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Contempt (1963)

Le mépris (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 18 December 1964 (USA)
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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Cast

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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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 »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

18 December 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Contempt  »

Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) (re-edited)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jean-Luc Godard had been curious about making a big budget production. This more than satisfied his experience (he hated making the film). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Paul Javal: Was that smile mocking or tender?
Camille Javal: [smiling] Tender.
Paul Javal: Answer me, then.
Camille Javal: If it were true, I'd tell you. A woman can always find excuses. But you're a stupid sod sometimes.
Paul Javal: Bad language doesn't suit you.
Camille Javal: Doesn't it? Just listen. Asshole... fuck... shit... goddammit... bastard... bollocks... bloody hassle. You still think it doesn't suit me?
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in The Trip to Italy (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

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