Best Sci-fi Movies on Netflix Right Now (2020)

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8. Barbarella

Released on: October 1, 1968

Directed by: Roger Vadim

Written by: Terry Southern and Roger Vadim

Starring: Jane Fonda, Anita Pallenberg, Milo O’Shea

She was referenced in a song by the late, great Scott Weiland. She was made into a campy 1980s musical production. She even inspired the name of one of the greatest pop bands of the 1980s – and, arguably, of all time (Duran Duran, after the villain Durand Durand). But Barbarella – the film that brought Jane Fonda into the pop culture consciousness – is groundbreaking for another reason: it’s one of the first films to ever be adapted from a comic book, and especially a film to be released on such a grand scale.

Yes, the premise is campy – Barbarella is humanity’s representative before the evil Durand Durand, who is threatening to wipe out all of humanity with his positron ray – but the cinematography, like most of Roger Vadim’s work, is absolutely stunning, and Jane looks absolutely divine. It was a huge hit in England – and was, in fact, the second-highest grossing film of that year – but is often criticized for having a weak story line.

Fun fact: other Hollywood starlets of the day that were being considered for the lead role included Virna Lisi, Brigitte Bardot, and Sophia Loren. (Imagine how different the movie would have been with any one of those women in the titular role!)