Film: Contempt

Contempt (original French title: Le Mépris) is a 1963 French movie directed by Jean-Luc Godard and starring Brigitte Bardot and Michel Piccoli. It's based on an Italian novel of the same title.

Dissatisfied with the direction a movie he's financing is taking, American producer Jeremy Prokosch (Jack Palance) hires French playwright Paul Javal (Piccoli) to write a more commercial script. Paul tries to essentially sell his wife Camille (Bardot) to Prokosch, to get a better payment for the script. Camille, pissed with the treatment she's being given, becomes more and more aloof towards her husband.


  • As Himself: Fritz Lang, the director of the Odyssey film.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Camille throws one of these in a deadpan manner, to prove that she looks good swearing.
  • Cunning Linguist: Francesca, the translator who speaks all four languages spoken in the movie.
  • Downer Ending: Camille's and Paul's marriage falls apart and Camille dies along with Prokosch.
  • Film Within A Film: Type 1.
  • A God Am I: Prokosch. "I like Gods. I know exactly how they feel."
  • The Heart: Francesca, being a translator in a tense workplace.
  • Le Film Artistique: The Odyssey film seems to be this - little dialogue, long shots of painted over busts rotating for no particular reason. Contempt itself manages to avert the stereotypes commonly associated with this.
  • Multinational Team: The team working on the film within a film is composed of Italians, Germans, French people and at least one American. It's commonplace nowadays, but at the time it was kind of a novelty.
  • Nice Hat: Paul spends most of the movie with one.
  • Reality Subtext: Not only are the circumstances surrounding the making of the Odyssey film reflective of those of Contempt itself, but Godard also projects his at the time crumbling relationship with Anna Karina on Paul and Camille.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Prokosch and Fritz Lang.
  • Smug Snake: Prokosch.
  • Tactful Translation: Francesca does this sometimes, to omit the more offensive things the other characters have to say to each other.
  • Take That: Lang saying that CinemaScope was made for snakes and funerals. Godard shot this film in CinemaScope against his will.
  • Tranquil Fury: Camille, the source of the title's meaning.

Alternative Title(s):

Le Mepris