MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 402 this week

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

 -  Drama  -  18 December 1964 (USA)
7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 16,096 users  
Reviews: 118 user | 114 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.

Director:

Writer:

(novel)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 37 titles
created 26 Aug 2011
 
a list of 33 titles
created 12 Sep 2011
 
a list of 27 titles
created 03 Oct 2011
 
a list of 36 titles
created 15 Mar 2013
 
a list of 38 titles
created 10 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Contempt" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Contempt (1963)

Contempt (1963) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Contempt.

User Polls

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Vivre Sa Vie (1962)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Twelve episodic tales in the life of a Parisian woman and her slow descent into prostitution.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Anna Karina, Sady Rebbot, André S. Labarthe
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Pierrot escapes his boring society and travels from Paris to the Mediterranean Sea with Marianne, a girl chased by hit-men from Algeria. They lead an unorthodox life, always on the run.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Anna Karina, Graziella Galvani
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In sunny St. Tropez, a young sexpot loves one brother but marries the other.

Director: Roger Vadim
Stars: Brigitte Bardot, Curd Jürgens, Jean-Louis Trintignant
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A French striptease artist is desperate to become a mother. When her reluctant boyfriend suggests his best friend to impregnate her, feelings become complicated when she accepts.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Anna Karina, Jean-Claude Brialy, Jean-Paul Belmondo
Breathless (1960)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A young car thief kills a policeman and tries to persuade a girl to hide in Italy with him.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Daniel Boulanger
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Two crooks with a fondness for old Hollywood B-movies convince a languages student to help them commit a robbery.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Anna Karina, Claude Brasseur, Danièle Girard
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

During the Algerian war for independence from France, a young Frenchman living in Geneva who belongs to a right-wing terrorist group and a young woman who belongs to a left-wing terrorist ... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Anna Karina, Michel Subor, Henri-Jacques Huet
Alphaville (1965)
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A U.S. secret agent is sent to the distant space city of Alphaville where he must find a missing person and free the city from its tyrannical ruler.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Eddie Constantine, Anna Karina, Akim Tamiroff
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Paul is young, just demobbed from national service in the French Army, and dishillusioned with civilian life. As his girlfriend builds herself a career as a pop singer, Paul becomes more ... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Chantal Goya, Marlène Jobert
Weekend (1967)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A supposedly idyllic weekend trip to the countryside turns into a never-ending nightmare of traffic jams, revolution, cannibalism and murder as French bourgeois society starts to collapse ... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Mireille Darc, Jean Yanne, Jean-Pierre Kalfon
The Soldiers (1963)
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

During a war in an imaginary country, unscrupulous soldiers recruit poor farmers with promises of an easy and happy life. Two of these farmers write to their wives of their exploits.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Patrice Moullet, Marino Masé, Geneviève Galéa
Made in U.S.A (1966)
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Set in the near future, Paula, a leftist writer, goes from Paris to the French town of Atlantic-Cité when she learns of the death of a former colleague and lover, Richard P. Is she there to... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Anna Karina, László Szabó, Jean-Pierre Léaud
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
Edit

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:

Bardot at her bold, bare and brazen best! Reveling in Rome, cavorting in Capri...jolting even the jaded international jet-set in her pursuit of love! [UK Theatrical] See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

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

Jerry Prokosch: I like gods. I like them very much. I know exactly how they feel - exactly.
Fritz Lang: Jerry, don't forget. The gods have not created man. Man has created gods.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Two in the Wave (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Film within a film within a film (infinity)
8 April 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

With Le Mepris (1963), French filmmaker Jean Luc Godard strings together at least three different narrative strands, each of which are in some way connected to the central story of a couple falling out of love, and all further set against an additional thematic backdrop of film-making and ancient Greek mythology. With this technique, Godard is clearly attempting to not only present us with a vicious satire on the business of movie-making, but also attempting to deconstruct the very notion of film-making by contrasting the soulless and mechanical approach to studio production, with the trials and tribulations of a torturous love affair.

As with the vast majority of Godard's work - particularly of this era - Le Mepris is very much a work in the meta-film tradition; in the sense that it is a film about film-making that is constantly reminding the audience of its own artificiality and manufactured design. This ideology is evident right from the start, as Godard begins the film with a lengthy tracking shot, which finds the camera following in front of a camera actually within the film and also in the middle of a similarly complicated tracking shot. To add further ideas of self-reflexivity to the proceedings, Godard appears himself as the film's assistant director, with his cinematographer Raoul Coutard manning the equipment. As the shot progresses, a cold and emotionless voice-over beings narrating the opening credits - though no text appears on screen - whilst the camera continues tracking towards us, edging closer to us until both camera and audience are starring directly into one other and the endless abyss that they represent.

It's pure Brechtian deconstruction, years before Godard would refine the influence of Brecht with the difficult masterpiece Week End (1967), which shares some elements familiar from Le Mepris, in particular the use of the couple as a metaphorical reference point for some kind of greater ideology and a natural continuation of many of the film-making techniques that Godard had been developing since A Woman Is A Woman (1961). This brings us to the story at hand, with Le Mepris focusing on a jaded scriptwriter (Michel Piccoli) setting out to polish the screenplay for Fritz Lang's big budget adaptation of Homer's epic, The Odyssey. From this set up we are introduced to the writer's beautiful and enchanting girlfriend (Brigitte Bardot), the arrogant U.S. film producer (Jack Palance), and the great man himself, Fritz Lang.

Each of these four characters will be involved in their own separate strand of the narrative that will run concurrently alongside the other characters, whilst in turn, laying reference points to the likes of Ulysses, The Odyssey, Fellini and The Rite of Spring, to create the overall foundation of the film itself. This is only the first quarter of the film and already Godard is churning out exciting idea after exciting idea to smash apart the worn clichés and generally accepted limitations of film in a way that is as startling, boring, joyous and confusing as anything else he has directed. The visual design is just splendid, with Godard and Coutard moving further away from the Nouvelle Vague/Cinéma-vérité influences of their earliest work and incorporating beautifully vivid primary colours, the use of cinema-scope, complex and seemingly random tracking shots and camera movements and sporadic bursts of music to disarm the viewer during moments of dialog.

The centrepiece here is the near-infamous twenty-minute long sequence that takes place between the writer and his girlfriend in their vast, open-plan apartment, in which jealousies, bitterness and petty arguments blow up and cool off amidst a series of seemingly mundane, everyday-like activities. What makes the scene work is Godard's far from invisible directorial intent, as he attempts to excite, bore and eventually move the audience into becoming interested in these complicated and far from conventional characters whilst simultaneously using the set up to offer a skillful deconstruction of his own film's narrative, the narrative of Homer's Odyssey, and the film that Lang is making. This ties into the further film-within-a-film-within-a-film (infinity) abstractions, with Godard continually making allusions to the idea that the film we are watching could easily be a film being made.

The film also works in a circular sense, opening with that aforementioned scene in which Godard points the barrel of the lens directly into the audience whilst narrating his own credits, whilst the final shots shows the camera drifting off towards the sunset as Godard yells "cut". With Le Mepris, Godard clearly struck the right balance of cinematic invention; beautiful photography, use of colour, costumes and music, a recreation of Cinecittà as a pastoral ghost town (a comment on film-making in itself), etc, whilst achieving a subtle symbiosis between his characters, his narrative and his philosophical subtext. For me, this is perhaps the strongest 'narrative' film the director ever made before abandoning generic storytelling and instead striving for greater artistic substance.

I suppose in this day and age it is easy to look back on Godard's once radical use of cinematic experimentation - and his genuine desire to challenge the medium of film far beyond the usual presentation of conventions like character and narrative - and see it as something that is hollow and dated; a pseudo-intellectual exercise in cinematic deconstruction that is there to be endured, as opposed to enjoyed. Though this may still be true for some viewers - particularly those at odds with Godard's personal style and the very 60's idea that art could be entertainment and that anything was possible - there will be other viewers who are far more in tune with the notion of cinema for cinema's sake, and can better appreciate the film for what it truly is.


35 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The Emperor has no clothes- inane piece of rubbish nutritionist
Did he did it deliberately... whatareyoudoig
List Your Top 5 Godard Films pdw96
coloring Jgskywalker89
Godard Article kingfelix23
Use of colour foofy_licker
Discuss Contempt (1963) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page