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Contempt (1963)
"Le mépris" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  18 December 1964 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 17,789 users  
Reviews: 122 user | 118 critic

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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(novel)
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Cast

Complete credited 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:

More Bold! More Brazen! And Much, Much More Bardot! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| | |

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)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) (re-edited)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jeremy's unusual house on the island of Capri was designed by Italian architect Adalberto Libera, who is better known for his large civic buildings. It was built in the early 1940s. 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?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Working Title (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Perhaps it's great because of its ambiguity.
19 July 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Contempt is the type of film that can create that feeling between itself and the audience watching. It is a strange mix of cinematic magic and unrealistic psychobabble. Jean-Luc Godard is one of the greatest of all directors and perhaps the most successful of the French New Wave, one of the most important occurrences in film history. He had already hit success with his ground-breaking Breathless and his personal My Life to Live. Here, he is at his most experimental, even more so than in The Little Soldier. From the opening shot of a camera tracking an actor down towards where the narrative camera is, there is no doubt this is a unique picture.

We then get multiple scenes involving the strangest nude scenes ever recorded. This film stars Bridgette Bardot, one of the most beautiful and captivating women ever to be in a movie, and Godard intentionally films her almost completely without a sense of eroticism or sexiness. She, like everything else here, is objectified, pushed away and gives us a chance to consider other films we have seen.

This is a rare gift to film lovers, a story that cannot be judged on standard grounds because it is not a standard film. Godard, I believe, is showing the absolute boundaries of the cinema, daring to go farther than nearly anyone before or after him. For most, it will totally polarize them and perhaps turn them off to Godard or even foreign films completely. But, that should not be the case. True, this is a head-scratcher, but you cannot expect normalcy from a director like Godard. Here, along with most of his other work, he proved that the director, if given freedom, can change the look and feel of a film to an unlimited amount of options and opportunities. Roger Ebert said that Godard never made another movie like this because he realized he couldn't. I think he didn't because he realized cinema hasn't reached those limits yet; and perhaps never will.


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