And God Created Woman (1956): History’s Most Scandalously Popular Movie, or Most Popularly Scandalous Movie, Starring Brigitte Bardot

The Making of:

And God Created Woman (1956):

Film History’s Most Scandalously Popular Movie, or Film History’s Most Commercially Scandalous Movie?

Director Roger Vadim:

“I wanted, through Brigitte, to witness an epoch: the psychosis of our post-war generation.

Juliette is a young girl of today, to whom the taste of pleasure is neither limited by morals or social taboos; entirely free in sexual behavior,

In pre-war literature and cinema, one would have painted her simply as a whore.

But here she is a very young woman, without, of course, any excuses save for those of the heart, of a generous, desaxee, inconsistent person.”

Vadim always maintained that it was Bardot’s finest, truest, most definitive work.

It was also his own best film, followed by his second feature, Sait-on Jamais; Barbarella in 1968 with Jane Fonda, and La curee.

Vadim continued to claim that he cannot locate a better total performance from Bardot than in their astonishing debut feature.

“I have seen again La veritee, which was a good melodrama, but very old-fashioned. When it came out, in 1960, people said: “Here for the first time, Bardot is really an actress,’ because it was a very psychological role. ut she was not, ever,  really as interesting as she was  in God Created Woman. All the good points in La verite were just picked up from out first film.”

The movie may have worked exceedingly well, because Vadim and Bardot’s complicated but intriguing marriage–the experienced master and the eager pupil, in love, sex, and work.

Physically and mentally, Vadim knew Bardot really well. The film conveyed sharing this knowledge with the rest of the world, revealing as much of her interior and glowing exterior.


In the plot, Juliette Hardy (Bardot) is desired by three men: The Tardieu brothers, Antoine the elder and macho one (Chrostian Marquant) and Michel, the younger, sensitive and virginal one (Jean-Louis Trintignant).

Then there is Eric Carradine (played by German actor Curt Jurgens). a wealthy shipping magnate.

Brigitte is drawn to the elder Tradieu but he remains indifferent at first: “I never said I wanted to be the first.” Juliette is just a plaything to Antoine, who is married.

Juliette weds the gentle Michel, growing to love him, and working hard to make the marriage work. “I need you to love me a lot, she says.

Bat, alas, Antoine’s animalistic virility proves too strong and too irresistible.  After his stormy beach seduction, Juliette flees to Carradine.

Michel has to physically fight his brother, shoot Carradine, and slap his drunken wife, while she is dancing in a club.  He literally drags her home.

Carradine notes: “That girl can drive men wild. But Michel’s young–and he’s shown her he’s a master. He’ll make out all right I think.”


German star Curt Jurgens was the name securing the backing. But he immediately realized whose film it was: “Brigitte possesses innate femininity…an indescribable phenomenon.”

Bardot entered the BBig-time.

this was the film that created the myth, the actress who was not an actress but herself.

The film hardly bothered the French, but shook up the rest of the world, and in the process changed the face of cinema.

Due to Bb, the fesses launched a thousand strips.


“My best film,” Bardot declared at the time. And so it was in 1957, and so it is now, over six decades later.

“Never have I been so much at ease, Bardot told Cahiers du Cinema in May 1957. “Vadim knows me so well. All the dialogue was so natural to me and the setting marvelous.”

And the censorship”

“I have not timed it, but there are many cuts–c’est dommage! It spoils the rhythm.

“There was, for example, a scene on the beach where Christian Marquand slipped off my dress and caressed me. There’s hardly anything left of it and I regret it. It was not sale (dirty) because it was beautiful.”

A remarkable original feature can never be repeated or improved upon. Just watch Vadim’s own futile effort at a remake with Rebecca DeMornay.

Journalists and Critics Response:

Bardot was shooting this steamy scene when Donald Zee of the Daily Mirror visited the set and write about it: “Brigitte, in a sea-soaked dress, stood over a handsome dark-haired actor. He had just rescued her from a raging sea. He was exhausted, he was wet, he was winded. He looked at her. She looked at him. Suddenly she put a dainty foot on his face and trod his head into the sand–like an unwanted jam sandwich at Bognor  This, he did not like so he grabbed her ankle and with a powerful flick of the wrist sent her tumbling on her back.

“Bravo–cut,” said the director.