…and God Created Woman

The film that launched Brigitte Bardot’s career. Directed by Frenchman Roger Vadim in 1956, Et Dieu… créa la femme was, of course, condemned by the Catholic League of Decency for its then-explicit depiction of (feminine) sexuality. The story follows Bardot as an 18-year-old orphan who attracts the attention of just about every man in the small town where she lives, not least because of her vivacious nature and propensity to walk around half-dressed and barefoot. (Apparently the latter also worked in her favour; perhaps the town was a colony of foot fetishists?)

When her guardians decide they have had enough of her ‘antics,’ and threaten to send her back to the orphanage, a young man proposes marriage. The only problem? She’s in love with his older brother. On the whole, the simple narrative, and indeed the rest of the film itself, is far less interesting than the landmark performance at its centre. (Vadim strangely ‘remade’ the film in 1988 with Rebecca de Mornay, though according to Roger Ebert the only commonality between the two films is the title.)

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