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

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  18 December 1964 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 18,512 users  
Reviews: 123 user | 119 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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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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


More Bold! More Brazen! And Much, Much More Bardot! 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?


The seventh most successful film in 1963 at the French box office - a disappointment for Brigitte Bardot but Jean-Luc Godard's biggest commercial success. 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 »


Fritz Lang: Now it's no longer the presence of God, but the absence of God, that reassures man. It's very strange, but true.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Godard's Contempt
20 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

The whole movie can be captured in one moment. That one fleeting second when the absurd irony and futility of 'everything' will dawn upon you. Either that or you will merely take it for what it is. A masterpiece.

So obviously chained by the wrath of Gods, the movie on the whole has too much to offer. Whether it is the parallels between the existing world and the world of homer, the constant struggle with commercialism or the perusal of a writer's integrity... you will keep on jumping between realism and.... romanticism? Throughout the movie, a haunting melancholic theme continues to play magic on nerves. Amongst countless striking scenes lies a splendidly performed sequence made on a shoestring budget in the apartment that captures the unsettling confessions of the pair. Definitely worth seeing/experiencing!

As much as you will fall under the spell of Godard and feel for the likes of Lang, you can't help being amused by the almost comical character of Palance. Very comical, Very contemptuous.

But at the end its Lang that captures attention on the whole. A lone figure standing amidst harmonious chaos, staring silently at everyone and no one, while life effortlessly moves around him. He makes perfect sense.

Contempt. The whole thing takes place within a system that seems to be contemptuous of itself. So much so that it even ends up holding a mocking mirror, capturing an ultimate contempt for the audience.

50 of 78 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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