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The plot is suitably silly. In some unnamed South American country, Bardot is an Irish (!) terrorist's daughter who has learned all the tricks of the trade before suddenly becoming orphaned. On the run from the authorities, she takes refuge with a motley band of travelling performers whose shows seem to mix circus and music hall. Moreau is a star attraction although she has just lost the partner in her double act. Naturally, the two girls - both named Maria - end up on stage together where problems with the costumes lead to some delightful striptease sequences. The girls are a big hit - no surprise!
The troupe's travels take them to a country in the midst of revolution. Moreau falls for the rebel leader - George Hamilton, of all people, trying hard to look moody and magnificent. When he is killed (sad for Maria, relief for the audience) the two Marias take over leadership of the rebels - inspired by Moreau's zeal and Bardot's technical knowledge of explosives.
The film rattles along at a brisk pace, littered along the way with saucy humour and outrageous sight gags.Read more ›
The first hour of the picture is more enjoyable than the second, with Brigitte Bardot and Jeanne Moreau as vaudevillians who do a series of striptease acts for Central American audiences, around the turn of the century. As the film progresses, Malle makes the striptease scenes randier and randier, and at one point, we almost believe that the two actresses will go all the way (Bardot comes so close that my jaw dropped open). Yet the strongest element of the film -- also fully realized during this half --- is its unique, quirky humour. The Central Americans' reactions to the Bardot/Moreau circus are a laugh riot, and the sight gags highly original; I've never seen anything like them in a movie before.
The second half isn't bad -- for about thirty minutes, it slows down a bit as Bardot & Moreau become revolutionaries, and Malle shifts to pure action and Peckinpah-style violence -- but even these scenes, in their own way, are engaging -- and the humor resurfaces in the end of the film, *coupled* with violence, for an incredible finish.Read more ›
This movie is highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A sheer delight. Funny and well-acted. Product arrived on time and in perfect shape.
The pairing of these two actresses was genius.
I had seen the movie many years ago and just wanted to experience it again. The streaming was interrupted several times which was annoying. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Dirk van Ulden
I already have this film on DVD. I upgraded it by purchasing it in blue ray because it looks ravishing & spectacular. The colors look vivrant. I love this film. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Tomas L Castro
"Viva Maria" used to be one of my guilty pleasures. Now I don't know why I should be guilty about it because it is a sheer delight. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Captain Bill
One of the most stylish, inventive, witty and enjoyable films I've ever seen. I love the fact that this release has retained the original French dialogue and been subtitled in... Read morePublished 14 months ago by M. G. Eustace
What was Louis Malle thinking about when he put forth this gem of a movie? It's a tale of comedic revolution in a fictitious country south of the border, and it happens to be led... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Bruce Duguid
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