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Contempt (1963)

Le mépris (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 18 December 1964 (USA)
2:29 | Trailer

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Screenwriter Paul Javal's marriage to his wife Camille disintegrates during movie production as she spends time with the producer. Layered conflicts between art and business ensue.






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Complete credited cast:


Paul Javal is a writer who is hired to make a script for a new movie about Ulysses more commercial, which is to be directed by Fritz Lang and produced by Jeremy Prokosch. But because he let his wife Camille drive with Prokosch and he is late, she believes, he uses her as a sort of present for Prokosch to get get a better payment. So the relationship ends. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Since "And God Created Woman" So Much Bardot...so much of the magic, the mystery, the animal magnetism that has made her the screen's most exciting woman! See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| | |

Release Date:

18 December 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Contempt  »

Box Office


$900,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$33,284 (USA) (27 June 1997)


$40,575 (USA) (17 January 2014)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut) (re-edited)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »


It is possible that all "mistakes" in the film that involve visible equipment are intentional, or at least intentionally uncorrected: the film, after all, is about the artificiality of making a film, and the initial credit sequence shows filmmakers shooting the film itself. See more »


Camille Javal: You like all of me? My mouth? My eyes? My nose? And my ears?
Paul Javal: Yes, all of you.
Camille Javal: Then you love me... totally?
Paul Javal: Yes. Totally... tenderly... tragically.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening cast credits are read, without titles See more »


Referenced in Three Colors: White (1994) See more »


Spiral Of Love
(Italian Version) Written and Performed by 'Piero Piccioni' E La Sua Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

The Director, The Producer, Their Writer & His Wife
6 July 2008 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

Fritz Lang, playing himself, is set to direct a more commercial adaptation of Homer's "Odyssey". Jeremy Prokosch (Jack Palance), the producer, despises art films and hires screenwriter Paul Javal (Michel Piccoli) to help Lang commercialize the movie. Javal 'offers' his young wife, Camille (Brigitte Bardot, sexier than ever, in one of her few serious roles), to Prokosch, thinking he'll get a better payment. But he didn't know that would sparkle Camille's contempt and ruin their marriage.

"Le Mépris" aka "Contempt" is Godard's existentialist, provocative essay of the relationships between artistic and commercial cinema, man and woman/husband and wife (he was married to his then-muse Anna Karina, with whom he made some of his best films; after their divorce in 1967, he married Anne Wiazemsky, with whom he made "La Chinoise", "Week End" and others). Gorgeously photographed by Raoul Coutard and scored by the master Georges Delerue, and with some "influences" of Antonioni's trilogy (L'Avventura, La Notte and L'Eclisse), "Le Mépris" is not my favourite Godard, but it's certainly a vigorous film. 9/10.

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