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Contempt (1963)

Le mépris (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 18 December 1964 (USA)
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

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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>

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Taglines:

Not Since "And God Created Woman" So Much Bardot...so much of the magic, the mystery, the animal magnetism that has made her the screen's most exciting woman! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

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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)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) (re-edited)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Fritz Lang was 73 when he made the film. One of the reasons why he hadn't directed in some years - his last film was The 1,000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse (1960) - was because he was virtually blind at this stage in his life. 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: Why the thoughtful air?
Camille Javal: Maybe because I'm thinking of something. That surprise you?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in One Hundred and One Nights (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Capri
(French Version) Written and Performed by Georges Delerue Et Son Orchestre
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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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