Synopsis: 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.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Jean-Luc Godard
Production: Rialto Pictures
Rotten Tomatoes:
102 min

It's based on the novel by Alberto Moravia.

It features Brigitte Bardot and Michel Piccoli.

Jack Palance and Giorgia Moll, too.

And Fritz Lang.

Raoul Coutard did the photography.

Georges Delerue wrote the score.

The sound was recorded by William Sivel.

Agnes Guillemot did the editing.

Philippe Dussart and Carlo Lastricati were unit managers.

It's a film byJean-Luc Godard.

It was shot in CinemaScope and printed in color by GTC Labs.

Georges de Beauregard and Carlo Ponti produced it

for Rome-Paris Films, Films Concordia and Compagnia Cinematografia Champion.

"The cinema, "said Andre Bazin, "substitutes for our gaze

a world more in harmony with our desires. "

Contempt is a story of that world.

I don't know.

Maybe I'll go to Mom's. I don't know what I'll do later.

Come pick me up if you want.

Around 4 o'clock.

At Cinecitta.

I have to see that American.

Maybe I will.

See my feet in the mirror?

Think they're pretty?


You like my ankles?

And my knees, too?

I really like your knees.

And my thighs?

Your thighs, too.

See my behind in the mirror?

Do you think I have a cute ass?


Shall I get on my knees?

No need to.

And my breasts. You like them?

Yes, tremendously.

Gently, Paul. Not so hard.


Which do you like better,

my breasts,

or my nipples?

I don't know. I like them the same.

You like my shoulders?

I don't think they're round enough.

And my arms?

And my face?

Your face, too.

All of it?

My mouth, my eyes, my nose, my ears?

Yes, everything.

Then you love me totally.

I love you totally, tenderly, tragically.

Me too, Paul.

- Hello. How are you? - Fine, thanks.

Say, what's going on here? The place is empty!

Jerry fired nearly everybody.

Italian cinema is in trouble.

- Where is he? - Over there.


It's the end of cinema.

I don't think cinema will ever die.

- It's doing good business in N.Y. - Fair to middling.

Your film with Fritz Lang?

He's not working out.

Producers never know what they want.

In '33, Goebbels asked Lang to head the German film industry.

That very night, Lang left Germany.

That's Minerva, isn't it?

She's Ulysses' protector.

And that's Neptune, his mortal enemy.

Say, that's Homer.

That's art, but will the public understand?

Who's that?


"O my brothers, who braved 1 00,000 perils

to reach the west,

choose not to deny experience

of the unpeopled world.

Think of the seed of your creation.

You were not born to live as brutes,

but to follow virtue and knowledge."

Know it?

Sure, it's very famous. Dante.

"Night then saw all the stars.

We were filled with gladness, which soon turned to tears

until the sea closed in upon us."

I'm PaulJaval. Mr. Prokosch told you...

I'm perfectly aware.

It looks swell. I really like CinemaScope.

It wasn't made for people.

It's only good for snakes and funerals.

What's the matter, Miss Vanini? Is it about the script?

Oh, he's says it's not the same on screen as on paper.

My wife's meeting me here. I'll go see.

The Italians used to say "revolver"

instead of"checkbook."

"But Man, when he must,

Can stand fearless and alone before God

His candor is his shield

He needs neither arms nor wile

Until such time as God's absence helps him."


That's Holderlin, isn't it?

"The Poet's Vocation."

The final line is obscure. Holderlin originally wrote...

"So long as God is not absent."

And then...

"So long as God is close to us."

Yes. The way the last lines are written,

when you've read the other two,

is no longer about God's presence.

It's God's absence that reassures Man.

Strange, but true.

Rate this script:(4.75 / 4 votes)

Alberto Moravia

Alberto Moravia (Italian pronunciation: [alˈbɛrto moˈraːvja]; November 28, 1907 – September 26, 1990), born Alberto Pincherle, was an Italian novelist and journalist. His novels explored matters of modern sexuality, social alienation and existentialism. Moravia is best known for his debut novel Gli indifferenti (1929) and for the anti-fascist novel Il Conformista (The Conformist), the basis for the film The Conformist (1970) directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. Other novels of his adapted for the cinema are Agostino, filmed with the same title by Mauro Bolognini in 1962; Il disprezzo (A Ghost at Noon or Contempt), filmed by Jean-Luc Godard as Le Mépris (Contempt 1963); La Noia (Boredom), filmed with that title by Damiano Damiani in 1963 and released in the US as The Empty Canvas in 1964 and La ciociara, filmed by Vittorio de Sica as Two Women (1960). Cedric Kahn's L'Ennui (1998) is another version of La Noia. Moravia once remarked that the most important facts of his life had been his illness, a tubercular infection of the bones that confined him to a bed for five years and Fascism, because they both caused him to suffer and do things he otherwise would not have done. "It is what we are forced to do that forms our character, not what we do of our own free will." Moravia was an atheist. His writing was marked by its factual, cold, precise style, often depicting the malaise of the bourgeoisie. It was rooted in the tradition of nineteenth-century narrative, underpinned by high social and cultural awareness. Moravia believed that writers must, if they were to represent reality, "assume a moral position, a clearly conceived political, social, and philosophical attitude" but also that, ultimately, "A writer survives in spite of his beliefs". Between 1959 and 1962 Moravia was president of PEN International, the worldwide association of writers. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Contempt" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 31 Jan. 2023. <>.

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