol [8:35]
8. Phenomenon Times Two [7:40]
9. Tall, Dark & Revolutionary [5:47]
10. Caged Beauties [4:08]
11. The Cultured Brute [7:46]
12. The Uprising [6:24]
13. Marie's Big Scene [7:53]
14. Headlong Into... [8:07]
15. ...Full-Blown Revolution [5:22]
16. "Ave Maria... y Maria" [5:56]
17. Trapped by the Church [4:58]
18. Invading San Miguel [8:58]
19. Firing the Squad [3:36]
20. Heroes of the Revolution [2:38]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   Theatrical Trailer
   Subtitles
      English
      Français
      Español
      None
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Bardot Makes a Revoloution

    This is a mid-60's French version of an Italian Spaghetti western, so besides a lot of gunplay and things being blown up, you also get some sexy scenes and discussions about the meaning of class warfare and revolution.
    Jeanne Moreau seems a little shy and reticent about keeping up with the free spirited Bardot, but they both seem to be enjoying themselves. George Hamilton gives a surprisingly interesting performance.
    For those who enjoy Westerns, the sexual revolution of the 50's and 60's, and have a socialist class conscious, this is a delight.
    The 2006 Western "Bandidas" with Penelope Cruz and Selma Hayek is a Latina version of this movie, close in spirit and energy, if not in plot.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews