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Contempt (Criterion Collection) (1963)

Cast: Brigitte Bardot, Brigitte Bardot, Michel Piccoli, more...
Director: Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Luc Godard
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Studio: Criterion
Genre: Drama, Foreign, France, Criterion Collection
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English
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Contempt is the story of the end of a marriage. Camille (Brigitte Bardot) falls out of love with her husband Paul (Michel Piccoli) while he is rewriting the screenplay Odyssey by American producer Jeremiah Prokosch (Jack Palance). Just as the director of Prokosch's film, Fritz Lang, says that The Odyssey is the story of individuals confronting their situations in a real world, Le Mépris itself is an examination of the position of the filmmaker in the commercial cinema. Godard himself was facing this situation in the production of Le Mépris. Italian producer Carlo Ponti had given him the biggest budget of his career, and he found himself working with a star of Bardot's magnitude for the first time. ~ Louis Schwartz, All Movie Guide

Special Features:

  • New high-definition digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Raoul Coutard and enhanced for widescreen televisions
  • Audio commentary by film scholar Robert Stam
  • New and improved English subtitle translation

GreenCine Member Ratings

Contempt (Criterion Collection) (1963)
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7.59 (300 votes)
Contempt (Criterion Collection) (Bonus Disc) (1963)
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7.79 (43 votes)

GreenCine Member Reviews

Brigitte Bardot.......'nuff said by funnytoo May 10, 2012 - 8:18 AM PDT
an 8 for the film, a 10 for Bardot, a 5 for Palance - his lecherous grins, boorish attitudes & and all around bad acting would have been much better played by Dirk Bogart (with an american accent ;-)
Oh, I almost forgot: a 10 for scenery, a 10 for use of color & to make sure, a 10 for Brigitte, watch her walk, Runway Models have imitated her for decades.

I Don't Love This Movie Any More by RJones3 April 2, 2007 - 10:24 AM PDT
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
Contempt seems at first sight (or first hearing) to be dubbed over. That would not be out of the question for a "new wave" movie of the sixties, which is typically a foreign-language film. The impression, in any case, is of flat, perfunctory dialog accompanying a sometimes overwrought visual. The new-wave filmmakers liked to regard themselves as "auteurs," but they were clearly much more interested in the intricacies of sight than the grandeurs of language, despite the occasional reference to literary classics.
The literary reference in Contempt is to the Odyssey of Homer, and there is much Nietzsche-like opining on the contrast between the heroic and the modern. For our purposes the contrast between the engaging and the fatuous will do, and the character played by Piccoli definitely falls into the latter category. His wife, played by Bridget Bardot, is offended by his deference to the overbearing producer, played by Jack Parlance. Parlance is miscast in this role (as Roger Ebert agrees), which requires someone considerably more oafish. Ironically, Parlance's paycheck, along with Bardot's, ate up a good part of the film's budget.
I missed Bardot as the sex kitten of the sixties, and this movie did little to make up for my loss. Here she is a liberated woman, exhibited only in mildly interesting tush shots. Some critics attribute her underexposure to a disgruntled director, but the cerebral atmosphere of the film would have rendered anything more gratuitous. We are left to wonder about the ambitions of this former typist. It is clear at least that she no longer loves her husband, and the more he asks why, the clearer it becomes.

brilliant film.. brilliant vision.. by psychodrama311 May 28, 2003 - 11:04 AM PDT
9 out of 10 members found this review helpful
a view of the film industry through the eyes of an outsider. godard films one of the most brilliant (can i actually use that word too much when talking about godard) takes on the film industry itself. he uses bardot as the focus but then films everything else around her.. the reactions of everyone to her. this is perhaps her finest work. the one thing that keeps up with the dialogue. the point.. and wonderful.. like the rope tying everyone wraps around the plot and the characters.. a great film..

More reviews for titles in this product:

Moveline's 100 Best Foreign Films
This list was published in Moveline's July 1996 issue.
Village Voice's 100 Best Films of the 20th Century
When the Village Voice held its "First Annual Film Critics' Poll" they asked 50 or so film critics (like Molly Haskell, Jonathan Rosenbaum, and Andrew Sarris) to rank their top ten best films of the century. This is the result.

see all lists

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