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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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A lusty look at a saucy sextet of lovely bawdies...! See more »


Comedy | Drama


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Release Date:

8 November 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Oldest Profession  »

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Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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User Reviews

Come for Raquel Welch; Stay for Godard
23 March 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film is definitely worth seeing. The film is made up of six sketches by six directors, each revolving around the theme of - you guessed it - the world's oldest profession: prostitution. It begins with a ridiculous segment that explains the origins of cosmetics as a primitive stone age invention.

The acting throughout is not good but in a very entertaining way, that is, until Raquel Welch is on screen. She is better than ever and I almost wished her segment would not end, not knowing what was to unfold later in the film.

After a few more lightly entertaining segments, the film takes a considerably different tone. In fact, it's a sonic jolt that filled me with tension and excitement. I first saw this movie on Quentin Tarantino's 35mm print, and had no prior knowledge of it's existence. So, naturally, I was surprised to see Godard's name appear at the beginning of the last segment, entitled Anticipation. Among these mostly light-hearted and ridiculous comedy segments was one of the coolest things I've ever seen. At first, I thought the mention of Godard's name was a joke. The story is set in the future and is meant to depict prostitution in the years to come. It is, characteristic of Godard, unlike anything you would expect. I won't give away any details, for the experience is best seen fresh, and makes this movie worth seeing for Godard's segment alone. Come for Raquel, and stay for Godard.

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