…And God Created Woman (1956)

and god created woman poster 1956 movie
9.5 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 10/10

Classic film, thoughtful story, great cast and location

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Movie Info

Movie Name: …And God Created Woman

Studio: Cocinor

Genre(s): Drama/Romance

Release Date(s): November 28, 1956 (France)/October 21, 1957 (US)

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

and god created woman brigitte bardot sunbathing

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In the French Riviera seaside town of St. Tropez, orphan Juliette (Brigitte Bardot) lives as she wants to live much to the scorn of the people of town.  Juliette catches the eye of almost every man who sees her including the wealthy businessman Eric Carradine (Curd Jürgens), Antoine Tardieu (Christian Marquand), and his younger brother Michel Tardieu (Jean-Louis Trintignant).  When Juliette is scorned by Antoine and the threats of returning to the orphanage are her only option, Juliette agrees to marry Michel…but Juliette’s free will could be her downfall.

Directed by Roger Vadim (who also wrote the film with Raoul Lévy), …And God Created Woman (Et Dieu… créa la femme) is a French drama romance.  The film was a box office success but also faced criticism for decency in the United States.  The Criterion Collection released a remastered version of the film (Criterion #77).

and god created woman brigitte bardot jean louis trintignant

Nothing like a happy bride

…And God Created Woman is one of those classic foreign films.  It is the type of movie that yuppies have the foreign poster on their wall and intellectuals discuss.  While there is a kind of snootiness to movies like …And God Created Woman, the movie is very good and made a real star out of Bardot.

The story is often very subtle and says a lot about marriage, the period of time, families, and how women are seen in society.  Juliette in the movie is both a symbol of freedom but she is also a symbol of the problem.  While people like Antoine and Eric are allowed to be playboys, Juliette receives the label of prostitute (at one point directly) by people for having behavior that isn’t “lady like” at the time.  She is also living with the sins of her parents simply because she was orphaned.  It becomes a movie about “taming” Juliette and if it is worth it to try.  The ending of the film can be debated and what it means for Juliette and Michel in the bigger picture of women’s roles in society at the time.

and god created woman brigitte bardot beach

This would be an eye catcher in 2020…in 1956, eyes must have popped out of their heads

Brigitte Bardot (who was married to Vadim at the time) works because she is mesmerizing at the time.  She has a look that can be extremely attractive when made up but even more sensual when she’s “made down”.  She has the natural beauty that the role needs and she can captivate the audience (of men) while creating a different reaction in women who could either see her as sign of freedom or a threat or promiscuous (like the mother of the Tardieu).  What is also interesting is that Bardot’s character knows what power her sensuality has uses it frequently…she also can be extremely rude, but she’s being rude to those who are cold to her.  She is broken and most of the people around her are who broke her.

and god created woman dancing scene brigitte bardot jean louis trintignant curd jurgens

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The movie is a visual treat.  It is known for boosting St. Tropez as a tourist destination, and it is obvious why when watching the film.  The beautiful town has that small fishing village feel while still having the visuals of the French Riviera.  It feels (and probably was) largely non-tourists and visitors at the time which gives Bardot’s free-spirited Juliette even more struggles in a small, quiet town.

…And God Created Woman is a great movie that can be dissected and studies, or it can be a movie to simply watch and enjoy.  In many ways, I kind of see the story as a bit of a comparison to Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles which shows the double standard between men and women regarding sex and acceptance, but this is more implied than stated.  It is the type of movie that doesn’t have much spelled out for the viewers or gives the viewers many answers in the end.  That can be intimidating for some, but it is the type of movie that is worth giving it a try.  Bardot soars and the viewer soars with her.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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