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3.6 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The master of the French New Wave indicts consumerism and elaborates on his personal vision of Hell with this raucous, biting satire. A nasty, scheming bourgeois Parisian couple embarks on a journey through the countryside to her father's house, where they pray for his death and a subsequent inheritance. Their trip is at first delayed, and later it is distracted by several outrageous events and characters including an apocalyptic traffic jam, a group of fictional philosophers, a couple of violent carjackers, and eventually, a gross display of cannibalism. By the time the film concludes, their seemingly simple journey has deteriorated into a freewheeling philosophical diatribe that leaves no topic unscathed. With WEEKEND, Jean-Luc Godard reaches an impressive plateau of film originality, incorporating inter-titles, extended tracking shots, and music to add an entirely new grammar to film language. The result is a deeply challenging work that will most certainly invigorate some viewers just as much as it will as frustrate others. Standout highlights include a jarring, sexually graphic opening monologue shot with a roaming camera and blaring musical accompaniment, and the infamous traffic jam scene, where an endless parade of cars sit bumper to bumper amidst burning cars, picnics, and honking horns. The work of a true artist and pioneer, Godard's WEEKEND is a landmark film that hasn't aged or lessened in impact over time.

Special Features

  • Audio Commentary by Critic David Sterritt
  • Interview with Raoul Coutard
  • Mike Figgis on "Weekend"
  • Biographies of Jean-Luc Godard, Cinematographer Raoul Coutard, Film Director Mike Figgis and Prof. Colin MacCabe
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Scene Selections

Product Details

  • Actors: Mireille Darc, Jean Yanne, Jean-Pierre Kalfon, Karl Marx, Yves Afonso
  • Directors: Jean-Luc Godard
  • Writers: Jean-Luc Godard, Julio Cortázar
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Anamorphic
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: New Yorker Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 23, 2005
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009NZ6RA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,419 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Weekend" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
The review on this page which claims that Weekend is one of the worst films ever missed the point and was not apparently, given the reviewer's qualms with the movie, the intended audience for the film.
Weekend marks Godard's nearly-formal break with "bourgeois film-making," i.e., film-making which has as its sole criteria to "entertain" (as in escapism), to engage in linear story-telling, and to reinforce film cliches, formulas, and all the trappings of popular western (and especially American) film-making.
In the movie, the audience witnesses the collapse of the narrative, the disintegration of formal film technique, and--more literally--the degeneration of western civilization. A ten-minute-long traffic jam, the barbarism of pig slaughters and corpses littering the countryside, and the unsympathetic characterizations of the bourgeois couple on whom the film centers (if it does indeed have a center) have not been filmed to entertain, to comfort, or to lull the audience, but to provoke thought, to engage actively, and--quite possibly--to enrage actively as well.
Arriving at a conclusion, being "pretty" or emotional, or arranging details tidily would defeat the purpose of Weekend, which is to illustrate incoherence, savagery, and decline. And, in this regard, perhaps no film has better tampered with the status quo of film-making than Godard's Weekend has.
Also, it must be remembered that Weekend is a reflection, to a great deal, of the turbulence of the sixties, and in particular the student protests in Paris in 1968.
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By A Customer on May 22, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
An utterly brilliant pastiche from Godard. JLG gives us a nightmarish vision of contemporary bourgeois society in which the apocalypse takes on the form of a series of bloody car wrecks and cannibalistic revolutionaries running wild. Even the scenes that don't work, like the bizarre encounter with Emily Bronte and Louis Carroll and the 18th-century French revolutionary reading a political tract, are forgiveable simply because they only add to the anarchic nature of the film. How many other movies have you seen that feature a woman screaming before a horrific car accident because she left her handbag inside, or a speech on Hitlerism and African slavery intercut with clips of traffic jams?
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Format: VHS Tape
With influences ranging from Freud to Marx, De Sade and Eisenstein having walk-on roles and the Parisian weekend transformed into an allegorical bourgeois hell,
Week-End is one of the defining films of the 20th Century. Born out of the nouvelle vague cinema (French New Wave), this is the terrible birth that is brought to light from J.L.Godard's obsession with prophesising the destruction and decline of the West. Even after taking into account his overt political messages, Weekend still exist as one of the most technically revolutionary pieces of cinema to emerge from his studios into a blinding glare of publicity and hostility.
Not content with depicting the destruction of western commercial values, Godard disrupts the visual narrative by interspersing film titles, book titles and music onto a background of patriotic red, white and blue colours. From a personal perspective, one of the most impressive sequences is an eight minute long tracking-shot of the Parisian highway which progresses from straightforward traffic jams to car-wrecks and the inevitable symbol of multinational Capitalism, a Shell oil truck. Essentially Week-End marks the 'Maoist period' of Godard's film-making career, during which he declared that 'the only way to be a revolutionary intellectual is to give up being an intellectual.'
Starring Mireille Darc and Jean Yanne, Week-End's fabular narrative is a weekend journey from Paris to Normandy which slowly becomes an apocalyptic struggle against the French peasant revolutionaries who continually intervene to prevent the couple meeting Darc's mother in order to find out whether they have successfully poisoned her father.
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By A Customer on December 12, 1998
Format: VHS Tape
a brilliant intellect's look at hell on earth -- a gorgeous, daft, two-timing blonde frenchwoman and her cheating bourgeoise husband spend the weekend dodging traffic jams, cannibals, car crashes and left-wing politicos -- a beautiful, bored french miasma. fender-benders and violence shot with typical, hilarious godard cynicism -- a must-see for godard fans -- won't make sense to others. won't make sense either way, but great fun for true believing new wavers.
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Format: DVD

I've not seen all of Jean-Luc Godard's films, but of those I have seen this is my favorite. The narrative concerns a conventional, middle class, married couple who conspire to take a weekend trip to kill the wife's parents for money.

The car trip taken by the couple is comprised of a series of disastrous, improbable, and perplexing events. Art terrorists, thieves, rapists, and Marxist revolutionaries assail the couple at all turns. France is being overrun by weirdos! Bloody, flaming car (and plane!) crashes are everywhere. Violent demise is at every turn.

In the movie is a famous traffic jam scene that employed what was, up until the time of this movie's making, the longest dolly ever made. The scene is absurd, comical, and one of the delights of the movie. Likewise, Godard was becoming interested in socialist politics at this time in his career, in light of the Vietnam war and anti-colonial struggles that were happening globally, so a lot of "revolutionary" ideas are expressed by characters in the film. Unfortunately Godard most often has people simply read manifestos to the camera. Godard's political interests are thus conveyed in an awkward, cumbersome way. You do not have to agree with they're saying in order to enjoy the film.

Having said that, the movie is still one hell of a ride -- no pun intended. The bourgeois couple at the heart of the story don't care about the flaming chaos around them. They just want their money. At one point the husband even sits idly by as a stranger rapes his wife.

As a journey narrative of two people, WEEKEND (or is it WEEK END?)is reminiscent of Alejandro Jodorwosky's 1968 FANDO & LIS. (There was something in the water in the late 60s.
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