France’s two top female stars, Brigitte Bardot and Jeanne Moreau play the two Marias – a singer and the orphaned daughter of an Irish rebel – who get mixed up with a dashing rebel leader (George Hamilton) and take up the cause of the peasants in South America.
Shot by a French director in Eastmancolor and Panavision on location in Mexico, Viva Maria attempted to emulate the visual quality of Hollywood movies, while at the same time wittily sending up the kind of super-production it is.
The gaiety of this large-scale production is in complete contrast to director Louis Malle’s previous film, the downbeat Le Feu Follet.
Some critics deplored this foray by Malle into commercial cinema.
Maria Fitzgerald O’Malley (Maria II)
Gregor von Rezzori
The Great Rodolfo
Carlos López Moctezuma
Dictator of San Miguel
José Ángel Espinoza
Father of Maria II