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The Oldest Profession (1967)

Le plus vieux métier du monde (original title)
A collection of sketches on prostitution through the ages. 1) "The Prehistoric Era": A caveman discovers that a cavewoman is more attractive when cave paint is applied to her face. And she ... See full summary »


(screenplay), (screenplay) | 4 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Brit (segment "Ère préhistorique, L'") (as Michele Mercier)
Enrico Maria Salerno ...
Rak (segment "Ère préhistorique, L'")
Gabriele Tinti ...
L'uomo del mar (segment "Ère préhistorique, L'") (as Gabriel Tinti)
Domitilla (segment "Nuits romaines, Les")
Gastone Moschin ...
Flavius (segment "Nuits romaines, Les") (as Gaston Moschin)
Giancarlo Cobelli ...
Menippo, le poète (segment "Nuits romaines")
Mimi (segment "Mademoiselle Mimi")
Catherine Samie ...
Toinette (segment "Mademoiselle Mimi")
Philibert (segment "Mademoiselle Mimi")
Jean Richard ...
Le commissaire du peuple (segment "Mademoiselle Mimi")
Nini (segment "Belle époque, La")
Martin Held ...
Edouard (segment "Belle époque, La")
Siegfried Schürenberg ...
(segment "Belle époque, La")
Tilly Lauenstein ...
(segment "Belle époque, La")
Nadia (segment "Aujourd'hui")


A collection of sketches on prostitution through the ages. 1) "The Prehistoric Era": A caveman discovers that a cavewoman is more attractive when cave paint is applied to her face. And she can earn more seashells that way. 2) "Roman Nights": The Emperor goes out seeking a little nocturnal amusement, only to find that the high-priced, Oriental courtesan he hires is his wife, the Empress. 3) "Mademoiselle Mimi": In revolutionary France, Mimi finds that her client, the nephew of a marquis, is more interested in watching the guillotinings out her window than he is in going to bed. 4) "The Gay Nineties": When Nini discovers by accident that her antiquated customer is a banker, she pretends to be an honest woman who has fallen in love with him. She even pays him, just like a gigolo! 5) "Paris Today": Two girls pick up clients by driving around in a car, and then an ambulance. Police pull the vehicle over for speeding. 6) "Anticipation": Demetrius has just arrived on Earth from another ... Written by David Carless

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An Adult Affair in Luscious Color See more »


Comedy | Drama


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Release Date:

8 November 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Oldest Profession  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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User Reviews

One notable sketch

The sketch film was a staple of European cinema in the Fifties and Sixties. It allowed directors to work out some interesting ideas in 15 to 20 minute segments, on small budgets. Most of the directors on view here are forgotten today--Indovina, Bolognini, Autant-Lara--or in eclipse: de Broca, who never was a real new wave filmmaker, but who had a sure grasp of commercial cinema, is known today for Le Roi de coeur.

The stories are mostly silly, the actors are often mediocre: Elsa Martinelli and Michele Mercier are Eurobland, like Capucine or Dana Wynter. Jeanne Moreau is terribly wasted in a boulevard farce with ridiculous costumes--her hat is bigger than she is. Nadia Gray and Dalio sing a lusty song together in the otherwise forgettable Autant-Lara. We have to wait for the final episode, Anticipation by Godard, to experience a real jolt. Nobody has used everyday settings like airports and office towers to create menacing environments the way Godard has; there's terror in that chrome and Formica. Jacques Charrier with his vaguely Teutonic looks is perfect as the Russian who just wants some human contact (excellent sound work to give him a foreign accent). Marilu Tolo and Anna Karina as the sensual and spiritual aspects of prostitution are wonderful. There's more punch here than in the 90 minutes of Alphaville (which admittedly has some wonderful scenes).

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